Lexington is an affluent residential bedroom community, but the community, whose rich history is preserved in a number of historic homes and public buildings, was the birthplace of the American Revolution. Those old homes, many standing since the 18th century, were witness to the first fighting of the war on Lexington's Battle Green.... Show all »
Lexington is an affluent residential bedroom community, but the community, whose rich history is preserved in a number of historic homes and public buildings, was the birthplace of the American Revolution. Those old homes, many standing since the 18th century, were witness to the first fighting of the war on Lexington's Battle Green. It was here, on the morning of April 19, 1775, that "the first blood was spilt in the dispute with Great Britain," as George Washington wrote in his diary. The Battle of Lexington and Concord is still celebrated as Patriots' Day.
Sightseers can tour segments of the original battle road and view other significant structures, properties and monuments along 900 acres of parkland at the Minute Men National Historic Park that stretches across Lexington and into neighboring Concord and Lincoln. The town has other parks, conservation and landmarks for recreation and for appreciating this strong sense of history that Lexington offers.
Known first as Cambridge Farms, Lexington was first settled in 1642 by farmers attracted by the availability of hay fields and potential farmland. These early settlers formed their own parish in 1691 to avoid traveling into Cambridge, and Lexington was incorporated as an independent town in 1713. Lexington remained a quiet farming community until 1846 when the extension of a railroad line from Boston gave easier access to the big city. Mid-19th century residents of East Lexington were active in social reform issues such as abolition and temperance.
After the Civil War, professionals settled into newly built large Victorian homes on Merriam and Munroe Hills. The railroad allowed Lexington to thrive as a summer resort for city dwellers. Farming conducted by a growing immigrant population continued to support much of the local economy into the 20th century. Following World War II and the construction of Route 128, Lexington's population and residential building increased dramatically. Academic and hi-tech professionals joined the descendants of Lexington's early settlers as residents of the town.
Colonial structures and Victorian mansions were joined by award-winning contemporary architecture. Committed to maintaining the residential quality of the town while providing services, Lexington citizens established one of the nation's first planning and zoning regulation boards. Today, these efforts have paid off and Lexington is still an attractive community of preserved architecture and open space.
Lexington's town government is conducted by representative town meetings that oversee an array of services and public service departments. Lexington schools are excellent and are a significant draw for potential residents who can send their children to one of six elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school. Home prices in Lexington reflect the affluence of this community.