Framingham, Massachusetts is a thriving town in Middlesex County. Located about 20 miles west of Boston, it is approximately halfway between Boston and Worcester, making it an ideal location for residential living and businesses. Framingham’s 68,000 residents enjoy the benefits of living in this central area of Eastern Massachusetts, with many major roads including the Massachusetts Turnpike, Rte. 9, and Rte. 30 running through town. An MBTA commuter rail line also makes Framingham and important transportation hub in the area.
The first settler came in 1647 when John Stone moved here from Sudbury and built a home and corn mill. In 1660, Thomas Danforth acquired much of the land of modern-day Framingham, naming it after the town of his birth in England. By 1700, there were 76 families living on these Danforth Farms, and the town was incorporated on June 25, 1700.
Framingham, Massachusetts has developed into a bustling commerce center and residential area. Throughout its 300-year history, the town has produced multiple citizens of note, including:
Framingham is one of many mill towns in Massachusetts with local waterways providing power for a variety of industries. Starting with the grist mill in 1650, industry soon exploded. In 1800, the straw braiding and bonnet-making business began to flourish, followed by cotton, wool, and woolen carpets. In 1882, the Para Rubber Shoe Company found its home here, along with the Gregory Shaw and Company shoe and boot manufacturer. General Motors built its New England production center here, making 200,000 automobiles annually.
Today Framingham is home to many businesses including:
Combined with neighboring Natick, it is also a regional shopping center with a variety of stores and shops including national chains and local businesses. This area, known as the Golden Triangle, has several malls and shopping plazas, countless businesses, and is a major revenue stream for the town.
Framingham, like many Massachusetts towns, prides itself on its strong educational history. The first schoolmaster in town was hired in 1706, and the first schoolhouse built in 1716. Today, there are many schools in the town including a robust public school district, regional vocational high school, private and parochial schools, Framingham State College, and a campus of the Massachusetts Bay Community College.
The town is also known for the role it has played in research over the year. One of the most famous examples of this is the Framingham Heart Study. It began in 1948 to research heart disease and stroke. Over 5,000 volunteers from the town took part in the first generation of the study, looking at data from physical exams and lifestyle interviews. The second generation of the study enrolled in 1971 consisting of the first generation’s children and their spouses. In 1994, the study broadened to understand heart disease in the more diverse community, with its first Omni generation. In 2002, the third generation of the original study group began, and the 2nd Omni group in 2003. This study has provided a large amount of data for the scientific community to learn about heart disease.
From its earliest days, Framingham was a place of learning, commerce, and community. That strong tradition continues today making the town a thriving part of the past and future of Massachusetts.