• Wakefield
  • "Wakefield has a rich history, peppered with an immense variety of facts and figures unique only to the community. Wakefield, as we know it today, was not always 'Wakefield', rather it has been known by four names: Lynn (or Linn) Village, Reading (or Redding), South Reading, and Wakefield. The present town government has evolved from a modified, democratic government, established in 1647 to the present day form of Board of Selectmen-Executive Secretary. The first Board of Selectmen was elected in 1647. Seven men were elected to the Board and for many years, according to the records, town meetings were limited to the daylight hours and a penalty was levied for non-attendance. Today, five Wakefield residents are elected to a staggered three year term on the Board of Selectmen and are assisted by a full-time professional administrator (the Executive Secretary) to carry out their directives. The Selectmen meet on a regular basis and are responsible for the major decisions affecting the town. Through the years, various municipal boards have been created to oversee the day-to-day operations of town departments. The Selectmen are responsible for public safety, general administration, recreation, and various special town committees and functions. The Executive Secretary for the town is appointed by the Board of Selectmen and as the Board's representative to all town departments acts as the liaison between the town and the state and federal governments. The Executive Secretary performs a variety of duties for the Selectmen and is responsible for such things as labor relations, personnel and data processing management, and the general responsibilities of complying with the policy decisions made by the Selectmen. Other directives are delegated to the town officials whose departments are responsible for various duties within the town. The Town Clerk prepares and supervises all elections, and records all vital statistics, registers voters, issues licenses, and oversees the annual census in conjunction with the Bo;Captions: 1. The atrium of the Cyrus Wakefield Town Hall which was erected in 1868 and later destroyed by fire. At left is a portrait of Mr. Wakefield, at right, a portrait of George Washington. -- 2. The 1901 Board of Selectmen - E.K. Bowser, Edward E. Lee, Richard Stout, Charles Walton, Capt. Tompson, and Col. Gihon. -- 3. The old Town Hall on the corner of Main and Water Street, 1930.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 1987
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Wakefield,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed October 2, 2022, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/noble/items/show/6847.


Please let us know if you have any corrections, additional information or questions about this item.