Billerica, Massachusetts — Town — Nickname(s): America's Yankee Doodle Town; Somerville with Trees Coordinates: Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Middlesex Settled 1652 Incorporated 1655 Government – Type Representative town meeting Area – Total 26.4 sq mi (68.3 km2) – Land 25.9 sq mi (67.1 km2) – Water 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2) Elevation 250 ft (76 m) Population (2007) – Total 42,038 – Density 1,623.1/sq mi (626.5/km2) Time zone Eastern (UTC-5) – Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4) ZIP code 01821 (Billerica), 01862 (North Billerica) Area code(s) 351 / 978 FIPS code 25-05805 GNIS feature ID 0618217 Website www.town.billerica.ma.us
Billerica ( //) is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,243 at the 2010 census. It is the only town named Billerica in the United States and borrows its name from the town of Billericay in Essex, England.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Education
- 5 Houses of Worship
- 6 Sports and recreation
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Economy
- 9 Government
- 10 Notable residents
- 11 Historic places
- 12 Sister city
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Billerica's prehistoric history, represented by a Native American burial site, dates to circa 1000 B.C.
In 1638, Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop and Lt. Governor Thomas Dudley were granted land along the Concord River in the wilderness which was called Shawshin by the local Native Americans. (Today, Shawshin is commonly spelled Shawsheen; see Shawsheen River.) Most of the settlement was to take place under the supervision of Cambridge; however, financial difficulties in the colony prevented this from taking place, and the issue of settling Shawshin continued to be deferred. Finally, in 1652, roughly a dozen families from Cambridge and Charlestown Village, later Woburn, had begun to occupy Shawshin as well.
Wishing to replace the foreign-sounding Shawshin with a name more familiar, the settlers chose the name Billerica, likely due to the fact that the majority of the families living in the settlement were originally from the town of Billericay in Essex, England. The town was incorporated as Billerica in 1655, on the same day as nearby Chelmsford and Groton. The oldest remaining homestead in the town is the Manning Manse, built in 1696, and later the residence of William Manning (1747–1814), the author of "The Key of Libberty," a critique of Federalist policies. (The unusual spelling of liberty is Manning's own.) Other notable Revolutionary War era residents included Asa Pollard (1735–1775), the first soldier killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and Thomas Ditson (born 1741), who was tarred and feathered by the British in 1775 while on a visit to Boston. The song "Yankee Doodle" supposedly became a term of national pride instead of an insult due to this event. The town now celebrates "Yankee Doodle Weekend" every September.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.4 square miles (68 km2), of which 25.9 square miles (67 km2) are land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (1.90%) is water.
Billerica is located about 22 miles (35 km) north-northwest of Boston along Route 3, positioning it a short distance from both the Route 128/Interstate 95 high-technology belt around Boston to the south, and the city of Lowell, six miles (10 km) to the north. This has established Billerica as the border between Greater Lowell and the much larger Greater Boston region.
Billerica has several small neighborhoods that form villages (or sections) of town. Those villages are East Billerica, North Billerica, Nutting Lake, Pinehurst, Rio Vista, River Pines, Riverdale, Riverside, and South Billerica.
Billerica borders the following towns: Chelmsford, Lowell, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Burlington, Bedford, and Carlisle. The border with Lowell is at a point in the middle of the Concord River where Billerica, Chelmsford, Lowell and Tewksbury all meet.
The Shawsheen River and Concord River are the two major waterways within the town. Billerica has recently had problems meeting federal environmental standards along these rivers. In May 2007, the town was forced to pay a $250,000 penalty for discharging pollutants into the Concord River. The action was brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) because the town of Billerica exceeded allowable effluent limits for phosphorus, fecal coliform bacteria, pH, and ammonia nitrogen. According to the EPA, Billerica's discharges of phosphorus created an overabundance of nutrients. This directly contributed to the excessive aquatic plant growth that now characterizes the river. In June 2001, the Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) also determined that the Shawsheen River failed to meet water quality standards. This situation was largely attributed to stormwater runoff via town, private and state storm drain systems. As a result of increased pollutants, major portions of the Shawsheen River are now listed as impaired waters on the 303(d) list of the Clean Water Act.
