Wareham, Massachusetts

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Wareham, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
"Gateway to Cape Cod"
Wareham ma highlight.png
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°45′45″N 70°43′20″W / 41.7625, -70.72222Coordinates: 41°45′45″N 70°43′20″W / 41.7625, -70.72222
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Plymouth
Settled 1678
Incorporated 1739
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 46.3 sq mi (119.9 km2)
 • Land 35.8 sq mi (92.7 km2)
 • Water 10.5 sq mi (27.1 km2)
Elevation 20 ft (6 m)
Population (2008[1])
 • Total 21,221
 • Density 592.8/sq mi (228.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02571
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-72985
GNIS feature ID 0618353

Wareham (Typically pronounced Wear-ham.) is a town located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 20,335, with an estimated 2008 population of 21,221.[2]

For geographic and demographic information about specific parts of the town of Wareham, please see the articles about Onset, Wareham Center, West Wareham, and Weweantic.

History Edit

Wareham was first settled in 1678 as part of the towns of Plymouth and Rochester. It was officially incorporated in 1739 and named for the town of Wareham, England. Because of its geography, Wareham's early industry revolved around shipbuilding and the related industries. It also served as a resort town, with many smaller resorts scattered around the town, especially in Onset. Like Sandwich, its waterways, especially Buttermilk Bay, were considered as possible pathways for the Cape Cod Canal. Although the Canal proper goes through Bourne and Sandwich, the southern approach to Buzzards Bay passes just south of the peninsulas that make up the topography of the town. Today, the town is mostly residential, and still has a strong summer tourism industry. It is also known today for its retail centers, along Routes 6 and 28. The newest of these is Wareham Crossings, located at the intersection of Route 28 and Interstate 195. The opening of the new shopping center spreads out the retail area of the town.

The Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League play at Clem Spillane Field at Wareham High School every summer from mid-June to early August.

Wareham is home of the Tremont Nail Factory, the oldest nail manufacturer in the United States. The factory was established in 1819.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.3 square miles (119.9 km²), of which 35.8 square miles (92.7 km²) is land and 10.5 square miles (27.1 km²) is water. The total area is 22.64% water. Wareham is bordered by Marion to the southwest, Rochester to the west, Middleborough to the northwest, Carver and Plymouth to the north, and Bourne to the east. The town's localities are numerous; the most important being East Wareham, Onset, Point Independence, Wareham Center, and West Wareham. The town is just west of Cape Cod, and is 18 miles east of New Bedford, approximately 45 miles east of Providence, Rhode Island and 55 miles south-southeast of Boston.

Wareham is the innermost town on the north shore of Buzzards Bay. The Weweantic River empties in the southwest corner of town, with the Sippican River and other brooks emptying into it. The Wareham River, which is formed at the confluence of the Wankinco and Agawam Rivers, flows into the harbor east of the Weweantic, and also has other brooks and the Mill Pond River as tributaries. To the east lie Onset Bay and Buttermilk Bay, both of which empty into the head of the bay, at the right-of-way of the Cape Cod Canal. Between these rivers and bays lie several points and necks, including Cromesett Point, Swift's Neck, Long Beach Point, Indian Neck, Stony Point, Cedar Island Point, Codman's Point, Sias Point and Whittemore's Point. The southern boundary of the Myles Standish State Forest is concurrent with the town line between Wareham and Plymouth.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 20,335 people, 8,200 households, and 5,338 families residing in the town. The population density was 568.1 people per square mile (219.3/km²). There were 10,670 housing units at an average density of 298.1/sq mi (115.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.42% White, 2.92% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 5.20% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. 1.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,200 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,422, and the median income for a family was $45,750. Males had a median income of $37,601 versus $28,306 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,312. 10.7% of the population and 8.1% of families were below the poverty line. 16.6% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Wareham is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Second Plymouth district, which also includes Carver and part of Bourne. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the First Plymouth and Bristol district, which also includes Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Dighton Marion, Middleborough, Raynham and Taunton.[4] The town is patrolled by the Seventh (Bourne) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[5]

On the national level, Wareham is the eastern-most town 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.

