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Princeton #15: Central MA’s Best Communities

Thursday, June 28, 2012



Located along the south face of Wachusett Mountain, 15th ranked Princeton is a rural community with agriculture, conservation land, and open space. Princeton was created in 1759, out of land that was once part of Rutland. Economic and demographic growth after World War II brought changes to the town.

Today, Princeton is mostly residential. Many visitors explore the Mount Wachusett State Reservation and Redemption Rock, the spot where Mary Rowlandson, wife of the first minister of Lancaster, was redeemed from captivity under King Philip. Princeton's scenic beauty and recreational opportunities draw many visitors to town. 

Princeton makes it in to the top ten for education (#10), followed closely by its #12 economic condition and #16 safety rankings.  The town's ranking falls to #58 for restaurants and #66 for arts and culture.  

Princeton by the numbers

Established: 1770
Population: 3413
Median household income: $102,853
Median housing price: $262,000

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 15
Affordability ranking: 27
Education ranking: 10
Economic condition ranking: 12
Safety ranking: 16
Arts & Culture ranking: 66
Restaurant ranking: 58

History in a nutshell:

Dubbed the "Hide and Seek Town," by novelist Helen Hunt Jackson, Princeton's beautiful scenery attracted famous authors, actors, thinkers and scientists such as Louisa May Alcott, Thoreau, Sarah Bernhardt, Lydia Pinkham, Thomas Edison and the Harpers of Harper's Magazine. Farming and industry had dominated the economy since the 1800s, and at the onset of the 20th century Princeton returned to a rural area.

Famous residents:  

Ward Nicholas Boylston, Businessman and philanthropist
Edward Savage, Artist, museum proprietor
Ezra Heywood, Abolitionist, feminist, anarchist 

Famous residents source: Wikipedia
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton



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