Transportation culture and recreation miscellaneous

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Norfolk County




Dedham is an historic suburban industrial town on the principal southern

corridor of metropolitan Boston, and is the site of the earliest surviving

framed house in New England, the handsome 1737 Fairbanks House. The 10.7

square mile community received its grant as a town from the Massachusetts

Bay Colony in 1636, placing it among the oldest communities in the state.

Its colonial agricultural economy was expanded by industry only after the

town, in 1639, built one of the earliest water power canals connecting the

Charles River with a tributary of the Neponset River and creating

sufficient water power for grist and fulling mills.

The character and future of the community changed drastically when it

became the county seat for Norfolk County and the court house was built in

1796. As local historians pointed out, this brought in lawyers and

officials, trained, educated and ambitious men who changed the face of the

community by investing in and supporting industrial development. Woolen

mills were developed in Dedham and innovations such as power broadlooms

were introduced. By 1830 there were two woolen mills, two cotton mills,

four sawmills and five factories staffed by Irish and German immigrants who

made up 27% of the Dedham population. Everything from pianos to furniture

was made in Dedham, including famous Dedham crackleware pottery.

The town shows a rich and diverse architectural face to the world, with its

monumental granite court house of Greek Revival design, its Victorian

prison, its limestone Neoclassical Registry of Deeds, Romanesque Revival

public library and Renaissance and Georgian Revival schools. In addition,

Dedham has a remarkably well preserved town center, with many handsome,

historic houses of which the community is very proud.

(Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information

provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)



Eastern Massachusetts, bordered by Needham on the northwest, Boston on the

northeast and east, and Canton and Westwood on the south. Dedham is 10 miles

south of Boston; 16 miles north of Brockton; 33 miles northeast of Providence,

Rhode Island; and 211 miles from New York City.

Total Area: 10.64 sq. miles

Land Area: 10.45 sq. miles

Population: 23,782

Density: 2,276 per sq. mile

(National Climatic Data Center)

(Blue Hill Station)

Normal temperature in January.....25.3°F

Normal temperature in July........71.2°F

Normal annual precipitation.......49.0"

U.S.G.S. Topographical Plates

Norwood, Newton

Regional Planning Agency

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Metropolitan Statistical Area
(1993 Definition)



Municipal Offices

Main Number: (781) 326-5770

Telephone Numbers for Public Information
Form of Government

Board of Selectmen

Executive Secretary

Representative Town Meeting

Year Incorporated

As a town: 1636

Registered Voters (Secretary of State 1994)
Number %

Total Registered 14,201

Democrats 5,479 38.6 %

Republicans 1,530 10.8 %

Other parties 4 0.0 %

Unenrolled Voters 7,188 50.6 %


Senators and Representatives by City and Town



Home Sales (Banker & Tradesman)-

Town Stats - Free market Statistics
Subsidized Housing Units (DHCD 1998)

DHCD Subsidized Housing Inventory

Subsidized Housing Units: The number of housing units which count toward the municipality's 10% goal for low- and moderate-income housing. It includes both subsidized affordable units and market rate units in certain eligible subsidized developments.

Public Housing Units (DHCD 1999)
Conventional State: 319

Conventional Federal: 24

Rental Assistance(DHCD 1999)

State (MRVP: 16

Federal (Section 8): 217



Dedham is situated in the Greater Boston Area, which has excellent rail,

air, and highway facilities. State Route 128 and Interstate Route 495

divide the region into inner and outer zones, which are connected by

numerous "spokes" providing direct access to the airport, port, and

intermodal facilities of Boston.

Major Highways

Principal highways are U.S. Route 1, State Routes 109, 128, and 135, and

Interstate Route 95.


Commuter rail service is available from Dedham Corporate Center and

Endicott to South Station and Back Bay Station, Boston. Travel time from

Endicott to BBS: 17-18 minutes; no MBTA parking. Travel time from Dedham

Corporate Center: 16-22 minutes; 497 MBTA parking spaces. Amtrak's

passenger service between Boston and New York City stops at the Route 128

Station in neighboring Westwood.

Dedham is a member of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

(MBTA), which provides fixed route service to Mattapan Station on the Red

Line, to Forest Hills Station on the Orange Line, and to Watertown Square.

Dedham Local Bus offers frequent service within Dedham.

The Norwood Memorial Airport, a Reliever (RL)

facility, is easily accessible. It has 2 asphalt runways 4,001'x 150' and

4,007'x 150'. Instrument approaches available: Non-precision.


Board of Library Commissioners On-line Library Catalog

(American Association of Museums)

Dedham Historical Society

612 High Street

(781) 326-1385

Fairbanks House

511 East Street

(781) 326-1170


Telephone Numbers for Public Information

Recreational Facilities(Recreational sites and activities)

Department of Environmental Management Recreation Section


(Dept. of Public Health 1992)



Long Term Care

Eastwood Care Center


Hospice Community Services

Rest Homes



Telephone Numbers for Public Utilities

(Department of Public Welfare 1994)

Cash Assistance

Refugee Assistance 0

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Aged 78

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) 158

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Disabled 203

Emergency Aid (formerly General Relief) 19

Medicaid Only

Aged 28

Families 87

Disabled 72

Children 5

Food Stamps Only 87

Total 737

DPW caseloads are compiled by zip code. The cases shown are for the zip code(s) in which the community is located, and may include cases for other communities with the same code.


The Department of Housing and Community Development would like to thank the many government agencies noted as having provided information for the community profiles. In addition to these agencies, the Regional Transit Authorities assisted with the transportation component of the profiles. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of many city and town officials, which enabled us to include information obtainable only at the local level. DHCD would also like to thank the following individuals for providing special help: Leslie A. Kirwan, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Local Services, Department of Revenue; Richard Shibley, Deputy Secretary of State; Bob Beattie of the Department of Public Health; Charles W. Clifford from the Martha's Vineyard Commission; Dennis Coffey of the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction; Donna Fletcher and Christian Jacqz of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; James Griffin from the MBTA; Karen Loh from Banker & Tradesman; Todd Maio from the Department of Welfare; Geoffrey Morton from the Election Division of the Secretary of State's Office; Stephen R. Muench of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission; Rol Murrow of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Mary Ann Neary and Emmanuelle Fletcher, reference librarians at the State House Library; Jeff Nellhaus from the Department of Education; and George Sanborn, reference librarian at the State Transportation Library.

NOTE: The COMMUNITY PROFILE draws information from a diversity of sources. The main source of information is listed under each section. In some instances comments submitted by the municipality were incorporated to correct and/or enhance the information obtained from the main source. However, no changes were made to those data bases which must be consistent throughout the state. DHCD has made efforts to ensure the accuracy of all data in the COMMUNITY PROFILES, but cannot take responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained in this document.

Department of Housing and Community Development

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