Framingham - Encyclopedia

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FRAMINGHAM, a township of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., having an area of 27 sq. m. of hilly surface, dotted with lakes and ponds. Pop. (1890) 9239; (1900) 11,302, of whom 2391 were foreign born; (estimated 1906) 11,597. It is served by the Boston & Albany, and the New York, New Haven & Hartford railways. Included within the township are three villages, Framingham Center, Saxonville and South Framingham, the last being much the most important. Framingham Academy was established in 1792, and in 1851 became a part of the public school system. A state normal school (the first normal school in the United States, established at Lexington in 1839, removed to Newton in 1844 and to Framingham in 1853) is situated here; and near South Framingham, in the township of Sherborn, is the state reformatory prison for women. South Framingham has large manufactories of paper tags, shoes, boilers, carriage wheels and leather board; formerly straw braid and bonnets were the principal manufactures. Saxonville manufactures worsted cloth. The value of the township's factory products increased from $3,007,301 in 1900 to $4,173,579 in 1905, or 38.8%. Framingham was first settled about 1640, and was named in honour of the English home (Framlingham) of Governor Thomas Danforth (1622-1699), to whom the land once belonged. In 1700 it was incorporated as a township. The "old Connecticut path," the Boston-to-Worcester turnpike, was important to the early fortunes of Framingham Center, while the Boston & Worcester railway (1834) made the greater fortune of South Framingham.

See J. H. Temple, History of Framingham. .. 1640-1880 (Framingham, 1887).

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