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Westford, Massachusetts

 

Westford, Massachusetts

Westford, Massachusetts
Town
Old Westford Academy,now the Westford Museum
Old Westford Academy,
now the Westford Museum
Official seal of Westford, Massachusetts
Seal
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1635
Incorporated September 23, 1729
Government
 • Type Open town meeting
Area
 • Total 31.3 sq mi (81.1 km2)
 • Land 30.6 sq mi (79.3 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)
Elevation 406 ft (124 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 21,951
 • Density 712.1/sq mi (274.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01886
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-76135
GNIS feature ID 0618244
Website www.westford-ma.gov

Westford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,951 at the 2010 census.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Education 5
    • Westford Public Schools 5.1
    • Nashoba Valley Technical High School District 5.2
  • Transportation 6
  • Annual events 7
  • Media 8
  • Notable people 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12

History

Westford Common, looking down Main Street

Originally a part of neighboring Chelmsford, West Chelmsford soon grew large enough to sustain its own governance, and was officially incorporated as Westford on September 23, 1729.[1][2]

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford primarily produced granite, apples, and worsted yarn. The Abbot Worsted Company was said to be the first company in the nation to use camel hair for worsted yarns.[3] Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War.[1] Westford Minutemen were alerted by efforts of Samuel Prescott who alerted Acton, to the southeast towards Stow.

Paul Revere's son attended Westford Academy and a bell cast by Revere graces its lobby today.[4] 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, Sonus Networks, Seagate, Iris Associates, Visual Solutions, and many other technology firms, most located along Massachusetts Route 110, parallel to I-495. It is also the North American headquarters for Puma, which holds a road race in town.[5] The leading manufacturer of EEG electrodes, HydroDot Inc., located here in 2007.

Today, Westford's agricultural past has given way to rapidly expanding high technology industries, suburban retail, and upper-middle class residential areas.

Westford's inter-town sports teams have the colors of maroon, white, and sometimes black.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 31.3 square miles (81 km2), of which 30.6 square miles (79 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (2.30%) is water.

The town is bordered by Chelmsford to the east, Tyngsborough to the north, Groton to the west, Littleton to the southwest, Acton to the south, and Carlisle to the southeast.

Regionally, it is on the edge of the Merrimack Valley, Northern Middlesex County, and the Metrowest regions of Massachusetts.

Colloquially, the town is divided into different regions based on location, including Forge Village, Nabnasset, Graniteville, Parker Village, and Center of Town.

The town was rated as #11 Best Places to live by CNN Money in 2013.[6]

Demographics

As of the 2010 census[17] there were 21,951 people, 7,498 households, and 6,165 families residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 85.1% White, 0.40% African American, 0.1% Native American, 12.6% Asian (5.7% Indian, 5.2% Chinese, 0.6% Korean, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Pakistani, 0.1% Bangladeshi), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

As of the 2010 census,[17] there were 7,498 households out of which 45.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.5% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.27.

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 $121,136, and the median income for a family was $137,230. The per capita income for the town was $48,951. 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.

Government

Westford is run by a board of five Selectmen who are the chief policy making officials for the Town and who are responsible for the enforcement of all town Bylaws and regulations. The Town is managed on a day-to day basis by a Town Manager who is a town employee and who acts as the agent for the Board of Selectmen.

Residents contribute to their local government by volunteering for Town Boards and Committees and by participating at Town Meeting, which occurs in the spring, and occasional Special Town Meetings, with one usually occurring in the fall.

In Westford, as in many New England towns, voters participate directly in the major decisions that affect how the town runs itself and how it spends its money.

Town meeting is the legislative branch of Westford’s government, and all registered voters may attend, speak and vote at the open town meeting. Town meeting has two primary responsibilities: establishing an annual budget by voting to appropriate money for all Town departments, and voting on the Town’s local statutes, called bylaws.

All residents, renters as well as property owners, if registered to vote, may attend and vote at town meeting. A voter must attend in person as no absentee voting is allowed. The non-voting public may attend open town meetings as observers.

Westford's award winning[18] government website is http://www.westfordma.gov

Education

Westford Public Schools

The Superintendent of Westford's Public Schools is Everett "Bill" Olsen, who has held that role since 1986. [1] The Assistant Superintendent is Kerry Clery. [2]

J.V. Fletcher Library, built 1895
  • Westford Academy, Public High School (known as W.A.)
  • 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)
  • Abbot Elementary, Public Elementary School (3-5) (known as Abbot)
  • 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)

Nashoba Valley Technical High School District

Nashoba Valley Technical High School enrolls students from Westford, Chelmsford, Ayer, Groton, Littleton, Townsend, Shirley, and Pepperell

Established in 1968, Nashoba Valley Technical High School is a public, four-year, vocational high school.

