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Located in Middlesex County, Melrose, MA, is about seven miles to the north of Boston. The population is 26,983, according to the United States Census of 2010. The town of Melrose in Scotland inspired the name of Melrose, MA because of the similarity of their hilly countryside. Eli Pond is the largest body of water in the city. Stoneham, Malden, Wakefield, and Saugus border Melrose. To the west of the city is the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a Massachusetts State Park. There are eight neighborhoods in Melrose: Mount Hood, East Side, Downtown, Oak Grove/Pine Banks, Cedar Park, Wyoming, Horace Mann, and Melrose Highlands.
In 1628, Ralph and Richard Sprague were the first English colonists to explore this area. Charlestown absorbed what is now Melrose, along with many of the surrounding small communities, in 1633. Most of modern Melrose was part of Malden when it separated from Charlestown in 1649 to form the Town of Malden. At that time, North Malden (which eventually became Melrose) was a collection of farms with a low density of population.
Boston workers looking to move out of the city to a more rural area started moving in when, in 1845, the Boston and Maine Railroad constructed three stops here. This established an early example of a growing bedroom commuter community, which became the Town of Melrose when it separated from Malden in 1850. The town established its current borders when it annexed land from neighboring Stoneham in 1853.
Through the rest of the 19th century, Melrose expanded in population. To build businesses and residences, property owners broke up much of the farmland into smaller parcels, which increased the population density. In 1873, Melrose built a town hall, founded a school district, and established a fire department. The City of Melrose incorporated in 1899. The first mayor, Levi S. Gould, took office January 1, 1900. Because of the beliefs of the long-established families of the area, Melrose was a dry town. Melrose banned the sale of alcohol until 2009!
Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
The median home value in Melrose, MA, is $619,062. For the last ten years, the average annual appreciation in home value has been 3.80%. Two thirds of the residents own their homes. Over half of the homes in the city have three or more bedrooms. The median household income is $93,434.
There are many examples of well-kept Victorian homes in Melrose. They make up about 40% of the housing stock. The City of Melrose is actively engaged in preserving and maintaining this aspect of the community. Most of the houses are in residential neighborhoods with small neighborhood parks and playgrounds close by, and trees everywhere.
Transportation Serving Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
There are three MBTA stations on the Haverhill Line serving Melrose:
Wyoming Hill Station is located at 40 West Wyoming Avenue. It has connections to the MBTA bus lines 131, 132, 136, and 137. It was the site of the old Boardman’s Crossing Station of the Boston and Maine Railroad.
Melrose-Cedar Park Station is located at the intersection of Cedar Park and West Emerson Street. This was the site of the old North Malden Station of the historic Boston and Maine Railroad.
Melrose Highlands Station is located at 497 Franklin Street. It has a connection to MBTA bus line 131. Originally, this was the site of the Stoneham Station when the Boston and Maine Rail introduced rail service.
There are five MBTA bus routes serving Melrose are 137, 136, 132, 131, and 106. There are bus stops along West Wyoming Avenue, Main Street, Franklin Street, Pleasant Street, Grove Street, Laurel Street, Upham Street, Porter Street, and Lebanon Street.
According to Niche, Melrose Public Schools rate highly. This district enrolls over 3,800 students in Pre-K and K-12. The ratio of students to teachers is 15 to 1. There is the Franklin Early Childhood Center at 16 Franklin Street, which enrolls 290 students, starting at age three. There are five elementary schools, which serve grades K-5:
• Hoover Elementary School at 37 Glendower Road enrolls 251 students.
• Winthrop Elementary School at 162 First Street enrolls 373 students.
• Horace Mann Elementary School at 40 Damon Avenue enrolls 265 students.
• Lincoln Elementary School at 80 West Wyoming Avenue enrolls 430 students.
• Roosevelt Elementary School at 253 Vinton Street enrolls 429 students.
Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School at 350 Lynn Fells Parkway enrolls 772 students, serving grades 6-8. Melrose High School at 360 Lynn Fells Parkway enrolls students in grades 9-12 and boasts a graduation rate of 98%.
Melrose Montessori School is located at 70 West Emerson Street. They have space for 45 children age two years and nine months through age seven. This school adheres to Montessori principles and methodology, which emphasizes social graces, courtesy, freedom, and responsibility.
St. Mary of the Annunciation School is located at 4 Myrtle Street. This school enrolls 357 students from pre-K through 8th grade. Prescribed school uniforms are required.
