Westford, Massachusetts

Westford, Massachusetts

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Westford, Massachusetts
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country|subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Massachusetts
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Middlesex
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1635
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1729
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
government_type = Open town meeting
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 81.1
area_total_sq_mi = 31.3
area_land_km2 = 79.3
area_land_sq_mi = 30.6
area_water_km2 = 1.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.7
population_as_of = 2007
settlement_type = Town
population_total = 21,790
population_density_km2 = 274.8
population_density_sq_mi = 712.1
elevation_m = 124
elevation_ft = 406
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 34 |lats = 45 |latNS = N
longd = 71 |longm = 26 |longs = 18 |longEW = W
website = http://www.westford-ma.gov/
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 01886
area_code = 351 / 978
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 25-76135
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0618244
footnotes =

Westford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 20,754 at the 2000 census.


Westford was first settled in 1635. Originally a part of neighboring Chelmsford, West Chelmsford soon grew large enough to sustain its own governance, and was officially incorporated as Westford in 1729.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford primarily produced granite, apples, and worsted yarn. The Abbot Worsted Company was the first company in the nation to use camel hair for worsted yarns. Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War. It has been alleged that the town was along the path of Paul Revere's Ride on the eve of April 19, 1775, but Revere's path is well-documented, and he never even made it as far as Concord. Westford Minutemen were alerted by efforts of Samuel Prescott who alerted Acton, to the southeast towards Stow. A subsequent alert rider, lost to time, reached Westford. [http://wa.westford.mec.edu Westford Academy] , the local public high school, was once attended by Paul Revere's son and a bell cast by Revere graces its lobby today, and a weather vane made by Paul Revere sits atop the Abbot Elementary School.

By the end of the American Civil War, as roads and transportation improved, Westford began to serve as a residential suburb for the factories of Lowell, becoming one of the earliest notable examples of suburban sprawl. Throughout the 20th century (and with the invention of the automobile, Westford progressively grew, continuing to serve as residential housing for the industries of Lowell, and later, Boston.

In the 1960s, the town was home to one of the research sites supporting Project West Ford.

By the 1970s, with the advent of the 128 Technology Belt, Westford began to act as a suburb for high-tech firms in Burlington, Woburn, and other areas, and later became a center of technology itself.

By the 1990s, Westford was home to offices for Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, Iris Associates, and many other technology firms. It is also the North American headquarters for Puma. The leading manufacturer of EEG electrodes, HydroDot Inc., located here in 2007.

Today, Westford's agricultural past has given way to a thriving, densely populated center of commerce and development, with continually rising growth rates.

Although discredited by many historians and archaeologists, some townspeople continue to claim that Westford was once a stopping point for Scottish Prince Henry Sinclair's surverying expedition to Greenland, Iceland, Nova Scotia, and Massachusetts which is said to have occurred in 1398, nearly 90 full years before Columbus made his discovery of The Americas. The primary evidence for this tale is a burial marker in the form of a sword chiseled into a granite slab near the center of town, (known by residents and historians as the Westford Knight), which some claim is the gravestone of Sir James Gunn of Scotland, who traveled with Sinclair. The marker is generally accepted to be the result of 19th Century residents, but continues to be an integral part of Westford folklore.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 31.3 square miles (81.1 km²), of which, 30.6 square miles (79.3 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (2.30%) is water.

The town is bordered by Chelmsford to the East, Tyngsboro to the north, Groton to the West, Littleton to the Southwest, Acton to the South, and Carlisle to the Southeast.


As of the censusGR|2 there were 20,754 people, 6,808 households, and 5,807 families residing in the town. The population density was 678.0 people per square mile (261.8/km²). There were 6,941 housing units at an average density of 226.8/sq mi (87.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.69% White, 0.30% African American, 0.06% Native American, 4.79% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.

There were 6,808 households out of which 48.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.2% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.7% were non-families. 11.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the town the population was spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $98,272, and the median income for a family was $104,029. Males had a median income of $77,417 versus $45,095 for females. The per capita income for the town was $37,979. About 1.3% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 1.0% of those age 65 or over.



* Westford Academy, Public High School (known as the W.A.)
* Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Public Regional Vocational Technical (known as Nashoba Tech)
* Lloyd G. Blanchard Middle School, Public Middle School (known as Blanchard)
* Stony Brook Middle School, Public Middle School (known as Stony Brook)
* Norman E. Day School, Public Elementary School (3-5) (known as Day)
* Abbott Elementary, Public Elementary School (3-5) (known as Abbott)
* John A. Crisafulli Elementary, Public Elementary School (3-5) (known as Crisafulli)
* Col. John Robinson School, Public Elementary School (K-2) (known as Robinson)
* Nabnasset Elementary School, Public Elementary School (K-2) (known as Nab)
* Rita Edwards Miller School, Public Elementary School (K-2) (known as Miller)


Freight travels daily through Westford over the tracks of the historic Stony Brook Railroad. The line currently serves as a major corridor of Pan Am Railway's District 3 which connects New Hampshire and Maine with western Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York. [ [http://www.panamrailways.com/Maps/map.htm Pan Am Railways route map] ."panamrailways.com". Accessed April 30 2007.]

