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New Braintree #32: Central MA’s Best Communities

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

 

New Braintree

New Braintree, which comes in at #32 in Central Mass, is a small town, home to just under 1,000 people. The town has maintained its rural, farming character, with a working dairy farm, a commercial orchard and several successful produce farms.

Home to the state police academy, the town successfully fought the construction of a state prison in the late 1980s with the creation of a town group known as C.O.S.T. (Conserve Our Small Town). The prison was proposed by former Governor Michael Dukakis, and construction actually began. However, Governor William Weld ended the construction when he came into office.

New Braintree's highest rank is for affordability (#15), followed closely by economic condition (#21).  The town ranks near the bottom for restaurants (#70) and arts and culture (#63).
 

New Braintree by the numbers

Established: 1775
Population: 999
Median household income: $85,417
Median housing price: $190,000

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 32
Affordability ranking: 15
Education ranking: 28
Economic condition ranking: 21
Safety ranking: 55
Arts & Culture ranking: 63
Restaurant ranking: 70

History in a nutshell:

Since its settlement in 1709, New Braintree has remained true to its agricultural identity. The town experienced significant prosperity beginning in the late 18th century when its farmland, mostly geared towards cow raising, supplied Boston with much of its dairy and beef products. By the 19th century New Braintree was producing more than 200,000 pounds of cheese annually from its 1,000 cows.
 

Famous residents:  

Charles Allen, Congressman
Thaddeus Bowman, Minuteman
Charles Delano, US Representative from Mass
Alexander DeWitt, US Representative from Mass
Rufus Putnam, General in the Continental Army

Notable residents source: Wikipedia 
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton

 

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