Petersham is a town in Worcester County, United States. The population was 1,234 at the 2010 census. Petersham is home to a considerable amount of conservation land, including the Quabbin Reservation, Harvard Forest, the Swift River Reservation, Federated Women's Club State Forest. Petersham was first settled in 1733 and was incorporated on April 20, 1754. On February 4, 1787, it was the site of the second battle of Shays' Rebellion; the town is noted for part of the Petersham Common Historic District. About 45 buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the Country Store, an 1842 Greek Revival structure that has housed a general store on its main floor since its opening, sits just to the East of the common. The town's lands were expanded by the building of the Quabbin Reservoir in 1938; when the towns of the Swift River Valley were disincorporated and neighboring New Salem benefited the most, with Petersham receiving all of the former town of Dana, much of the town of Greenwich, a small portion of the former town of Prescott east of the Middle Branch of the Swift River.
Its modern southwestern borders lie along the former East and Middle branches of the Swift River, includes lands that were once part of Hampshire County. A memorial was erected in the town in 1927 by the New England Society of New York; the memorial commemorates General Benjamin Lincoln, who raised 3,000 troops and routed the rebellion on February 4, 1787. It ends with the line, "Obedience to the law is true liberty." According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 68.3 square miles, of which 54.2 square miles is land and 14.1 square miles is water. By virtue of the lands it gained in the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, Petersham is the largest town by land area in Worcester County, the fifth-largest town of the 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth, it is the largest town by area in Central and Western Massachusetts, with the four largest towns being in southeastern Massachusetts. Much of the town's land is protected as part of the Quabbin Reservation, a protected area surrounding the Quabbin Reservoir.
The town's borders extend well into the eastern branch of the reservoir, includes the lands around what were once Mount Pomeroy, Mount Zion, several other former hills. The lands of the Reservation are only accessible on foot, include the only disincorporated areas which are accessible to the public, at the former Dana Common, a 1.5 miles walk from Gate 40. Most of the town still drains along brooks that once met the Swift River; the town has several other hills that are part of the larger Worcester Hills region, including Whitney Hill and Camels Hump Hill, at 1,044 feet the highest point in town. Several other parts of the town are protected, including the Federated Women's Club State Forest, the Petersham State Forest, Harvard state Forest, the Popple Camp Wildlife Management Area, the Phillipston Wildlife Management Area, the latter three extending into neighboring towns. Most of the town is rural in nature, with the largest population located near the town common. Petersham, by virtue of its territory in the Quabbin, is the westernmost town in Worcester County, bordering Franklin County to the west and a small portion of Hampshire County to the south.
Petersham is bordered by Athol to the northwest, Phillipston to the northeast and Hardwick to the southeast, Ware to the south, New Salem to the west. From the town common, Petersham is 29 miles northwest of Worcester, 41 miles north-northeast of Springfield, 66 miles west-northwest of Boston. There are no interstates or other limited-access highways within town, with the nearest being Route 2, the major east-west route across northern Massachusetts, which lies just north of the town. Near the center of town lies the junction of Route 32 and Route 122, with Route 32 entering from Athol and Route 122 entering from New Salem; the routes pass concurrently into the town of Barre before splitting again in the southern part of that town. The town center is the northern terminus of Route 32A, which heads southward through Hardwick, providing a more direct route from where Route 32 turns eastward in the Hardwick village of Gilbertville to the Petersham town center. Just north of the town center, the southern terminus of Route 101 lies along Route 32, heading into Phillipston along its route towards the New Hampshire border.
There are no means of mass transit in Petersham. The nearest general aviation airports are the Orange Municipal Airport, Gardner Municipal Airport and Tanner-Hiller Airport in Barre; the nearest national air service can be reached at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,180 people, 438 households, 299 families residing in the town; the population density was 21.8 people per square mile. There were 474 housing units at an average density of 8.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.20% White, 0.68% African American, 0.76% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.08% from other races, 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population. There were 438 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.7% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.48 and the average family si
U.S. Route 202
U. S. Route 202 is a highway stretching from Delaware to Maine passing through the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire; the road has borne the number 202 since at least 1936. Before this, sections of the road were designated U. S. Route 122, as it intersected U. S. Route 22, its current designation is based on its intersection with US 2 in Maine. This route is longer than the eastern segment of US 2, making it one of several 3-digit US routes to be longer than their parent routes. US 202 begins at an interchange with US 13/US 40 south of Wilmington, it runs north along the same road as Delaware Route 141 joins with Interstate 95 through Wilmington. North of the city, it exits the freeway onto Concord Pike. US 202 continues north towards the state line as a six-lane arterial road and is lined with numerous strip malls and "big-box stores". US 202 continues north toward West Chester, joining with US 322 after intersecting U. S. Route 1. South of West Chester, US 202/322 exits onto a limited-access bypass of the borough.
