Norfolk County, Massachusetts

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Norfolk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of 2000, the population was 650,308. Its county seat is Dedham.[1] It is the 28th highest-income county in the United States with a per capita income of $32,484.It is the wealthiest county in Massachusetts. The county was named after Norfolk, England and means "northern folk."[2]

Contents

History

Norfolk County, Massachusetts was created on March 26, 1793 by legistation signed by Gov. John Hancock. Most of the towns were originally part of Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The towns of Dorchester and Roxbury were part of Norfolk County when it was created but, as Boston gradually annexed them, they returned to be part of Suffolk County. Hingham and Hull were originally part of the Norfolk County legislation but petitioned to remain in Suffolk county and in June 1793 their removal to Norfolk county was repealed. Later in 1803 they were moved into Plymouth County, Massachusetts. The county is also the birthplace of four of the individuals who have held the office of President of the United States (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and George H.W. Bush), resulting in the moniker "County of Presidents."[3]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km²), of which, 400 square miles (1,035 km²) of it is land and 44 square miles (115 km²) of it (10%) is water. The county is not fully contiguous; the towns of Brookline and Cohasset are each part of Norfolk County but are separated from the majority of Norfolk County (and each other) by either water or other counties. At the county's formation, Hingham and Hull were to be part of it, but joined Plymouth County instead, leaving Cohasset as an exclave of Norfolk County and an enclave of Plymouth County. Brookline became an exclave of Norfolk County in 1873 when the neighboring town of West Roxbury was annexed by Boston (thus leaving Norfolk County to join Suffolk County) and Brookline refused to be annexed by Boston after the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873.

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