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Overview of Methuen

Located in Northeastern Massachusetts' Lower Merrimack Valley, Methuen is 27 miles north of Boston and 11 miles northeast of Lowell. It is bordered by Dracut, Haverhill, North Andover, Andover and Lawrence, and the New Hampshire towns of Salem and Pelham. Those interested in Methuen apartments for rent can choose from the suburban subdivisions, urban neighborhoods and more rural settings that make up this city.

Living in Methuen, MA

Methuen came into existence in 1725, but it wasn't until the 1820s that its economy took off, due to the construction of the Methuen Cotton Mills at Spicket River Falls. Much of the municipality's early development was centered on this body of water, and Methuen became known for the hats and shoes that were manufactured at its riverside factories.

Three well-to-do families in the area - the Nevins, the Searles and the Tenneys - contributed to its growth. Because of this, many area landmarks bear their names, including the Nevins Home, Nevins Memorial Library, Searles Building and Tenney Gatehouse.

Methuen's municipal status has been a source of contention over the years. It operated as a town until 1917, when the state legislature permitted it to organize as a city. However, after a challenge from the Supreme Judicial Court in 1921, it reverted back to its status as a town. A 1993 charter change replaced Methuen's town manager with an elected mayor, and the area is now named the City of Methuen. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, it was home to an estimated 47,627 people in 2011.

Methuen Work and Study

The Methuen Public Schools district is comprised of four educational institutions serving students in pre-K through eighth grade, one high school, one adult learning center and one preschool. Colleges and universities in the area include Merrimack College in North Andover, UMass Lowell, Suffolk University North Campus in Lawrence and Haverhill-base Northern Essex Community College.

Methuen's largest employers include Caritas Holy Family Hospital, Valley Regional Ventures, touch screen products distributor 3M Touch Systems and North Reading Transportation.

Rentals in Methuen, MA and Cost of Living

City-Data.com's March 2012 cost of living index puts the cost of living in Methuen at 132.7, compared to the national average of 100. The median gross rent of apartments in Methuen is $923, according to U.S. Census Bureau Data.

Methuen Attractions and Special Events

The 2.4-mile Methuen Rail Trail connects Lawrence's Spicket Greenway with the Salem, NH Bike-Ped Corridor, which traces the route of the old Boston and Maine Railroad between Lawrence and Manchester. From there, cyclists and hikers can access the extensive Granite State Rail Trail, which winds its way up through much of New Hampshire and into Vermont.

Methuen is famous for its Festival of Trees, the largest event of its kind in New England. The Festival of Trees was conceived in 1994, when volunteers trying to raise funds for the restoration of the historic Tenney Gatehouse incorporated 18 fully decorated Christmas trees into their seasonal fundraiser. Since then, the event has grown considerably, attracting more than 27,000 people from approximately 400 Massachusetts municipalities, as well as visitors from as far afield as Texas, California and the United Kingdom. In 2011, 235 trees were put on display, with the proceeds from the festival being put toward grants for historic preservation projects throughout the Merrimack Valley.

Shoppers should head to the Methuen Loop, the city's only mall, which features a grocery store, a movie theater, more than 30 retail establishments and several restaurants.

If you are looking for an apartment for rent or a house rental in Methuen, Mass., search for rental properties at Rent.com®.