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Lincoln, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Lincoln Public Library
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°25′33″N 71°18′16″W / 42.42583°N 71.30444°W / 42.42583; -71.30444
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1650
Incorporated 1754
 - Type Open town meeting
 - Total 15.0 sq mi (38.9 km2)
 - Land 14.4 sq mi (37.2 km2)
 - Water 0.6 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Elevation 258 ft (79 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 7,994
 Density 555.1/sq mi (214.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01773
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-35425
GNIS feature ID 0619402

Lincoln is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 8,056 at the 2000 census, including residents of Hanscom Air Force Base that live within town limits. Without the base, which is largely self-contained, Lincoln is home to 5,152 people, according to the 2000 census.



Lincoln was settled in 1654 as part of neighboring Concord. It was incorporated as a separate town in 1754. Due to their "difficulties and inconveniences by reason of their distance from the places of Public Worship in their respective Towns," local inhabitants petitioned the General Court to be set apart as a separate town. Comprising parts "nipped" off from the adjacent towns of Concord, Weston and Lexington, it was sometimes referred to as "Niptown."

Chambers Russell, a Representative in the Court in Boston, was influential in the town's creation. In gratitude, Russell was asked to name the new town. He chose Lincoln, after his family home in Lincolnshire, England. His homestead in Lincoln was the Codman House property, which was occupied after his death by his relatives, the Coodman family.

Lincoln is reportedly the only town in America named after Lincoln, England (and not President Abraham Lincoln)[citation needed], although Lincoln, New Hampshire was named for the 9th Earl of Lincoln, an English nobleman and founded long before Abraham Lincoln's birth.

Paul Revere was captured by British soldiers in Lincoln on the night of April 18, 1775. Minutemen from Lincoln were that first to arrive to reinforce the colonists protecting American stores in Concord. Col Abijah Pierce of Lincoln led his troops armed with a cane. He upgraded his weapon to a British musket after the battle. Several British soldiers who fell in Lincoln are buried in the town cemetery.

Reverend Charles Stearns (1753–1826), a Harvard-trained minister, served the Congregational Church in Lincoln from late 1781 until his death. Only a handful of his sermons were printed, most in the early 19th century. In addition, Stearns was principal of the Liberal School, a relatively progressive and coeducational institution that opened in early 1793. While at the school, Stearns wrote and published a number of education-related works, including Dramatic Dialogues for Use in Schools (1798), a collection of 30 original plays that were performed by the students. After the school closed in 1808, Stearns continued to tutor students privately. Among his pupils were Nathan Brooks, a Concord lawyer, and George Russell, a Lincoln physician. Stearns' published works can be accessed at Early American Imprints, a microform and digital collection produced by the American Antiquarian Society. A summary article that looks at Stearns as a producer of children's drama is The Dramatic Dialogues of Charles Stearns: An Appreciation by Jonathan Levy, in Spotlight on the Child: Studies in the History of American Children’s Theatre, ed. Roger L. Bedard and C. John Tolch (New York: Greenwood, 1989): 5-24.


Lincoln has a total area of 15.0 square miles (38.9 km²), of which 14.4 square miles (37.2 km²) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.7 km²) is water, representing 4.26% of the town's total area. (Source: United States Census Bureau).

Police and Fire Department

The Lincoln Police and Fire Department building was upgraded recently. The Police Department is staffed with 13 full-time officers, broken down as follows: one chief, one lieutenant, three sergeants, one inspector, seven patrol officers and one traffic enforcement officer. Ten part-time special officers supplement the full-time officers in filling details and special events request for the department.[1]

The Fire Department employs a full-time chief, four full-time lieutenants, nine full-time firefighter/E.M.T.s, and ten call firefighter/E.M.T.s. The department staffs a minimum of four firefighters per shift at all times.[2] Due to budget shortfalls this year the fire department is only staffing two profesional full-time firefighters on night shifts and weekends.


At the 2000 census[3], there were 8,056 people, 2,790 households and 2,254 families residing in the town. The population density was 560.7 per square mile (216.5/km²). There were 2,911 housing units at an average density of 202.6/sq mi (78.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.16% White, 4.84% African American, 0.38% Native American, 4.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.33% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.97% of the population.

There were 2,790 households of which 45.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.4% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.18.

Age distribution was 30.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median household income was $79,003, and the median family income was $87,842. Males had a median income of $52,788 versus $31,786 for females. The per capita income for the town was $49,095. About 0.3% of families and 0.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.2% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over. Voting patterns in recent decades indicate that Lincoln is among the wealthiest liberal (or most liberal wealthy) towns in the United States.

While the majority of the land in the town is zoned for residential and agricultural use a large parcel on state route 2 is designated for commercial use.

Points of interest

  • WhistleStop Cafe

Codman Community Farm


Commuter rail service from Boston's North Station is provided by the MBTA with a stop in Lincoln on its Fitchburg Line.[4]

Notable residents

As a town of decidedly rural character and layout but quite close to the academic and intellectual centers of Cambridge and Boston, Lincoln has had such notable past residents as architect Walter Gropius, An Wang of Wang Laboratories, Ken Olsen of Digital Equipment Corporation, Thomas Winship of the Boston Globe, Richard Bolt and Robert Newman of BBN (now BBN Technologies), humpback-song recorder Roger Payne, and opera impresario/conductor Sarah Caldwell. Other currently noteworthy people who grew up or live in Lincoln include Paul Pierce,Shelden Williams and Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, Julia Glass, author of Three Junes, Greg Hawkes (former keyboardist for the Cars), Jasper White, owner of the Summer Shack restaurant line, author Jane Langton, her son the artificial-life biologist Christopher Langton, radio personality and sometime columnist Mike Barnicle (despite Barnicle's earlier sniping at Lincoln for its liberal leanings and large number of bumper stickers per car), Rodney Brooks, founder of iRobot and director MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, former Boston Bruins great Cam Neely, Lester Thurow, former dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management, Karen Smyers, former world champion triathlete, and many others. The "two Johns" of the band They Might Be Giants, John Flansburgh and John Linnell, named their second album Lincoln after their hometown.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ MBTA Accessed August 31, 2007.

Further reading

External links



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