The City of Melrose lists four nursery/day care centers on the municipal information website:
• Highlands Nursery School at 355 Franklin Street
• Melrose Day Care Center at 121 West Foster Street
• YMCA Child Care at 106 Main Street
• Chime Time Children’s Center at 561 Main Street
Landmarks and Historic Places near Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
Beebe Estate is located at 235 West Foster Street. William Foster built the main house in 1828 to use as a summer home. It is a two story building with a large central cupola built in Greek Revival Style. The Beebe and Bigelow families owned the property between 1854 and 1963. In 1963, the Beebe family donated the estate to the City of Melrose. The National Register of Historic Places listed the Beebe House in 1981. The City operates Beebe Estate and uses it for public events, such as organizational meetings and art exhibits. They also rent it out for private functions, such as corporate parties, wedding receptions, family celebrations, and fund raising events. Clara Batchelor is the landscape architect who designed the beautiful formal garden, which helps make the Beebe Estate a lovely place to relax near homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Ye Old Upham House
Ye Old Upham House is an historical landmark located at 255 Upham Street. This historic house museum is a timber frame example of a First Period Colonial. Phineas Upham built the original structure in 1703. The Upham Family Association now maintains the house and opens it for public viewing two days a year.
Mount Hood Memorial Park and Golf Course
Mount Hood Memorial Park and Golf Course is located at 100 Slayton Road. Massachusetts Golf Management, LLC administers this property through an agreement with the City of Melrose. This 300 acre wooded park includes the summit of Mount Hood. A stone tower, Slayton Memorial Tower, sits on the summit. The federal Works Progress Administration developed the park in the early 1930’s. They also built the stone Mount Hood Club House at this time, along with a nine-hole golf course. The top of Slayton Tower provides a view of the whole length of the Revere Beach area and out into the Atlantic Ocean. During World War 2, the U.S. Army used this observation point to keep watch for German U-Boats.
The Mount Hood Golf Course expanded to eighteen holes since then. It presents a unique challenge due to the wooded area and the varying elevations of the terrain. The 19th Hole at the Mount Hood Clubhouse offers very reasonably priced breakfast and lunch items. They serve breakfast from 7am until 10:30am, and lunch items are available from 11am until 8:30pm. The Mount Hood recreation area is another of the attractions that draw new residents to seek homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Melrose Memorial Hall
Melrose Memorial Hall is located at 590 Main Street. The official name of this building is Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building. This monumental stone structure opened in 1912 to honor veterans who died in service to the country. It hosts events for over ninety local organizations. The Melrose Symphony Orchestra performs here, as does the Melrose Youth Ballet. Event rental fees form over half of the support for this fine civic structure. The City of Melrose operates Memorial Hall as a cultural center, and as a monument to the patriotic service of local residents. This commitment to community culture is one of the reasons to consider homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Honor Role Monument
Honor Role Monument is located at 585 Main Street, across the street from Melrose Memorial Hall. Flowerbeds set it off from the large, open lawn in front of the old, repurposed Calvin Coolidge School. It memorializes the names of Melrose residents killed in World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Viet Nam War. There are seven panels with inscriptions enclosed by glass mounted in a monumental brick wall with an eagle on top.
Area Attractions and Things to do near Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
Melrose Symphony Orchestra
Melrose Symphony Orchestra began in 1918 and has continually offered performances ever since. They perform their concerts at Memorial Hall, located at 590 Main Street. They are a non-profit group supported by donations, sponsors, grants, and ticket sales. This cultural organization is a reason to consider homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Melrose Youth Ballet
Melrose Youth Ballet is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving young dancers from the North Shore area the opportunity to perform in the annual production of The Nutcracker. This is a full ballet production worthy of comparison to professional ballet company performances. Melrose Youth Ballet presents this performance in early December every year since 1995 at the Melrose Memorial Hall.
Melrose Public Library
Melrose Public Library is located at 69 West Emerson Street. Andrew Carnegie donated the funds to build the original brick-faced building. It opened in 1904, and expanded with a modern addition in 1963. The National Register of Historic Places listed the building in 1988. The Melrose Public Library houses a collection of local history, and hosts community events. In addition to its local book collection, the library gives access to the North of Boston Library Exchange.
Fellsway East is a piece of the eastern end of the Middlesex Fells Reservation. It traverses this area and there is a parking lot for people to access the Woodland Path Trail into the Reservation. The Cross Fells Trail begins in Melrose at the end of Goodyear Avenue and crosses a hilly and wooded area. Some of the other trails in this area are the White Rock Path, the Black Rock Path, and the Pinnacle Path. The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, located in Melrose at 235 West Foster Street, offers extensive information.
The Melrose Recreation Department
The Melrose Recreation Department maintains a set of twenty-eight parks and facilities for residents of the City of Melrose. Here is a sampling:
Sewall Woods Park
Sewall Woods Park is a wooded park located in an area bounded by Sewall Woods Road and Lynn Fells Parkway. There are a few trails through this park, and it is a popular place for neighborhood residents to take their dogs.