North of West Chester, US 322 exits, US 202 continues north as a freeway towards Frazer, where it interchanges with U. S. Route 30 and bends east to head towards Malvern and King of Prussia; the stretch between Mill Lane in Malvern to King of Prussia was widened to three lanes in each direction. In King of Prussia, the highway forms a large, complicated interchange with the Schuylkill Expressway, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, U. S. Route 422; the freeway transitions into a divided highway, passing the King of Prussia mall and heading northeast through commercial areas before splitting into a one-way pair through the streets of Bridgeport and Norristown, crossing the Schuylkill River in the process. North of Norristown, US 202 continues as a two-lane road heading northeast through the Philadelphia suburbs, passing through Blue Bell and Lower Gwynedd, where it becomes a four-lane full-access highway for about two miles. East of Lansdale, in Montgomeryville, it turns into a parkway with a parallel trail, which opened in December 2012.
It continues northeast towards Doylestown, where it joins an older section of bypass at Pennsylvania Route 611 and proceeds north to the old alignment of Route 202. It continues as a two-lane road to New Hope, crossing the Delaware River on the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge. On the toll bridge, US 202 has two lanes in each direction, it continues a northeasterly course for about 5.7 miles as a freeway. This segment of US 202 was earlier called the 202 bypass from its original route; the old section of 202 between New Hope and Ringoes, New Jersey is now NJ 179, Old York Road, the first roadway to connect New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, this section of Old York Road was renumbered US 202. A small section of the US 202 bypass was built in 1965 and the old route was renamed NJ 179; when the western section of the "bypass" was built to the Delaware River, the whole former segment was renamed 179. The section of the new US 202 freeway section ends once it begins to run concurrently with NJ 31 in East Amwell Township.
The concurrency runs to Flemington. This stretch, the 13 miles between Flemington and Somerville, is a four-lane divided roadway. At Somerville, the road merges with US 206 at a now-reconfigured Somerville Circle. Parts of the old traffic circle, which carries NJ 28, remain below the US 202 flyover. US 202 again becomes a two-lane road. From here to the state line, US 202 parallels, has been supplanted by, I-287, which during its construction dumped traffic onto US 202. US 202 continues through Morristown to Morris Plains with an intersection with NJ 53. With a few exceptions, US 202 is maintained by counties rather than the New Jersey Department of Transportation north of NJ 53; the following sections are state-maintained: At the I-80 interchange At the US 46 intersection Along the NJ 23 concurrency At the I-287 interchange in OaklandUS 202 continues past Boonton along the Boonton Turnpike to historic Mountain View in Wayne, where it picks up NJ 23 for about two miles and exits on Black Oak Ridge Road.
It follows the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike, Terhune Drive on the east side of Pompton Lake, Ramapo Valley Road to Mahwah before crossing the New York state line on the Franklin Turnpike. US 202 is designated east–west in New York, owing to its greater coverage in those directions. Franklin Turnpike becomes Orange Avenue in Suffern, US 202 continues to a block-long wrong-way concurrency with NY 59 before tailing off on Wayne Avenue and heading east toward Haverstraw. Most of this stretch is two-lane road. At Haverstraw, US 202 turns north along US 9W to Bear Mountain and crosses the Bear Mountain Bridge, running concurrently with US 6, the Grand Army Of The Republic Highway; the two wind around Anthony's Nose forming New York's only three-way concurrency of U. S. highways with US 9 at Peekskill. Afterwards, the two separate for several miles, with US 202 taking the more southerly route through Somers; the highways reunite at Brewster and become a four-lane road for their last few miles before the state line, taking in NY 121 in the process.
At Danbury, US 6 and 202 climb up onto I-84, which had just been joined by the north–south US 7, making a four-way concurren
Five College Consortium
The Five College Consortium comprises four liberal arts colleges and one university in the Connecticut River Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Totaling 38,000 students, they are geographically close to one another and are linked by frequent bus service which operates between the campuses during the school year. The consortium was formally established in 1965, but its roots lay in cooperative efforts between the oldest four members of the consortium dating back to 1914; the consortium is composed of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A similar organization exists directly to the south and is known as the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, in addition to another selective five college and two graduate school consortium in Southern California known as the Claremont Colleges. In 1914, Massachusetts Agricultural College, Mount Holyoke, Smith joined International YMCA College to form the Committee on University Extension of the Connecticut Valley Colleges, a joint continuing education program for the Pioneer Valley.
