Methuen is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts. First settled in 1642 and officially incorporated in 1726, it is named for the British diplomat Sir Paul Methuen. Methuen was originally part of Haverhill, Massachusetts.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.1 square miles (59.7 km2), of which 22.2 square miles (57.6 km2) is land and 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2) is water. The town lies along the northern banks of the Merrimack River, and is also bisected by the Spicket (originally “Spigot”) River. Methuen is home to a town forest, a bird sanctuary and a small state park (Tenney State Park). Pine Island, near the southern end of town in the Merrimack River, is also part of the town’s land.
Methuen lies at the northern end of Interstate 93 in Massachusetts, with three exits providing access. A portion of Interstate 495 crosses through the eastern side of town from Lawrence to Haverhill. Massachusetts Route 213, the “Loop Connector,” provides highway access between the two, lying entirely within town and having five exits of its own.
The Searles Tenney Nevins Historic District, established by the city in 1992 to preserve the “distinctive architecture and rich character of one of Massachusetts’ most unique neighborhoods,” is named after the three Methuen city fathers.
Notable residents of Methuen have included the great American poet Robert Frost.