Welcome to Hanson

Hanson was first settled in 1632 as the western parish of Pembroke. The town was officially incorporated in 1820, and was named for Maryland newspaper publisher and U.S. Senator Alexander Contee Hanson. The town’s early industry revolved around farming, as well as bog iron and quarrying. Mills also popped up along the rivers during the nineteenth century. Today the town is mostly residential, with some farming and cranberry farming. Ocean Spray was first started by several bogs in Hanson.[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.7 square miles (40.6 km²), of which, 15.0 square miles (38.9 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (4.21%) is water. It is the 250th largest town in the Commonwealth, over seven square miles smaller than the average. Hanson is considered one of the inland towns of Massachusetts’s South Shore, and is bordered by Rockland and Hanover to the north, Pembroke to the east, Halifax to the south, East Bridgewater to the west, and Whitman to the northwest. Hanson is located approximately nine miles east of Brockton, thirteen miles south of Quincy, and eighteen miles south-southeast of Boston.

Several neighborhoods in Hanson have been given names that have stuck over many years. To the south, on the border with the Town of Halifax is the Monponsett neighborhood which actually has its own Post Office and zip code (02350). Monponsett is named for the Monponsett Twin Lakes which lie along much of the Hanson/Halifax border. In South Hanson, the area of Burrage was named for Albert Burrage, one of the Town’s most prominent industrialists. He formed the Atlantic Dyestuff Company which had its first factory where present day Hawks Avenue and the Litecontrol Corporation are located. Burrage includes portions of Pleasant Street, South Street and Reed Street. The Brentwood section of Hanson encompasses much of Gorwin Drive and several of its side streets in the central part of Hanson.

Hanson, like many towns in central Plymouth County, is dominated by lakes, rivers and swamps. The largest ponds include Oldham Pond along the Pembroke town line, Indian Head Pond (the source of the Indian Head Brook) just south of Oldham Pond, Maquan Pond, located east of the center of the town, and Wampatuck Pond, located in the center of the town. In addition to Indian Head Brook, the town has several other brooks and rivers, including the Shumatuscacant River and Poor Meadow Brook to the west, and the White Oak Brook to the south. To the north of town lies the Little Cedar Swamp, along the Indian Head Brook. There is a small town forest and two camps, Rainbow Camp and Camp Kiwanee, within the town as well. Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area lies mainly in the section of town called Burrage or South Hanson. About half of the 1,625 acres (7 km2) are in Hanson, the other half in Halifax.

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