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flag  History of Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

(North Wrentham)

Visit Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA - Residence of E. W. Mann, showing Post-Office and store, Norfolk, Mass.

Norfolk, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Norfolk officially became an independent town on February 23, 1870, breaking away from Wrentham, Franklin. Walpole and Medway.

Norfolk includes: Bush Factory, City Mills, Deanville, Highlands, Highlands Lake, Honeypot, and Pondville.

There is MUCH more to discover about Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Norfolk Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Residence of E. W. Mann, showing Post-Office and store, Norfolk, Mass.
Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Residence of E. W. Mann, showing Post-Office and store, Norfolk, Mass.
Railroad Street, Norfolk, Mass.
Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Railroad Street, Norfolk, Mass.
Town Hall, Norfolk, Mass.
Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Town Hall, Norfolk, Mass.
Congregational Church
Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Congregational Church
Post Office and N.H.R.R. Station
Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

Post Office and N.H.R.R. Station

Discover Norfolk: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1681 - The Nathaniel Miller house was built in 1681 at River End, Norfolk

1701 - Fifty householders resided in the general area of Norfolk. Law directed that this required that a school to be kept.
1745 - Norfolk Cemetery was established at the corner of Main and Seekonk Street . At the time Wrentham referred to it as Cemetery # 7 and at this same time one was set up in Pondville referred to as Cemetery # 8.
1778 - The first school house in North Wrentham (Norfolk) was built in 1778 on the Northwest corner of Town Hill.
1793 - Reverend David Avery was dismissed by the Wrentham Church and took up residence in North Wrentham (Norfolk) on the south side of Cleveland Street in the vicinity of what is now Village Green.
He conducted services in his home there for his followers.
1795 - North Parish Association formed and $ 1244 pledged by its parishioners to build a Meeting House in North Wrentham (Norfolk).
1797 - On July 10th, the Montgomery Lodge of Masons held their first meeting in the house of Dr. Nathaniel Miller.
Paul Revere, patriot, as Most Worshipful Grand Master, signed the charter of the Montgomery Lodge and officiated at the chartering ceremonies.The Nathaniel Miller house originally built in 1681 at River End, Norfolk was enlarged. This was one of the original five houses built on the Indian Trail from Medfield to Wrentham.
1798 - Reverend John Cleaveland was named as the first Pastor of the newly formed North Parish in North Wrentham.
1832 - The Cleaveland Religious Society in North Wrentham (Norfolk) was formed at a meeting at the hall over the store of Ebenezer Blake, Esq. and began planning to build a second Meeting House at the foot of the hill on the corner of Union and Main.
1849 - Norfolk County Railroad bond issued. RR would run through the center of Norfolk.
1859 - The Norfolk Farmer's Club was established.
1870 - Norfolk, previously known as North Wrentham, was incorporated.
1875 - In the spring the dam burst leading to an overflow of Whiting's Pond at City Mills (Norfolk).
Mr. Edwin Alonzo Morse was washed away 20-30 rods, in a mass of earth, railroad ties and rails, into the pond. He was brought to safety by Mr. Shields, Wood and Fischer, just as another torrent of water brought enough to bury them all alive, if they had been a moment later. It is said to have destroyed the original felt mill at City Mills.
1879 - The parish meeting house was deeded to the town of Norfolk for use as a new Town House.
The building is remodeled at a cost of $ 3175 and Holbrook and Sons of East Medway recast the bell at a cost of $ 130.
1881 - Norfolk town meeting discussed buying a place for an almshouse and discussed the binding out of children to suitable persons for a term of years.
1882 - Norfolk town meeting discussed buying or building a lock-up.
1883 - Norfolk town meeting
discussed buying shade trees to set in the public streets and squares; furnishing books and stationery free of cost to the schools; granting money to enlarge and improve the library and the licensing of intoxicating liquors.
1884 - Norfolk town meeting discussed what to do about prosecuting illegal sellers of intoxicating liquors.
1886 - Norfolk town meeting discussed charging organizations for use of the Town House, $2 a night for the upper hall, $1 a night for the lower and giving the janitor of the Town House $100 a year.
1890 Norfolk Massachusetts
Norfolk is a farming town, with some manufactures, lying in the midst of the southwestern section of Norfolk County, about 23 miles southwest of Boston, on the New York and New England Railroad. The stations are Highland Lake, Norfolk (centre) and City Mills. The last two are post-offices. The other villages are Pondville in the southeast, and Stony Brook in the south part of the town. Norfolk is bounded on the north by Medway, Millis and Medfield, on the east by Walpole and Foxborough, on the south by Wrentham, and west by Franklin. The assessed area is 9,056 acres. There are 3,772 acres of woodland.

The surface of the land is uneven, somewhat rocky, and in the northeast and southeast, hilly. Stop Brook runs northerly along the eastern border, affording power at Highland Lake ("Campbell's Station" formerly); and Mill River, flowing in the same direction in the western part, drives the machinery at City Mills. Popolatic Pond, of 74 acres, in the northwest section of the town, and... Read MORE...

