Chelsea, Massachusetts

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Chelsea, Massachusetts
—  City  —
Soldiers' Monument

Seal
Location in Suffolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°02′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.03333°W / 42.39167; -71.03333Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°02′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.03333°W / 42.39167; -71.03333
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountySuffolk
Settled1624
Incorporated1739
Government
 • TypeCouncil-manager government
 • City ManagerJay Ash
 • Deputy City ManagerNed Keefe
Area
 • Total2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)
 • Land2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation10 ft (3 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total35,177
 • Density15,989.5/sq mi (6,173.6/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
Zip code02150
Area code(s)617 / 857
FIPS code25-13205
GNIS feature ID0612723
Websitechelseama.gov
 
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Chelsea, Massachusetts
—  City  —
Soldiers' Monument

Seal
Location in Suffolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°02′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.03333°W / 42.39167; -71.03333Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°02′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.03333°W / 42.39167; -71.03333
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountySuffolk
Settled1624
Incorporated1739
Government
 • TypeCouncil-manager government
 • City ManagerJay Ash
 • Deputy City ManagerNed Keefe
Area
 • Total2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)
 • Land2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation10 ft (3 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total35,177
 • Density15,989.5/sq mi (6,173.6/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
Zip code02150
Area code(s)617 / 857
FIPS code25-13205
GNIS feature ID0612723
Websitechelseama.gov

Chelsea is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, directly across the Mystic River from the city of Boston. It is the smallest city in Massachusetts in land area, and the 26th most densely populated in the country. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 35,177.[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, Chelsea has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.4 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 10.02%, is water.[2] Located on a peninsula in Boston Harbor, Chelsea is drained by Chelsea Creek and sits on the Mystic River just north of downtown Boston.

Contents

History[edit]

The area of Chelsea was first called Winnisimmet (meaning "good spring nearby") by the Massachusett tribe, which once lived there. It was settled in 1624 by Samuel Maverick, whose palisaded trading post is considered the first permanent settlement at Boston Harbor. In 1635, Maverick sold all of Winnisimmet, except for his house and farm, to Richard Bellingham. The community remained part of Boston until it was set off and incorporated in 1739, when it was named after Chelsea, a neighborhood in London, England.

In 1775, the Battle of Chelsea Creek was fought in the area, the second battle of the Revolution, at which American forces made one of their first captures of a British ship. Part of George Washington's army was stationed in Chelsea during the Siege of Boston.

Chelsea originally included North Chelsea, which consisted of what is now Revere, Winthrop, and parts of Saugus. In 1846, North Chelsea was set off as a separate town. Reincorporated as a city in 1857, Chelsea developed as an industrial center, producing rubber and elastic goods, boots and shoes, stoves, and adhesives. It became home to the Chelsea Naval Hospital designed by Alexander Parris and home for soldiers. On April 12, 1908, nearly half the city was destroyed in the First Great Chelsea Fire. In 1973, the Second Great Chelsea Fire burned eighteen city blocks.

Chelsea Square after Great Fire of 1908

In September 1991, Massachusetts enacted special legislation to place Chelsea into receivership. Governor William Weld named James Carlin as the first receiver followed by Lewis "Harry" Spence. This was the first time since the Great Depression that a major United States municipality had such an action taken against it. Events preceding the action included failed financial intervention by the state, a political stalemate over the city's budget, deepening economic decline and a spiraling fiscal crisis. Fortunately, Chelsea had no long-term debt publicly held; thus, a solution to its problems could be explored in isolation of creditors.

A charter change in 1995 led by the receivership through a community process designed an efficient council–manager government, which has focused on improving the quality of service the city provides to its residents and businesses, while establishing financial policies that have significantly improved the city's financial condition. Increased emphasis on economic development and capital improvement has led to an influx of new business and home buyers. In 1998, Chelsea was named winner of the All-America City Award. The city is home to a Carnegie library built in 1910.

