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Overview

Introduction to Fall River, Massachusetts

Fall River is a city in southeastern Massachusetts, situated in an area where the Taunton River flows into the Mount Hope Bay. Located in Bristol County, the city lies about 53 miles south of Boston and 17 miles southeast of Providence, Rhode Island. Incorporated as a city in 1854, Fall River got its name from the English translation of the Wampanoag Indian name of the small river flowing through the city. The Quequechan River (the term "Quequechan" means "falling water") originally flowed unconfined over a nearly level course for more than a mile before rushing down a narrow rocky channel and visibly cascading into the Taunton River. Fall River is serviced principally by Interstate I-195, but is also served by four other major highways, including U.S. Route 6 and Massachusetts State Highways 24, 79, 81, and 138.

The history of Fall River industry traces its roots to 1811 when Colonel Joseph Durfee and several investors built the city's first cotton mill. By 1830 the town had seven textile mills and by 1872 this number had more than tripled, cementing the city's reputation as one of the textile capitals of the nation. The period from the 1870s through the 1920s marked an era of great prosperity for Fall River, which took prominence as the largest center in the United States for the manufacture of cotton textiles. Reliance on one single industry later proved to have a damaging effect on the city during the Depression era, when cheap labor beckoned the textile industry southward, leaving Fall River without its greatest economic asset. Although the industrial decline which plagued the Fall River area during much of the 20th century has since reversed itself, the city today is replete with dozens of old mill buildings now used for other purposes but which still stand as a reminder of the city's past glory.

One of Fall River's claims to fame dates back to August 1892, when a double ax murder took place in the city. The victims were the parents of Lizzie Borden, who many suspected was guilty of the crime. Over a century has passed and so have several books, a movie, and even a ballet covering the incident, and to this day the crime is still unsolved. Although found innocent of all wrongdoing, Lizzie Borden to this day remains convicted in the minds of many people. Another of Fall River's claims to fame lies in the placement of its City Hall, which is located on top of Interstate 195. The six-story structure, highly visible to interstate traffic, sits on a highway overpass at the foot of the Braga Bridge, making I-195 one of the few highways in the country with a city hall standing directly on top of it.

Fall River Points of Interest

Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn to Battleship Cove. This "floating museum" contains the world's largest collection of 20th century U.S. Naval fighting vessels, open to the public and available for climbing aboard and exploring. On site are the Battleship Massachusetts, the Submarine USS Lionfish, the Destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., the Cruiser USS Fall River, and an Elco-class and a Higgins-class P.T. Boat. The latest addition to the Fall River waterfront is the Hiddensee, a Soviet-built missile corvette originally assigned to the East German Navy but later used in the Federal German Navy following the reunification of Germany. Also located at Battleship Cove is the elegant Fall River Carousel, a fully restored circa-1930 carousel (the oldest functioning carousel in America) housed in a beautiful Victorian-style pavilion. Located adjacent to Battleship Cove on Mt. Hope Bay is the Fall River Heritage State Park, which features a waterfront esplanade, harbor boardwalk, Visitor's Center and boathouse. A short walk from Battleship Cove is the Marine Museum, which houses an extensive collection of intricate model ships and also houses the largest exhibit of Titanic memorabilia and artifacts in the nation, including a one ton, 28 foot model of the ill-fated vessel.

The mystery surrounding Lizzie Borden and the ax-murder of her parents lives on endlessly. The home where this notorious incident occurred is today a first-class bed & breakfast site, where guests are invited to choose one of six bedrooms (including the room where Abby Borden was killed) and roam the house to explore at will. Guests staying at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast are treated to a breakfast very similar to the one the Bordens ate on the morning of the murders (bananas, jonny-cakes, sugar cookies, coffee and more). In a somewhat similar vein, Fall River is also home to the Factory of Terror and Asylum of Horror, two indoor haunted houses where guests walk through a maze full of rooms in the dark, encountering disturbing sights and sounds along the way.

