World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Westborough, Massachusetts

Article Id: WHEBN0041334595
Reproduction Date:

Title: Westborough, Massachusetts  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Greater Boston, Eli Whitney, Thomas Rice (1654), Northborough, Massachusetts, Southborough, Massachusetts
Collection: Towns in Massachusetts, Towns in Worcester County, Massachusetts, Westborough, Massachusetts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Westborough, Massachusetts

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Westborough, please see the article Westborough (CDP), Massachusetts.
Westborough, Massachusetts
Nathan Fisher House, Westborough
Nathan Fisher House, Westborough
Official seal of Westborough, Massachusetts
Nickname(s): The Hundredth Town
Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts
Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1675
Incorporated 1717
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Board of
George Barrette
Timothy Dodd
Denzil Drewry
Leigh Emery
Ian Johnson
 • Total 21.6 sq mi (56.0 km2)
 • Land 20.5 sq mi (53.1 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
Elevation 300 ft (91 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 18,272
 • Density 877/sq mi (338.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01581
Area code(s) 508/774
FIPS code 25-75015
GNIS feature ID 0618390
Website Official website

Westborough is a town[1] in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,272 at the 2010 census, in nearly 6,900 households. Incorporated in 1717, the town is governed now under the New England open town meeting system, headed by a five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions, and calling a town meeting of citizens annually or whenever the need arises.


  • History 1
    • Registered Historic Places 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent towns 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
  • Transportation 5
  • Media 6
  • Library 7
  • Sites of interest 8
  • Accolades 9
  • Annual events 10
  • Places of worship 11
  • Notable people 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Before recorded time, the area now known as Westborough was a well-travelled crossroads. As early as 7,000 B.C., prehistoric people in dugout canoes followed the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers to their headwaters in search of quartzite for tools and weapons.

From 1200-1600 A.D., seasonal migrations brought Nipmuc Indians to hunt and fish near Cedar Swamp and Lake Hoccomocco. Using Fay Mountain as a landmark, Indians crisscrossed Westborough on well-worn paths: the old Connecticut Path leading west from Massachusetts Bay; the Narragansett Trail leading south, and the trail (along the present Milk Street) leading to Canada.[2]

The early English explorer John Oldham followed these trails through Westborough in 1633, and settlers in search of fertile farmlands followed not long after. By late 1675, a few families had settled near Lake Chauncy, in the "west borough" of Marlborough.

On November 18, 1717, Westborough was incorporated as the hundredth town in Massachusetts, populated by twenty-seven families, including Thomas Rice who had represented Marlborough in the Great and General Court. Soon large farms were carved out, mills built along the Assabet River and Jackstraw Brook, and taverns flourished. Westborough's first minister, Reverend Ebenezer Parkman, shepherded the growing town of colonists through the years toward independence from Great Britain. Forty-six minutemen from Westborough fought under Captain Edmund Brigham in the Revolutionary War.

In 1775, Northborough split off as the "north borough" of Westborough, much as Westborough split off from Marlborough some 58 years before. However, the two towns shared a meetinghouse for some time more.

In 1810 the route from Boston to Worcester was straightened and improved into an official turnpike (the present Route 9), and along its Westborough route, the Wesson Tavern Common, Forbush Tavern and Nathan Fisher's store prospered. The center of commerce shifted downtown in 1824 with the arrival of the steam train through Westborough's center. The railroad brought a new era to the town industry: over the next century, local factories shipped boots and shoes, straw hats, sleighs, textiles, bicycles, and eventually abrasive products, across the nation. Westborough dairies supplied cities with milk and local greenhouses shipped out carnations, while the eight orchards found ready markets for their produce.

Main Street in c. 1905

The industrial progress of the entire country is indebted to Westborough's most famous native son Eli Whitney Jr. Born in 1765, Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1795 after graduating from Yale, In 1798 he introduced mass production to the United States at his Whitney Arms Company in New Haven, Connecticut. Whitney's legacy is apparent in the modern industries located within the town's borders: AstraZeneca, Dover Electric, Proteon, Genzyme, EMC Corporation, IBM, PFPC, Bose Corporation and the global headquarters of American Superconductor.

