|— Town —|
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||17.3 sq mi (44.9 km2)|
|• Land||16.2 sq mi (41.8 km2)|
|• Water||1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)|
|Elevation||90 ft (27 m)|
|• Density||464.5/sq mi (179.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0618340|
Halifax was first settled by Europeans, most notably the Bosworth family from Bosworth Fields in England, in 1669, growing with lumbering and agriculture. It was officially separated from the town of Plympton and incorporated in 1734, and was named for Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The town was part of an early effort to create a canal between Buzzards Bay and Massachusetts Bay, when in 1795 a canal was proposed between the Taunton River and North River. However, the plan never succeeded, although the town's sawmills continued to grow, as did cranberry production, iron furnaces and a wool mill. The railroad came in the nineteenth century, providing access for people from the city to the shores of Silver Lake and the Monponsett Ponds. Today the town is mostly residential, with a small retail area growing at the center of town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.3 square miles (44.9 km²), of which, 16.1 square miles (41.8 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km²) of it (6.81%) is water. Statistically, Halifax is the 235th largest town in the Commonwealth by land area, and is eighteenth out of the twenty-seven communities in Plymouth County. Halifax is bordered by Hanson to the north, Pembroke to the northeast, Plympton to the southeast, Middleborough to the southwest, and Bridgewater and East Bridgewater to the west. Halifax is approximately twelve miles west of Plymouth, thirteen miles (19 km) southeast of Brockton, and thirty-three miles south-southeast of Boston.
Much of Halifax's geography is dictated by water. The town lies on the western banks of Silver Lake, and is also the site of Robbins Pond, Indian Trail Reservoir and Burrage Pond in the west of town, and East and West Monponsett Ponds near the center of town. The two Monponsett Ponds are separated by a narrow strip of land, barely 150 feet (46 m) wide in some spots, and this strip of land also accommodates part of MA Route 58. Part of the town's border with Bridgewater is defined by the Taunton River, which also spawns the Winnetuxet River and several other brooks into town. And, on either side of the Monponsett Ponds lie swamps, with Great Cedar Swamp to the west and Peterson Swamp to the east. The town also shares a small conservation area with neighboring Plympton and the larger Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area with Hanson.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,500 people, 2,758 households, and 2,054 families residing in the town. The population density was 464.5 people per square mile (179.3/km²). There were 2,841 housing units at an average density of 175.9/sq mi (67.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.13% White, 0.31% African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.
There were 2,758 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $57,015, and the median income for a family was $65,461. Males had a median income of $47,788 versus $31,200 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,738. About 1.8% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.
Statistically speaking, Halifax is the 204th largest community in the Commonwealth in terms of population, and 186th in terms of population density. Both are below the state average and state median.
Halifax is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Sixth and Twelfth Plymouth Districts; the Sixth includes Hanson, Pembroke and portions of Duxbury, and the Twelfth includes Kingston, Plympton and portions of Duxbury, Middleborough and Plymouth. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Second Plymouth & Bristol district, which includes Brockton, Hanover, Hanson, Whitman and portions of East Bridgewater and Easton. The town is patrolled by the Fourth (Middleborough) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.
On the national level, Halifax is a part of Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, and is currently represented by Barney Frank. The state's senior (Class II) member of the United States Senate, re-elected in 2008, is John Kerry. The junior (Class I) senator, elected in 2010, is Scott Brown.
Halifax is governed by the open town meeting form of government, led by a board of selectmen and a town administrator. Halifax has its own police and fire departments, both of which are headquartered near the town center. The town has its own ambulance service, with the nearest hospitals being in Plymouth and Brockton. The town's post office is also located in the town center, as is the Holmes Public Library, which is a member of the Southeastern Area Internet Library System (SAILS) network. The town also operates a beach on West Monponsett Pond, and one boat landing each on the two Monponsett Ponds.
Halifax is a member of the Silver Lake Regional School District, along with Plympton and Kingston. The three towns operate their own elementary schools, with middle school students attending Silver Lake Regional Middle School and high school students attending Silver Lake Regional High School, both of which are in Kingston. Halifax Elementary School is located between the library and fire station in the town center, and serves students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The high school operates its own vocational division, so there is no agreement with any regional vocational schools. Halifax has no private schools; the nearest are in Kingston and Bridgewater.
The two major routes through town are Routes 58 and 106, which meet just east of the town center and south of the Monponsett Ponds (Route 58, in fact, is the route which crosses the ponds). To the east of East Monponsett Pond, Route 36's southern terminus meets Route 106. Route 105's northern terminus is 1½ miles west of the intersection of Routes 58 and 106, at Route 106.
The Kingston-Route 3 Line of the MBTA's commuter rail service passes through the northeastern corner of town, with a station just west of Route 36. The route provides service between nearby Kingston and Plymouth and South Station in Boston. There is no air service in the town, although small seaplanes do land on East Monponsett Pond. Cranland Airport is a small private air strip in neighboring Hanson. The nearest regional air service is at Plymouth Municipal Airport, and the nearest national and international air service is at Logan International Airport in Boston.
- ^ DHCD Profile - Halifax, Massachusetts (from Mass.gov)
- ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from Mass.gov
- ^ Station D-4, SP Middleborough
- Town of Halifax, Massachusetts
- Holmes Public Library
- Halifax Historical Commission
- Hayward's New England Gazetteer of 1839 -- Halifax, Massachusetts
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