Main Births etc
Stoughton, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Town center
Official seal of Stoughton, Massachusetts
Nickname(s): "Birthplace of American Liberty" "Tough Town"

Stoughton, Massachusetts is located in Massachusetts
Location in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°07′30″N 71°06′10″W / 42.125, -71.10278Coordinates: 42°07′30″N 71°06′10″W / 42.125, -71.10278
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Settled 1713
Incorporated 1726
 • Type Representative town meeting
 • Total 16.3 sq mi (42.1 km2)
 • Land 16.0 sq mi (41.5 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 236 ft (72 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 26,962
 • Density 1,685.1/sq mi (649.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02072
Area code(s) 781
FIPS code 25-67945
GNIS feature ID 0618330

Stoughton (play /ˈsttn/) (official name: Town of Stoughton) is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 26,962 at the 2010 census. The town is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) from Boston, 25 miles (40 km) from Providence, and 35 miles (56 km) from Cape Cod.


Stoughton was first settled in 1713 and was officially incorporated in 1726. It was named after William Stoughton, who was the first chief justice of Colonial Courts and the notorious chief justice of the Salem Witch Trials.

The Suffolk Resolves were written in Old Stoughton (current day Milton, Massachusetts) at Doty's Tavern.[2] They are thought to be the basis for the Declaration of Independence. The meeting included Rev. Samuel Dunbar and Paul Revere, while the site was chosen by Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren.

Originally an agricultural community, Stoughton developed into an important shoemaking center. In 1874, the Stoughton Public Library was established.[3]

The oldest choral society in the United States is located in Stoughton. Founded in 1786 as The Stoughton Musical Society, it is now known as the Old Stoughton Musical Society. In 1893, this musical society distinguished itself by performing several concerts at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, heard by an audience of several thousand people.

The citizens of Stoughton pride themselves on their social activism. The Save Our Stoughton campaign attracted national attention in the 1980s for their work picketing a local adult book store. Most recently, Stoughton became the first municipality in Massachusetts to declare itself a "No Place for Hate" town.

Stoughton's train station was built in 1888, and is the only one in Massachusetts to house a clock tower. The station is unique in many ways as it was built out of stones from a West Street quarry that belonged to Stoughton resident Myron Gilbert. In 1974 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over a million dollars was raised to restore the station to its original luster in time for the 100th anniversary. It is the only train station in the country that still has the look and charm of a 19th century train station.. The station currently serves as the terminus of the Stoughton Branch of MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line.

On August 15, 1908, Stoughton was hit by a moderate earthquake. Although the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory was affected, the shockwaves did not reach to Boston.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.3 square miles (42 km2), of which 16.0 square miles (41 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (2.41%) is water. Stoughton borders Canton to the north, Randolph to the northeast, Avon to the east, Brockton to the southeast, Easton to the south, and Sharon to the west.


Stoughton has what may be described as something between a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate, such as is very common in coastal southern New England. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold, windy, and snowy. Prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore affect Stoughton, minimizing the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.

Spring in Stoughton can be warm, with temperatures as high as the 90s when winds are offshore, although it is just as possible for a day in late May to remain in the 40s because of cool ocean waters. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 82 °F (28 °C) and an average low of 66 °F (18 °C), with conditions usually humid. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 36 °F (2 °C) and an average low of 22 °F (−6 °C). Periods exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) in summer and below 10 °F (−12 °C) in winter are not uncommon but are rarely prolonged. The record high temperature is 104 °F (40 °C), recorded on July 4, 1911. The record low temperature is −18 °F (−28 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934. February in Stoughton has seen 70 °F (21 °C) only once in recorded history, on February 24, 1985. The highest temperature recorded in March was 89 °F (31 °C), on March 31, 1998.

Stoughton's coastal location on the North Atlantic, although it moderates temperatures, also makes the town very prone to Nor'easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. The town averages about 43 in (108 cm) of precipitation a year, with 40.9 in (104 cm) of snowfall a year. Snowfall increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the town (especially north and west of the town)—away from the warming influence of the ocean. Most snowfall occurs from December through March. There is usually little or no snow in April and November, and snow is rare in May and October. Fog is prevalent, particularly in spring and early summer, and the occasional tropical storm or hurricane can threaten the region, especially in early autumn. Due to its situation near the North Atlantic, the town is often subject to sea breezes, especially in the late spring, when water temperatures are still quite cold and temperatures at the coast can be ten to twenty degrees colder than a few miles inland, sometimes dropping by that amount near midday.

