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Rutland #17: Central MA’s Best Communities

Thursday, June 28, 2012



The geographic center of Massachusetts, Rutland, ranks #17. Incorporated in 1722, Rutland is a residential mountain town. At 1,200 feet above sea level, Rutland has the highest elevation of any community between the Berkshires and the Atlantic Ocean.

In the 1880s, during an onslaught of tuberculosis, the town became famous for its health care industry and fresh air living environment. The health care facilities closed in December 1991, however. Today, Rutland is essentially a commuter town as many of its residents commute daily to Boston and Springfield. Each year beginning on July 1, Rutland holds a four-day-long Independence Day celebration. Every August, the Rutland Fire Brigade hosts and sponsors The Central Tree Chowder Challenge.

Rutland's highest ranking is for safety (#9) followed by education, which comes in at #11.  The town ranks 50th for restaurants, 44th for arts and culture and 35th for affordability.  

Rutland by the numbers

Established: 1713
Population: 7973
Median household income: $81,295
Median housing price: $225,000

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 17
Affordability ranking: 35
Education ranking: 11
Economic condition ranking: 26
Safety ranking: 9
Arts & Culture ranking: 44
Restaurant ranking: 50

History in a nutshell:

Between the Berkshires and the Atlantic Ocean Rutland has the highest elevation of any other community in Massachusetts. It is also home to Worcester's only buffalo herd. Rutland, settled in 1686, had many obstacles facing survival, including Native American attacks and severe epidemics of dysentery. The settlement survived and developed an economy based upon agriculture and grazing, eventually adding a gristmill and then a shoe production. Also, the town was the first to establish a subscription library.

Famous residents:  

George Graham Mangus, MLB player

Famous residents source: Wikipedia
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton 


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