In years, Mount Holyoke, MAC--later known as Massachusetts State and UMass--increased their collaboration, culminating in the formation of an inter-library loaning program in 1951 and a joint astronomy department in 1959. In 1965, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass incorporated the Four College Consortium, which became the Five College Consortium when Hampshire College was founded in 1968; the five colleges operate both as independent entities as well as mutually dependent institutions. The mission of the consortium is to support long-term forms of cooperation that benefit the faculty and students of the five colleges. Shared academic and cultural resources are the primary initiative of the consortium; this means that students at each of these schools are permitted and encouraged to take classes at the other colleges at no additional cost to the student. Student groups and organizations draw participants from all five campuses and several academic programs are run by the Five Colleges; the colleges participate in an interlibrary loan program, allowing students and faculty to take advantage of all five campuses' collections.
The Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory was founded in 1969 by the Five College Astronomy Department. Together, the Five Colleges operate WFCR, an NPR member station operating at 88.5 MHz in the FM band. A popular urban legend among Five College students holds that the characters on the Saturday morning cartoon Scooby-Doo represent the five colleges; the legend has Daphne representing Mount Holyoke College, Velma as Smith College, Fred as Amherst College, Shaggy as Hampshire College, Scooby as UMass Amherst. Hanna-Barbera Productions, CBS executive Fred Silverman, Mark Evanier, one of the show's writers, have stated that the legend is false. Moreover, Scooby-Doo creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears have been explicit in the cartoon show being based on the radio program I Love a Mystery and the TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, with the four teenagers being based directly on characters from Dobie Gillis. In addition, Scooby-Doo made its television debut in one year before Hampshire College opened.
University of Massachusetts Transportation Services, as a contractor for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, provides free inter- and intra-campus bus service to students. Most of the routes are centered and serve UMass Amherst, which has over two-thirds of the student enrollment of the Five Colleges, but two routes, Route 38, connects Mount Holyoke College to UMass Amherst via Hampshire and Amherst College, Route 39 connects Smith and Hampshire College; the buses, operated by student workers from UMass Amherst, run on frequent schedule seven days a week when classes are in session, allowing car-free travel to class and social events. Hourly buses run into the early morning on an alternative to driving after drinking; this service is funded through a contract with the member institutions. The PVTA operates two non-UMass Transit routes that connect UMass Amherst with Smith College via Route 9. All of these routes are free to ride for students and faculty of the Five Colleges Consortium. Greyhound Bus Lines, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Megabus offer intercity bus service to the region.
The major terminal for the region is the Springfield Bus Station, from which services are provided both north-south and east-west to Vermont and New York City, to Boston and Albany, respectively. Megabus makes its stop in the region at Hampshire Mall in Hadley en route to Vermont and New York City, while Greyhound makes an additional stop in Northampton and Peter Pan calls at UMass Haigis Mall. Amtrak's Vermonter service operates through the Pioneer Valley once a day in each direction, with station stops at in Northampton and Springfield; the PVTA provides bus service from stops near the Amtrak station to all of the colleges in the Five College Consortium. Additional service is offered at the Union Station in Springfield, where Northeast Regional direct and shuttle provide service to points south along the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak service to Amherst station ended on December 28, 2014 when the Vermonter was rerouted through Northampton. Prior to the rerouting, Amtrak service was offered at the station once each way via the Vermonter.
It was contiguous to the Amherst College campu
Orange is a town in Franklin County, United States. The population was 7,839 at the 2010 census, it is part of Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. Part of the town is included in the census-designated place of Orange. Orange was first settled in 1746, created from lands in the towns of Royalston and Athol; the lands were not settled until the latter parts of the century, becoming the District of Orange in 1783, being incorporated as a town in 1810. It was named for Prince of Orange. In 1790, the Millers River was dammed within town, industry began in the former farming community. Small industry grew within the town, with the town being considered more of a mill town by 1840. By the late nineteenth century the New Home Sewing Machine Company was the largest industry in town, putting out 1.2 million machines at its peak in 1892. In 1900, it was home to the pioneer automobile company Grout, considered the first automobile built in a factory in the United States; the Peace Statue — It Shall Not Be Again — a bronze war memorial statue was erected in Memorial Park in 1934 to recognize veterans who served in World War I.
