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Ware #71: Central MA’s Best Communities

Monday, June 25, 2012



Ware comes in second-to-last, ranking 71st out of 72 Central Mass communities.  

Overlooking the Quabbin Reservoir, Ware is centrally located between Worcester, Springfield and Northampton.  When the reservoir was built in the 1930s and four communities (Enfield, Greenwich, Prescott and Dana) were disincorporated, Ware picked up land from Enfield and Greenwich that were not part of the reservoir project.  There is a lookout tower over the reservoir on Quabbin Hill.  Called the “Town that Can’t be Licked” by Life Magazine following an employee buyout of a mill during the Great Depression, Ware continues its commercial activity while maintaining its rural charm.  

Ware’s best score was in the restaurant category, where it placed 24th overall. All of Ware’s other scores were close to the bottom, including educational achievement, where it placed 66th.

Photo courtesy of John Phelan

Ware by the Numbers

Established: 1775
Population: 9707
Median household income: $51,094
Median housing price: $180,500

2012 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 71
Affordability ranking: 57
Education ranking: 66
Economic condition ranking: 59
Safety ranking: 46
Arts & Culture ranking: 70

History in a Nutshell:

Following the Civil War, Ware's textile industry began to develop rapidly. The Otis Company dominated, producing denims and awnings until the 1930s when the Southern competition became too strong. As the company was going under, however, the townspeople rallied to save the mill, ultimately purchasing the mills to form the Ware Industries Inc.

Famous Residents:  

Candy Cummings, MLB player
Samuel Colt, Inventor of the repeating pistol
Shamus Culhane, Animator, director
Ruth Baker Pratt, First congresswoman to be elected from NY
Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

Famous residents source: Wikipedia
Additional reporting by Grace Fenton


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