Kingston, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Green Street
Official seal of Kingston, Massachusetts
Nickname(s): K-town
Kingston ma highlight
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°59′33″N 70°43′35″W / 41.9925, -70.7265Coordinates: 41°59′33″N 70°43′35″W / 41.9925, -70.7265
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Plymouth
Settled 1620
Incorporated 1726
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 20.4 sq mi (52.8 km2)
 • Land 18.5 sq mi (48.0 km2)
 • Water 1.9 sq mi (4.8 km2)
Elevation 105 ft (34 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 12,629
 • Density 682.6/sq mi (263.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02364
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-33220
GNIS feature ID 0619469

Kingston is a coastal town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 12,629.


Before European settlers arrived in Kingston it was within the tribal home to the Wampanoag people. Even before the Mayflower had landed in Plymouth the Wampanoags were severely damaged from rapidly spreading pandemics from earlier contacts with Europeans. Several ancient Native American burial sites have been located within the borders of Kingston.

Originally the north precinct of the town of Plymouth, Kingston was first settled by Europeans in 1620, shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Modern day Kingston is believed to be the site of several bloody battles during King Phillip's War from 1675-1676. It is public record that the residence of Governor Bradford was raided by the natives before the Wampanoags were completely devastated.

50 years later, Kingston was incorporated as a distinct town in 1726 following a tax dispute between the residents of north and south Plymouth. Kingston is home of the longest continuously run boat yard in North America. The Revolutionary War era brig, USS Independence, was built by Kingston shipbuilders and has emerged as a town icon, featured on the Kingston town seal, as well as subject of the town song, "Independence". The tenure of the Independence in the Massachusetts Navy was short, however, when the ship was captured in battle off the coast of Nova Scotia by HMS Hope and HMS Nancy.

Summer Street, Post Office, Kingston, MA

Summer Street in 1906

In the early-to-middle 19th century, Kingston flourished as not only a center for shipbuilding, but ice harvesting as well. Jones River Pond, the largest body of freshwater in town, was used to harvest ice during the long New England winters which would then be shipped throughout the world. Jones River Pond was even renamed to Silver Lake for marketing purposes during the height of the ice harvesting export industry and retains the name today. Kingston is also home to the first co-op store in North America, which was closed when the Silver Lake Post Office shut down operations in 1954.

In the 1950s Kingston was transformed from a small rural town into an extension of the Boston metropolitan area when Route 3 was constructed, which connects Boston to Cape Cod and has three exits in Kingston. The town saw its largest population boom in the 1990s, however, when the Old Colony Railroad was reopened as a commuter rail connecting once rural Kingston with Boston, making it an even more viable place for commuters to live.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.4 square miles (52.8 km²), of which, 18.5 square miles (48.0 km²) of it is land and 1.9 square miles (4.8 km²) of it (9.12%) is water. Kingston borders the towns of Pembroke to the north, Duxbury to the northeast, Plymouth to the south, Carver to the southwest, and Plympton to the west. Kingston is approximately eighteen miles southeast of Brockton and thirty-five miles south-southeast of Boston.

Kingston lies on Kingston Bay, an inlet to the larger Plymouth Bay. The Jones River runs through the town from its source, Silver Lake, to the bay. There are several brooks that branch off the river, as well as several other smaller ponds throughout the town, including Muddy Pond. There is a state forest in the town, located in the southern portion of the town. Kingston is also the site of Gray's Beach, in a neighborhood called Rocky Nook, just north of the Plymouth town line.

Route 3, also known as the Pilgrims Highway, runs through the eastern portion of town. There are two exits for Kingston, at the Independence Mall in the southern portion of town, and at Route 3A. There is also an exit just over the Duxbury town line where Route 3A again crosses the highway. The new highway portion of U.S. Route 44 also passes through the southern portion of town, along the edge of the state forest, on its way to its new intersection with Route 3. Additionally, Routes 27, 53, 80 ad 106 all end in the town, with all except Route 27 (which ends at Route 106) ending at their intersections with Route 3A.

Kingston is one of the two termini of the Kingston/Plymouth line of the MBTA's Commuter Rail system. The Kingston terminus is located just off of Route 3, north of the mall. Regional air service can be reached at Plymouth Municipal Airport; the nearest national and international air service can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston.

