Shirley, a rural industrial town just 39 miles northwest of Boston was established in 1753 and incorporated in 1786. It was named after Colonial Governor William Shirley and in 1793, the Shaker Community was established in the southern part of the town. Shirley has been home to industries such as iron, nails, textiles, rope, sporting... Show all »
Shirley, a rural industrial town just 39 miles northwest of Boston was established in 1753 and incorporated in 1786. It was named after Colonial Governor William Shirley and in 1793, the Shaker Community was established in the southern part of the town. Shirley has been home to industries such as iron, nails, textiles, rope, sporting goods, and suspenders. Recently, several small businesses and industries have moved into downtown Shirley, reclaiming the old brick buildings that were formerly mills and factories.
Shirley maintains the distinction as a good community in which to live and work and was honored as The Most Historic Small Town in the Nation in June of 2001 by the ePodunk Historic Small Towns Index. Today, with a rich history and local tradition, Shirley offers its residents a picturesque setting on the lowlands of the Catacoonamaug River. West of route 495 and with an exit off of Route 2, Shirley is desirable community, offering a great blend of the convenience and opportunity of today and the simple life of the past.
Shirley residents benefit from a train station in the center of town that provides direct commuter rail service to downtown Boston. The town is also situated within driving distance to the cities of Worcester and Fitchburg, making Shirley an ideal bedroom community. Unique homes set on wooded lots abound in Shirley. The town offers an array of recreation and points of interest. The Benjamin Hill Pool Committee provides a pool for public swimming, rental and lessons. The Recreation Commission supervises youth soccer, youth basketball and girls instructional youth softball. Shirley has an active athletic culture, especially for kids and the town maintains four different sports field facilities. Other youth sports popular in Shirley are baseball, hockey, football, cheerleading and dance.
Several committees in Shirley honor the community's long history by preserving many of its old buildings. The Center Town Hall Committee oversees the Shirley Center Town Hall; the Shirley Historical Society operates a museum devoted to the town history through books, photos, papers, and other artifacts relating to Shirley. Another significant historic point of interest is the Meetinghouse on the Common. This, the first Meetinghouse in Shirley, was small and simple and built on Green Lane, off Parker Road soon after the towns founding in 1753. Additionally, Shirley is committed to protecting its natural beauty. The Greenway Committee works closely with the Conservation Commission to be an advocate for the protection of the Towns rivers, streams and trails.
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