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Marlborough, Massachusetts

Coordinates: 42°20′45″N 71°33′10″W / 42.34583°N 71.55278°W / 42.34583; -71.55278
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Marlborough, Massachusetts
Main Street
Main Street
Official seal of Marlborough, Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Marlborough, Massachusetts is located in the United States
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°20′45″N 71°33′10″W / 42.34583°N 71.55278°W / 42.34583; -71.55278
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (town)September 20, 1660
Incorporated (city)1890
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorJ. Christian Dumais[1][2]
 • Total22.10 sq mi (57.24 km2)
 • Land20.86 sq mi (54.04 km2)
 • Water1.24 sq mi (3.20 km2)
450 ft (137 m)
 • Total41,793
 • Density2,003.12/sq mi (773.41/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code508/774
FIPS code25-38715
GNIS feature ID0611360

Marlborough is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 41,793 at the 2020 census.[4] Marlborough became a prosperous industrial town in the 19th century and made the transition to high technology industry in the late 20th century after the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike. It is part of the Worcester metropolitan area.

Marlborough was declared a town in 1660, and was incorporated as a city in 1890 when it changed its municipal charter from a New England town meeting system to a mayor–council government.



John Howe in 1656 was a fur trader and built a house at the intersection of two Indian trails, Nashua Trail and Connecticut path.[5] He could speak the language of the Algonquian Indians though the local tribe referred to themselves as the Pennacooks. The settlers were welcomed by the Indians because they protected them from other tribes they were at war with. In the 1650s, several families left the nearby town of Sudbury, 18 miles west of Boston, to start a new town. The village was named after Marlborough, the market town in Wiltshire, England. It was first settled in 1657 by 14 men led by Edmund Rice, John Ruddock, John Howe and a third John named John Bent ; in 1656 Rice and his colleagues petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to create the town of Marlborough and it was officially incorporated in 1660. Rice was elected a selectman at Marlborough in 1657. Sumner Chilton Powell wrote, in Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town, "Not only did Rice become the largest individual landholder in Sudbury, but he represented his new town in the Massachusetts legislature for five years and devoted at least eleven of his last fifteen years to serving as selectman and judge of small causes."[6]

City Hall (1905) by Allen, Collins & Berry

The Puritan minister Reverend William Brimstead became the first minister of First Church in Marlborough, William Ward the first deacon and[7] Johnathan Johnson was the first blacksmith.

Marlborough was one of the seven "Praying Indian Towns" because they were converted to Christianity by the Rev. John Eliot of Roxbury. In 1674, a deed was drawn up dividing the land between the settlers and the natives. This is the only record of names of the natives. The settlement was almost destroyed by Native Americans in 1676 during King Philip's War.

In 1711, Marlborough's territory included Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, and Hudson. As population, business, and travel grew in the colonies, Marlborough became a favored rest stop on the Boston Post Road. Many travelers stopped at its inns and taverns, including George Washington, who visited the Williams Tavern soon after his inauguration in 1789.[8]

In 1836, Samuel Boyd, known as the "father of the city," and his brother, Joseph, opened the first shoe manufacturing business - an act that would change the community forever. By 1890, with a population of 14,000, Marlborough had become a major shoe manufacturing center, producing boots for Union soldiers, as well as footwear for the civilian population. Marlborough became so well known for its shoes that its official seal was decorated with a factory, a shoe box, and a pair of boots when it was incorporated as a city in 1890.[9]

The Civil War resulted in the creation of one of the region's most unusual historical monuments. Legend has it that a company from Marlborough, assigned to Harpers Ferry, appropriated the bell from the firehouse where John Brown last battled for the emancipation of the slaves. The company left the bell in the hands of one Mrs. Elizabeth Snyder for 30 years, returning in 1892 to bring it back to Marlborough. The bell now hangs in a tower at the corner of Route 85 and Main Street.

Around that time, Marlborough is believed to have been the first community in the country to receive a charter for a streetcar system, edging out Baltimore by a few months. The system, designed primarily for passenger use, provided access to Milford to the south, and Concord to the north. As a growing industrialized community, Marlborough began attracting skilled craftsmen from Quebec, Ireland, Italy, and Greece.[9]

Shoe manufacturing continued in Marlborough long after the industry had fled many other New England communities. Rice & Hutchins, Inc. operated several factories in Marlborough from 1875 to 1929. Famous Frye boots were manufactured here through the 1970s, and The Rockport Company, founded in Marlborough in 1971, maintained an outlet store in the city until 2017. In 1990, when Marlborough celebrated its centennial as a city, the festivities included the construction of a park in acknowledgment of the shoe industry, featuring statues by the sculptor David Kapenteopolous.

