Stoneham, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Welcome to Stoneham Massachusetts
Stoneham ma highlight.png
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°28′48″N 71°06′00″W / 42.48, -71.1Coordinates: 42°28′48″N 71°06′00″W / 42.48, -71.1
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1645
Incorporated 1725
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 6.7 sq mi (17.4 km2)
 • Land 6.2 sq mi (15.9 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
Elevation 155 ft (47 m)
Population (2007)
 • Total 21,508
 • Density 3,469.0/sq mi (1,352.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02180
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-67665
GNIS feature ID 0618235
1852 Middlesex Canal (Massachusetts) map

1852 Map of Boston area showing Stoneham.

Main Street, Stoneham MA

Main Street at the Stoneham Theatre

Stoneham is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Its population was 22,219 at the 2000 census. The town is the birthplace of Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan and is the home of the Stone Zoo.

History Edit

The earliest documented mention of the territory now called Stoneham dates to the year 1632, when on February 7 Governor Winthrop and his party came upon this area. They found Spot Pond and ate their lunch on a place they called Cheese Rock, now known as Bear Hill.[1]

Stoneham was first settled in 1645 and was originally a part of Charlestown;[2] the original settlers of the area were Whigs. In 1678, there were six settlers with their families, all in the northeast part of the town, probably because of its proximity to the settlement in Reading (now Wakefield).[3]

By 1725, the population of the area, called Charlestown End, had increased until there were sixty-five male inhabitants paying taxes;[2] however, they were miles away from the settlement in Charlestown and could not conveniently reach its church or school. For this reason, Captain Benjamin Geary and fifty-three other residents of the area petitioned Charlestown to allow them to be separated. The town refused their petition at first, but on December 17, 1725, the General Court passed an act to establish the new township of Stoneham, separating it from Charlestown, and releasing its residents from the obligation to pay taxes to Charlestown, provided that within two years they would erect a suitable church and hire a minister and a schoolmaster.[4]

The town's first meeting-house was erected in 1726, and the first church was organized in 1729, with members being released from the congregations in Reading and Melrose to form it. In that same year, the town voted to raise ₤9 for the building of a school, and chose a committee to hire a schoolmaster.[5] Stoneham remained a small town during the colonial era. However, during the Industrial Revolution, Stoneham prospered as a major shoe-manufacturing center.


Stoneham is located at 42°28′48″N 71°5′54″W / 42.48, -71.09833 (42.480145, -71.098352).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17.4 km²), of which, 6.2 square miles (15.9 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it (8.36%) is water.

Stoneham borders the following towns: Woburn, Winchester, Medford, Melrose, Wakefield, and Reading.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 22,219 people, 9,050 households, and 5,873 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,614.1 people per square mile (1,394.9/km²). There were 9,289 housing units at an average density of 1,510.9/sq mi (583.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.01% White, 0.89% Black or African American, 0.05% Native American, 2.61% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.79% of the population.

There were 9,050 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $56,605, and the median income for a family was $71,334. Males had a median income of $46,797 versus $37,274 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,599. About 3.0% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


In the 1970s, Stoneham was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the greatest number of gas stations along a one-mile strip.

Notable residentsEdit

See alsoEdit


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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