On February 25, 2000 the legislature designated it the official peace statue of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.0 square miles, of which 35.1 square miles is land and 0.93 square miles, or 2.58%, is water. Orange is drained by the Millers River. There are several brooks within town, as well as several ponds and lakes, including Tully Pond, Lake Mattawa and part of Lake Rohunta. Only a small portion of the town is protected area, most of, part of the Orange State Forest, with a small portion being part of the Warwick State Forest. Much of the northern half of town is spotted with swamps, the town is home to three large hills, Temple Hill and Tully Mountain in the north and Chestnut Hill, the town's highest point, in the south. Orange is the easternmost town within Franklin County along its border with Worcester County; the town center lies 18 miles east of Greenfield, 40 miles northwest of Worcester, 42 miles northeast of Springfield and 72 miles west-northwest of Boston.
It is bordered by Royalston to the northeast, Athol to the southeast, New Salem to the south, Wendell to the southwest, a small portion of Erving to the west, Warwick to the northwest. Like most of Massachusetts, Orange falls into Koppen Dfa/Dfb. Hot, humid summers are common, along with snowy winters. Spring and fall are mild, with notable fall foliage; the town lies along Massachusetts Route 2, the major east-west route across the northern part of the state. Except for the westernmost tenth of a mile, the entire road is a limited access highway through town; the highway portion ends at the junction of Route 2A, which passes just north of the Millers River near the town center, heading east into Athol and following Route 2's former right of way. Orange is home to the southern terminus of Route 78 and the northern terminus of Route 122. Additionally, the western end of the concurrency between Route 2 and U. S. Route 202 is just within town; the Springfield Terminal railway passes through town, crossing the Millers River several times in the western side of town.
The Fitchburg Railroad and Boston and Maine once provided passenger rail service to Orange. Two local bus routes, the Orange/Greenfield Route of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority, the Gardner/Orange Route of Montachusett Regional Transit Authority, provide service along Route 2A; the Town of Orange owns and operates Orange Municipal Airport, a small air service airstrip which serves as a flight training center and parachuting center. The nearest national air service can be reached either at Bradley International Airport to the south or Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to the northeast; as of the census of 2000, there were 7,518 people, 3,045 households, 1,979 families residing in the town. The population density was 212.6 people per square mile. There were 3,303 housing units at an average density of 93.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 96.29% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, 1.34% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population. There were 3,045 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.6% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.0% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.02. In the town, the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males. The median income for a household in the town was $36,849, the median income for a family was $44,128. Males had a median income of $34,367 versus $23,967 for females; the per capita income for the town was $17,361. About 5.8% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival Annual At
Springfield metropolitan area, Massachusetts
The Springfield metropolitan area is a region, socio-economically and culturally tied to the City of Springfield, Massachusetts. The U. S. Office of Management and Budget defines the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area as consisting of three counties in Western Massachusetts; as of July 1, 2009, the metropolitan area's population was estimated at 631,982. Following the 2010 Census, there have been discussions about combining the metropolitan areas of Springfield and Hartford, into a greater Hartford–Springfield area, due to the region's economic interdependence and close geographic proximity; the Census has identified the region as "Springfield–Chicopee–Holyoke, Mass.–Conn." as those cities were the area's historic population centers as as 1980. Greater Springfield is one of two combined statistical areas in Massachusetts, the other being Greater Boston. An alternative system of measuring New England metropolitan areas was developed—called the New England city and town area —because, in New England, towns are a much more important level of government than counties.
