Westborough, Massachusetts

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For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Westborough, please see the article Westborough (CDP), Massachusetts.
Westborough, Massachusetts
Town
Nathan Fisher House, Westborough
Nathan Fisher House, Westborough
Official seal of Westborough, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): The Hundredth Town
Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts
Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°16′10″N 71°37′00″W / 42.26944°N 71.61667°W / 42.26944; -71.61667Coordinates: 42°16′10″N 71°37′00″W / 42.26944°N 71.61667°W / 42.26944; -71.61667
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1675
Incorporated 1717
Government
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Board of
   Selectmen
George Barrette
Timothy Dodd
Denzil Drewry
Leigh Emery
Ian Johnson
Area
 • Total 21.6 sq mi (56.0 km2)
 • Land 20.5 sq mi (53.1 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
Elevation 300 ft (91 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 18,272
 • Density 877/sq mi (338.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01581
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-75015
GNIS feature ID 0618390
Website town.westborough.ma.us

Westborough is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,272 at the 2010 census, in nearly 6,900 households. Incorporated in 1717, the town is governed now under the New England open town meeting system, headed by a five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions, and calling a town meeting of citizens annually or whenever the need arises.

History[edit]

Before recorded time, the area now known as Westborough was a well-travelled crossroads. As early as 7,000 B.C., prehistoric people in dugout canoes followed the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers to their headwaters in search of quartzite for tools and weapons. During the period from 1200-1600 A.D., seasonal migrations brought Nipmuc Indians to hunt and fish near Cedar Swamp and Lake Hoccomocco. Using Fay Mountain as a landmark, Indians crisscrossed Westborough on well-worn paths: the old Connecticut Path leading west from Massachusetts Bay; the Narragansett Trail leading south, and the trail (along the present Milk Street) leading to Canada.[1]

The early English explorer John Oldham followed these trails through Westborough in 1633, and settlers in search of fertile farmlands followed not long after. By late 1675, a few families had settled near Lake Chauncy, in the "west borough" of Marlborough.

On November 18, 1717, Westborough was incorporated as the hundredth town in Massachusetts, populated by twenty-seven families, including Thomas Rice who had represented Marlborough in the Great and General Court. Soon large farms were carved out, mills built along the Assabet River and Jackstraw Brook, and taverns flourished. Westborough's first minister, Reverend Ebenezer Parkman, shepherded the growing town of colonists through the years toward independence from Great Britain. Forty-six minutemen from Westborough fought under Captain Edmund Brigham in the Revolutionary War.

In 1775, Northborough split off as the "north borough" of Westborough, much as Westborough split off from Marlborough some 58 years before. However, the two towns shared a meetinghouse for some time more.

In 1810 the route from Boston to Worcester was straightened and improved into an official turnpike (the present Route 9), and along its Westborough route, the Wesson Tavern Common, Forbush Tavern and Nathan Fisher's store prospered. The center of commerce shifted downtown in 1824 with the arrival of the steam train through Westborough's center. The railroad brought a new era to the town industry: over the next century, local factories shipped boots and shoes, straw hats, sleighs, textiles, bicycles, and eventually abrasive products, across the nation. Westborough dairies supplied cities with milk and local greenhouses shipped out carnations, while the eight orchards found ready markets for their produce.

Main Street in c. 1905

The industrial progress of the entire country is indebted to Westborough's most famous native son Eli Whitney Jr. Born in 1765, Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1795 after graduating from Yale, In 1798 he introduced mass production to the United States at his Whitney Arms Company in New Haven, Connecticut. Whitney's legacy is apparent in the modern industries located within the town's borders: AstraZeneca, Dover Electric, Proteon, Genzyme, EMC Corporation, IBM, PFPC, Bose Corporation and the global headquarters of American Superconductor.

Registered Historic Places[edit]

Westborough is home to several listings on the National Register of Historic Places:

Geography[edit]

Mill Pond at sunset

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56.0 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53.1 km2) of it is land, and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it is water or 5.09 percent. Westborough is drained by the Sudbury and Assabet rivers. The town contains numerous bodies of water, including Lake Chauncy, Mill Pond, Lake Hoccomocco, and the Westborough Reservoir. Lake Chauncy is open to swimming, boating, and fishing, and has a public beach open to residents of Westborough and Northborough during the summer months. The average elevation of the town is approximately 300 feet (91 m).