Registered Historic Places

Westborough is home to several listings on the National Register of Historic Places:


Mill Pond at sunset

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56.0 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53.1 km2) of it is land, and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it is water or 5.09 percent. Westborough is drained by the Sudbury and Assabet rivers. The town contains numerous bodies of water, including Lake Chauncy, Mill Pond, Lake Hoccomocco, and the Westborough Reservoir. Lake Chauncy is open to swimming, boating, and fishing, and has a public beach open to residents of Westborough and Northborough during the summer months. The average elevation of the town is approximately 300 feet (91 m).

Adjacent towns

Westborough is located in east/central Massachusetts, located about 28 miles (45.47 km) west of Boston and 12 miles (19 km) east of Worcester. It is bordered by six towns:


County-level state agency heads
Clerk of Courts: Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney: Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds: Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
Register of Probate: Stephanie K. Fattman (R)
County Sheriff: Lew Evangelidis (R)
State government
State Representative(s): Carolyn Dykema (D)
Danielle Gregoire (D)
Hannah Kane (R)
State Senator(s): Jamie Eldridge (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney (D)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): James P. McGovern (D-2nd District)
U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)

Data from the U.S. Census[13] of 2010 shows there were 18,272 people, 6,924 households, and 4,763 families residing in the town. The population density was 891.3 people per square mile (unofficial). The racial makeup of the town was 77.4% White, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 17.4% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, 1.9% from two or more races, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 6,924 households out of which 38% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town the population was spread out with 13.2% under the age of 10, 14.3% from 10 to 19, 9.9% from 20 to 29, 12.9% from 30 to 39, 17.3% from 40 to 49, 14.7% from 50 to 59, 8.2% from 60 to 69, 4.6% from 70 to 79, and 4.8% who were 80 years of age or older. The median age was 39.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males age 18 and over.

The median income for a household in the town (based on U.S. Census five-year estimate) was $96,069, and the median income for a family was $117,392. Males had a median income of $82,369 versus $54,893 for females. The per capita income for the town was $43,265. About 1.4% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over. As of 2005, the labor force was over 9,300 people with an unemployment rate in the town of 3.1%. Additionally in 2004, the number of registered voters in the town reached 11,532.


Westborough Public Schools consist of three elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school:

  • Hastings Elementary School
  • Armstrong Elementary School
  • Annie E. Fales Elementary School
  • Mill Pond School
  • Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School
  • Westborough High School (school mascot - Rangers)

The Mill Pond School is the newest school addition to Westborough. The Mill Pond School consists of grade 4 to 6, then Gibbons Middle School which consists of grades 7 and 8, and then Westborough High School. There are three options depending upon residents' geographic location in the town for preschool through third grade. Graduation rates in the high school are consistently above 95% and the vast majority of these graduates attend a four-year college.

Westborough receives an extremely low education reimbursement from the Commonwealth (10th from the bottom) based upon a formula which was set in 1993. The district is working with state legislators to attempt to re-formulate Chapter 70 funding so that it is more equitable.[14]

In a 2004/2005 study by School Matters, a service of Standard and Poors, Westborough Public School system was rated as one of the top public school systems in Massachusetts that consistently outperformed peer schools on MCAS reading and math proficiency test over the last four years. Westborough was the only school system in Worcester County other than Harvard, MA to achieve this top state wide ranking. Westborough ranked 16 out of 204 school systems rated in the state of Massachusetts in this study. In 2005, Money Magazine listed Westborough as #36 in its survey of Top 100 Best Places to Live, citing the financial support and staffing levels found in the Westborough Public Schools.

The following facts are published as part of the 2011-2012 Massachusetts Department of Education Profile of the Westborough Public School District and includes test results from the 2011 MCAS [15]

