Town Spotlight: Grafton MA

Town Spotlight: Grafton MA

Grafton MA is a semi-rural town in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The population, indicated by the 2014 town records is 14,268. Incorporated in 1735, Grafton is the home of a Nipmuc village known as Hassanamisco (place of small stones) Reservation, the Willard House and Clock Museum, Community Harvest Project, and the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Grafton consists of the North Grafton, Grafton, and South Grafton geographic areas, each with a separate zip code. Grafton also operates the state’s largest On-Call Fire Department, with 74 members.

grafton ma

In 1671, an English missionary named John Eliot, who preached in Hassanamisco, established an Indian church and school here where the Bible was studied in the Indian language. The church and school were located near the current common.  Today there is an Indian homestead on Brigham Hill.

In 1724, a group of 39 men and one woman, mainly from Marlborough, Sudbury, Concord, and Stow, presented a petition to the General Court and were granted the right to purchase 7,500 acres of land from Indian owners. The money was to be held in an account under the direction of the General Court for the benefit of the Indians. The Town of Grafton was established in 1735 and named in honor of Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton, and grandson of Charles II.

The present Grafton common was established in 1738. In 1845, a portion of the original Common was fenced, graded, and planted with trees.

Fun fact..the present bandstand was built in 1935 by Hollywood filmmakers for a scene in the production of “Ah, Wilderness,” which was filmed in Grafton.

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