Transportation

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 Railways' District 3 which connects New Hampshire and Maine with western Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York.[19] Interstate 495 (Massachusetts) also passes through the town, linking it to other parts of the state as well as New Hampshire.[20] US-3 passes through the town, although the nearest interchanges are located in neighboring Tyngsborough (exit 33) and Chelmsford (exit 32).

The LRTA 15 bus connects Westford along Route 110 with Chelmsford and the Lowell train station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Lowell Line.

Local routes passing through town are Massachusetts Routes 110, 40, 225, and 27.

Annual events

  • January/February Westford Funfest has annual Snow Sculpture contest - www.westford.com/funfest - depending on snow.
  • In early May, the Westford Charitable Foundation 5k/10k Road Races are held.
  • In May, the Kiwanis club hosts the Apple Blossom Parade and Carnival [3].
  • In June, The First Parish Church hosts the Strawberry Festival.
  • In 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, and in 2011, they reintroduced the Pig n' Pepper Festival along with the Blues and Brews. [4]
  • In October, the Westford Education Foundation sponsors the Family Fun Run, Westford FunFest Fall Festival at Kimball Farms, and the Nashoba Valley Ski Resort also runs the Witch's Woods Halloween Screampark.
  • In December - First Parish Church hosts the Westford Greens Sale, Westford Academy - Holiday Bazaar, Westford FunFest - Festival of Trees .
  • In December - Westford's United Methodist Church holds an outdoor Live Nativity overlooking the Stony Brook Reservoir pond, including farm animals, music & bonfire http://www.umcw.org/christmas [21]

Media

Westford has its own community television station, called Westford Community Access Television or Westford CAT, which broadcasts on channels 8, 9 and 99 on the Comcast cable network and channels 33, 34, and 35 on the Verizon cable network. It produces Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV programming for the residents and organizations of Westford.

Westford Community Access Television, Inc. (WestfordCAT) is a non-profit corporation charged with the mission to promote and encourage the use of local Public-access television cable TV to enhance a free and diverse exchange of ideas and interests that foster community participation and educational opportunities.

Prior to January 1, 2006, the production facilities of Westford's PEG cable channels were operated by Comcast Corporation. This arrangement was carried out as part of the Town of Westford's previous cable license agreement. Beginning in 2006, Comcast would no longer be responsible to manage the PEG production facilities. As part of the current agreement, Comcast agreed to turn over control of PEG Access to the community. In the summer of 2005, a group of interested residents worked to create a new an independent PEG access management organization, and on July 12, 2005, Westford Community Access Television came into existence. In September 2005, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to appoint WestfordCAT as the Town's public access provider.

In January 2015, WestfordCAT News launched.

In terms of newspapers, Westford is covered by The Westford Eagle, a weekly newspaper of the Gatehouse Media network with online coverage at http://westford.wickedlocal.com/ the Lowell Sun, a regional daily paper] and Westford Patch, a local affiliate of Patch Media.

For most media, Westford is part of the large Greater Boston market.

Notable people

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.westford.com/museum/research_westford_history.html
  2. ^ http://westford.patch.com/articles/you-asked-patch-answers-7c8c087c
  3. ^
  4. ^ http://www.wickedlocal.com/westford/town_info/history/x2136193253#axzz1YSz4BoBM
  5. ^ http://westford.patch.com/articles/image-gallery-puma-5-miler-road-race#photo-7436786 IMAGE GALLERY: Puma 5 Miler Road Race, Westford Patch
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ http://www.mma.org/municipal-services/7361
  19. ^ Pan Am Railways route map.panamrailways.com. Accessed April 30, 2007.
  20. ^ "interstate-guide.com". Accessed November 5, 2008.
  21. ^ http://www.wickedlocal.com/x1479406947/A-Christmas-tradition-continues-in-Westford
  22. ^
  23. ^ World Golf Hall of Fame Profile: Pat Bradley
  24. ^ http://westford.patch.com/articles/this-week-in-sports-fall-2011-openers
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^

Further reading

  • .1871 Atlas of Massachusetts by Wall & Gray.Map of Massachusetts. Map of Middlesex County.
  • , Volume 1 (A-H)History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 2 (L-W) compiled by Samuel Adams Drake, published 1879 and 1880. 572 and 505 pages. Westford section in volume 2 page 475 by Hodgman and Julian Abbott.
  • History of the Town of Westford, in the County of Middlesex, Massachusetts, by Rev. Edwin Ruthven Hodgman, published 1883, 494 pages.
  • A Brief History of Westford, by Robert W. Oliphant, Town Historian.

External links

  • Town of Westford
  • Local Music Rocks - Local Access program featuring local bands
  • Westford Community Access Television
  • The Westford Web Community Web Site
  • Westford Historical Society and Museum
  • Kimball Farm
  • Westford Knight
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