With its ethnically diverse population, Fall River hosts several feasts and festivals throughout the year. The city's large Portuguese community celebrates The Great Feast of the Holy Ghost of New England in mid-August. This event includes a procession, a parade and the blessing of bread and milk. Other ethnic festivals include the Cambodian New Year, the Greek Festival and a St. Patrick's parade. Early September each year brings to town the Fall River Festival of the Arts, a one-day downtown festival featuring music, art and food.

Reasonably close to both the Providence and Boston metropolitan areas, Fall River provides an excellent starting point for exploring the countless first-rate attractions available in those cities and elsewhere in nearby southern New England. Sports fans especially can find a wealth of options available within easy driving distance of the city. The city of Boston, home to a variety of professional sports teams, is about an hour away. Among the major league teams calling Boston home are the Red Sox (MLB baseball), Celtics (NBA basketball), Bruins (NHL hockey), and Cannons (MLL lacrosse). Also in town are the Boston Lobsters of World Team Tennis (WTT). A little closer to Fall River (about 30 minutes away) is the small town of Foxboro, home to a couple of big teams: the New England Patriots (NFL football) and the New England Revolution (MLS soccer). Minor league pro action can be found in Providence Rhode Island (about 20 minutes away), home of the Providence Bruins, a team in the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliated with the Boston Bruins. Residing a few minutes north of Providence in the city of Pawtucket are the Pawtucket Red Sox, a Minor League Baseball Class-AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, playing in the International League.

The city of Newport Rhode Island, less than 30 minutes from Fall River in a southerly direction, is the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Tennis fans can treat themselves to displays which chronicle the achievements of great players past and present in the Hall and its associated Museum. Artifacts, memorabilia, and multi-media exhibits showcase many facets of the sport's long and storied history.

Fall River Higher Education

The local college is Bristol Community College. Individuals who want to pursue a degree but do not have the option to attend campus courses can enroll in an online school. Students in these programs can earn their bachelor's, master's, and teaching degrees online.

Demographics

People

Total Population88,902
Male Share of the Population47.4%
Female Share of the Population52.6%
Senior Citizens16.2%
Employed Population 16+36,737
Age of the Population39

Families

% of people married37.9%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher14.4%
Median Earnings25+$33,779
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$26,510
Median Earnings With High School Degree$29,984

Wealth

Median Family Income$45,780
% Above Poverty Level78%
% Below Poverty Level22%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time24 minutes
% Working from Home1.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work4%
% Using Public Transportation1.8%

Housing

People Living Alone36%
Median Gross Rent$734
Median House Value$227,900

Ancestry

Portuguese43%
Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)17%
French Except Basque14%
Irish11.5%
English6.1%
Italian5.6%
Polish4.2%
Canadian3.9%
German2.8%
African2.1%
Brazilian1.8%
Cape Verdean1.7%
West Indian1.3%
Arab1.2%
Lebanese1%
Haitian0.7%
Scottish0.5%
Greek0.4%
Jamaican0.3%
Ukrainian0.3%
Swedish0.2%
Nigerian0.2%
Dutch0.2%
Turkish0.2%
Norwegian0.2%
Bahamian0.1%
British0.1%
US/American0.1%
Finnish0.1%
Danishn0.1%
Egyptian0.1%
Lithuanian0.1%
Austrian0.1%
Russian0.1%
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Fall River Almanac

CategoryValue
County Bristol County
Standard Zip Codes2720, 2721, 2723, 2724
P.O. Box Zip Codes2722
Phone Area Codes508,774
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude41.73
Approximate Longitude-71.12

Fall River Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationNEW BEDFORD
Distance12.4 miles
Jan Temp20 to 37 F
Apr Temp38 to 56 F
Jul Temp65 to 83 F
Oct Temp46 to 63 F
Annual Precip50.7 inches
StationROCHESTER
Distance13.6 miles
Jan Temp19 to 38 F
Apr Temp37 to 57 F
Jul Temp62 to 83 F
Oct Temp42 to 63 F
Annual Precip49.8 inches
StationBROCKTON
Distance25.4 miles
Jan Temp18 to 38 F
Apr Temp37 to 58 F
Jul Temp61 to 83 F
Oct Temp40 to 63 F
Annual Precip48.2 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Berkley6,589$107,941
Dighton7,320$99,801
Freetown9,111$100,341
Somerset18,279$82,176
Swansea16,249$91,344
Westport15,753$89,432

