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Ashburnham #31: Central MA’s Best Communities

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

 

Ashburnham

A rural, picturesque town, #31 ranked Ashburnham is one of the few Massachusetts towns still without a traffic light. This north Central Mass town is the starting point for both the Mid-State and Wapack Trails. The private Cushing Academy is known as a perennial hockey power with at least a dozen alumni have played in the NHL.

Ashburnham's highest rank is for affordablity, where is comes in at #14.  Its safety ranking matches the town's overall rank (#31), and its education rank comes in slightly higher at #30.  The town's rank is pulled down by its 52nd place ranking for arts and culture and its 38th place rank for restaurants.  
 

Photo courtesy of John Phelan

Ashburnham by the numbers

Established: 1765
Population: 6,081
Median household income: $80,000
Median housing price: $167,500

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 31
Affordability ranking: 14
Education ranking: 30
Economic condition ranking: 44
Safety ranking: 31
Arts & Culture ranking: 52
Restaurant ranking: 38

History in a nutshell:
Originally named the Plantation of Dorchester, Canada, possibly after the Earl of Ashburnham or the Sussex Community in South East England, it was a grant to officers and soldiers who took part in the 1690 expedition of Canada. The land was awarded to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1765 to settle a land dispute. Once incorporated, the Central Mass town developed both agriculturally from the relatively flat high ground in to west and industrially from the growing immigrant population. The scenic lakes, streams, and mountains, including Mount Watatic, meaning "wigwam place" in Algonkian, have also made Ashburnham a hiking destination throughout the years.

Famous residents:
Ivers Whitney Adams, Founder of Boston's first baseball team--Boston Red Stockings
Bettie Davis, Actress
Isaac Hill, Senator, Comptroller of the US Treasury
Harrison Carroll Hobart, Wisconsin politician
Amos Pollard, Defender of the Alamo

Famous residents source: Wikipedia 
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton

 

 

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