County government in New England is weak at best, in Connecticut, Rhode Island, most of Massachusetts, does not exist at all. In addition, major cities and surrounding towns are much smaller in land area than in other parts of the United States. For example, the City of Springfield is 33.2 sq. miles, whereas the City of Fort Worth, Texas, is 298.9 sq. miles, nearly 10 times larger in land area than Springfield. Because of the huge discrepancy in land area, in general New England cities like Springfield feature much higher population densities. In addition, New England cities and towns have developed allegiances; this system is thought to better approximate New England's metropolitan areas because it uses New England's geographically smaller building blocks. In Springfield's case, its NECTA consists of 51 additional towns surrounding the city. Hampden Hampshire Franklin As of the census of 2010, there were 692,942 people, 269,091 households, 168,758 families residing within the MSA; the racial makeup of the MSA was 81.10% White, 6.7% African American, 0.30% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.6% from other races, 2.7% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.4% of the population. As of the census of 2000, there were 680,014 people, 260,745 households, 167,924 families residing within the MSA; the racial makeup of the MSA was 83.50% White, 5.96% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.74% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 6.35% from other races, 2.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.15% of the population. The median income for a household in the MSA was $42,195, the median income for a family was $52,551. Males had a median income of $37,784 versus $28,404 for females; the per capita income for the MSA was $20,633. The median age for the MSA was 38.9 in 2010 overall, with a median age of 37.4 for males and 40.1 for females. The estimated median age in 2017 was 38.2 overall with a median age 36.6 for males and 39.6 for females. Among the 100 most populous MSAs in the United States, the Springfield metropolitan area had the 10th highest life expectancy in 2016 for the top quartile of income earners, adjusted for race and ethnicity, with an overall life expectancy of 87.2.
The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is the primary operator of public transportation services in the Springfield Metropolitan Area. Headquartered in Springfield, the PVTA maintains a fleet of 174 buses, 144 vans, "is the largest regional transit authority in Massachusetts." Founded in 1974 with the enactment of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 161B, the PVTA serves 24 member communities in Hampden and Franklin counties. Each member community pays an assessment fee to the PVTA based "on the number of miles served in that city or town." Alternative sources of revenue originate from federal and state governments. The PVTA itself is governed by an advisory board. Massachusetts census statistical areas
Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, the eastern Mill River; as of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2017, the estimated population was 154,758, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston and Providence, the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, had a population of 692,942 as of 2010; the first Springfield in the New World, during the American Revolution, George Washington designated it as the site of the Springfield Armory for its central location. The Armory would play a pivotal role in the Civil War with its manufacture of the famed "Springfield rifles". Today the city is the largest in western New England, the urban and media capital of Massachusetts' section of the Connecticut River Valley, colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley.
Springfield has several nicknames – "The City of Firsts", due to the many innovations developed there, such as the first American dictionary, the first American gas-powered automobile, the first machining lathe for interchangeable parts. Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, lies 24 miles south of Springfield, on the western bank of the Connecticut River; the Hartford-Springfield region is known as the Knowledge Corridor because it hosts over 160,000 university students and over 32 universities and liberal arts colleges – the second-highest concentration of higher-learning institutions in the United States. The city of Springfield itself is home to Springfield College, Western New England University, American International College, Springfield Technical Community College, among other higher educational institutions. Springfield was founded in 1636 by English Puritan William Pynchon as "Agawam Plantation" under the administration of the Connecticut Colony. In 1641 it was renamed after Pynchon's hometown of Springfield, England, following incidents, including trade disputes as well as Captain John Mason's hostilities toward native tribes, that precipitated the settlement joining the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
During its early existence, Springfield flourished as both an agricultural settlement and trading post, although its prosperity waned during King Philip's War in 1675, when natives laid siege to it and burned it to the ground as part of the ongoing campaign. During that attack, three-quarters of the original settlement was burned to the ground, with many of Springfield's residents survived by taking refuge in John Pynchon's brick house, the "Old Fort", the first such house to be built in the Connecticut River Valley. Out of the siege, Miles Morgan and his sons were lauded as heroes; the original settlement – today's downtown Springfield – was located atop bluffs at the confluence of four rivers, at the nexus of trade routes to Boston, New York City, Montreal, with some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil. In 1777, Springfield's location at numerous crossroads led George Washington and Henry Knox to establish the United States' National Armory at Springfield, which produced the first American musket in 1794, the famous Springfield rifle.
From 1777 until its closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory attracted skilled laborers to Springfield, making it the United States' longtime center for precision manufacturing. The near-capture of the armory during Shays' Rebellion of 1787 led directly to the formation of the U. S. Constitutional Convention. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Springfielders produced many innovations, including the first American-English dictionary. Springfield underwent a protracted decline during the second half of the 20th century, due to the decommissioning of the Springfield Armory in 1969. During the 1980s and 1990s, Springfield developed a national reputation for crime, political corruption and cronyism. During the early 21st century, Springfield sought to overcome its downgrade in reputation via long-term revitalization projects and undertook several large projects, including a $1 billion intercity rail line a $1 billion MGM casino.
