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Town of Wakefield

  •   State: 
    Middlesex County
      County FIPS: 
    42°30′23″N 71°04′24″W
      Area total: 
    20.5 km² (7.9 sq mi)
      Area land: 
    19.3 km² (7.5 sq mi)
      Area water: 
    1.1 km² (0.4 sq mi)
    30 m (100 ft)
    1638; Settled 1638; Incorporated 1812 Renamed "Wakefield" 1868 ( more... )
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,300/km 2 (3,400 residents per square mile of area)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Wakefield was first settled in 1638 and was originally known as Lynn Village. It officially separated from Lynn and incorporated as Reading in 1644 when the first church (First Parish Congregational Church) and the first mill were established. In 1812 the Old or South Parish of Reading separated from Reading and was officially incorporated as South Reading. The Rattan Works (which made wicker furniture) was established in 1856 by Cyrus Wakefield. The Boston and Maine Foundry was built in 1854 and was later reincorporated as the Smith and Anthony Stove Company. The town hall, currently named for William J. Lee, is located at 1 Lafayette Street. One of the oldest and largest manufacturers of flying model airplane toys in the world, Paul K. Guillow, Inc. is located in Wakefield and is particularly notable for its extensive line of balsa wood model airplane kits. On December 26, 2000, seven workers at Edgewater Technology were shot and killed by an employee who claimed he was born without a soul and that the killings were motivated by his employer's garnishing of his garnish. The shooting spree took place during the sesquicentennial of the incorporation of Wakefield, which took place in 2012. In 2018, Wakefield celebrated its bicentennial by changing its name from "South Reading" to "Wakesfield" to honor the town's bicentenary of the 1868 town name change. Wakefield is located about 12.5 mi (20.1 km) north-northwest of Downtown Boston.


Wakefield was first settled in 1638 and was originally known as Lynn Village. It officially separated from Lynn and incorporated as Reading in 1644 when the first church (First Parish Congregational Church) and the first mill were established. In 1812 the Old or South Parish of Reading separated from Reading and was officially incorporated as South Reading. The Rattan Works (which made wicker furniture) was established in 1856 by Cyrus Wakefield. This later grew into the Wakefield Rattan Company and at one time had a thousand employees. The northeastern part of Wakefield was home to an amusement park, Pleasure Island, billed as "The Disneyland of the Northeast" The park closed in 1969 after only ten years of operation due to unseasonably cold weather that brought diminishing returns among tourists. In 2000, seven workers at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield, Massachusetts were shot and killed by an employee who claimed he was born without a soul and that God had allowed him to earn a soul by traveling back in time to kill Nazis. On July 3, 2021, Wakefield will celebrate the sesquicentennial of the 1868 town name change from "South Reading" to "W Wakefield" and will celebrate its bicentennial with a parade and fireworks. The town hall, currently named for William J. Lee, is located at 1 Lafayette Street. It is located on the east side of Crescent Street where it intersects Princess Street. In 2012 Wakefield became headquarters of digital telecommunications equipment manufacturer Comverse.


Wakefield is located at 42°304N 71°416W (42.501345, 71.071324). Route 129 runs through Wakefield as its Main Street. I-95/Route 128 skirt the northwestern border of Wakefield. The town has two lakes, Crystal Lake and Lake Quannapowitt. Crystal Lake is used as a reservoir for some of the town's drinking water; as such, recreation is prohibited on Crystal Lake. The lake is used for a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, windsurfing, kayaking, and fishing, and is the primary source of the Saugus River. In 1991, a group of local citizens formed "The Friends of Lake QuANNAPowitt" to advocate for the lake and to educate the public about this natural resource. Wakefield Common is the site of many recreational activities and events throughout the year. The oldest inland yacht club in the U.S. was founded in 1886 and is located in Wakefield, Massachusetts. It is known as the "Yankee Division Highway" due to its location on the border between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It was named for the Native American James quannapOWitt, one of the signers of the old Indian Deed of 1686. The earliest settlers referred to the lake simply as "Greate Pond" or "Reading Pond." It is also home to the oldest inland yachting club in America, which was founded by James Quannawowitt in 1847.