Fall River Public Libraries

Fall River Public Library
104 NORTH MAIN ST.
Fall River, Massachusetts
(508) 324-2700

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More Information for Librarians

Fall River Hospitals

Southcoast Hospitals Group - Charlton Memorial Hospital
(Non-profit)
363 Highland Avenue
Saint Anne's Hospital
(Proprietary)
795 Middle Street
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Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

Fall River Public Schools

Carlton M. Viveiros Elementary School
525 Slade St
(508) 675-8300
Primary
Total Enrollment 729
Mary Fonseca Elementary School
160 Wall St
(508) 675-8210
Primary
Total Enrollment 743
Letourneau Elementary School
323 Anthony St
(508) 676-2170
Primary
Total Enrollment 579
Resiliency Preparatory School
276 Maple St
(508) 675-8230
High
Total Enrollment 203
Stone Therapeutic Day Middle School
1207 Globe St
(508) 675-8405
Middle
Total Enrollment 24
B M C Durfee High
360 Elsbree St
(508) 675-8100
High
Total Enrollment 2228
Henry Lord Middle
151 Amity St
(508) 675-8208
Middle
Total Enrollment 497
Morton Middle
290 Rock St
(508) 675-8340
Middle
Total Enrollment 517
Spencer Borden
1400 President Ave
(508) 675-8202
Primary
Total Enrollment 530
William S Greene
409 Cambridge St
(508) 675-8325
Primary
Total Enrollment 766
Acese
803 Bedford St
(508) 675-4730
Primary
Total Enrollment 19
Edmond P Talbot Middle
124 Melrose St
(508) 675-8350
Middle
Total Enrollment 593
James Tansey
711 Ray St
(508) 675-8206
Primary
Total Enrollment 301
John J Doran
101 Fountain St
(508) 675-8225
Primary
Total Enrollment 459
Matthew J Kuss Middle
52 Globe Mills Ave
(508) 675-8335
Middle
Total Enrollment 626
Samuel Watson
935 Eastern Ave
(508) 675-8240
Primary
Total Enrollment 300
North End Elementary
1899 Meridan St
(508) 675-8245
Primary
Total Enrollment 720
Diman Regional Vocational Technical High
251 Stonehaven Rd
(508) 678-2891
High
Total Enrollment 1350
Atlantis Charter School
2501 South Main St
(508) 672-3537
Primary
Total Enrollment 731

Fall River Private Schools

Seton Academy For Girls
1262 N High St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 49
St Vincent School
2425 Highland Ave
Secondary
Total Enrollment 22
St Michael School
209 Essex St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 179
Bishop Connolly High School
373 Elsbree St
Secondary
Total Enrollment 277
Espirito Santo Parochial School
143 Everett St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 179
St Stanislaus School
37 Rockland St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 170
Fall River Deaconess Home School
603 Rock St
Secondary
Total Enrollment 24
Holy Name School
850 Pearce St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 213
Antioch School
618 Rock St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 59
Holy Trinity School
64 Lamphor St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 208
East Gate Christian Academy
397 Bay St
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 47
Sources :
Additional Details
Fall River Colleges
Fall River colleges and trade schools.
Fall River Graduate Schools
Fall River Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Fall River
Historic Fall River

photo

Fall River and Fall River Line boat from roof Hotel Mellen between 1910 and 1920

Select a photo to view (Source):

Fall River and Fall River Line boat from roof Hotel Mellen between 1910 and 1920

North Park between 1910 and 1920

Main Street between 1910 and 1920

Additional Resources
Info for Fall River Government Officials


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