Historical populations Year Pop. ±% 1850 1,646 — 1860 1,776 +7.9% 1870 1,833 +3.2% 1880 2,000 +9.1% 1890 2,380 +19.0% 1900 2,775 +16.6% 1910 2,789 +0.5% 1920 3,646 +30.7% 1930 5,880 +61.3% 1940 7,933 +34.9% 1950 11,101 +39.9% 1960 17,867 +60.9% 1970 31,648 +77.1% 1980 36,727 +16.0% 1990 37,609 +2.4% 2000 38,981 +3.6% 2001* 39,245 +0.7% 2002* 39,289 +0.1% 2003* 39,198 −0.2% 2004* 39,139 −0.2% 2005* 38,877 −0.7% 2006* 38,980 +0.3% 2007* 39,052 +0.2% 2008* 39,383 +0.8% 2009* 39,862 +1.2% 2010 40,243 +1.0% * = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,981 people, 12,919 households, and 10,244 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,505.9 people per square mile (581.3/km²). There were 13,071 housing units at an average density of 504.9 per square mile (194.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.68% Caucasian, 1.11% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.76% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.
There were 12,919 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.1% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 16.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $67,799, and the median income for a family was $72,102. Males had a median income of $47,014 versus $33,862 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,953. About 2.8% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Billerica was a contender for CNN Money's "Best Places to Live" in 2009 but did not make the top 100 list for the nation. According to CNN Money in August 2009, the median family income is $91,845, a sharp rise from earlier data.
Billerica Public Schools operate primary and secondary schools. The Billerica public school system consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. In addition, the town is home to a regional technical high school.
- Ditson Elementary School (Cook Street; Pinehurst)
- Frederick J. Dutile Elementary School (Treble Cove Road; River Pines)
- S. G. Hajjar Elementary School (Rogers & Call Streets; North Billerica)
- John F. Kennedy Elementary School (Kimbrough Road & Carline Drive; East Billerica)
- Parker Elementary School (River Street; Billerica Village)
- Eugene C. Vining Elementary School (Lexington Road; Nuttings Lake)
- Marshall Middle School (Floyd Street; Billerica Village)
- Cyril D. Locke Middle School (Allen & Baldwin Roads; West Billerica)
Education of Our Future:
Locke Middle School’s adverse academic and extra-curricular programs serve as catalysts for Billerica Public Schools (MA) The Locke Middle School  home of the Indians; BSSTS; educational excellence and community service for students in grades 6-8, has become a well known home for academics, athletics and philanthropy for habitants of one of Massachusetts’ largest communities. Some of the programs offered at the Locke include the Compass Program, which serves Billerica’s autistic population of students, providing students with a least restrictive educational environment where their social and academic skills are able to reach utmost potentials. Special educators, with the help of the Locke administration and multiple fundraising efforts from the Billerica Parent Advisory Council for Special Education  successfully opened the Locke Middle School’s first school store, “Before School Starts the Store,” this academic school year. The school store gives the ASD students a chance to enhance their life/working skills for the future, as well as giving those special education students the chance to be mainstreamed with their general education peers, developing and fostering social relationships while learning responsibility, reliability and good work ethic.
Another program common to schools all over the United States was adopted by the Locke Middle School, a program entitled, “Rachel’s Challenge,” which was founded in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim to be killed in the school shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. It was through Rachel’s constant acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries that this program, which promotes kindness, has successfully swept across schools in America http://www.rachelschallenge.org/. The Locke Middle School has taken its’ participation in “Rachel’s Challenge” extremely seriously, trying to spread the “chain reaction” one student at a time. Some of the other programs that the Locke Middle School that are offered to students includes: band, chorus, academic support, athletic teams, and a variety of after school activities (i.e., homework club, fitness and weights, mural club) two days a week. These types of programs keep kids out of trouble and help parents that cannot be home to provide supervision over their 11-15 year old children that may need care after school.