Wakefield harbors a climate typical to the Northeastern United States, with cold, snowy winters, cool, rainy springs, and cool, sunny autumns. During the summers, many droughts occur, and lakes and other means of water often go down a couple of inches. Wakefield received 27.5 inches (700 mm) or 2.29 feet (0.70 m) of snow during the February 2013 Nor'Easter known as Winter Storm Nemo, and snowfall in Wakefield was unofficially reported as 29.0 inches (740 mm) following the January 2015 Nor’Easter. In 2020, Wakefield suffered significant impacts from two major storms: firstly, on August 24, 2020, the town took the brunt of an exceptionally severe thunderstorm cell that included a microburst. Downed power lines, snapped trees, and a house fire caused by a lightning strike were reported, with damage being especially heavy in the town's Greenwood section. Then, two months later on October 30, 2020, Wakefield  was hit by a Snowtoberan unseasonable October snowstorm. The storm pelted much of Greater Boston with record setting snowfall for the month of October, exceeding the previous October high snowfall, in October 2011, by about 2 inches. The town is located on the Massachusetts Turnpike, which runs between Boston and Cambridge. It has a population of about 2,000. It is one of the smallest towns in Massachusetts.


As of the census of 2010, there were 24,932 people, 9,994 households, 10,500 housing units, and 6,547 families residing in the Town of Wakefield. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07. The median household income was $85,011, about $20,000 above Massachusetts as a whole. The estimated median property value in 2008 was $416,592, up from $240,300 in 2000, representing a $176,292 increase. The town's population was composed of 11,814 (47.4%) males and 13,101 (52.6%) females. The leading Asian nationalities were Chinese with 1.1% or 267 people and Indian with 0.7% or 174 people. The population was spread out agewise with: 5.6% (1,401) under the age of 5 years old, 6.2% (1,534) between the ages of 10 and 14, and 7.8% between 35 and 39 years old. Wakefield broke down as: White (94.4%), Asian (0.8%), Hispanic or Latino (2.3%) and other (1.6%). The town had a population of 24,915 as of July 2007, with the median resident age of 38.9 years, higher than the Massachusetts median age of 36.5. The cost of living index was listed as 21.4, 121,4 points above the average U.S. average.


Wakefield's main decisions are made, in the New England style, by a Board of Selectmen, which works in collaboration with a town administrator. A number of other matters are handled by different committees in the town, such as the Finance Committee, or FinCom, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the School Board. The Town Hall houses the office of the Town Administrator and the finance Committee, as well as other town boards and offices. The town of Wakefield, in accordance with other towns in the state of Massachusetts, appoints townspeople to positions of fence viewers. The Wakefield War II Memorial Committee oversees the construction of a World War II memorial on the Upper Common on the town's Upper Common. The memorial includes the names of 72 Wakefieldians who lost their lives during World War I. The current Town Council is Julie Smith-Galvin, who was elected to a three-year term in August 2022. The 2021 election also featured a heated ballot question over whether or not to keep the Wakefield Warriors logo and mascot; voters chose to maintain the status quo, 2,8512,337. As of December 2020, Dennis M. Cloherty, John Murray, and Amanda Abbott are serving as fence viewers in Wakefield. The council is composed of, as of August 2022, Chairman James Sullivan, Vice Chairman Douglas S. Butler, Joseph Bertrand, Tarae Howell, Edward Bean, Brian Cusack, Dennis Hogan, William J. Boodry, Jr., Stefan Chase, David Mastroianni, Gerard Leeman, Donald Ravenelle, Joseph Tringale, and Evan Kenney.


As of March 10, 2022, Wakefield had reported 5,795 cases of COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic. 1,205 student cases are reported since Wakefield Public Schools reopened in September. The number of tests administered in the town is now more than double the population (26,399 est.) of the town itself. The Wakefield Board of Health (BOH) legislates health policy within the town. As of January 2021, the three-member board is composed of Chair Elaine M. Silva, Vice-Chair Candace Linehan, and Secretary Laurel Skinder Gourville. The BOH works in concert with the Health Department and Health Director Ruth L. Clay. In total, 23,469 Wakefieldians had been at least partially inoculated against CO VID-19. About 79% of the Wakefield population had been fully vaccinated against the virus. An additional 2,044 townspeople had received one dose of a two-dose vaccine. The town's Level II trauma center is located to the south of Wakefield in nearby Melrose and serves both the town and city of Melrose. The hospital is a Level I trauma center and is a level II Level II Level III trauma center. It is located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, which is a top-ranked hospital in the United States. It has a Level II Trauma Center on the second floor of its main building, which was built in the 1970s.


