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Sterling #14: Central MA’s Best Communities

Thursday, June 28, 2012



Originally a part of Lancaster, #14 ranked Sterling is a farming community located in the beautiful foothills of Mount Wachusett. It is also the home of Mary Sawyer from Sarah Josepha Hale's poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb." There is a statue of a lamb in the Town Common.

The Sterling Town Fair, held the weekend after Labor Day, attracts people each year from all over the state who enjoy two and a half days of exhibits, animal pulls, guest speakers, rides and games. 

Students attend elementary and middle school in town; high school options include Wachusett Regional High School in Holden and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School in Westminster.  

Sterling's highest rank is for economic condition (#9), followed by education (#16).  The town's lowest ranks are for arts and culture (#46) and restaurants (#42).

Sterling by the numbers

Established: 1781
Population: 7808
Median household income: $102,115
Median housing price: $255,900

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 14
Affordability ranking: 23 
Education ranking: 16
Economic condition ranking: 9
Safety ranking: 22
Arts & Culture ranking: 46
Restaurant ranking: 42


History in a nutshell:

Settled on the Native American land originally called Chocksett in Woonsechocksett, the first settlers were originally part of the town Lancaster. Finally breaking in 1780, Chocksett was incorporated as the town of Sterling, named after a Scottish expatriate who fought under General George Washington. The town remained predominately agricultural. 

Famous residents:  

Ebenezer Butterick, Inventor of tissue paper dress patterns
Charles Herbert Colvin, Aeronautical engineer
Jay Cutler, Four-time Mr. Olympia, bodybuilder
Prentiss Mellen, US Senator

Notable residents source: Wikipedia 
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton



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