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Spencer #67: Central MA’s Best Communities

Monday, June 25, 2012

 

Spencer

Spencer ranks 67th in Central Mass in our Best Communities analysis.  

Spencer is a working class town with roots in the mills. St. Joseph's Abbey is located in Spencer, where Trappist monks make jams and preserves to support the monastery.  The Spencer Fair, which has been held on Labor Day weekend every year for nearly 125 years, is the region's largest agricultural fair.  With a variety of entertainment acts and rides, the fair has something for everyone, even those who do not farm.  

Spencer’s art and culture score is tied for last, and student achievement is 63rd overall. The town’s scores for affordability and economic condition are slightly below average, and the town was ranked 27th for its restaurants.
 

Spencer by the numbers

Established: 1753
Population: 11,688
Median household income: $63,761
Median housing price: $185,000

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 67
Affordability ranking: 38
Education ranking: 63
Economic condition ranking: 37
Safety ranking: 44
Arts & Culture ranking: 69

History in a nutshell:

Settled in 1717 and incorporated in 1753, Spencer became a major stop on the stage route between Boston, Hartford and New York during the late 18th century. Famous visitors included General Henry Knox and George Washington. Another connection with the Revolutionary War: 56 Spencer residents out under Captain Ebenezer Mason, many partaking in the Battle of Bunker Hill. By the 19th century, the industry was beginning to grow and develop, particularly fueled by the Seven-Mile River, allowing Spencer to manufacture shoes and wire. 

Famous residents:  

Frank Bird, Writer

James Ambrose McCormick, MLB player 

Famous residents source: Wikipedia
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton

 

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