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Whitinsville, Massachusetts

Whitinsville, Massachusetts
Whitinsville, "The Shop"
Area map
Area map
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
 • Type (None) Part of Northbridge, Massachusetts
 • Total 3.64 sq mi (9.4 km2)
Elevation 322 ft (98 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,704
 • Density 1,840.2/sq mi (710.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01588
Area code(s) 508
FIPS code 79495
GNIS feature ID 0611078
Website .com.whitinsvillewww

Whitinsville is an unincorporated village within the town of Northbridge in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Whitinsville is a census-designated place (CDP) and its population was 6,704 at the 2010 census. Whitinsville is pronounced as if it were spelled "White-ins-ville". It was founded by the Whitin family, after whom it is also named. It is a post office jurisdiction, with a ZIP code of 01588. It is located on the Mumford River, a tributary of the Blackstone River.

Whitinsville has been designated as a mill village of national historic significance to America's earliest industrialization, and is one of only four villages selected by the John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Historic Corridor Commission to receive this designation. Hopedale is the only other Massachusetts mill village to achieve this designation by the corridor commission.


  • History 1
  • Whitin Community Center 2
  • St. Camillus Health Center 3
  • Geography 4
  • Demographics 5
    • Ethnic groups 5.1
  • Education 6
  • Government 7
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


This village was originally Nipmuc Indian lands, and was first settled as part of Mendon in 1662. From 1662 to 1727 it was part of Mendon, then later it became part of Uxbridge from 1727 to 1772. In 1772 Northbridge finally became a separate town. The village's early name was "South Northbridge", before the Whitin family's rise to prominence. Col. John Spring led a militia training company from Uxbridge which fought in the American Revolution. Col. Spring was from the section that became South Northbridge.

The Brick Mill, 1826

The Whitin Mill was owned by the Whitin family, for whom Whitinsville is named. The mill complex is located in downtown Whitinsville, as is the Whitin Machine Works, or "The Shop," an internationally renowned maker of textile machinery. "The Shop" specialized in making machines for picking, carding and spinning cotton and wool. During its operations of more than 133 years, The Shop was the world's largest producer of textile spindles.

Today a visitor can see much of the original village, including the housing for workers and their families, churches, and the Whitin Community Center. The textile machine company and industrial village were written up as one of the Harvard studies of history in business.[1]

A 1936 Berlin Olympics champion backstroke swimmer, Alice Bridges, then of Uxbridge, trained in the local gym pool (Whitin Community Center) in Whitinsville. The Whitinsville Savings Bank was involved in a precedent-setting case in the U.S., involving tort and contract law, known as "Swinton vs. Whitinsville Savings Bank (1942)". A real estate transaction two years earlier had failed to disclose termites in a building.[2]

Whitin Community Center

The Whitin Community Center, operated by a non-profit organization and commonly called "The Gym", is located at 60 Main Street on what used to be the 11-acre (45,000 m2) John C. Whitin estate. In 1922, four Whitin daughters: Elsa, Katharine, Lois, and Elizabeth, gave the funds to build a gym and pool for the enjoyment of local citizens in memory of their father, George Marston Whitin. This recreation center, known affectionately in earlier days as "The Gym," was one of the finest facilities in the state. Famous for its swim program, it sent swimmers to the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. Devastated by fire in 1959, the Gym was rebuilt with the support of trustees, business and civic leaders, and friends.

The decade of the 1990s was dedicated to expanding and modernizing the Whitin Community Center to prepare it for the 21st century. In 1993 new space was added to strengthen the Center's commitment to child care and adult health and fitness. A new lobby, elevator, racquetball courts completed this expansion phase, and most of the original 1922 building received a comprehensive face lift. In 1995, the Center's three outdoor tennis courts were completely refurbished. Ground was broken in September 1996 for a new state-of-the-art competition sized swimming pool. This new facility opened briefly as an outdoor pool (summer 1998) and then was enclosed for year-round use, reopening in March 1999. A comprehensive project to restore the historic appearance of the Main Street facade was undertaken in 1998-99, funded by individuals, local companies, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Also in 1999, the Center's parking facilities were expanded to accommodate the increased business. An ambitious plan to restore and beautify historic Whitin Park (the 7.5 acres behind the Whitin Community Center) was unveiled in early 2000. The nearly 1 mile of stone perimeter walls were rebuilt, repointed and recapped. New walking trails were surfaced, and beautiful park lights and bollards have been installed. In the location of an original Whitin estate building - the rustic teahouse - the Gerry Gaudette pavilion has been built. This open air shelter is used by the Center's child care and summer camp program, along with use by the community at large.

