West Newbury, Massachusetts

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West Newbury is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. Situated on the Merrimack River, its population was 4,450 at the 2006 census. Along with neighboring Merrimac and Groveland, it is part of the Pentucket Regional School District.



West Newbury was first settled in 1635 as part of neighboring Newbury. On February 18, 1819, the General Court of Massachusetts passed an act "to incorporate the town of Parsons."[1] The initial proposals had been made in the late 18th century, but determined resistance from the town of Newbury, which had already lost Newburyport, blocked the measure for decades. On June 14, 1820, the court passed another act to change the name to West Newbury.

Over the last twenty or so years, West Newbury has developed from a rural farming town to an affluent community.

West Newbury is sometimes referred to as "a village of Newburyport," due to its close proximity to the city, as well as its tiny size and close relationship to neighboring Newburyport.

West Newbury is well-known for its many hills: Pipestave Hill, Archelaus Hill, Brake Hill, Ilsey Hill, Indian Hill, Long Hill, and Meetinghouse Hill.

West Newbury is a part of Massachusetts' North Shore, as well as the Merrimack Valley regions of the state.

West Newbury's status as an affluent community can be attributed to its location in Essex County. In 2006, Essex County received the dubious honor of being named number one on Forbes Magazine's list of most overpriced places to live in the U.S. The magazine cited high living costs and expensive real estate as the major reasons Essex County was picked over cities with higher mean real estate values.

Geography and transportation

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.6 square miles (37.8 km²), of which, 13.5 square miles (35.0 km²) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²) of it is water. The total area is 7.53% water. West Newbury lies along the south banks of the Merrimack River, ten miles upstream from the Atlantic Ocean. The town is separated from Newburyport by the Artichoke River and its upper and lower reservoirs, and several other rivers and brooks, including the Indian River, flow through the town. The southern corner of town is part of the Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area, and two other protected areas, the Riverbend Recreation Area and Mill Pond Recreation Area, are located in the northern part of town. The town's highest point is on Crane Neck Hill in the south of town. Significant efforts have been made by residents to maintain the rural character of the town through advocacy for the preservation of open spaces.

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