The Billerica Public Schools  has worked hard to develop an academic and communal program within all of its schools in order to achieve student success across the town. By implementing such extracurricular and academic programs at various schools, such as the Locke Middle School, the district has made giant leaps toward educational improvement. Although current Billerica Public Schools' Superintendent, Anthony Serio, has announced his retirement this upcoming July, Billerica faculty, administration and citizens are going to continue to work towards improving the educational community to bring the Locke Middle School, amongst all of the other schools in Billerica to their maximum potential.
- Billerica Memorial High School (River Street; Billerica Village)
- The high school's colors are green and white, and its athletics teams, which play in the highly competitive Merrimack Valley Conference, are nicknamed the "Indians". Among the teams' rivals are the Tewksbury Redmen, Dracut Middies, and the Andover Golden Warriors, though their main rivals are the Chelmsford Lions. The rivalry between the Indians and the Lions began in 1927, and their annual Thanksgiving games have taken place since 1938. Billerica was victorious in 2009 by a 17-0 score.
- Shawsheen Valley Technical High School (Cook Street; Pinehurst)
- Shawsheen Tech serves Billerica and four of its neighboring towns: Bedford, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington. The school's colors are purple, black, white, and its teams compete with several other vocational-technical high schools and other smaller town schools in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. The school's mascot is the ram, and its archrival is the Greater Lowell Vocational Technical High School of Tyngsboro. The school, known to be one of the best vocational schools in the United States, is home to 20 technical-vocational shops, including Auto body, Automotive, Bakery, Business, Carpentry, Design & Visual Communications, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Diesel, Drafting, Electrical, Electronics, Graphic Arts, Health, HVAC, Internet, Machine, Masonry, Metal Fab and Plumbing. The school also hosts a bakery, salon, restaurant, and multiple automotive garages, which are all available for use (space permitting) to the public. Each year, the Plumbing, Masonry, Electrical and Carpentry shops are all involved in building a house which is given to the winning member of a prize issued by the school.
Parochial and private schools
There are currently no parochial or private schools in the town of Billerica. However, there are several in neighboring towns including:
- Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington, MA; grades 9-12
- St. Agnes School, Arlington, MA; grades K-8
- Lowell Catholic High School, Lowell, MA; grades 9-12
Houses of Worship
North Billerica Baptist Church is located at the corner of Colson and Old Elm Streets in North Billerica.
There is one Unitarian Universalist, First Parish Church, founded in 1658, it is the First Church in Billerica.
Om Temple is on Boston Road and is also home to the Billerica OmniFaith Center.
There are currently three Catholic Churches in Billerica:
- St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish, Billerica Center.
- St. Mary's, Pinehurst. Mother Teresa visited St. Mary's Church in 1987.
- St. Andrew's, North Billerica.
New Colony Baptist Church is a member Southern Baptist denomination. They are located on River Street, near the town center.
Sports and recreation
- The Country Club of Billerica, established in 1971, features an 18 hole golf course open to the public.
- Rangeway Golf on Nashua Road features a driving range and a miniature golf course.
- The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Billerica includes a swimming pool, baseball and softball fields, a football field, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
- Billerica Youth Basketball offers intramural leagues for boys and girls from grades 1-12. Practices and games are held at Billerica public schools, including Billerica Memorial High School.
- Billerica Little League baseball
- Billerica Pop Warner football
- Billerica Girls Softball Association softball
- Billerica Youth Lacrosse lacrosse
MBTA Commuter Rail provides service from Boston's North Station with the North Billerica station on its Lowell Line. The Lowell Regional Transit Authority provides service in parts of Billerica. Route #3 (South Lowell) services the North Billerica MBTA station and the North Billerica Business Center. Route #13 (Billerica Via Edson) services Boston Road (Route 3A) from North Billerica to Pinehurst. Stops along the way include: The North Billerica MBTA Station, Pollard Street, High Street, Billerica Center and Town Hall, the Billerica Mall, and Towne Plaza, and a shopping center located in Riverdale. Route #14 (Burlington Mall/Lahey Clinic) services Route 3A until Billerica Center where it continues onto Concord Road and the Middlesex Turnpike.