The Whitin Community Center today is a vibrant organization with 4,500 members. The Center also, through its mission, services at least as many non-members. It is a recognized 501 C (3) non-profit organization providing child care and family recreational services. With over 200 families currently served, it is the largest Child Care Center in the Blackstone Valley with a pre-kindergarten school, full day care for pre-schoolers, and a large school age program which provides supervision before and after school, and all day long on school vacation periods.

The Center launched a new Outreach program in 1995, funded entirely by donations, with the goal of bringing together all the children of the community, regardless of neighborhoods, economic status, or whether or not they were Center members. Organized Saturday afternoon activities, open swimming, day trips to museums and baseball games, youth theater, teen dances, and concerts are just some of the many activities. In January 2002 a new facility opened - the Rockdale Youth Center - providing free after school programs and supervision for youngsters ages 8–13. In the fall of 2005, the Center purchased the building housing the program (2219 Providence Road, Northbridge).

St. Camillus Health Center


  • Village of Whitinsville
  • Town of Northbridge
  • Northbridge Public Schools
  • Whitin Community Center

External links

  1. ^ Navin, Thomas R. (1969). The Whitin Machine Works since 1831: A textile machinery company in an industrial village; Harvard case studies in business history. Russel and Russel. 
  2. ^ "Swinton Vs Whitinsville Savings Bank". Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  4. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "Whitinsville Information". Topix. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 


See also

  • John R. Driscoll, Massachusetts businessman and state legislator, was born in Whitinsville.
  • Steve Spagnuolo, a recent head coach of the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League, and former defensive coach of the New York Giants, was born in Whitinsville in 1959.
  • Samuel Spring, Revolutionary War chaplain, was born here when it was still part of Uxbridge.
  • Phil Vandersea, was born in Whitinsville in 1943, played for the Green Bay Packers.
  • Paul Whitin, founder of the Whitin Machine Works

Notable people

The Northbridge Town Hall is located at 7 Main Street in Whitinsville, the largest village in the town. The Northbridge Board of Selectmen functions like a city council. Local police, public works, board of health, fire, and schools are each administered as part of the government of the Town of Northbridge.

Whitinsville is a village within the town of Northbridge. New England towns, like Northbridge, administer the entire geography within their boundaries and function like a city and a county government rolled into one. The county government is weak or non-existent in the southern New England states. Worcester County exists today only as a historical area, with an elected County Sheriff, an elected county registrar of deeds, and a correctional and court system, which are now administered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and its Office of Public Safety. County commissioners were last elected in 1999, and local roads are now administered either by the towns or the state.


Since it is officially a part of the town of Northbridge, Whitinsville is served by the Northbridge Public Schools system. Also in the town is Whitinsville Christian School, a preK–12 interdenominational Christian school.


The 19th-century expansion of the Whitin mills attracted many Irish immigrant workers, and Irish currently make up 21.4% of the town's population. Other nationalities represented in Whitinsville include Armenian, English, Italian, French-Canadian, and Dutch.[5]

Ethnic groups

The median income for a household in the CDP was $55,950. The median income for individuals was $27,531. 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line.

There were 2,452 households. The average household size was 2.87. In the CDP the population was spread out with 7.4% under the age of 5, 28.1% under the age of 18, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. 85.9% of persons over the age of 25 are high school graduates with 27.2% having a bachelor's degree or higher. The average commute to work is 29.2 minutes.

There were 2,613 housing units with 44.4% of these in multi-unit structures. Homeownership rate is 58.9% with 85.9% of persons residing in the same housing unit for 1 year or more. The median value of owner-occupied housing unit was $341,000.

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 6,704. The population density was 1,840.2/mi. Females comprise 52.1% of the population. The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.2% White, 0.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.1% Asian, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8% of the population. 4.6% of households speak a language other than English.


According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.64 square miles with 1,840.2 persons per square mile. Whitinsville is a "village" within the incorporated town of Northbridge, Massachusetts. It is located in Worcester County.

Whitinsville is located at (42.112208, -71.672890).[3]

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