The construction of Interstates 495 and 290 and the Massachusetts Turnpike has enabled the growth of the high technology and specialized electronics industries. With its easy access to major highways and the pro-business, pro-development policies of the city government, the population of Marlborough has increased to over 38,000 at the time of the 2010 census. In November 2016, the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a $3 million grant to the city to fund infrastructure improvements along U.S. Route 20 to aid commercial development.[10]



Marlborough is located at 42°21′3″N 71°32′51″W / 42.35083°N 71.54750°W / 42.35083; -71.54750 (42.350909, −71.547530).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.2 square miles (57 km2), of which 21.1 square miles (55 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (4.87%) is water. The Assabet River cuts across the northwest corner of the city. Within city limits are three large lakes, known as Lake Williams, Millham Reservoir and Fort Meadow Reservoir. (A portion of Fort Meadow Reservoir extends into nearby Hudson.)

Marlborough is crossed by Interstate 495, U.S. Route 20 and Massachusetts Route 85. The eastern terminus of Interstate 290 is also in Marlborough.

Adjacent towns


Marlborough is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by six municipalities: Berlin, Hudson, Sudbury, Framingham, Southborough, and Northborough.


Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]
U.S. Decennial Census[24]

As of the census[25] of 2000, there were 36,255 people, 14,501 households, and 9,280 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,719.4 inhabitants per square mile (663.9/km2). There were 14,903 housing units at an average density of 706.8 per square mile (272.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.70% White, 2.17% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.76% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.27% from other races, and 2.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.06% of the population.

There were 14,501 households, out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 36.7% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $56,879, and the median income for a family was $70,385. Males had a median income of $49,133 versus $32,457 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,723. About 4.7% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.



Marlborough is home to many businesses, stores and restaurants.

The revitalized southwestern corner of the city – locally known as the "Southwest Quadrant" – features numerous office parks and corporate buildings clustered together in a busy industrial core dotted along Forest Street, Cedar Hill Street, Simarano Drive, Ames Street, D’Angelo Drive and Campus Drive (serving The Campus at Marlborough property) with easy access to the Interstate 495 highway.[26] The city’s recent growth of suburban office park infrastructure adjacent to Interstate 495 – which is commonly known as Greater Boston’s outer circumferential highway – is a strategic land usage format comparable to the city of Waltham, which itself has many office parks adjacent to the region’s inner circumferential highway of Massachusetts State Route 128.[27]

The Marlborough Center Historic District – focused primarily on Main Street in the heart of the city’s downtown area – features restaurants, hair salons, barber shops, insurance agencies and many other businesses.

Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce


The Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce is the local chamber of commerce for Marlborough and five other surrounding towns in MetroWest Massachusetts. The chamber represents the business needs of over 650 businesses and thousands of employees in the area and is headquartered in the city.

The Chamber of Commerce's role has included working with the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority to improve transportation options and to obtain recognition for Marlborough's Downtown Village as a cultural district.[28]


Public library (1903–1904), a Carnegie library designed by Peabody & Stearns

Public schools

  • High schools (grades 9–12):
  • Middle school (grades 6–8)
    • 1LT Charles W. Whitcomb School (formerly 4–7 School, Marlborough Middle School, and Marlborough Intermediate Elementary School)
  • Elementary schools (grades K–5)
    • Raymond C. Richer Elementary School
    • Francis J. Kane Elementary School
    • Sgt. Charles J. Jaworek Elementary School
    • Goodnow Brothers Elementary School
  • Preschool (up to Pre-K)
    • Early Childhood Center

Charter schools


Parochial schools

  • Immaculate Conception School (Catholic, PS–8) (closed June 2020)

Private schools

  • Hillside School (5–9)
  • Wayside Academy (9–12)
  • Massachusetts International Academy (closed June 2020)
  • New England Innovation Academy (6–12)

After school programs

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metrowest



Marlborough is located near the intersection of Routes 495, 290, 20 and the Massachusetts Turnpike.[29] It is connected to neighboring towns and cities by MWRTA.[29]

Major highways


Marlborough is served by Two Interstate, one U.S Highway and one state highways:

Route number Type Local name Direction
Interstate 495 (Massachusetts) Interstate Interstate 495 (Massachusetts) north–south
Interstate 290 (Massachusetts) Interstate Interstate 290 (Massachusetts) east–west
U.S. Route 20 United States highway Boston Post Rd., East/West Main St.
Lakeside Ave and Granger Blvd.
Route 85 State route Washington St., Bolton St. and
Maple St.