The Middlesex Canal, which flowed through Billerica between 1795 and 1852, was used to transport goods between Lowell and Boston. Because of this key transportation corridor, Billerica earned the moniker "Gateway to Lowell."
In the 1840s, the Boston and Lowell Railroad's main line was built and passed through the town's villages of North Billerica and East Billerica. Stations were built in both locations and North Billerica Station is still an active Commuter Rail Station. Trains stopped taking passengers at East Billerica in 1965 and the station was remodeled and is now a private home.
In 1876 a man named George Mansfield came to Billerica to pitch the idea of building a two-foot gauge railroad from North Billerica Station to the new Bedford Station on the Middlesex Central Line in neighboring Bedford. That year the Billerica and Bedford Railroad was formed and the line was built. It was opened in August 1877 and was 8.6 miles (13.8 km) in length. Cost overruns killed the line after one year and the railroad went bankrupt and was sold. In 1885 the Boston and Lowell Railroad put in a standard gauge line along most of the original right of way. They followed the old narrow right of way (ROW) from Bedford Depot to Billerica's Nuttings Lake Village. There, rather than run the line over the steep Indian and Town Hills, they deviated to the west of Billerica Center and met the original ROW at the bottom of the north side of town hill and continued on the original path to North Billerica. The Boston and Maine Railroad took over the line in 1887. Station stops on the line along were South Billerica, Turnpike (Nuttings Lake), Billerica, Bennett Hall (none of these stations still stand) and North Billerica. Passenger service stopped on the last day of 1931 and the line was used as a freight line until it was abandoned from Bedford Depot to Billerica Depot in 1962. The line was further abandoned from Billerica Depot to Bennett Hall about 1980. The track was removed from Boston Road (Rte 3A) to Bedford Depot, it is still in place from Rte 3A to the North Billerica Station for trains to have access to the railroad repair shops in North Billerica. Trains very rarely run on the track now and it is completely overgrown with vegetation in front of the Marshall Middle School and also in a few spots along its way to North Billerica. A stretch of the ROW roughly from U.S Route 3 to Bedford now serves as a foot and bike path, connecting to the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford.
- Pan Am Railways is headquartered in the North Billerica area of Billerica.
- Merck KGaA, a German drug and chemicals company unrelated to Merck & Co., in March 2010 "said it plans to move the headquarters of its US chemicals business to Billerica after its acquisition of life sciences toolmaker Millipore Corp."
- Pharmalucence, a biotech company which makes drugs for disease diagnosis, "plans to build a 70,000-square-foot plant and corporate headquarters in Billerica."
- American Science & Engineering, based in Billerica, "said it received a $6.7 million order for its X-ray detection technology that will be used by the US government for counterterrorism missions."
- Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc., the Billerica based medical imaging company, "sealed a new purchasing deal with Ottawa-based MDS Nordion for a rare imaging isotope, molybdenum-99."
Billerica House of Correction
- A Middlesex County Jail is located in town off of Treble Cove Road. This prison is under the jurisdiction of the Middlesex Sheriff's Office.
- Col. Ebenezer Bridge, regimental officer at Battles of Lexington/Concord and Bunker Hill, 1775.
- Gary DiSarcina, former professional baseball player, AL All-Star (1995)
- Tom Fitzgerald, former professional hockey player
- Dean Jenkins, former collegiate and professional hockey player
- James McCluskey, collegiate football player, Boston College
- Bob Miller, former professional hockey player
- Julius Sumner Miller. science teacher and popularizer
- Paul Miller, former professional hockey player
- Asa Pollard, first man killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775
- BJ Snowden, outsider musician
- Johnny Stearns, Broadway/TV actor/producer, Mary Kay and Johnny
- Tom Glavine, Former professional baseball player, 300 game winner, world series MVP and future Hall of Famer
- Matthew Long, Professional BMX rider for Volume Bikes and 2 time X-Games gold medalist.
