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Douglas #52: Central MA Best Communities

Tuesday, June 26, 2012



The southern terminus of the Mid-State Trail, Douglas, the 52nd Best Community in Central Mass,  is a rural community with several ponds, reservoirs and hiking trails that is part of the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor.

Its Historical Society is located in the former Jenckes Store, a family owned and operated general store that operated in town from 1884 until 1964, when it closed. The Douglas Historical Society took possession of the store property in 1972, and has left much of the building as it was during its heyday and operates it as a museum.

Douglas ranks 10th for safety and in the top 20 for economic condition.  Its lowest score is for arts and culture (57th) with education also below the median (54th).

Douglas by the numbers

Established: 1746
Population: 8471
Median household income: $86,214
Median housing price: $230,000

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 52
Affordability ranking: 32
Education ranking: 54
Economic condition ranking: 17
Safety ranking: 10
Arts & Culture ranking: 57

History in a nutshell:

Settled in 1721, Douglas was incorporated and named in 1746 when a Boston physician agreed to fund the establishment of free public schools with a donation of $500 in return for the town named in his honor. From then, Douglas, because of its dense forest, was dominated by the woodcutting industry. The town housed General Lafayette of France who was instrumental in the colonists' fight in the American Revolution and later led the French Revolution in his home country.

Famous residents:  

Mike Brannock, MLB baseman

Notable residents source: Wikipedia 
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton


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