Community Spotlight – Boxford, Massachusetts 

June 21, 2023 9:12 am

The North Shore Alliance for Economic Development serves 30 communities, including four Gateway Cities, and brings their leaders together to explore and take action on economic development issues that can help grow the region, including those that advance the Commonwealth as a whole.

Over the course of the next few months, we will explore and get to know these 30 communities that make up the North Shore region of Massachusetts. We hope our readers will learn more about the unique benefits each community brings to their residents and visitors and how collectively they strengthen our regional economy.  

BoxfordBoxford, Massachusetts 

The Town of Boxford sits about 30 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has eight neighboring towns. To the north and east of Boxford are the twins of Haverhill, Groveland, Georgetown, Rowley, and Ipswich. To the south lies Topsfield and Middleton. And to the west is North Andover. 

The area now known as Boxford, Massachusetts was once inhabited by the Agawams and Algonquins prior to European settlement in 1645. Eventually, the Town of Boxford was incorporated in 1685 and was generally split into two main regions Boxford Village (East Boxford) and West Boxford Village. The Town is geographically large and is heavily forested. Due to a large amount of vegetation, forests, streams, and ponds, Boxford has received the prestigious Tree City USA award for 12 consecutive years. 

A drive through Boxford shows remnants of the European settlements with small farms, stone walls, and historic homes. There are also a number of small ponds for recreation and hiking trails that make Boxford a great place to explore nature. 

According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau report, the population of Boxford is 8,203 and the town measures 24.4 square miles. 

Economic Projects in Boxford, Massachusetts 

The Town has a five-member Select Board and an open town meeting form of government. Every five years a Capital Improvement Plan is released that addresses the capital needs of the Town. 

The 2022-2027 Capital Improvement Plan includes 84 projects and a total capital investment of $35 Million over five years, beginning Fiscal Year 2023 through Fiscal Year 2027. It includes a financing plan to fund projects, with a combination of free cash, debt, CPA funds, and various grant programs, including Boxford’s federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), and state sources. (Source; Boxford CIP 2022-2027

Points of Interest and Events 

As a heavily wooded area of central Essex County, Boxford has many outdoor spaces for hiking, biking, recreation, and water activities. 

Boxford is fortunate to have many ponds for water activities and local camps. These ponds include Stiles Pond, Cedar Pond, Spofford Pond, Lowe Pond, Four Mile Pond, and Baldpate Pond. Recreational swimming and camps such as Camp Rotary use these spaces. In addition to activities near the numerous ponds, the Ipswich River has several access points for kayaking, canoeing or just enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

Throughout Boxford, there are also a number of scenic hiking trails including those in the Boxford State Forest. Individuals and families can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and exploring the wildlife along these many trails. The highest point in Boxford, Baldpate Hill, allows for more outdoor activities. Boxford Commons is yet another location for outdoor play with fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse. 

A visit to Boxford would not be complete without a stop at Benson’s Ice Cream or Paisley’s Farm Stand. 

An annual event that occurs in Boxford is the Apple Festival every Fall. Held every year since 1960, this signature event of the Boxford Historical Society is New England at its finest! 

Economic Resources 

Boxford has an extensive list of departments and committees geared toward helping the town and its residents. The Planning Board and Select Board can be great resources for those looking for assistance. 

Additionally, the Town of Boxford has access to the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce which is committed to economic growth, diversity, and inclusion. 

Major Strengths of the Community 

Boxford is a well-maintained and proactive community that has many things to do, especially for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. 

Why Choose to Live or Do Business in Boxford? 

Boxford is a rural community with a strong education system connected to the Masconomet Regional School system. The area is easily accessible from Interstate 95 making it a wonderful place to call home while still being able to conveniently access the Boston area.

Public Transportation and Navigating Boxford

Boxford is located along (and crossed by) major Interstate 95 which allows for travel north toward New Hampshire and Maine as well as south toward the Greater Boston area. 

While the town does not have any means of mass transportation there are neighboring towns a short distance away that do have access to the MBTA Commuter Rail. The Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail passes through neighboring Rowley and Ipswich to the east, and the Haverhill/Reading Line passes to the north. The nearest small airport is Lawrence Municipal Airport, located in North Andover. Boston’s Logan Airport is the closest national and international airport. 

Contact Boxford, Massachusetts 

The North Shore Alliance Community page can also be a source of information regarding economic development sites within the North Shore communities.

Town Hall 

7 Spofford Rd, 

Boxford, MA 01921

(978) 887-6000