Gosnold, Massachusetts

Gosnold is a town that encompasses the Elizabeth Islands in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 75,[1] making it the least populous town in Massachusetts.[2] Most of the residents live in the village of Cuttyhunk, while most of the land in the town is owned by the Forbes family.

Gosnold, Massachusetts
Gosnold Town Hall in the village of Cuttyhunk
Gosnold Town Hall in the village of Cuttyhunk
Official seal of Gosnold, Massachusetts
Seal
Location in Dukes County in Massachusetts
Location in Dukes County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°28′54″N 70°45′25″W / 41.48167°N 70.75694°W / 41.48167; -70.75694Coordinates: 41°28′54″N 70°45′25″W / 41.48167°N 70.75694°W / 41.48167; -70.75694
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountyDukes
Settled1641
IncorporatedMarch 17, 1864
Government
 • TypeOpen town meeting
Area
 • Total140.2 sq mi (363.0 km2)
 • Land13.2 sq mi (34.2 km2)
 • Water127.0 sq mi (328.9 km2)
Elevation
85 ft (26 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total75[1]
 • Density6/sq mi (2.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
02713
Area code(s)508 / 774
FIPS code25-26325
GNIS feature ID0618290
Websitewww.dukescounty.org/town-gosnold

HistoryEdit

The earliest settlers of the Elizabeth Islands were the Wampanoag Native Americans. The tribe did not settle permanently on the Elizabeth Islands, but used them in summer for hunting, fishing, and gardening. Occasionally, arrowheads or stone tools are discovered on the islands. The islands' names come from the Wampanoag language.

Bartholomew Gosnold was among the first Europeans to become aware of the Elizabeth Islands, including Cuttyhunk, in 1602. He and his crew attempted to establish a trading post on Cuttyhunk so that they could trade with the natives, the first attempt by Europeans to do so. The trading post was abandoned after only a few weeks, and Gosnold decided to return home. Upon his return to England, the British Crown claimed jurisdiction of the island chain.

Gosnold was first settled in 1641, the year of purchase of the islands by Thomas Mayhew, Sr. The islands were claimed by the Wampanoag until 1658, when the Wampanoag sachem transferred the deed of ownership to Mayhew. Constituting Dukes County, New York since 1683, the Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, were transferred to the newly created Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691. Gosnold was separately incorporated as a municipality in 1864; previously it was a part of the town of Chilmark.[3]

GeographyEdit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 140.2 square miles (363.0 km2), of which 13.2 square miles (34.2 km2) is land and 127.0 square miles (328.9 km2), or 90.59%, is water.[1] Gosnold ranks 272nd out of the 351 communities in the Commonwealth in terms of land area; however, it has the longest distance between points within municipal limits of any town in the Commonwealth. It consists of the Elizabeth Islands, including Nonamesset Island, Uncatena Island, Naushon Island, Pasque Island, Nashawena Island, Penikese Island, Cuttyhunk Island, and several smaller islands. The string of islands extend roughly southwest of the southwestern tip of Falmouth, with the closest island, Nonamesset, being less than one-third of a mile away at its closest point. More than half the population lives on Cuttyhunk, with the majority of the rest living on Naushon.

TransportationEdit

Cuttyhunk is served by Cuttyhunk Ferry Company from New Bedford. Service is daily in the warm months, and on Monday and Friday in the cooler months. There is also a water taxi service between New Bedford and Cuttyhunk.

Naushon Island is served by a private ferry from Woods Hole. Nonamesset and Uncatena are connected to Naushon Island via foot bridges.

Penikese Island is accessible via a chartered boat for STEM-related school trips.

All other islands in Gosnold do not have regular boat service and require a private vessel to be reached.

DemographicsEdit

YearPop.±%
187099—    
1880152+53.5%
1890135−11.2%
1900164+21.5%
1910152−7.3%
1920181+19.1%
1930120−33.7%
1940136+13.3%
195056−58.8%
196066+17.9%
197083+25.8%
198063−24.1%
199098+55.6%
200086−12.2%
201075−12.8%
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[1][4][5][6][7][8][9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 86 people, 46 households, and 21 families residing in the town. The population density was 6.4 people per square mile (2.5/km²). There were 215 housing units at an average density of 16.1 per square mile (6.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.35% White, with no African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, or Pacific Islanders, and 4.65% from two or more races. None of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 46 households out of which 17.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.3% were non-families. 45.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the town, the population was spread out with 17.4% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 31.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 138.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 144.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $22,344, and the median income for a family was $27,500. Males had a median income of $21,875 versus $30,625 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,265. There were 25.0% of families and 23.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including 40.0% of under eighteens and 22.2% of those over 64.

