Pepperell, a small town set in the rolling hills beside the confluence of the Nissitissit and Nashua Rivers, is 35 miles northwest of Boston and just across the border from New Hampshire. Pepperell's legacy as mill town continues to this day with two paper mills and a braiding factory still in operation in the East Village section.... Show all »
Pepperell, a small town set in the rolling hills beside the confluence of the Nissitissit and Nashua Rivers, is 35 miles northwest of Boston and just across the border from New Hampshire. Pepperell's legacy as mill town continues to this day with two paper mills and a braiding factory still in operation in the East Village section. Bypassed by major transportation routes, the town is more isolated and less developed than other towns and has become a predominantly commuter suburb. Added to this rural appeal are some conveniences such as a chain supermarket, commercial bank, fast-food restaurant and even an occasional traffic light in the center of town.
Several large undeveloped land areas along with three 200-acre farms and the lack of extensive commercial and industrial development maintain Pepperell's identity as a pastoral community. The town takes pride in several unique attractions and events. Pepperell spring water, first place quality winner the 1939 Worlds Fair, continues to be sold by commercial bottling companies.
Pepperell began with settlements from neighboring Groton on scattered farms and at river crossings on the Nashua and Nissitissit Rivers in the 1720's and 1730's. The community was designated Groton West Parish in 1742. It became a district in 1753 and a town in 1775. While the town center, which is now considered a historic district, began as a religious and governmental center, the eastern portion spread out from paper and shoe factories along the Nashua River. This development and the building of the Worcester and Nashua Railroad in 1848 led to the expansion of the town in 1857 to include former Groton land to the east of the Nashua River.
A paper mill was established at Main Street and the Nashua River. Through the 19th century, the mill expanded considerably. The shoe industry began with small shops or "ten footers" in the 1830s. Then Albert Leighton and his sons expanded the size of the industry with the three shoe factories, each larger than the last. They built in 1868, 1879, and 1890. Employment in these factories rose from seventy to seven-hundred. Their construction marked the climax of Pepperell's growth until the post-World War II years.
Antique homes in traditional cape and colonial styles are most often well preserved in their architectural integrity. Expansive new homes are also available and are featured with generous lot sizes. « Show less
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