Points of interest

The town has a largely suburban residential culture and like many New England towns, an active civic life. The [http://www.roudenbush.org Roudenbush Community Center] and the [http://www.westford.com/pca Parish Center for the Arts] are two notable places for residents to take classes or see concerts and art exhibitions. Westford is also home to the [http://www.westfordlibrary.org J.V. Fletcher Library] , [http://butterflyplace-ma.com The Butterfly Place] , [http://www.westford.com/museum The Westford Museum and Historical Society] and the [http://www.haystack.mit.edu MIT Haystack Observatory] .

Westford is home to [http://www.skinashoba.com Nashoba Valley Ski Resort] and [http://www.kimballfarm.com Kimball Farm] , a spectacular miniature golf complex known for its generous portions of ice cream, summertime classic car shows, and live music lawn events.

Annual events

*Every August, the Westford Rotary Club hosts the Blues & Brews Festival at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area, featuring top blues bands and many local beers to sample.
*The Kiwanis club hosts the Apple Blossom Parade and Carnival in April.
* [http://www.westford.com/firstparish The First Parish Church] hosts a major annual festival in Westford, the Strawberry Festival in June.
*Every August, the [http://www.westfordnet.org Westford Networks for Education and Technology Partnership] hosts a family bike ride called the Tour de Westford.
*In the month of October, Nashoba Valley Ski resort also hosts the Witch's Woods Halloween Screampark.


Westford has its own community television station, called Westford Community Access Television or [http://www.westfordcat.org Westford CAT] , which broadcasts on channels 8, 9 and 10 on the Comcast cable network. It produces PEG access programming for the residents and organizations of Westford.

Notable residents

* Joel Abbot, (1793-1855), born in Westford, noted naval officercite book | title = Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896 | publisher = Marquis Who's Who | date = 1967]
* Pat Bradley, LPGA Tour golf champion
* Karen Bryant, Ex-MTV VJ, Game show Hostess
* Col. Charles "Chip" Collins, WWII B-29 Superfortress A.C., 9th Bomb Group squadron leader of 35 missions over Japan, chief MIT Draper Lab test pilot and one of a group of aviators who discovered the Jet stream off the Japanese coast
* Sarah Dix Hamlin, founder of The Hamlin School in San Francisco
* Andy Hicks, WBCN disk-jockey
* Jackie MacMullan, sportswriter
* Eric Smolin, Pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies organization
* Ed Lacerte, Boston Celtics trainer
* Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards, creator of the field of home economics, first woman admitted to MIT, co-founder of American Association of University Women
* Lt. Col. John Robinson, Revolutionary War soldier
* Aaron Stanford, actor
* Joseph Thaxter, Revolutionary War era preacher
* Marty Tirrell, Radio personality
* John Nicoletta, deceased extreme skier (1981-2008)
* Michael Woodford, hockey player
* Tommy Severo, Winner: Beauty and the Geek Season 5


Further reading

* [http://www.salemdeeds.com/atlases_results.asp?ImageType=index&atlastype=MassWorld&atlastown=&atlas=MASSACHUSETTS+1871&atlas_desc=MASSACHUSETTS+1871 "1871 Atlas of Massachusetts".] by Wall & Gray. [http://www.salemdeeds.com/atlases_pages.asp?ImageName=PAGE_0010_0011.jpg&atlastype=MassWorld&atlastown=&atlas=MASSACHUSETTS+1871&atlas_desc=MASSACHUSETTS+1871&pageprefix= Map of Massachusetts.] [http://www.salemdeeds.com/atlases_pages.asp?ImageName=PAGE_0044_0045.jpg&atlastype=MassWorld&atlastown=&atlas=MASSACHUSETTS+1871&atlas_desc=MASSACHUSETTS+1871&pageprefix= Map of Middlesex County.]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=QGolOAyd9RMC&dq=intitle:History+intitle:of+intitle:Middlesex+intitle:County+intitle:Massachusetts&lr=&num=50&as_brr=0&source=gbs_other_versions_sidebar_s&cad=5 "History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts", Volume 1 (A-H)] , [http://books.google.com/books?id=hNaAnwRMedUC&pg=PA506&dq=intitle:History+intitle:of+intitle:Middlesex+intitle:County+intitle:Massachusetts&lr=&num=50&as_brr=0#PPA3,M1 Volume 2 (L-W)] compiled by Samuel Adams Drake, published 1879 and 1880. 572 and 505 pages. [http://books.google.com/books?id=hNaAnwRMedUC&pg=PA506&dq=History+of+Middlesex+County,+Massachusetts#PPA475,M1 Westford section] in volume 2 page 475 by Hodgman and Julian Abbott.
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=kTIAAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=History+of+Middlesex+County,+Massachusetts "History of the Town of Westford, in the County of Middlesex, Massachusetts",] by Rev. Edwin Ruthven Hodgman, published 1883, 494 pages.

External links

* [http://www.westford-ma.gov/ Town of Westford]
* [http://www.localmusicrocks.com/ Local Music Rocks - Local Access program featuring local bands]
* [http://www.westfcat.org/ Westford Community Access Television]
* [http://www.westford.com/ The Westford Web Community Web Site]
* [http://www.westford.com/museum/ Westford Historical Society and Museum]

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