Fitchburg, the second largest city in Worcester County is home to Fitchburg State College with an enrollment of 5200 graduate and undergraduate students. The city's development can be attributed to its history as a mill town, powered by the Nashua River. The manufacturing of tools, clothing, and paper fueled an influx of immigrants who... Show all »
Fitchburg, the second largest city in Worcester County is home to Fitchburg State College with an enrollment of 5200 graduate and undergraduate students. The city's development can be attributed to its history as a mill town, powered by the Nashua River. The manufacturing of tools, clothing, and paper fueled an influx of immigrants who established the ethnic enclaves still visible in this diverse city. Economic changes have caused a greater diversification of industry in Fitchburg where now there is manufacturing of plastics, medical goods and chemicals. Also there are non-manufacturing activities in Fitchburg such as construction and professional services.
The hilly terrain that would become Fitchburg was once abundant game hunting land to Native Americans and English settlers who built a garrison here in 1735. Forward thinking planners placed a meeting house and town center on the river and the area later thrived during the era of industrialization. The town was incorporated in 1764 and became a city much later in 1872. Several buildings from the town's early history survive such as the Gibson Garrison Farmhouse on Pearl Hill. Many mills and workmen's houses also remain and these simple structures bear witness Fitchburg's long history as a player in the industrial revolution.
Fitchburg, in north central Massachusetts, is bordered by Westminster, Ashby, Leominster and Lunenburg. It is 25 miles from Worcester, 46 miles from Boston, and is in proximity to the New Hampshire border. The principal highway is Route 2 with access to Interstate 190 and Route 140. Direct commuter rail service to Boston's North Station is available as well. Because Fitchburg saw its most rapid expansion in the 19th century, most old buildings are in the Victorian style. These include the courthouse, library, hospital, opera house and municipal buildings.
Many attractive old buildings remain in Fitchburg's compact, urban downtown. The heyday of Fitchburg is also evident in its residential housing. Roughly one half of the homes in Fitchburg were constructed before the Second World War. Fitchburg covers over 27 square miles and is home to over 40,000 residents. The city is served by seven public elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and several private, parochial and charter schools.
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