|Essex County, Massachusetts|
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
|Seat||Salem & Lawrence|
County government abolished in 1999
828.53 sq mi (2,146 km²)
500.67 sq mi (1,297 km²)
327.86 sq mi (849 km²), 39.57%
1,483/sq mi (573/km²)
Essex County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 743,159. It has two traditional county seats: Salem and Lawrence. Its county government was abolished in 1999, though it continues to exist as a historic geographic area. Because of its rich historic heritage, the entire county has been designated the Essex National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.
- 1 History
- 2 Law and government
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Cities, towns, and villages*
- 6 Politics
- 7 Education
- 8 Essex National Heritage Area
- 9 Notable Residence
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
History[edit | edit source]
The county was created by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on May 10, 1643, when it was ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires". Essex then comprised the towns of Salem, Lynn, Wenham, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Gloucester, and Andover, which were subdivided over the centuries to produce the modern composition of cities and towns.
Law and government[edit | edit source]
Like several other Massachusetts counties, Essex County exists today only as a historical geographic region, and has no county government. All former county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1999. The sheriff (currently Frank Cousins) and some other regional officials with specific duties are still elected locally to perform duties within the county region, but there is no county council, commissioner, or county employees. Communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services. See also: League of Women Voters page on Massachusetts counties.
Geography[edit | edit source]
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 828.53 square miles (2,145.9 km2), of which 500.67 square miles (1,296.7 km2) (or 60.43%) is land and 327.86 square miles (849.2 km2) (or 39.57%) is water. Essex County is adjacent to Rockingham County, New Hampshire to the north, the Atlantic Ocean (specifically the Gulf of Maine and Massachusetts Bay) to the east, Suffolk County to the south, and Middlesex County to the west. All county land is incorporated into towns or cities.
|Rockingham County, New Hampshire||Gulf of Maine|
Essex County, Massachusetts
|Suffolk County||Massachusetts Bay|
National protected areas[edit | edit source]
Because of Essex County's rich history, which includes 17th century colonial history, maritime history spanning its existence, and leadership in the expansions of the textile industry in the 19th century, the entire county has been designated the Essex National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.
The following areas of national significance have also been preserved:
- Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
- Salem Maritime National Historic Site
- Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
- Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge
Demographics[edit | edit source]
As of the census of 2010, there were 743,159 people, 306,754 households, and 185,081 families residing in the county. The population density was 1508.8 people per square mile (558/km²). There were 287,144 housing units at an average density of 574 per square mile (221/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 76.0% White, 3.8% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.20% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. 16.5% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.4% were of Irish, 15.1% Italian, 9.9% English, 5.6% French and 5.0% French Canadian ancestry according to Census 2010. 80.8% spoke English, 10.2% Spanish, 1.4% French, 1.2% Italian and 1.0% Portuguese as their first language.
There were 275,419 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.80% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $51,576, and the median income for a family was $63,746. Males had a median income of $44,569 versus $32,369 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,358. About 6.60% of families and 8.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.90% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.
In 2006, Essex County received the dubious honor of being named number one on Forbes Magazine's list of most overpriced places to live in the U.S. The magazine cited high living costs and expensive real estate as the major reasons Essex County was picked over cities with higher mean real estate values (San Diego, New York, Honolulu.)
Cities, towns, and villages*[edit | edit source]
*Villages are census divisions, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.
Politics[edit | edit source]
|2008||39.01% 136,905||59.36% 208,323|
|2004||40.5% 135,114||58.2% 194,068|
|2000||35.4% 110,010||57.5% 178,400|
|1996||30.6% 89,120||58.7% 171,021|
|1992||31.7% 102,212||43.6% 140,593|
|1988||48.6% 148,614||49.7% 151,816|
|1984||54.8% 162,152||44.8% 132,353|
|1980||43.8% 130,252||39.0% 116,173|
|1976||41.6% 125,538||55.0% 165,710|
|1972||46.5% 138,040||53.0% 157,324|
|1968||35.4% 99,721||61.0% 171,901|
|1964||25.3% 71,653||73.4% 210,135|
|1960||42.9% 126,599||56.9% 167,875|
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 13, 2010|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
Education[edit | edit source]
Essex County is home to several libraries and schools, both public and private.