Kingston is also located on the 42nd parallel, recognized by a roadside memorial on Landing Road near the Bay Farms area.


As of the American Community Survey[1] of 2009, there were 12,484 people, 4,363 households, and 2,940 families residing in the town. The population density was 674.8 people per square mile (260.1/km²). There were 4,707 housing units at an average density of 254.5 per square mile (98.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.3% White, 0.1% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

There were 4,363 households out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $79,045, and the median income for a family was $99,438. Males had a median income of $67,712 versus $48,846 for females. The per capita income for the town was $36,771. About 3.3% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.



Old Kingston Town Hall, with Civil War monument in foreground. This building was in use from 1841 to 2003, when a new building opened.

Kingston is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Twelfth Plymouth District, which includes Plympton and portions of Duxbury, Halifax, Middleborough and Plymouth. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Plymouth and Barnstable District, which includes Bourne, Falmouth, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Sandwich and portions of Barnstable.[2] The town is patrolled by the First (Norwell) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[3]

On the national level, Kingston is a part of Massachusetts's 10th congressional district, and is currently represented by Bill Delahunt. The state's senior (Class II) member of the United States Senate, re-elected in 2008, is John Kerry. The junior (Class I) senator, elected in 2010, is Scott Brown.

Kingston operates under the open town meeting form of government, led by a town administrator and a board of selectmen. Kingston's town offices moved into a new building in 2003, closer to its animal control and highway department facilities on Evergreen Street, on the opposite side of Evergreen Cemetery from the old building. The town operates its own police and fire departments, with a branch firehouse located near the Plymouth town line. The town's EMT service brings its patients to nearby Jordan Hospital in Plymouth. The town has a single post office, located along Route 3A. The Kingston Public Library is located just across the street from the old town hall, and is a part of the Old Colony Library Network.


Kingston is a member of the Silver Lake Regional School District along with Halifax and Plympton. Although the towns in the Silver Lake School District share a middle school and a high school, each operates their own elementary schools. Kingston operates the Kingston Elementary School and Kingston Intermediate School for students through sixth grade.

Once students reach seventh grade they are sent to Silver Lake Regional Middle School and then Silver Lake Regional High School, both in Kingston. Silver Lake's teams are known as the Lakers, and their colors are red and silver. Their chief rival is Pembroke High School, whom they play in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game. Pembroke was previously part of the Silver Lake Regional School District but withdrew in 2005. A new Silver Lake High School building finished construction in January 2006. The official school website can be found at the Silver Lake Regional School District Website. Silver Lake operates its own vocational facilities; if a trade is chosen that is not supported by Silver Lake students are sent to South Shore Vocational Technical High School in Hanover, MA. Silver Lake was recognized in 2008 by Boston Magazine as being one of the 30 smartest public high schools in Massachusetts. This is based on criteria including student achievement, college preparation, athletics programs, electives and the overall cost per community.

Kingston is home to one private school, Sacred Heart, which is located along Bishops Highway (Route 80) just south of Route 44. It serves students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.



Kingston is covered in both the Boston and Providence, RI media markets, receiving WCVB (ABC), WBZ (CBS), and WHDH (NBC) news from Boston. Recently WFXT (Fox 25) has added a news bureau which covers Kingston.


Kingston is covered in print media by the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Patriot Ledger, Brockton Enterprise, and the Kingston Reporter. The Kingston Observer stopped printing in 2009.


Commuter rail service from Boston's South Station is provided by the MBTA with a stop in Kingston on its Plymouth/Kingston Line.[4] Not all non-peak trains stop at Kingston - some trains terminate at Plymouth instead.

See also[]

  • Frederic C. Adams Public Library, built in 1898
  • Bradford House (Major John Bradford Homestead), built in 1714

Notable residents[]

Frederic C

The old Frederic C. Adams Library in 1915, now proposed as a heritage center

  • William Bradford, governor
  • Joseph Ripley Chandler, congressman
  • Neil Cicierega, internet personality and musician
  • Chris Cooper, actor
  • Marianne Leone Cooper, actress
  • Rich Cronin, singer, songwriter (LFO)
  • Percy Keese Fitzhugh, author
  • Adam Haslett, writer
  • John Holmes, congressman and senator
  • Christopher Prince, merchant, farmer and political figure
  • Marshall Strickland, basketball player
  • Peleg Wadsworth, military officer


External links[]

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