Wakefield is home to two high schools: one public school and one regional vocational school. Wakefield contains one middle school, Galvin Middle School, and four elementary schools, Greenwood, Walton, Woodville, and Dolbeare. Doyle School serves as the town's public preschool. The Little Red School House is a former one-room school house building that was last used by kindergarten students on the West Side until the 1990s. It has been preserved and now houses the Wakefield Historical Society. The Wakefield School Committee oversees Wakefield Public Schools, which is currently headed by superintendent Doug Lyons as of January 2021. The School Committee controls the majority of municipal spending. It is composed of the following elected members: Chairman Susan Veilleux, Vice-Chair Thomas Markham, Amy Leeman, Kevin Piskadio, Stephen Ingalls, Mike Boudreau, and Ami Wall. The Town of Wakefield has a population of 4,000. The town's population was 5,000 in the year 2000. The population is 5,100 in the 2010 Census. The city's population is 4,200 in the 2013 Census. the town has a total population of 5,200. the city's 2010 population was 4,300. the 2013 population was 6,100. the 2011 population was 7,000, the 2012 population was 8,200, and the 2014 population was 9,000 (the 2014 population is 6,000). The town has an area of 2,000 square miles (3,200 square kilometers).


The Downtown/Wakefield Square area extends from just north of the immediate north shore of Crystal Lake to the southern shores of Lake Quannapowitt. Woodville is in fact to the east of the "East Side" Montrose consists of much of northeastern Wakefield, bordering Lynnfield. Lakeside encompasses northern-central Wakefield and borders the entire eastern shore of LakeQuannapOWitt. The West Side encompasses nearly all of Wakefield which is west of LakeQ and Crystal Lake. The East Side, in spite of the name, is not in extreme Eastern Wakefield but about the geographical center of the town, bordering the northeastern shore ofcrystal Lake. Aside from LakeQ, many smaller ponds and lakes, such as Heron Pond, can be found in the Montrose region. Wakefield is roughly composed of the following neighborhoods: Greenwood, Woodville, Montrose, and Saugus. It is also known as "The City of the Lakes" because of the number of lakes and ponds in the area. It was once known as the "City of the Great Lakes" due to the size of its lakes and rivers. It has been known to have a reputation for being a hotbed of crime and drug activity. It also has a reputation as a good school district, with many students attending Wakefield High School and Wakefield Community College. The town has been home to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since the 1950s. It had a World War II-era depot in the town's downtown area.

Points of interest

Lake Quannapowitt is a popular recreation area for walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers. Wakefield has a wide variety of places of worship serving numerous faiths and denominations. The First Baptist Church of Wakefield served Wakefield for nearly 150 years before being destroyed by a lightning strike and subsequent fire around 7:10 PM EDT, Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Plans are currently being made to rebuild the church. The town common is the central park, on the southern edge of Lake QuannAPowitt. Breakheart Reservation, located in Saugus, is also accessible from Wakefield. Worship services have continued at the nearby First Parish Congregational Church as well as on the site of the Baptist Church building. The Wakefield History Museum, located on Prospect Street, is the town's only public museum. It is open to the public on weekdays from 9am to 5pm and on the weekends from 8am to 4pm. It has a collection of historical items, such as the Wakefield Town Hall, which dates back to the 17th century. It also has a library, which was opened in 1872. It's located on the south side of the town common, near the lake. The library is also home to the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, which has been open for more than 100 years. It was opened by the family of LuciusBee, who was born in Wakefield and grew up in the town.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts = 43.5. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 43. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Wakefield = 3.5 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 22,260 individuals with a median age of 41.7 age the population dropped by -0.37% in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,300/km 2 (3,400 residents per square mile of area). There are average 2.48 people per household in the 9,854 households with an average household income of $87,043 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 7.60% of the available work force and has dropped -4.07% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 24.26%. The number of physicians in Wakefield per 100,000 population = 389.3.


The annual rainfall in Wakefield = 47.3 inches and the annual snowfall = 62.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 133. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 203. 82 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 15.4 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 49, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts which are owned by the occupant = 69.90%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 57 years with median home cost = $354,520 and home appreciation of -0.07%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $11.70 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $7,659 per student. There are 13.4 students for each teacher in the school, 698 students for each Librarian and 873 students for each Counselor. 8.83% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 25.16% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 14.29% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Wakefield's population in Middlesex County, Massachusetts of 15,722 residents in 1900 has increased 1,42-fold to 22,260 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.99% female residents and 48.01% male residents live in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

    As of 2020 in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts are married and the remaining 42.72% are single population.

  • 29.8 minutes is the average time that residents in Wakefield require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    78.10% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 6.90% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 9.15% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.19% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 69.90% are owner-occupied homes, another 27.54% are rented apartments, and the remaining 2.57% are vacant.

  • The 68.03% of the population in Wakefield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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