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Palmer #60: Central MA’s Best Communities

Monday, June 25, 2012



The town of Palmer comes in at #60 in GoLocalWorcester's Best Communities first annual ranking.  

One of the towns under consideration for a casino, Palmer is composed of four separate and distinct villages: Depot Village, Thorndike, Three Rivers, and Bondsville, which each maintain their own post office. Depot Village got its name from for the ornate Union Station railroad terminal designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson.

The town is also home to Camp Ramah, a summer camp associated with the Jewish Conservative movement.  

Palmer ranks in the bottom half of Central Mass in five of the six categories, with only its rank for restaurants (#19) climbing into the top 20.  Its education rank at 59 and its economic condition ranking of 58 pull down its overall rank.  

St. Paul's Church

Palmer by the numbers

Established: 1775
Population: 12,497
Median household income: $50,638
Median housing price: $139,000

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 60
Affordability ranking: 37
Education ranking: 59
Economic condition ranking: 58
Safety ranking: 39
Arts & Culture ranking: 41

History in a nutshell:

Settled in 1727 by Scottish-Irish Presbyterians, Palmer was incorporated by Massachusetts in 1775. It experienced growth and development from the construction of trolley lines in and out of the city and through the building of saw and grist mills along the river. These mills eventually began producing wool to aid the booming textile industry. By the 20th century an influx of immigrants, predominantly from Polish and French-Canadian began to join the Palmer workforce. 

Famous residents:  

John Conte, Actor

Bill Dunlap, MLB outfielder

Bill Karlon, MLB outfielder

Notable residents source: Wikipedia
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton 


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