Norwood, Massachusetts

From Academic Kids

Norwood is a town and census-designated place located in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, it had a total population of 28,587.



Norwood was first settled in 1678 by Ezra Morse and was officially incorporated in 1872 out of land taken from the town of Dedham, except for a small portion ceded by Walpole.


Norwood is located at 42°11'9" North, 71°12'5" West (42.185974, -71.201661)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.3 km² (10.6 mi²). 27.1 km² (10.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.66% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 28,587 people, 11,623 households, and 7,380 families residing in the town. The population density is 1,053.2/km² (2,727.0/mi²). There are 11,945 housing units at an average density of 440.1/km² (1,139.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 90.51% White, 2.31% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 5.06% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 1.65% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 11,623 households out of which 27.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% are married couples living together, 9.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% are non-families. 29.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.41 and the average family size is 3.05.

In the town the population is spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $58,421, and the median income for a family is $70,164. Males have a median income of $50,597 versus $34,312 for females. The per capita income for the town is $27,720. 4.4% of the population and 2.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.5% of those under the age of 18 and 3.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


As of 2000, the main public institutions of Norwood are Norwood High School and Norwood Junior High East. The mascot of the high school is The Mustangs; sports include football, baseball, basketball, and cross-country.


Missing image
Stained-glass window in Norwood town hall depicting town seal with Aaron Guild
Missing image
Image of Aaron Guild on exterior of town hall

Norwood was the long-time home of photographer and publisher Fred Holland Day. As a photographer, Day at one point rivalled Stieglitz in influence. The publishing firm of Copeland and Day was the American publisher of Oscar Wilde's Salome with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley. The Day House is now a museum and the headquarters of the Norwood Historical Society.

A large cluster of automobile dealerships on Route 1 is known as the Norwood "Automile". The concept of having competing dealerships join together to publicize the "Automile" as an automobile shopping center was largely the work of the late Ernie Boch, famous in the Boston area for his ads urging people to "Come on down!". The largest dealer in the world in March, 2005 is Boch of Hondas.

Norwood is the home office of semiconductor company Analog Devices, Inc. (website) (

Norwood Memorial Municipal Building ("town hall")
Norwood Memorial Municipal Building ("town hall")

Norwood's town square is dominated by its town hall, the Norwood Memorial Municipal Building. It contains a 51-bell carillon tower, one of nine carillons in Massachusetts. Built in 1928, the neo-gothic edifice is made of Weymouth seamed-face granite. Visitors often mistake it for a church or believe it to have been a church, but it never was; its stained-glass windows depict, not saints, but local patriot Aaron Guild.

"Guild," whose name appears in local street and building names, is pronounced with a long i, like the second syllable of the word "beguiled."

Missing image
Sanctuary-like auditorium of Norwood town hall

Guild's significance is explained by an inscription on the Aaron Guild Memorial Stone, dedicated in 1903, which stands outside the Norwood public library. The inscription reads:

ON APRIL 19, 1775

Guild and his oxen are featured in the town seal.

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