Ayer, a town in the Nashoba Valley of Massachusetts has grown in size since its first settlement in the 1600's due to the presence of the railroad and the military training camp Fort Devens. Initially a community of agriculture and grain mills, the town's proximity to north-south and east-west rail lines made it grow into a commercial... Show all »
Ayer, a town in the Nashoba Valley of Massachusetts has grown in size since its first settlement in the 1600's due to the presence of the railroad and the military training camp Fort Devens. Initially a community of agriculture and grain mills, the town's proximity to north-south and east-west rail lines made it grow into a commercial center.
During the Civil War, Camp Stevens, later known as Fort Devens was established. The influx of military personnel into the community shifted the focus of Ayer's economy from commercial activity to meeting the needs of servicemen until Fort Devens closed in 1994.
Incorporated in 1871, Ayer is located 35 miles northwest of Boston. Ayer is accessible by major highways: Interstate 495 and route 2. There is also a commuter rail station in Ayer's downtown. This quaint downtown area has benefited from active development and renewal. Restaurants and retail exist here and construction projects have provided commercial space.
Geographically, Ayer is also within commuting distance to Worcester which is 27 miles away. Ayer is bounded by Shirley on the west, Groton on the north, Littleton on the east and Harvard on the south. Ayer's population of nearly 7,000 lives within 9 square miles of town. This small New England town is served by a town government consisting of a board of selectmen and by open town meetings.
There is a full-time police department and fire department as well as a school district of one elementary school, one middle school and one high school. Additionally there are health services at the nearby Nashoba Community Hospital. Autumn "leaf peepers" have long appreciated the town and the area around Ayer. The Nashua River Rail Trail runs through Ayer, allowing hikers to watch the splendid color changes in this beautiful landscape.
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