Adjacent towns[edit]

Westborough is located in east/central Massachusetts, located about 28 miles (45.47 km) west of Boston and 12 miles (19 km) east of Worcester.

It is bordered by six towns:

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 2,371 —    
1860 2,913 +22.9%
1870 3,601 +23.6%
1880 5,214 +44.8%
1890 5,195 −0.4%
1900 5,400 +3.9%
1910 5,446 +0.9%
1920 5,789 +6.3%
1930 6,409 +10.7%
1940 6,463 +0.8%
1950 7,378 +14.2%
1960 9,599 +30.1%
1970 12,594 +31.2%
1980 13,619 +8.1%
1990 14,133 +3.8%
2000 17,997 +27.3%
2010 18,272 +1.5%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]
County-level state agency heads
Clerk of Courts: Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney: Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds: Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
Register of Probate: Stephen Abraham (D)
County Sheriff: Lew Evangelidis (R)
State government
State Representative(s): Matthew Beaton (R)
Carolyn Dykema (D)
Danielle Gregoire (D)
State Senator(s): Jamie Eldridge (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney (D)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): James P. McGovern (D-2nd District)
U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)

Data from the U.S. Census[12] of 2010 shows there were 18,272 people, 6,924 households, and 4,763 families residing in the town. The population density was 891.3 people per square mile (unofficial). The racial makeup of the town was 77.4% White, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 17.4% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, 1.9% from two or more races, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 6,924 households out of which 38% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town the population was spread out with 13.2% under the age of 10, 14.3% from 10 to 19, 9.9% from 20 to 29, 12.9% from 30 to 39, 17.3% from 40 to 49, 14.7% from 50 to 59, 8.2% from 60 to 69, 4.6% from 70 to 79, and 4.8% who were 80 years of age or older. The median age was 39.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males age 18 and over.

The median income for a household in the town (based on U.S. Census five-year estimate) was $96,069, and the median income for a family was $117,392. Males had a median income of $82,369 versus $54,893 for females. The per capita income for the town was $43,265. About 1.4% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over. As of 2005, the labor force was over 9,300 people with an unemployment rate in the town of 3.1%. Additionally in 2004, the number of registered voters in the town reached 11,532.

Education[edit]

Westborough Public Schools operates the town's six schools, including three elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school:

  • Hastings Elementary School
  • Armstrong Elementary School
  • Annie E. Fales Elementary School
  • Mill Pond School
  • Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School
  • Westborough High School (school mascot - Rangers)

The Mill Pond School is the newest school addition to Westborough. The Mill Pond School consists of grade 4 to 6, then Gibbons Middle School which consists of grades 7 and 8, and then Westborough High School. There are three options depending upon residents' geographic location in the town for preschool through third grade. Graduation rates in the high school are consistently above 95% and the vast majority of these graduates attend a four-year college.

Westborough receives an extremely low education reimbursement from the Commonwealth (10th from the bottom) based upon a formula which was set in 1993. The district is working with state legislators to attempt to re-formulate Chapter 70 funding so that it is more equitable.[13]

In a 2004/2005 study by School Matters, a service of Standard and Poors, Westborough Public School system was rated as one of the top public school systems in Massachusetts that consistently outperformed peer schools on MCAS reading and math proficiency test over the last four years. Westborough was the only school system in Worcester County other than Harvard, MA to achieve this top state wide ranking. Westborough ranked 16 out of 204 school systems rated in the state of Massachusetts in this study. In 2005, Money Magazine listed Westborough #36 in its survey of Top 100 Best Places to Live, citing the financial support and staffing levels found in the Westborough Public Schools.

