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Winchendon #65: Central MA’s Best Communities

Monday, June 25, 2012



WInchendon is 65th in GoLocal's Best Communities ranking.  

Dubbed “Toy Town” because of all of the wooden toys manufactured in town, Winchendon’s tribute to its history is a 12 foot high hobby horse. This town on the New Hampshire border is continuing in its manufacturing tradition, as the Saloom Furniture Company is the largest employer in town.

While Winchendon is ranked 8th in affordability, the town’s overall ranking is brought down by a 67th place rank for education and a 65th place rank for safety. It’s 28th place ranking for restaurants is slightly above average.

Clyde, a 12 foot replica of a hobby horse, is on display in town. Photo courtesy of Doug Kerr

Winchendon by the numbers

Established: 1764
Population: 10,300
Median household income: $58,582
Median housing price: $119,150

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 65
Affordability ranking: 8
Education ranking: 67
Economic condition ranking: 54
Safety ranking: 65
Arts & Culture ranking: 51

History in a nutshell:

Members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from Ipswich, Canada, petitioned for its incorporation, which was granted in 1764 and consequently renamed Winchendon. In the early years of industrialization it was nicknamed Shingleton for its high production of wooden shingles. In the late 1800s the Converse Toy & Woodenware Company was formed, which, in 1912, built the original Giant Rocking Horse--12 feet tall, named Clyde. 

Famous residents:  

Levi P Morton, US Vice President
William Barrett Washburn, Massachusetts governor
Lawton Walter "Whitey" Witt, MLB player

Notable residents source: Wikipedia 
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton


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