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Westport Info
 

Westport, Massachusetts

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History

Westport, so named because it was the westernmost port in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was first settled in 1670, as a part of the town of Dartmouth by members of the Sisson family. The river, and the land around it, was called "Coaksett" in the original deed; the name now spelled "Acoaxet," lives on in the southwestern community along the western branch of the Westport River. Like many areas, Westport was affected by invading Wampanoags during King Phillip's War. Several small mills were built along the Westport River, and in 1787, the town, along with the town of New Bedford, seceded from Dartmouth.

There were several cotton mills along the river, the largest of which was at the junction of the river with Lake Noquochoke on the Dartmouth town line. The Macomber turnip traces its ancestry to turnips sowed in Westport shortly after 1876. During the Second World War, a coastal defense installation was raised on Gooseberry Neck. The town is now mostly residential, with a large farming community. Horseneck Beach State Reservation, located to the north and west of Gooseberry Neck, is a popular summer destination for many in the area.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 64.4 square miles (166.8 km²), of which, 50.1 square miles (129.6 km²) of the area is land and 14.3 square miles (37.1 km²) of it (22.27%) is water. The majority of that water area is from the Watuppa Ponds along the Fall River line, as well as Westport Harbor, where the two branches of the Westport River meet before emptying into Buzzards Bay. Westport is bordered by Fall River to the northwest and west, Dartmouth to the east, Buzzards Bay to the south, and Little Compton and Tiverton, Rhode Island to the west. There are several unofficial localities within town; the most prominent of these are Acoaxet, Head of Westport, South Westport, Westport Point, and Westport Factory. It is the southwestern town of Bristol County. Acoaxet is unique among them, in that because of the west branch of the Westport River, it is inaccessible by land except by passing through neighboring Little Compton. Westport is approximately thirty miles southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and approximately sixty miles south of Boston.

Transportation

The town is accessible via Interstate 195, U.S. Route 6, and Route 177, which has its eastern terminus at its intersection at Route 6. Route 88, the longest state highway in Massachusetts to be entirely located within one town, serves as an access from I-195 to Horseneck Beach State Reservation via Exit 10.

There is bus service along Route 6 provided by the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA). During the summer, service is extended to Horseneck Beach. Regional bus service can be reached in Fall River, and regional rail service can be reached in Providence. Recently plans have been in the works to bring commuter rail service to Fall River; however, the plans have not yet been finalized. The nearest airport is in New Bedford. National airline service can be reached at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, 36 miles away.

Government

On the state level, Westport is located in the Eighth Bristol state representative district, which includes parts of Fall River. The town is represented by Senator Joan M. Menard (D-Fall River), Assistant Majority Leader in the state senate in the First Bristol and Plymouth district, which also includes Fall River, Freetown, Rochester, Somerset and Swansea. On the national level, the town is part of Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, which is represented by Barney Frank. The state's senior (Class II) Senator, re-elected in 2008, is John Kerry, and the state currently has no junior (Class I) Senator, following the death of Ted Kennedy on August 25, 2009. Westport is patrolled by the 3rd (Dartmouth) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.

Westport is governed by an open town meeting, led by a board of selectmen. There is a central police department located directly south of the Town Hall in Central Village. Westport has a Full Time Fire Department, along with call firefighters, the town has two fire stations located in the north and south of town. The Fire Department also staffs 2 Advanced Life Support Ambulances 24 hours a day. There are four post offices for the town's two ZIP codes; 02790 is served by the main post office on Route 6 and a smaller branch office near the Head of Westport; 02791 (Westport Point) is served by post offices in Central Village and at the point itself. The town's library is located next to Westport Elementary School and Westport Middle School, directly west of the Head of Westport.

Education

Westport has its own school system. There are four schools: Alice A. Macomber School, in the north of town, provides pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes; Westport Elementary, near the Head of Westport, serves grades 1-4; Westport Middle, next to Westport Elementary, serves grades 5-8; and Westport High School, which serves grades 9-12. Westport High is unique in that it sometimes refers to its arts and music departments as a separate "academy". Students who graduate from Westport with enough credits in certain fields of study will earn special academy certificates, in addition to their high school diplomas. This was modelled after University-style degrees. Their mascot is the Wildcat, and their colors are brown and white (a legacy of when Westport was in a different league that used Ivy League colors - Westport using Brown University's brown and white). The school is a member of the Mayflower League, and competes against smaller schools in the region.

Westport High School is also home to the only daily high school newspaper in the country, The Villager. Produced by the students of the high school, the publication is ranked as one of the best high school papers in the country and is often entered in competitions with college newspapers throughout the U.S.

In addition to their schools, high school students may choose to attend Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River or Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton free of charge. Juniors and Seniors may opt to take college classes at UMass Dartmouth to earn both high school and college credits. Internships and independent study are offered as well.

There is one private school in the town, Montessori School of the Angels, located in the Westport Factory neighborhood. It was formerly known as Saint Joseph's Montessori, and was located in Fall River; the school building itself was formerly the Saint George's School, which closed due to lack of funding and declining attendance. Several students also attend private and charter schools in Fall River and Dartmouth, including Bishop Connolly High School and Bishop Stang High School.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 14,183 people, 5,386 households, and 4,082 families residing in the town. The population density was 283.4 people per square mile (109.4/km²). There were 6,143 housing units at an average density of 122.7/sq mi (47.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.01% White, 0.17% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.

There were 5,386 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.2% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $55,436, and the median income for a family was $64,568. Males had a median income of $41,890 versus $30,921 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,281. About 3.7% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.5% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

 

 

Contact us for more details!

Equity Real Estate Inc.
82 Sanford Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
(508) 679-3998
Fax (508) 679-5807
equityre@equityrealestateinc.com