The following facts are published as part of the 2011-2012 Massachusetts Department of Education Profile of the Westborough Public School District and includes test results from the 2011 MCAS [14]

  • Total enrollment (2011-2012): 3,500- ranked 81/400 districts
  • Grades Served: PreK-12
  • Racial Make-up: African-American (1.9%), Asian (20.9%), Hispanic (4.6%), Native American (0.1%), White (69.8%)
  • Gender Make-up of Student Body: Male (52.2%) Female (47.8%)
  • Students whose first language is not English: (16.8%)- ranked 74/400 districts
  • Students in Special Education: (14.7%)- ranked 242/400 districts
  • Students from low-income families: (8.8%)- ranked 329/400 districts
  • Dropouts rate: (0.7%)- ranked 25/400 districts
  • Average number of Absences per student: 6.4
  • Attendance rate: (96.4%)- ranked 41/400 districts
  • Total Number of Teachers: 256.2
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 13.7 to 1- ranked 213/400 districts
  • Core Academic teachers identified as 'highly qualified': (100%)- ranked 1/400 districts
  • Teachers licensed in their teaching assignment: 99.2%
  • Average Teacher Salary: $71,714- ranked 75/328 districts
  • Total School Spending: $49,285,480
  • Per-Pupil Spending overall: $13,559 - ranked 114/328 districts
  • Number of Students per Computer: 3 - ranked 152/306 districts
  • Percentage of 10th Graders scoring either "Advanced" or "Proficient" on MCAS Math Exam: 90% - ranked 44/289
  • Percentage of 10th Graders scoring either "Advanced" or "Proficient" on MCAS English Exam: 95% - ranked 53/289
  • Percentage of 10th Graders scoring either "Advanced" or "Proficient" on MCAS Science Exam: 94% - ranked 10/286
  • Plans of High School Graduates (2010): Four-year private college (57%), Four-year public college (36%), Two-year private college (0%), Two-year public college (6%), Other education (0%), Joined workforce (0%), Military Service (0%), Other (0%), Unknown (0%)

In addition, Westborough is part of the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District. Students from Westborough Public Schools may choose to enter Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School after 8th grade (instead of entering Westborough High School) to pursue vocational studies.

Transportation[edit]

The Town of Westborough is located on the west side of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) and Interstate 495 intersection. Route 30 (Main Street) and Route 135 (South Street/Milk Street) intersect in a rotary at the town's center, while Route 9 runs nearby serving much of the town's commerce.

In terms of public transportation, Westborough is currently served by an MBTA commuter rail station on the Framingham/Worcester Line as well as public bus service through the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.

Limited commercial airline service is available at the Worcester Regional Airport.

The nearest international airport is at Boston.

Media[edit]

Newspapers:

Broadcast:

Cablecast (Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable tv channels):

Library[edit]

The Westborough Public Library began in 1857.[15][16] In fiscal year 2008, the town of Westborough spent 1.24% ($846,826) of its budget on its public library—some $45 per person.[17]

Sites of interest[edit]

Accolades[edit]

  • Money Magazine & CNNmoney.com 2005 Best Places to Live: 36/100[18]
  • Money Magazine & CNNmoney.com 2007 Best Places to Live: 73/100[19]

Annual events[edit]

  • Annual Boy Scout Troop 100 Pancake Breakfast - February/March
  • High School Musical - March
  • Taste of the Boroughs - March
  • Middle School Musical - April
  • Spring Clean Up Day - April
  • Spring Carnival - April
  • Little League Parade - April
  • Memorial Day Parade
  • Purple Day-June
  • Dress and act like a Pirate Day, May 12
  • High School Graduation Ceremony - June
  • July 4th Block Party
  • Homecoming - September/October
  • High School Play - November
  • Middle School Play - November
  • Thanksgiving Day Football game
  • Christmas Singalong
  • Westborough High School Winter Concert-December
  • Eli Whitney Cup Playoffs (Westborough Men's Softball League)-August

Places of worship[edit]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The section about Westborough history is based on notes titled "The Hundredth Town", written by Kristina N. Allen, which in turn are based on her 1984 book On the Beaten Path, with the exception of the Northborough paragraph which is based on class notes from Mr. Antonio, former principal of the Eli Whitney school, who later taught Westborough history at Armstrong school before retiring.
  2. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  3. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ Westborough Public Schools website
  14. ^ Massachusetts Department of Education,
  15. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891.
  16. ^ http://www.westboroughlib.org/ Retrieved 2010-11-10
  17. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What's Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports. Retrieved 2010-08-04
  18. ^ http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2005/snapshots/47898.html
  19. ^ http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/moneymag/0707/gallery.BPTL_top_100.moneymag/73.html

External links[edit]