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Groton, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Dixhouse in c. 1910

Seal
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°36′40″N 71°34′30″W / 42.61111°N 71.575°W / 42.61111; -71.575
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1655
Incorporated 1655
Government
 - Type Open town meeting
Area
 - Total 33.7 sq mi (87.3 km2)
 - Land 32.8 sq mi (84.9 km2)
 - Water 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation 320 ft (98 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 10,641
 Density 324.4/sq mi (125.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01450
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-27480
GNIS feature ID 0619399
Website www.townofgroton.org

Groton is an affluent town located in northwestern Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The population of Groton was 9,547 at the 2000 census. It is home to two notable prep schools: Groton School, founded in 1884, and Lawrence Academy at Groton, founded in 1793. The town hosts the National Shepley Hill Horse Trials, an equestrian competition.

Contents

History

Groton Town Hall

The area had for thousands of years been the territory of various cultures of indigenous peoples. They settled along the rivers for fishing and transportation. Historic tribes were Algonquian-speaking Nipmuc.

The Anglo-American Groton began with the trading post of John Tinker, who conducted business there with the Nipmuc Indians at the confluence of Nod Brook and the Nashua River. The Nipmuc called the area Petapawag, meaning "swampy land." Other pioneers followed the Algonquin trails from Massachusetts Bay, as Tinker had. They found the region productive for fishing and farming.

The town was officially settled and incorporated in 1655, named for Groton in Suffolk County, England, the hometown of an early selectman, Dean Winthrop. Called "The Plantation of Groton," it included all of present-day Groton and Ayer, almost all of Pepperell and Shirley, large parts of Dunstable and Littleton, plus smaller parts of Harvard, Westford, Nashua, NH, and Hollis, NH.

During King Philip's War, in 1676 Indians burned all but four Groton garrisons. English survivors fled to Concord and other safe havens. Two years later they returned to rebuild the town.

Groton was attacked again by Indians during Queen Anne's War (1702–1713). In 1707 several citizens of the town, including the children Sarah, John and Zachary Tarbell, were captured and taken by the Abenaki to Kahnawake, a Jesuit mission village in Canada across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal. As often happened, the boys were adopted into families of chiefs in the Mohawk tribe and became thoroughly assimilated. They married daughters of chiefs and became chiefs in their own turn, also founding the community of Akwesasne downstream in the late 1750s. Today Akwesasne is the largest Mohawk community in Canada. Sarah Tarbell was "sold" (or ransomed) to a French family. About a year later, after being baptized Catholic and renamed Marguerite, she entered the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.

In 1775, the common in front of the First Parish Church was an assembly area for Minutemen, who fought in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, Groton has a total area of 33.7 square miles (87.3 km²), of which 32.8 square miles (84.9 km²) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) (2.79%) is water. Groton is the largest town in Middlesex County in terms of square mileage. The town is drained by the Nashua and Squannacook rivers.

Groton borders the following towns: Pepperell, Dunstable, Tyngsborough, Westford, Littleton, Ayer, Shirley, and Townsend.

Demographics

This article describes the town of Groton as a whole. Additional demographic details are available which describe only the central settlement within the town, although those details are included in the aggregate values reported here. See: Groton (CDP), Massachusetts.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,547 people, 3,268 households, and 2,568 families residing in the town. The population density was 291.3 people per square mile (112.5/km²). There were 3,393 housing units at an average density of 103.5/sq mi (40.0/km²). Groton is one of the least racially diverse towns in New England. The racial makeup of the town was 97.22% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.

There were 3,268 households out of which 46.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.0% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.4% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.31.

The age distribution of the town's population was 32.6% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $82,869, and the median income for a family was $92,014. Males had a median income of $63,889 versus $41,581 for females. The per capita income for the town was $33,877. About 2.5% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Education

Points of interest

Notable residents

First Parish Church

References

Further reading

External links

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