Worcester is a city in, the county seat of, Worcester County, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population was 181,045, making it the second most populous city in New England after Boston. Worcester is located 40 miles west of Boston, 50 miles east of Springfield and 40 miles north of Providence. Due to its location in Central Massachusetts, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth", thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may have its provenance in lore that the Valentine's Day card, although not invented in the city, was mass-produced and popularized by Esther Howland who resided in Worcester. Worcester was considered its own distinct region apart from Boston until the 1970s. Since Boston's suburbs have been moving out further westward after the construction of Interstate 495 and Interstate 290; the Worcester region now marks the western periphery of the Boston-Worcester-Providence U. S. Census Combined Greater Boston.
The city features many examples of Victorian-era mill architecture. The area was first inhabited by members of the Nipmuc tribe; the native people called the region built a settlement on Pakachoag Hill in Auburn. In 1673 English settlers John Eliot and Daniel Gookin led an expedition to Quinsigamond to establish a new Christian Indian "praying town" and identify a new location for an English settlement. On July 13, 1674, Gookin obtained a deed to eight square miles of land in Quinsigamond from the Nipmuc people and English traders and settlers began to inhabit the region. In 1675, King Philip's War broke out throughout New England with the Nipmuc Indians coming to the aid of Indian leader King Philip; the English settlers abandoned the Quinsigamond area and the empty buildings were burned by the Indian forces. The town was again abandoned during Queen Anne's War in 1702. In 1713, Worcester was permanently resettled for a third time by Jonas Rice. Named after the city of Worcester, the town was incorporated on June 14, 1722.
On April 2, 1731, Worcester was chosen as the county seat of the newly founded Worcester County government. Between 1755 and 1758, future U. S. president John Adams studied law in Worcester. In the 1770s, Worcester became a center of American revolutionary activity. British General Thomas Gage was given information of patriot ammunition stockpiled in Worcester in 1775. In 1775, Massachusetts Spy publisher Isaiah Thomas moved his radical newspaper out of British occupied Boston to Worcester. Thomas would continuously publish his paper throughout the American Revolutionary War. On July 14, 1776, Thomas performed the first public reading in Massachusetts of the Declaration of Independence from the porch of the Old South Church, where the 19th century Worcester City Hall stands today, he would go on to form the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester in 1812. During the turn of the 19th century Worcester's economy moved into manufacturing. Factories producing textiles and clothing opened along the nearby Blackstone River.
However, the manufacturing industry in Worcester would not begin to thrive until the opening of the Blackstone Canal in 1828 and the opening of the Worcester and Boston Railroad in 1835. The city transformed into a transportation hub and the manufacturing industry flourished. Worcester was chartered as a city on February 29, 1848; the city's industries soon attracted immigrants of Irish, French and Swedish descent in the mid-19th century and many immigrants of Lithuanian, Italian, Greek and Armenian descent. Immigrants moved into new three-decker houses which lined hundreds of Worcester's expanding streets and neighborhoods. In 1831 Ichabod Washburn opened the Moen Company; the company would become the largest wire manufacturing in the country and Washburn became one of the leading industrial and philanthropic figures in the city. Worcester would become a center of machinery, wire products and power looms and boasted large manufacturers, Washburn & Moen, Wyman-Gordon Company, American Steel & Wire, Morgan Construction and the Norton Company.
In 1908 the Royal Worcester Corset Company was the largest employer of women in the United States. Worcester would claim many inventions and firsts. New England Candlepin bowling was invented in Worcester by Justin White in 1879. Esther Howland began the first line of Valentine's Day cards from her Worcester home in 1847. Loring Coes invented the first monkey wrench and Russell Hawes created the first envelope folding machine. On June 12, 1880, Lee Richmond pitched the first perfect game in Major league baseball history for the Worcester Ruby Legs at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds. On June 9, 1953 an F4 tornado touched down in Massachusetts northwest of Worcester; the tornado tore through 48 miles of Worcester County including a large area of the city of Worcester. The tornado killed 94 people; the Worcester Tornado would be the most deadly tornado to hit Massachusetts. Debris from the tornado landed as far away as Massachusetts. After World War II, Worcester began to fall into decline as the city lost its manufacturing base to cheaper alternatives across the country and overseas.
Worcester felt the national trends of movement away from historic urban centers. The city's population would drop over 20% from 1950 to 1980. In the mid-20th century large urban renewal projects were undertaken to try and reverse the city's decline. A huge area of downtown Worcester was demolished for new office towers and the 1,000,000 sq. ft. Wor