Wareham is governed by the open town meeting form of government, which is led by a town administrator and a board of selectmen. There is a central police station located along Route 28. The Wareham Fire District (career /on-call) has stations located in Wareham Center, East Wareham, West Wareham and in White Island, near Glen Charlie Pond in the northeast corner of town. The Onset Fire District (paid / on-call) has fire stations located in Onset Village and off Route 28 / Cranberry Highway near the intersection of Main Ave. Wareham EMS has a station located on Sandwich Road (Route 6). There are four post offices for the town's four ZIP codes, located in East Wareham (02538), West Wareham (02576), Wareham Center (02571) and a branch office in Onset (02558). The southeast portion of Wareham is also covered by 02532 of Buzzards Bay. The town's public library, located across the street from the town hall, is part of the SAILS library network.


Public schoolsEdit

Wareham has a public school system.

There are five elementary schools (John W. Decas, East Wareham, Ethel E. Hammond, Minot Forest Elementary and West Wareham) serving the town, as well as Wareham Middle School and Wareham High School.

A Johns Hopkins University study called Wareham High School a "dropout factory", on the grounds that less than 60% of each incoming class remained in the school by its fourth year; the Wareham school superintendent disputed this figure, arguing that the study's methodology was flawed and Wareham High School's graduation rate is 82.2%.[1]

Wareham High competes in the South Coast Conference for athletics. Their nickname is the "Vikings," and their colors are Blue, White, and Gold. Wareham competes with Bourne High School in their annual Thanksgiving Day football game.

High school students may also choose to attend Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne.

Private schoolsEdit

There are no private schools in the town, with the nearest being Tabor Academy in Marion. The nearest Catholic high school is Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth.


Major highwaysEdit

The town has always been a vital transportation point, as the Bay Colony Railroad crosses through the town on its way to Cape Cod. Interstates 495 and 195 both terminate in the western part of town, with I-495's highway route continuing on as Route 25, which passes through town and around Buttermilk Bay before ending at the Bourne Bridge. Additionally, U.S. Route 6 and Route 28 meet in East Wareham, and continue on towards Cape Cod. Route 58's southern terminus is at Route 28 in Rochester abutting the town line. The town line sign, however, is on the wrong side of the intersection, making one believe that the intersection is actually in Wareham.


Freight rail service is provided by the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad. There is currently no passenger rail service in Wareham, but an extension of the MBTA's Middleborough/Lakeville commuter rail line to Wareham and Buzzards Bay is under consideration[6]. The nearest inter-city (Amtrak) passenger rail stations are Route 128 Station, Providence, and Boston's South Station. The nearest MBTA commuter rail station is the Middleborough/Lakeville station.


Bonanza Bus Lines stops at the Mill Pond Diner daily. A local bus service, the OWL (Onset Wareham Link), operated by GATRA provides bus service around Wareham. The buses also have run to a Tedeschi store in Bourne for connection to Bonanza Buses and to the MBTA's Middleborough/Lakeville Station. Service to these locations is often changed. The buses are often referrd to as "The Trolley" for the intermittent use of trolley style buses.


The nearest national and international flights can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston and also T. F. Green Airport in Providence, RI.


Wareham is home to the Wareham Gatemen, an amateur baseball team and a member of the Western Division of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Wareham currently plays its home games at Clem Spillane Field, located within the town. They are the only member of league that is not on the Cape Cod island.

Points of interestEdit

Lopes Park - A playground and park in Onset Village, including swing sets, basketball court, and a play area.
Wareham Free Library - The Wareham public library, containing a large variety of books and meeting rooms available for the public to reserve, which recently re-attained its SAILS certification
Town Greens - A monument for the soldiers from Wareham who bravely gave their lives in war.
Water Wizz Water Park - Water Park in the area. Popular in the summertime. Recently was a spot of filming for upcoming film Grown Ups.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "City-Data: Wareham, MA". 
  2. ^ "City-Data: Wareham, MA". 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from
  5. ^ Station D-7, SP Bourne
  6. ^ "Wareham rail plan gets boost", New Bedford Standard-Times, June 12, 2008

Steven Ormston MGH Respiratory Therapist

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Wareham, Massachusetts. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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