1890 - Norfolk town meeting discussed hunting and fishing on Sunday and making a well for the Center School and the Town House.
1892 - Norfolk - Schools at Stony Brook and Pondville consolidated with the Center School.
1893 - Norfolk man killed while making arrangements for brother's funeral
On Feb. 13th, James A. Mann, age 20, residing in Norfolk, was struck by the outward bound train and killed instantly. His brother John D. Mann was killed at Savin Hill that morning. James was on the way to make arrangements for his brother's funeral.
February 13, 1893
1895 - Norfolk
Norfolk, a post-village of Norfolk co., Mass., in a town ship of the same name, on the Boston, Hartford & Erie Railroad, 23 miles S.S.W. of Boston. It has 2 churches and a woollen-mill. The township is bounded on the N.W. by Charles River. Pop. of the township, 920.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1896 - Norfolk
North School consolidated with the Center School.

Schools at Felting Mills consolidated with the City Mills School.

Town meeting discussed erecting a permanent watering trough.
1897 - Norfolk town meeting discussed abolishing the office of highway commissioner; establishing electric light service and procuring a poor farm.
1898 - Norfolk town meeting discussed lighting the streets at Norfolk Centre and City Mills and wiring the Town Hall for electric lights.
1899 - Norfolk town meeting discussed accepting a Hook and Ladder Truck presented by the citizens of the town.
1902 - Norfolk town meeting concurred on change in boundary line between Norfolk and Medfield and Foxboro.
Norfolk, a post-village of Norfolk co., Mass., in Norfolk township (town), on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R., 23 miles SSW. of Boston. It has a paper and woolen-mills. Pop. of the town in 1900, 980.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
1907 - Norfolk town meeting discussed making a contract with the Edison Company for street lighting.
1909 - Norfolk town meeting discussed appropriating money to destroy the elm tree beetles and putting a sidewalk in front of the church and school house.
1913 - Norfolk town meeting discussed posting street signs.
1915 - Norfolk town meeting discussed building a high school.
1920 - Norfolk town meeting discussed fixing a license fee for slaughtering and discussed the transport of high school pupils by motor truck.
1922 - Norfolk Town Hall burns
On Dec 5th, the Norfolk Town Hall burned to the ground shortly after 3:00 am. The contents of the clerk's safe survived.
1923 - Norfolk town meeting discussed building a new Town Hall;
establishing a town forest: purchasing a motor-driven fire truck; sanitation in the Centre School and the transportation of pupils to Centre School by motor bus.
1927 - Pondville Hospital opens (Norfolk).
1934 - Norfolk prison building finished.
1945 - Norfolk’s population approximately 1600.
1950 - Norfolk’s population approximately 2000.
Norfolk Central School, later known as the A. J. Freeman School opens.
1962 - (Norfolk) Federated Church fire
The Federated Church had a very serious fire - the building was saved from total loss by the prompt and efficient answering of the alarms by the all call fireman of the Norfolk Fire Department.
2023 - There are plenty of places to go and things to do in Norfolk. Here's a comprehensive list to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful town:
Stroll Through the Town Center: Start your exploration by taking a leisurely walk through Norfolk's charming town center. You'll find historic buildings, local shops, and a cozy New England atmosphere.

Mass Audubon's Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary: Nature lovers will appreciate the Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. It offers miles of trails through wetlands, woodlands, and meadows. Birdwatching, wildlife photography, and educational programs are popular activities here.

Norfolk Arena: If you're into ice sports, visit the Norfolk Arena. It's a great place for ice skating and hockey. They offer public skating sessions and lessons for all skill levels.

Den Rock Park: Located on the shores of Populatic Pond, this park is perfect for picnics, fishing, and hiking. The trails offer beautiful views of the pond and lush greenery.

Hike at Mass Audubon's Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary: Just a short drive away in Sharon, Moose Hill is one of the oldest and largest Audubon sanctuaries in... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Norfolk Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Norfolk.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

female ancestorRachel SMITH (13 November 1714, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham) - 13 November 1803, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Fiskdale))
male ancestorEbenezer MARSH (15 October 1735, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham) - 1 June 1791, Douglas, Massachusetts, USA (East Douglas))
male ancestorIsaac THAYER (9 May 1742, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham) - 29 January 1827, Braintree, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorJohn Harris BULLARD (24 February 1808, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham) - 27 August 1896, Stoughton, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorOlive HEROUX? (July 1852, Sorel, Québec, Canada (Saint-Pierre) - 21 April 1931, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham))
male ancestorFrank Ellsworth THOMPSON (24 January 1863, Uxbridge, Massachusetts, USA (North Uxbridge) - 31 October 1935, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham))
photo of Caroline "Carrie" Johanne BERGMANNCaroline "Carrie" Johanne BERGMANN (20 April 1870, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA (Coltsville) - 27 October 1938, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham))
photo of Pacifique Oliver PERRAPacifique Oliver PERRA (12 June 1874, Franklin Centre, Québec, Canada (St-Antoine-Abbé) (Starnesborough) - 10 February 1951, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham))
male ancestorGeorge Leon SIMS (15 January 1877, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA (North Wrentham) - 19 March 1941, )

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Updated: 9/24/2023 9:18:32 AM