Private services

  • A number of private Taxi/Limousine services have been listed as being operated in Marlborough e.g. Marlborough City Taxi, American Way, Etc.[36]




  • Community Advocate, a weekly regional newspaper serving Marlborough and six surrounding communities.
  • The MetroWest Daily News, a daily newspaper covering Marlborough and surrounding communities in the MetroWest region
  • The Marlborough Enterprise, the city's weekly newspaper (defunct as of 2021)[37]
  • Marlborough Patch (online daily)
  • The Main Street Journal, a weekly newspaper (defunct as of 2021)[38]


  • Channel 8 (Comcast), Channel 34 (Verizon): WMCT-TV Your Community Station (Marlborough Cable Trust).[39]
  • Channel 96 (Comcast), Channel 33 (Verizon): Marlborough Access, Public Access Television (Marlborough Cable Trust).
  • Channel 98: Marlborough Public Schools' student run station



Ghost Light Players of MetroWest


Ghost Light Players is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Marlborough.[40] The group has been performing in and around the Marlborough area since 2012, with productions including Hamlet,[41][42] Dog Sees God,[43] Romeo and Juliet,[44] Macbeth,[45] Godspell,[46] and Love Comics.[47]



Marlborough Country Club


The Marlborough Country Club was host of Senior PGA Tour Event The Marlborough Classic from 1981 to 1983. Bob Goalby won the event in 1981, with Arnold Palmer winning in 1982 and Don January winning in 1983. The event has since changed locations to the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, Massachusetts and is now called Bank of America Championship.



Points of interest

The Peter Rice Homestead (c. 1688), home of the Marlborough Historical Society

Notable people

Marlborough District Courthouse, seen from across Lake Williams

Sister cities and towns




See also



  1. ^ "Office of the Mayor". City of Marlborough, MA. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  2. ^ Laidler, John (October 4, 2012). "Mayors, other area notables take sides in Senate race". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 17, 2015. Marlborough Mayor Arthur G. Vigeant, on the other hand, said he is backing the incumbent senator, Scott Brown, because the fellow Republican from Wrentham 'has been available for us in Marlborough ... I think he's done a good job.'
  3. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  4. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Marlborough city, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  5. ^ "Marlborough Massachusetts Genealogy". USGenWeb. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved March 1, 2007.
  6. ^ "Who was Edmund Rice?". The Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Inc. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
  7. ^ https://firstchurchmarlborough.org/wp-content/uploads/2017_History.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ "Marlborough Massachusetts History - Williams Tavern". History RootsWeb. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "RootsWeb.com Home Page". freepages.history.rootsweb.com. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Hanson, Melissa (November 1, 2016). "Worcester to receive $2.3 million boost to create more walkable downtown". MassLive.com. Advance Publications. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  13. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  15. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  16. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 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.
  17. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). 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.
  18. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). 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.
  19. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). 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.
  21. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  22. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-7 through 21-09, Massachusetts Table 4. Population of Urban Places of 10,000 or more from Earliest Census to 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020−2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  24. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  25. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  26. ^ "Commonwealth Awards $1.6 Million Infrastructure Grant to Marlborough". Marlborough Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  27. ^ "I-495 corridor transformed". Telegram & Gazette; article correspondent is Mark Sullivan. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  28. ^ "Marlborough's downtown recognized as a cultural district". Marlborough Economic Development Corporation. October 12, 2012. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  29. ^ a b "City of Marlborough Official Website, Transportation". City of Marlborough. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  30. ^ "MWRTA Official Website". MWRTA. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  31. ^ "MWRTA Bus Route 7 schedule" (PDF). MWRTA. February 17, 2024.
  32. ^ "Banana Lot/Intermodal Center bus stop in Framingham on Google Maps". February 17, 2024.
  33. ^ "MWRTA Bus Route 7C schedule" (PDF). MWRTA. February 17, 2024.
  34. ^ "Newton and Weed Street bus stop in Marlborough on Google Maps". February 17, 2024.
  35. ^ "MWRTA Bus Route 15 schedule" (PDF). MWRTA. February 17, 2024.
  36. ^ "Yahoo Local listing of taxi services in Marlborough". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  37. ^ Advocate, Community (July 8, 2021). "Hudson Sun, Marlborough Enterprise to publish final issues". Community Advocate. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  38. ^ "Main Street Journal". msjnews.com. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  39. ^ "Television Station | Wmct | Marlborough". wmcttv. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  40. ^ title=Exempt Organizations Select Check|https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/pub78Search.do?ein1=&names=Ghost+Light+Players&city=Marlborough&state=MA&country=US&deductibility=all&dispatchMethod=searchCharities&submitName=Search
  41. ^ "Ghost Light Players Stage 'Hamlet' In Marlborough". patch.com. July 16, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  42. ^ "Shakespeare's Hamlet". list.co.uk. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  43. ^ "Hopedale native to perform in 'Dog Sees God'". milforddailynews.com. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  44. ^ "Ghost Light Players use Romeo and Juliet to explore modern-day issues". The Enterprise. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  45. ^ "Ghost Light Players preparing 'Macbeth'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  46. ^ "Ghost Light Players Presents GODSPELL". patch.com. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  47. ^ "A first for Ghost Light players". Main Street Journal. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  48. ^ Malachowski, Jeff. "Providence Bruins to call Marlborough home for 2020-21 season". MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  49. ^ "Worcester Mass Fury Home Page". HomeTeamsONLINE. Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  50. ^ "John Rock: Pioneer in the Development of Oral Contraceptives", Marc A. Shampo, PhD and Robert A. Kyle, MD

Further reading