Franklin Field is located at 2 Greenleaf Place. It is set up with soccer fields and has a small playground, and is used by area youth soccer teams.
Ell Pond Park
Ell Pond Park is located at 350 Lynn Fells Parkway. Ell Pond Lake Trail runs along Ell Pond from Memorial Knoll to the Lloyd Memorial Swimming Pool, which is a huge public pool that is free to the public. Also in this park are the Lyons Tennis Courts, with four courts.
Morelli Field is across Lynn Fells Parkway from Ell Pond Park. It is a well-maintained baseball field complex with a stage for performances. This is yet another example of the devotion of the municipal government to creating the hometown feel that draws new people to seek homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Melrose Common, across the street from 93 Laurel Street, is a public playground with swing sets, toys, two baseball fields, and a basketball court. Over one hundred residents and visitors have given this playground rave reviews for its well-maintained and well-equipped facilities. It is a gem to draw people looking for homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Crystal Street Tennis Courts
Crystal Street Tennis Courts, located at 74 Crystal Street, is a set of four hard-surfaced courts. There is no lighting, but the Melrose Recreation Department maintains them well.
Hesseltine Playground, at 20 Hesseltine Avenue, is a neighborhood playground next to the Horace Mann Elementary School. It has swings, slides, and various constructions to climb. It is another example of the infrastructure the Melrose Recreation Department maintains to add to the quality of life – another one of many reasons to look for homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
A Sampling of Unique Shops near Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
Hourglass Gift Gallery, located at 458 Main Street, offers greeting cards, pottery, jewelry, candles, fine art, and bath products. They offer imported goods, as well as regional and local products.
Beansprout Gifts, located at 12 Essex Street, is a unique boutique offering designer clothing for children and infants, as well as curated selection of gifts and charming plush toys. They also host in-store events, and they pride themselves with offering beautiful goods of high quality.
Apple of My Eye, located at 377 Franklin Street, is a consignment shop specializing in children’s clothes and baby gear, as well as toys. The goods they offer are carefully curated and in the best condition. Gently used is the watch phrase here. For the years they have been in business, they have consistently earned awards from the Boston Parents Paper and Wicked Local.
Buckalew’s General Store, located at 529 Main Street, offers gourmet food, wine, beer, gift boxes, and home décor items. Patrons praise them for their excellent customer service. This is another great example of why people look for homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Music Shop, located at 128 West Emerson Street, offers an ever-changing stock of previously owned musical instruments, as well as amplifiers. They specialize in offering individual instruction for a variety of musical instruments, including piano, violin, drums, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and bass. They also offer voice lessons. Professional musicians and graduates of Berklee College of Music make up the teaching staff.
Local Events near Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
Annual Summer Stroll
The Melrose Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Annual Summer Stroll in late July. Parts of Main Street and Essex Street close to vehicle traffic in the evening for this festival, creating a community open space for dining outdoors, exploring local stores, and listening to live music by local musicians. Local merchants will be open to offer specials and sales; local restaurants will offer food and drink outdoors in front of their establishments. Local organizations co-sponsor this event along with the Melrose Chamber of Commerce. The variety of musical acts includes Blues, Irish, Jazz, Americana, and Acoustic Rock.
This is a great opportunity for local residents to get together, socialize, patronize their favorite businesses, and try new ones. This is the type of community event that inspires people to look for homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
The Melrose Victorian Fair
The Melrose Victorian Fair is a tradition observed in Melrose for the last thirty-nine years. It is an all-day event where the city closes two blocks of downtown to vehicles, allowing the setup of booths with crafts, games, and food. Local businesses and outside vendors set up for this event. There is a center stage with performances. Members of the Melrose Chamber of Commerce donate substantial prizes to the Big Ticket Raffle for items worth hundreds of dollars, or more.
Trick or Treat at Melrose Businesses
Trick or Treat at Melrose Businesses is an annual event sponsored by local businesses and the Melrose Chamber of Commerce. On Halloween, a section of downtown closes to vehicle traffic and businesses invite children, grade 3 or younger, to come visit them for trick or treating.
A Sampling of Restaurants and Pubs near Homes for Sale in Melrose, MA
Wood and Fire Neapolitan Pizzeria
Wood and Fire Neapolitan Pizzeria, located at 35 Essex Street, is a casual place offering wonderful wood-fired pizza, Panini, appetizers, pasta dishes, salads, and Italian pastries. Their 900-degree wood-fired oven bakes pizzas that are crispy outside, but airy and soft inside. Their pasta dishes include Pappardelle Bolognese made with pork and beef ragu, Wood Fired Gnocchi, Shrimp Francesca made with sun-dried tomato and artichoke in garlic white wine sauce, and Wild Mushroom Ravioli in Marsala wine sauce.