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
CensusPop.
1790472
180084979.9%
1810594−30.0%
18206428.1%
183077120.1%
18402,390210.0%
18506,701180.4%
186013,39599.9%
187018,54738.5%
188021,78217.4%
189027,90928.1%
190034,07222.1%
191032,452−4.8%
192043,18433.1%
193045,8166.1%
194041,259−9.9%
195038,912−5.7%
196033,749−13.3%
197030,625−9.3%
198025,431−17.0%
199028,71012.9%
200035,08022.2%
201035,1770.3%
Old Pratt House in 1908
The Fitz Public Library in 1905

As of the 2010 United States Census[3], there were 35,080 people, 11,888 households, and 7,608 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,036.8 people per square mile (6,184.7/km²), placing it among the highest in population density among U.S. cities.[4] There were 12,337 housing units at an average density of 5,639.9 per square mile (2,175.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.95% White, 48.42% Hispanic or Latino, 7.25% Black or African American, 4.69% Asian, 0.48% Native American, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 22.94% from other races, and 6.58% were multiracial.[5]

There were 11,888 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.9% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.5.

The population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,161, and the median income for a family was $32,130. Males had a median income of $27,280 versus $26,010 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,628. About 20.6% of families and 23.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation[edit]

The MBTA Commuter Rail provides service from Boston's North Station with the Chelsea station on its Newburyport/Rockport Line. MBTA buses provide local service to Boston, Everett, Revere, and other cities nearby.

Education[edit]

Chelsea Public Schools has four elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school, Chelsea High School. The Chelsea school system has historically been towards the bottom of the state's test score rankings. It is plagued by high turnover among students, a very high percentage of students move in or out over the course of the year, and the dropout rate is high. In 1988, the school board made the unprecedented move of delegating its authority for control of the school district to Boston University. In June 2008, a partnership with BU ended, and the schools returned to full local control.

Chelsea has only one private school remaining, St. Rose School, as the others have closed. St. Rose is located on Broadway and of 2012, has an enrollment of about 220 students. In addition, there is one public charter school, the Excel Academy. Bunker Hill Community College and the for-profit Everest Institute hold satellite locations of their schools in Chelsea.

Elementary, middle, and high schools in Chelsea include:

There are also two post-secondary campuses:

Fire Department[edit]

Chelsea Fire Headquarters

The City of Chelsea is protected by the career professional firefighters of the City of Chelsea Fire Department, operating from three fire stations across the city, each shift commanded by a Deputy Chief. Chelsea Fire operates an apparatus fleet of 4 Engines, 3 Ladders, Special Operations Units, Maintenance Unit, Foam Tender Unit, and several other special, support, and reserve units. Chelsea Fire responds to ~11,000 emergency calls annually.[6] The current Chief of Department is Robert Better.[7]

Chelsea Engine 2 responds to over 4,000 emergency calls annually, with 4,269 in 2011, placing it among the busiest engine companies in the United States, and at 120% of the maximum acceptable threshold for engine company call volume, as set by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. [8]

Fire Station Locations and Apparatus[edit]

Engine CompanyLadder CompanySpecial UnitCommand UnitAddressNeighborhood
Engine 1Ladder 3 (Reserve), Special Operations Unit 2Sagamore Ave & Washington AvePratville
Engine 2Tower 1Engine 4 (Reserve), Foam Tender Unit (Class B), Maintenance Unit, Special Operations Unit 1, Fire Prevention & Arson FleetC1(Chief of Department), C2(Deputy Chief), K1(Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention)307 Chestnut St.Downtown
Engine 3Ladder 2885 BroadwayMill Hill

Sites of interest[edit]

Chelsea Clock Company[edit]

Founded in 1897, the Chelsea Clock Company is one of the oldest, largest, and few remaining American clock manufacturing companies in existence. For over a century, Chelsea's clockmakers have been designing and handcrafting distinguished, high quality clocks for customers in the corporate, consumer, government and marine markets. Today, the company continues to build and repair clocks at its original corporate headquarters in the city.

Historic places[edit]

Chelsea has eight places on the National Register of Historic Places.

Notable residents[edit]

See also Category:People from Chelsea, Massachusetts

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Chelsea city, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Chelsea city, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Demographics of the United States
  5. ^ "Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  6. ^ Matrix Consulting Group, Performance and Management Study of the Fire Department, Chelsea, Massachusetts. November, 2012, p. 48.
  7. ^ http://www.ci.chelsea.ma.us/Public_Documents/ChelseaMA_Fire/index
  8. ^ Matrix Consulting Group, Performance and Management Study of the Fire Department, Chelsea, Massachusetts. November, 2012, p. 48-49.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]