Framingham, a residential community 19 miles west of Boston is the hub of the Metro-west region. Two major east-west arteries, Route 9 and the Massachusetts Turnpike Route 90 pass through Framingham. This typically suburban community at the midway point between Boston and Worcester, blends residential sections with commercial areas.... Show all »
Framingham, a residential community 19 miles west of Boston is the hub of the Metro-west region. Two major east-west arteries, Route 9 and the Massachusetts Turnpike Route 90 pass through Framingham. This typically suburban community at the midway point between Boston and Worcester, blends residential sections with commercial areas. Framingham was incorporated as a town in 1700 and its first meeting house and town center was located on what is now the old burial ground on Main Street.
Later, in 1735, land was designated for a new meeting house. This place is still known today as Framingham Centre Common. Manufacturing mills thrived and allowed Framingham to grow through the 18th and 19th centuries. Many fine old buildings still stand in Framingham. The First Baptist Church, built in 1824 is the town's oldest structure. Framingham continued to grow through the 1800's as a manufacturing town and as the new home for Irish immigrants during the potato famine. Many settled in the Saxonville neighborhood and founded Framingham's first Catholic parish at St. George's Church.
By the 1870's, six rail lines converged at Framingham's downtown station. The town seal and the numerous signs pointing toward the downtown area have a wheel symbol that acknowledges Framingham's distinction as the railroad hub of eastern Massachusetts. Today, Framingham is a long established community with an economic base that has shifted from earlier manufacturing to medical, retail, biotechnology, and education activity. Framingham State College, founded in 1839 by Horace Mann as the State Normal School, the first public teachers' college, relocated to the town 1853. With an enrollment of 5800 graduate and undergraduate students, this liberal arts college is a major presence in the community.
Christa McAulliffe, selected as the first teacher to ride on the Space Shuttle, grew up in Framingham and was a member of the college's class of 1970. A public charter school named in her honor is located in Framingham. By 1967, Framingham had boomed and was considered the largest town in Massachusetts. Currently, its population of 65,000 residents live in an area of roughly 25 square miles throughout this popular suburban community. Homes here represent a wide variety of traditional and contemporary styles.
There are eight public elementary schools and three middle schools. Framingham's public high school has two campus locations in the town and there is also a vocational high school. Other community features include a number of playgrounds, parks and a unique convention/ retreat center called Garden in the Woods, set on 45 acres of botanical grounds and operated by the New England Wildflower Society. Framingham also has several pond beaches for summer recreation. Additionally, there is a State Park, performing arts center, art museum and skating arena, all in Framingham to offer its residents and visitors a variety of recreation.