Specialty pizzas include Calabro, made with fior di latte, prosciutto di Parma, ricotta, and San Marzano tomato; Verde, made with grape tomato, fior di latte, and pesto; and Mushroom, made with shiitake, cremini, truffle oil, and fior di latte. They even offer a Nutella Pizza, made with strawberries, sweet ricotta, and hazelnut. An assortment of wine and beer is available. This is a unique gem, not far from homes for sale in Melrose, MA.
Turner’s Seafood Grill & Market
Turner’s Seafood Grill & Market, located at 506 Main Street, is a family-owned seafood restaurant that also has a fresh fish market. They have an oyster bar, and they offer lunch and dinner. They have earned several hundred rave reviews for their excellent seafood and extensive menu. One of their house specialties is New England Bouillabaisse – North Atlantic sea scallops, local whitefish, lobster, Mexican shrimp, and mussels simmered in fish stock made with potatoes, fresh fennel, tomato, and saffron. Two elegant private function rooms are available to rent for special events.
T’ahpas 529 Restaurant
T’ahpas 529 Restaurant, located at 529 Franklin Street, is a Spanish restaurant offering family-style dishes and tapas. They have a full bar, and the décor is modern. They are open for dinners and Sunday brunch. Small-plate dining is available here; there is a wide selection of sophisticated appetizers (pintxos), hot tapas (tapas calientes), and cold tapas (tapas frias). Patrons can mix and match their own feast from this variety of tastes and ingredients. There are also large plates with seafood or meat prepared with a variety of Spanish and Mediterranean flavors. The brunch offerings include an intriguing array of entrees with a Spanish accent not usually found anywhere else. The wine list includes a sophisticated selection of fine Spanish wines. There is, likewise, a large and sophisticated selection of craft beers from which to choose.
The Bangkok, located at 57 West Wyoming Avenue, is a café offering Thai cuisine and Vietnamese Pho. Also on offer is Vietnamese iced coffee and bubble tea. The prices are reasonable and the food is outstanding. They receive reliably rave reviews for their preparation of traditional Thai dishes. A small place, it can get rather busy on weekend nights; a lot of their business is take-out. The food here is definitely worth trying.
Bobby C’s Ristorante
Bobby C’s Ristorante, located at 20 Main Street, is an upscale, family-run Italian restaurant offering well-prepared traditional Italian comfort food. Patrons remark on the friendliness of the staff, and many people come here for their favorite Italian dishes. They offer a popular Sunday brunch buffet. A live music dinner show is available on Wednesday nights.
Liberty Bell, located at 886 Main Street, is a casual American food landmark in Melrose. They opened in 1976; and they are famous for their sandwiches and their seafood. This is traditionally old style restaurant food done right. Patrons rave about the roast beef sandwiches and seafood platters.
La Qchara, located at 506 Franklin Street, is a sister restaurant to T’ahpas 529 across the street. Here, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they offer Central and South American comfort food in a casual café setting. There is an extensive menu of quinoa bowls, corn flour buns (Arepas), breakfast egg dishes, chia puddings, appetizers, tortas, and entrees. Many of the dishes offered reflect the unique flavors of specific countries like Venezuelan benedict, Cuban omelet, Ecuador quinoa bowl, and Brazil chia pudding. There are hundreds of 5-star reviews for their food.
Living in Melrose, MA
Melrose Free Press and Melrose Weekly News are the weekly news sources. Melrose Patch supplies daily local news online.
Production companies have shot some scenes of their films in Melrose. Knight & Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz used the Fellsway between Washington Street and East Border Road to shoot scenes. The Town with Ben Affleck filmed scenes downtown in the former Mass Bank. The documentary on the Scopes Trial for PBS used the Aldermanic Chamber in City Hall as a stand in for the scene of the trial.
Melrose Wakefield Hospital is located at 585 Lebanon Street. This is a non-profit hospital with 234 beds established in 1893. It was one of the first hospitals in the United States performing same day surgery. The first successful laser surgical tool was demonstrated here in the mid-1970s. It offers 24-hour emergency care service, maternity services, a lab for emergency cardiac catheterization, robotic assisted surgery, inpatient and intensive care, and wound care among its services. Melrose Wakefield Hospital clinically affiliates with Tufts Medical Center.
Melrose has a small city feel, it is a place of congenial neighborhood community. Many local people and local groups facilitate community events here. The city supports arts and cultural events, and residents benefit greatly from this. The MBTA Commuter Rail Stations make it easy to get into metropolitan Boston, and access the Greater Boston Area. All of these things contribute to the desirability of homes for sale in Melrose, MA.