Libraries[edit | edit source]
- Merrimack Valley Library Consortium - Northern Essex and Middlesex County Libraries
- North of Boston Library Exchange - Southern Essex and Middlesex County Libraries
Secondary education[edit | edit source]
Public Schools[edit | edit source]
- Amesbury High School serves Amesbury and South Hampton, New Hampshire
- Andover High School
- Beverly High School
- Danvers High School
- Georgetown High School
- Gloucester High School
- Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School
- Haverhill High School
- Ipswich High School
- Lawrence High School
- Lynn English High School
- Lynn Classical High School
- Lynnfield High School
- Manchester Essex Regional High School
- Marblehead High School
- Masconomet Regional High School serves Topsfield, Boxford and Middleton
- Methuen High School
- Newburyport High School
- North Andover High School
- Peabody Veterans Memorial High School
- Pentucket Regional High School serves Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury
- Rockport High School
- Salem High School
- Saugus High School
- Swampscott High School seves Swampscott and Nahant
- Triton Regional High School serves Newbury, Rowley and Salisbury
Technical Schools[edit | edit source]
- Essex Agricultural and Technical High School
- Greater Lawrence Technical School
- Lynn Vocational and Technical Institute
- North Shore Technical High School
- Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School
Private Schools[edit | edit source]
- Brooks School
- Central Catholic High School
- The Governor's Academy
- Pingree School
- Phillips Academy
- St. John's Preparatory School
Higher education[edit | edit source]
- Endicott College
- Gordon College (Massachusetts)
- Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- Marian Court College
- Massachusetts School of Law
- Merrimack College
- Montserrat College of Art
- North Shore Community College
- Northern Essex Community College
- Salem State University
- Zion Bible College
Essex National Heritage Area[edit | edit source]
On November 12, 1996, Essex National Heritage Area (ENHA) was authorized by Congress. The heritage area consists of all of Essex County, MA a 500-square-mile (1,300 km2) area between the Atlantic Coast and the Merrimack Valley. The area includes 34 cities and towns; two National Historic Sites (Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site); and thousands of historic sites and districts that illuminate colonial settlement, the development of the shoe and textile industries, and the growth and decline of the maritime industries — including fishing, privateering, and the China trade. The Essex National Heritage Area is one of 49 heritage areas designated by Congress, affiliated with the National Park Service.
The Essex National Heritage Commission is a non-profit organization chartered to promote tourism and cultural awareness of the area, connecting people to the places of Essex County, MA. The Commission's mission is to promote and preserve the historic, cultural and natural resources of the ENHA. This is accomplished through the commission's projects and programs which include; Partnership Grant Program, Explorers membership program, Photo Safaris, and the annual September weekend event 'Trails & Sails' as well as other important regional partnership building projects like the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway, and the Border to Boston trail.
Notable Residence[edit | edit source]
- Elder Francis Choate (1701-1777), Ruling Elder of Ipswich
- Hon. Stephen Choate (1727-1815), Treasurer of Essex County
- Capt. William Choate (1730-1785), Treasurer of Hog Island,Chebacco, Ipswich
- Abraham Choate (1732-1800), a grantee of the town of Stockbridge
- John Choate, Esq (1737-1791), Representative from Chebacco, Ipswich
See also[edit | edit source]
- Essex Junto
- Lovecraft Country
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Essex County, Massachusetts
Notes[edit | edit source]
- ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- ^ Davis, William T. Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, p. 44. The Boston History Company, 1895.
- ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. http://www.census.gov/tiger/tms/gazetteer/county2k.txt. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- ^ http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/files/ma190090.txt
- ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_PL_QTPL&prodType=table
- ^ http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu/
- ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 13, 2010" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele10/enrollment_count_regdt_10132010.pdf. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
- ^ The National Parks: Index 2001-2003, Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, p. 104.
References[edit | edit source]
Essex County References
- Arrington, Benjamin F. Municipal History of Essex County in Massachusetts Volume 2. Volume 3 Biographical. Volume 4 Biographical. Published 1922 by Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Unfortunately books.google have mistakenly not put Volume 1 online in Full View mode.
- Hurd, Duane Hamilton. History of Essex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many Pioneers and Prominent Men. Volume 1. Volume 2 Published 1888 by J.W. Lewis and Co.
- Newhall, James Robinson. The Essex Memorial, for 1836: Embracing a Register of the County. Published 1836.
- Lewis, Alonzo and James Robinson Newhall. History of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts: Including Lynnfield,Saugus, Swampscott and Nahant.Published 1865 by John L. Shorey 13 Washington St. Lynn.
- Perley, Sidney. The Essex Antiquarian. Volume 1 1897.Volume 3 1899.Volume 6 1902.Volume 8 1904
- Various. Early Massachusetts Vital Records 1600-1849
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Essex County directory for 1884-85. Boston, Massachusetts: Briggs & Co.. 1884. http://www26.us.archive.org/stream/essexcountydire00cogoog#page/n13/mode/2up.
[edit | edit source]
- Essex County Registry of Deeds -Salem Mass.
- Northern Essex Registry of Deeds - Lawrence Mass.
- Merrimack Valley Planning Commission.
- 1872 Map of Essex County from the 1872 Atlas of Essex County.
- 1884 Atlas of Essex County. Some plates missing. Also at Salemdeeds below.
- Visitor Information from the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
- Peabody Essex Museum - Salem Mass.
- National Register of Historic Places listing for Essex Co., Massachusetts.
- Map of cities and towns of Massachusetts
- Essex National Heritage Area
- Salisbury Point Railroad Historical Society. Specializing in the History of the Boston and Maine Railway and Essex County railroads.
- Atlases of Essex County. Several Atlases and Maps of Essex County Towns. 1795, 1830, 1872-Beers, 1884-Walker.
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