Climate data for Stoughton, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 36
Average low °F (°C) 22
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.8
Snowfall inches (cm) 12.0
Source: Weatherbase[4]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 3,494
1860 4,830 +38.2%
1870 4,914 +1.7%
1880 4,875 −0.8%
1890 4,852 −0.5%
1900 5,442 +12.2%
1910 6,316 +16.1%
1920 6,865 +8.7%
1930 8,204 +19.5%
1940 8,632 +5.2%
1950 11,146 +29.1%
1960 16,328 +46.5%
1970 23,459 +43.7%
1980 26,710 +13.9%
1990 26,777 +0.3%
2000 27,149 +1.4%
2010 26,962 −0.7%

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 27,149 people, 10,254 households, and 7,270 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,692.6 people per square mile (653.5/km²). There were 10,488 housing units at an average density of 653.9 per square mile (252.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.46% White, 5.70% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.14% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.27% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.

There were 10,254 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

Stoughton has a history of manufacturing and an emerging cluster of regional retail, as well as a substantial base of land zoned for commercial and industrial purposes. The major commercial and industrial areas in town are located adjacent to Route 24 and along routes 138, 139 and 27, but smaller areas are interspersed with residential zones due to the community’s industrial past. The town has significant protected open space resources, including the Bird Street Sanctuary, water department lands, recreational fields and a municipal golf course. Additional privately owned, but not protected, undeveloped lands are an important factor in the character of the community. Stoughton has good access to the regional roadway network, being served by several state routes and 3 interchanges on Route 24. Stoughton also has access to regional transit, being served by bus from Brockton and MBTA Commuter rail at the station in downtown Stoughton.


The Town is governed by a Selectmen-Manager plan with a representative Town meeting. The Board of Selectmen of the town consists of five members, all of whom are elected at large for a term of three years. The Selectmen appoint a Town Manager, who is the chief administrative officer in the executive branch of town government, and he carries out the policies and plans set forth by the Selectmen. Steve Anastos is the current Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.[16] The Stoughton Fire Department provides fire suppression, rescue and EMS services to Stoughton. The Freeman Street Fire Station was opened on June 13, 1927 and has received updates throughout the years and is still open today. The Central Fire Station opened in 2001 although it currently operates out of the Central Fire Station due to mold problems.[17]


There is one public high school in Stoughton, one public middle school, 5 elementary schools (Jones Elementary School was shut down due to budget cuts), and several parochial and private schools in nearby towns. Stoughton High School has an award-winning music program, as well as an award-winning newspaper, The SHS Knight and well-known jazz and marching bands.


Stoughton has become the host to a large span of furniture stores including Jordan's Furniture and IKEA. This currently the only IKEA in the state of Massachusetts.


Stoughton is on an MBTA commuter rail line that runs to South Station in Boston via the Providence/Stoughton Line.The Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT) provides local bus service.

Annual events[]

Every year, there are fireworks at the high school for celebration of the 4th of July. Other Stoughton attractions include local drama groups, summer-time outdoor concerts, and annual parades to honor veterans. Every year on the 4th of July, Stoughton has a 4 July parade. Stoughton also has a Veterans Day parade every year on Veterans Day. Stoughton has a Christmas parade on December 18. The parade started in 1986 and has been going on for 22 years. The town of Stoughton organizes swimming programs at the Ames Long Pond and provides basketball courts and horseshoe pits at the local parks. The town of Stoughton also offers barbecue spots and picnic areas.

Notable people[]


Stoughton Square c. 1912

  • Mo Cowan - U.S. Senator for Massachusetts
  • John Bailey - congressman
  • Supply Belcher - composer
  • Forrest Bird - aviator, inventor and biomedical engineer
  • Doris Holmes Blake - entomologist[18]
  • Elmer Hewitt Capen - college president
  • Fannie Bishop Capen - missionary
  • Bill Chamberlain - Major League Baseball player.
  • Mary Baker Eddy - religious leader
  • Jacob French - composer
  • Ed Gill - Major League Baseball player.
  • Richard Gridley - soldier and army engineer
  • Edwin Arthur Jones - composer
  • Kerry Keating - basketball coach
  • Ryan LaCasse - football player
  • Ed McGuinness - comic book artist
  • Lori McKenna - singer/songwriter
  • Shawn Michael Phelan - actor
  • Henry L. Pierce - mayor of Boston
  • Bertha Reynolds - social worker
  • Niccola Sacco - of Sacco & Vanzetti
  • Deborah Sampson - female soldier of the Revolution
  • Roger Sherman - statesman
  • Mark Snyder - radio talk show host
  • Kenny Wormald - dancer, actor, television personality


  1. ^ "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - State -- County Subdivision, 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  2. ^ The Doty Tavern
  3. ^ The Trustees of the Stoughton Public Library gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of the many interested citizens in the
  4. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Stoughton, Massachusetts, United States of America". Weatherbase. 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  5. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  6. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1950 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Stoughton Community Profile
  17. ^ Stoughton Fire Department First Organized in 1852
  18. ^ "Record Unit 7310, Blake, Doris Holmes, 1892-1978, Doris Holmes Blake Papers". Smithsonian Archives. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 

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