Thanks to the population drop reflected in the 2010 Census, Gosnold now has the lowest population density of any town in the Commonwealth. The title was previously held by Mount Washington at the southwest corner of Massachusetts.

Gosnold was first in a 2008 ranking of all Massachusetts communities in terms of total value of real estate per resident.[11]

Government and politicsEdit

GovernmentEdit

On the national level, Gosnold is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, and is currently represented by Democrat Bill Keating. Massachusetts is currently represented in the United States Senate by senior Senator (Democrat) Elizabeth Warren and junior Senator (Democrat) Ed Markey.

On the state level, Gosnold is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket district, which includes all of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as a portion of Falmouth. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a portion of the Cape and Islands district, which includes all of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and most of Barnstable County (with the exception of Bourne, Sandwich, and Falmouth).[12] All of Dukes County is patrolled by the Fifth (Oak Bluffs) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[13]

Gosnold is governed on the local level by the open town meeting form of government, and is led by a board of selectmen. Due to its geographic isolation and small population, the town has at times asked for a waiver from the Commonwealth from anti-nepotism laws.[14]

Political affiliationEdit

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 13, 2010[15]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Unenrolled 104 72.22%
Democratic 20 13.89%
Republican 20 13.89%
Total 144 100%

PoliticsEdit

Presidential Elections Results[16]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2016 50.7% 36 38.0% 27 7.4% 5
2012 56.3% 49 41.4% 36 2.3% 2
2008 65.0% 52 32.5% 26 2.5% 2
2004 53.3% 41 44.2% 34 2.6% 2
2000 48.2% 39 40.7% 33 11.1% 9
1996 50.6% 46 23.1% 21 13.2% 12
1992 40.4% 42 28.9% 30 30.8% 32
1988 48.5% 50 50.5% 52 1.0% 1
1984 29.1% 23 70.9% 56 2.2% 0
1980 23.7% 18 46.1% 35 30.1% 23
1976 23.0% 17 68.9% 51 5.4% 4
1972 16.4% 10 77.1% 47 2.2% 0
Gubernatorial Elections Results[16]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2018 23.2% 13 76.8% 43 0.0% 0
2014 43.5% 20 52.2% 24 2.2% 1
2010 41.2% 28 50.0% 34 8.8% 6
2006 52.5% 31 44.1% 26 3.4% 2
2002 40.0% 20 54.0% 27 6.0% 3
1998 38.5% 25 50.8% 33 4.6% 3
1994 23.9% 17 73.2% 52 2.8% 2
1990 39.3% 33 56.0% 47 3.6% 3
1986 71.2% 42 27.1% 16 0.0% 0
1982 44.3% 27 49.2% 30 6.6% 4
1978 33.3% 16 64.6% 31 2.1% 1
1974 31.9% 15 63.8% 30 2.1% 1
1970 11.1% 5 86.7% 39 0.0% 0

EducationEdit

The town has one schoolhouse, Cuttyhunk Elementary School. As of 2020, the school has no students.[17] However, the town hopes to use the school as a STEM resource center for mainland schools to visit.

Penikese Island is home to The Penikese School. It operated as a private school for troubled boys until 2011.[18] The school then became a substance abuse treatment center for a short time before converting into an educational facility for field trips. [19]

Students who live on Naushon Island attend school in Falmouth. As of 2020, Naushon has one school-aged student who attends Falmouth Public Schools, making them the only student in the Town of Gosnold.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Gosnold town, Dukes County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  2. ^ Rivero, Nicolas (25 August 2017). "The Smallest Town in Each of the 50 States". Mental Floss. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  3. ^ Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; revised and enlarged by George J. Varney (1890). "Gosnold, Massachusetts 1890". A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts with Numerous Illustrations. Publisher: B.B. Russell. pp. 334–336.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 7, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  5. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ "Massachusetts total residential values per resident, 2008". The Boston Globe. January 21, 2010.
  12. ^ Index of Legislative Representatives by City and Town
  13. ^ Station D-5, SP Oak Bluffs
  14. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2bUSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mvkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5791,310318&dq=gosnold+nepotism&hl=en
  15. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 13, 2010" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  16. ^ a b http://electionstats.state.ma.us/
  17. ^ https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/06/17/cuttyhunk-elementary-graduates-last-student/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Penikese Island History and Fun Facts | Penikese Island School". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  19. ^ [[Cite web|url=https://www.capenews.net/mashpee/news/penikese-island-mission-reinvigorated-with-education/article_9642526e-111b-56d6-80aa-b761b7796650.html/}}

Further readingEdit

  • The Cuttyhunk Historical Society. (2002). Images of America: Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0980-9.

External linksEdit