- Christine Foster, Gifted MRI Technologist
- Abraham Jaquith House
- Billerica Town Common District
- Billerica Mills Historic District
- Dutton-Holden Homestead
- Deacon Samuel Hill House
- Howe School
- Manning Manse
- Middlesex Canal
Billerica is a sister city of Billericay, England, United Kingdom .
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- ^ Hazen, Henry. History of Billerica. (Boston: A. Williams and Co., 1883) p. 3-15
- ^ The Key of Libberty; Shewing the Causes Why a Free Government Has Always Failed, and a Remedy Against It...; With Notes and a Foreword By Samuel Eliot Morison; by William Manning (1922)
- ^ The Billerica Colonial Minute Men; The Thomas Ditson story; retrieved on July 10, 2008
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- ^ *Billerica and Bedford history
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- ^ * Karr, Ronald D. (1994). Lost Railroads New England. Branch Line Press. ISBN 0-942147-04-9. http://www.branchlinepress.com
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- ^ "$6.7m bomb screening deal lifts AS&E". The Boston Globe. 2010-06-29. http://www.boston.com/business/markets/articles/2010/06/29/67m_bomb_screening_deal_lifts_ase/.
- ^ http://www.massdevice.com/news/lantheus-inks-purchasing-deal-with-mds-nordion-rare-isotope
- ^ http://www.middlesexsheriff.org/about_newbhoc.htm
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Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts Cities Towns
Acton | Arlington | Ashby | Ashland | Ayer | Bedford | Belmont | Billerica | Boxborough | Burlington | Carlisle | Chelmsford | Concord | Dracut | Dunstable | Framingham | Groton | Holliston | Hopkinton | Hudson | Lexington | Lincoln | Littleton | Maynard | Natick | North Reading | Pepperell | Reading | Sherborn | Shirley | Stoneham | Stow | Sudbury | Tewksbury | Townsend | Tyngsborough | Wakefield | Wayland | Westford | Weston | Wilmington | Winchester
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Billerica (Massachusetts) — Billerica Spitzname: America s Yankee Doodle Town … Deutsch Wikipedia
Billerica, Massachusetts — Billerica (États Unis) Billerica est une ville des États Unis, dans le Massachusetts, comté de Middlesex, fondée en 1652. La ville a été établie par des familles provenant de Cambridge et de Charlestown Village (plus tard Woburn). Le plus ancien… … Wikipédia en Français
Billerica (Massachusetts) — Billerica (États Unis) Billerica est une ville des États Unis, dans le Massachusetts, comté de Middlesex, fondée en 1652. La ville a été établie par des familles provenant de Cambridge et de Charlestown Village (plus tard Woburn). Le plus ancien… … Wikipédia en Français
North Billerica, Massachusetts — North Billerica is a unincorporated village of the town of Billerica, Massachusetts, United States, one of the nine sections (hamlets) that make up the Town of Billerica. It is the home to Faulkner and Talbot mills and the North Billerica Train… … Wikipedia
Billerica Memorial High School — (BMHS) is located at 35 River Street in Billerica, Massachusetts. It is one of two public high schools in the town. Kevin Soraghan is the principal of Billerica High. Grades 9 through 12 are taught at the school and are managed by four assistant… … Wikipedia
Billerica — bezeichnet die Orte: Billerica (Massachusetts), in Massachusetts, USA Billericay, in Essex, England Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe … Deutsch Wikipedia
Massachusetts locations by per capita income — Massachusetts is the third richest state in the United States of America, with a per capita income of $25,952 (2000) and a personal per capita income of $39,815 (2003).Massachusetts counties ranked by per capita incomeThere are fourteen counties… … Wikipedia
Billerica — can refer to:* Billerica, Massachusetts (USA) * Billericay (Essex, England) … Wikipedia
Massachusetts Route 3A — Route 3A Route information Lengt … Wikipedia
Billerica Mills Historic District — Infobox nrhp | name =Billerica Mills Historic District nrhp type = hd caption = location= Billerica, Massachusetts lat degrees = 42 lat minutes = 35 lat seconds = 23 lat direction = N long degrees = 71 long minutes = 17 long seconds = 8 long… … Wikipedia