Beverly is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, and a suburb of Boston. The population for 2020 is 42,936. A resort, residential, and manufacturing community on the Massachusetts North Shore, Beverly includes Ryal Side, Beverly Farms and Prides Crossing. Beverly is a rival of Marblehead for the title of being the birthplace of the U.S. Navy.
Originally part of Salem and the Naumkeag territory, the area was first settled by Europeans in 1626 by Roger Conant. Because of religious differences with Governor John Endecott, Beverly would be set off and officially incorporated in 1668, when it was named “Beverley” after Beverley, the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Surviving from the settlement’s early history is the Balch House, built, according to dendrochronological testing performed in 2006, about 1679.
The first ship commissioned for the US military, by the US Army (the US Navy had yet to exist), was the armed schooner USS Hannah under the command of Captain Nicholson Broughton. It was outfitted at Glover’s Wharf and first sailed from Beverly Harbor on September 5, 1775. For this reason Beverly calls itself the “Birthplace of America’s Navy.” (Marblehead makes a similar claim, in part, because Broughton was from there and belonged to the Marblehead Regiment.) The Hannah can be found on the patch of the city’s police department.
Beverly has been called the “birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution,” as the site of the first cotton mill in America (1787), and largest cotton mill of its time. The town is the home of one of the country’s first Sunday schools (which was built in 1810). Beverly was incorporated as a city in 1894.
In 1902, the United Shoe Machinery Corporation built a quarter-mile stretch of factory buildings in Beverly. The stretch was an early landmark example of reinforced concrete construction, devised by concrete pioneer Ernest L. Ransome. In 1906 it went into production. Closed in 1987, the complex was bought by Cummings Properties in 1996, and developed into a campus of hi-tech companies and medical offices. Parker Brothers, makers of Monopoly and other games, has offices in Beverly. The city is also home to the Landmark School, known worldwide for the education it provides for students with learning disabilities.
President William Howard Taft rented a house for the summer White House from Mrs. Maria Evans in Beverly. In the summers of 1909 and 1910, he lived in a house located at what is now the site of the Italian Garden in Lynch Park, the city’s principal public park, and in 1911 and 1912 he rented a different house a mile away, “Parramatta”, from Mrs. Robert Peabody.Beverly Hills, California, was named in 1907 after Beverly Farms in Beverly because Taft vacationed there.
Beverly has a former Nike missile site on L. P. Henderson Road, immediately east of the Beverly Municipal Airport. This site was in operation from March 1957 until August 1959, when the Army handed it over to the National Guard. It is now used by Beverly as a storage site and is under the scrutiny of many environmental organizations, as it and the surrounding areas—such as Casco Chemical—have polluted the groundwater, which could be potentially hazardous to the nearby Wenham Lake water supply.
The city has five K–4 elementary schools: Ayers Ryal Side, Centerville, Cove, Hannah, and North Beverly. The city’s sole middle school is Beverly Middle School, which finished construction in 2018. Beverly Middle School serves residents in grades 5–8.
Beverly High School is a grade 9–12 public high school located in Beverly. It was founded in 1858, and currently enrolls over 1300 students. In September 2011, construction was completed on a new academic building, which is now in use by students and faculty. Northshore Academy offers an alternative high school provision in Beverly.
Prior to the current state of Beverly’s schools, Briscoe served as a middle and high school. Constructed in 1923, the historic building lies near downtown Beverly. Its use for high school students from 1923 to 1964 came to an end when it was transformed to the towns Junior High School, serving grades 6–8. There, it lasted until 2017 when the newly built Beverly Middle School took in the students.
Beverly is home to several K–12 private schools, including New England Academy, Landmark School, Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School, Kindercare Learning Center, Beverly School for the Deaf, Saints Academy, the Bright Horizons School, The Waring School, Glen Urquhart School, Shore Country Day, Mrs. Alexander’s School, and several others.
The city is home to Endicott College, which offers 23 bachelor programs, 27 concentrations, and 27 minors. Master programs are offered in business, education, nursing, computer science, and political science. Beverly is also home of Montserrat College of Art, a private four-year visual arts college.
As of the census of 2010, there were 39,502 people, 16,641 households, and 9,906 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,617.2 people per square mile (927.2/km2). There were 16,275 housing units at an average density of 980.5 per square mile (378.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.4% White, 2.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 8.7% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 2.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 16,641 households, out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. Of all households 29.9% were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.7% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $53,984, and the median income for a family was $66,486. Males had a median income of $45,348 versus $35,659 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,626. 5.7% of the population and 4.0% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.5% of those under the age of 18 and 5.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.