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Grafton #22: Central MA’s Best Communities

Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, #22 ranked Grafton still has five historic mill sites within town.  The town, which still operates three post offices (Grafton, North Grafton and South Grafton), has a traditional common in the center of town.  The bandstand on the common was built in the 1930s for the movie "Ah Wilderness."  Today the common is used for community festivals, a farmers market and summer concerts. 

Grafton ranks 6th in safety, and 12th for educational achievement and 13th for economic condition, but 52nd for affordability and 61st for restaurants.  


Grafton Town Center

Grafton by the numbers

Established: 1735
Population: 17,765
Median household income: $91,743
Median housing price: $317,500

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 22
Affordability ranking: 52
Education ranking: 12
Economic condition ranking: 13
Safety ranking: 6
Arts & Culture ranking: 30
Restaurant ranking: 61

History in a nutshell:

Named after King Charles II's illegitimate son, Charles FitzRoy Second Duke of Grafton, the town was settled in 1718 on Nipmuc tribal land. Grafton housed the Upper Mill, which played an integral role in the early American Industrial Revolution by manufacturing abrasives. Decades later in the 1950s, the United States Air Force installed the largest metal forge in the world at the time in one of Grafton's plants in order to produce commercial and military aircraft pieces.

Famous residents:  

Frank O'Hara, Poet and playwright
Mar Orrell, Member of the band Dropkick Murphys
Steve Spagnuolo, Defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints

Famous residents source: Wikipedia.
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton


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