First things first: It’s pronounced “Rain-HAM,’’ not “Rain-um.’’
“We pronounce the ‘h,’ ’’ said Donald McKinnon, who moved to town with his new bride, Kathy, in 1962. “Coming from Woburn, I used to say it wrong. I sometimes forget I’m (practically) a townie now.’’
McKinnon’s wife hailed from Stoughton, “so we went down to her neck of the woods rather than mine,’’ he said. They initially moved to the Pleasant Field neighborhood, which was largely starter homes in those days, and relocated to their current street in 1969, raising three children.
“It’s a good little town to live in,’’ said McKinnon, 84, comparing Raynham’s location to a baseball field, where Taunton Green (Raynham was originally part of Taunton) is home plate and Routes 44 and 138, which contain quite a few retail and commercial spaces, form the first- and third-base lines.
McKinnon, who was a selectman from 1973 to 2012 (a bridge over the Forge River is named in his honor) and taught business and management subjects for 29 years at Taunton High School, said the commercial properties help keep residential taxes in check in this town of about 13,000. He is also proud to report that most residents receive water and sewer services from the town, and “we believe we have the best town administrator in Massachusetts in Randall Buckner,’’ he added.
Newcomers move to Raynham because “it’s an affordable town, the police and fire departments are second to none, and it’s got all of the amenities one would need,’’ McKinnon said. He praised the athletic opportunities in town, including equestrian activities, and said many families appreciate the educational system.
And still, despite all of these draws, “it’s the best-kept secret in Massachusetts,’’ he said.
The year the area now known as Raynham was settled. Iron ore was discovered on the Forge River banks in 1652. Shortly afterward, 23 people formed a partnership to launch one of the first ironworks in America. At the time a section of Taunton, the east end where the ironworks was became Raynham. On April 2, the town will celebrate its 286th birthday.
The number of inside exhibitors at Raynham Flea Market, located at the intersection of routes 24 and 44 west. Open Sundays year-round, it covers more than 57,000 square feet, includes five snack bars and a restaurant, and boasts hundreds of additional dealers on a 10-acre paved lot outside.
The height of the golden spire at Raynham’s 110,000-square-foot Wat Nawamintararachutis (or NMR Buddhist Meditation Center), which opened in 2014 and, according to its builders, may be the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside Thailand.
The height of the giant wooden replica of a milk bottle, built in 1926, outside The Milk Bottle restaurant, according to restaurant owner Joe Losciuto, whose family purchased the restaurant in 2000. The milk bottle, which is 18 feet in diameter, had to be repaired at one point in the past decade because a vehicle drove through it, Losciuto said.
The average assessed single-family home value in Raynham is $336,600, with the average tax bill for such properties in 2017 clocking in at $5,059, up $111, or 2.2 percent, from the year before.
An uncertain future for Raynham Park
The property, located on Route 138 near the Easton border, was a dog-racing park for years. Because greyhound racing was banned in Massachusetts in a 2008 ballot referendum (it took effect in 2010), the park has offered simulcast betting instead. The site’s owners reportedly have been approached about various development proposals for the site, and opinions in town vary on the best use for the property going forward.