  • Total enrollment (2011-2012): 3,500- ranked 81/400 districts
  • Grades Served: PreK-12
  • Racial Make-up: African-American (1.9%), Asian (20.9%), Hispanic (4.6%), Native American (0.1%), White (69.8%)
  • Gender Make-up of Student Body: Male (52.2%) Female (47.8%)
  • Students whose first language is not English: (16.8%)- ranked 74/400 districts
  • Students in Special Education: (14.7%)- ranked 242/400 districts
  • Students from low-income families: (8.8%)- ranked 329/400 districts
  • Dropouts rate: (0.7%)- ranked 25/400 districts
  • Average number of Absences per student: 6.4
  • Attendance rate: (96.4%)- ranked 41/400 districts
  • Total Number of Teachers: 256.2
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 13.7 to 1- ranked 213/400 districts
  • Core Academic teachers identified as 'highly qualified': (100%)- ranked 1/400 districts
  • Teachers licensed in their teaching assignment: 99.2%
  • Average Teacher Salary: $71,714- ranked 75/328 districts
  • Total School Spending: $49,285,480
  • Per-Pupil Spending overall: $13,559 - ranked 114/328 districts
  • Number of Students per Computer: 3 - ranked 152/306 districts
  • Percentage of 10th Graders scoring either "Advanced" or "Proficient" on MCAS Math Exam: 90% - ranked 44/289
  • Percentage of 10th Graders scoring either "Advanced" or "Proficient" on MCAS English Exam: 95% - ranked 53/289
  • Percentage of 10th Graders scoring either "Advanced" or "Proficient" on MCAS Science Exam: 94% - ranked 10/286
  • Plans of High School Graduates (2010): Four-year private college (57%), Four-year public college (36%), Two-year private college (0%), Two-year public college (6%), Other education (0%), Joined workforce (0%), Military Service (0%), Other (0%), Unknown (0%).

In addition, Westborough is part of the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District. Students from Westborough Public Schools may choose to enter Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School after 8th grade (instead of entering Westborough High School) to pursue vocational studies.


The Town of Westborough is located on the west side of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) and Interstate 495 intersection. Route 30 (Main Street) and Route 135 (South Street/Milk Street) intersect in a rotary at the town's center, while Route 9 runs nearby serving much of the town's commerce.

In terms of public transportation, Westborough is currently served by an MBTA commuter rail station on the Framingham/Worcester Line as well as public bus service through the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.Limited commercial airline service is available at the Worcester Regional Airport.The nearest international airport is at Boston.




Cablecast (Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable tv channels):


The Westborough Public Library began in 1857.[16][17] In fiscal year 2008, the town of Westborough spent 1.24% ($846,826) of its budget on its public library—some $45 per person.[18]

Sites of interest

  • Assabet Reservoir – hiking trails
  • Fay Mountain - highest point in Westborough
  • Lake Chauncy - swimming, boating and fishing
  • Lyman School for Boys
  • Westborough Charm Bracelet - hiking trail
  • Westborough Country Club - semi-private 9-hole, par 36, golf club
  • Eli Whitney birthplace, on Eli Whitney Street and marked with a commemorative stone


  • 2005 profile of Westborough, MassachusettsMoney Magazine
  • 2007 profile of Westborough, MassachusettsMoney Magazine

Annual events

  • Annual Boy Scout Troop 100 Pancake Breakfast - February/March
  • High School Musical - March
  • Taste of the Boroughs - March
  • Middle School Musical - April
  • Spring Clean Up Day - April
  • Spring Carnival - April
  • Little League Parade - April
  • Memorial Day Parade
  • Purple Day-June
  • Dress and act like a Pirate Day, May 12
  • High School Graduation Ceremony - June
  • July 4th Block Party
  • Homecoming - September/October
  • High School Play - November
  • Middle School Play - November
  • Thanksgiving Day Football game
  • Christmas Singalong
  • Westborough High School Winter Concert-December
  • Eli Whitney Cup Playoffs (Westborough Men's Softball League)-August

Places of worship

  • Beth Tikvah Synagogue
  • Chabad of Westborough
  • Congregation B'nai Shalom
  • Evangelical Congregational Church
  • First Baptist Church Westborough
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
  • New Hope Chapel
  • St. Luke the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and Rectory
  • St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Westborough
  • Chapel of the Cross

Notable people


  1. ^ Town profile,; accessed October 3, 2015.
  2. ^ The section about Westborough history is based on notes titled The Hundredth Town, written by Kristina N. Allen, which in turn are based on her 1984 book On the Beaten Path.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Westborough Public Schools website,; accessed October 3, 2015.
  15. ^ Massachusetts Department of Education,
  16. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891.
  17. ^ Retrieved 2010-11-10
  18. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What's Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports; retrieved 2010-08-04

External links

  • Town of Westborough, Massachusetts
  • Westborough Public Library
  • Westborough School District
  • Westborough Public Access Television
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.