Framingham is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 68,318 as of the United States 2010 Census. Founded in 1700, Framingham was placed at # 36 on 'Best Places to Live in US' by CNN Money magazine in 2012.
Framingham, sited on the ancient trail known as the Old Connecticut Path, was first settled when John Stone settled on the west bank of the Sudbury River in 1647. In 1660, Thomas Danforth, an official of the Bay Colony, formerly of Framlingham, Suffolk, received a grant of land at "Danforth's Farms" and began to accumulate over . He strenuously resisted petitions for incorporation of the town, which was officially incorporated in 1700, following his death the previous year. Why the "L" was dropped from the new town's name is not known. The first church was organized in 1701, the first teacher was hired in 1706, and the first permanent schoolhouse in 1716.
On February 22, 1775, the British general Thomas Gage sent two officers and an enlisted man out of Boston to survey the route to Worcester, Massachusetts. In Framingham those spies stopped at Buckminster's Tavern. They watched the town militia muster outside the building, impressed with the men's numbers but not their discipline. Though "the whole company" came into the tavern after their drill, the officers managed to remain undetected and continued on their mission the next day. Gage did not order a march along that route, instead ordering troops to Concord, Massachusetts on April 18–19. Framingham sent two militia companies totaling about 130 men into the Battles of Lexington and Concord that followed; one of those men was wounded.
In the years prior to the American Civil War, Framingham was an annual gathering-spot for members of the abolitionist movement. Each Independence Day from 1854 to 1865, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society held a rally in a picnic area called Harmony Grove near what is now downtown Framingham. At the 1854 rally, William Lloyd Garrison burned copies of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, judicial decisions enforcing it, and the United States Constitution. Other prominent abolitionists present that day included William Cooper Nell, Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, Lucy Stone, and Henry David Thoreau.
During the post–World War II baby boom, Framingham, like many other suburban areas, experienced a large increase in population and housing. Much of the housing constructed during that time consisted of split-level and ranch-style houses.
Framingham is known for the Framingham Heart Study, as well as for the Dennison Manufacturing Company, which was founded in 1844 as a jewelry and watch box manufacturing company by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, who became the pioneer of the American System of Watch Manufacturing at the nearby Waltham Watch Company. His brother, Eliphalet Whorf Dennison, developed the company into a sizable industrial complex, which merged in 1990 into Avery Dennison, with headquarters in Pasadena, California, and active corporate offices in the town.
In 2000, Framingham celebrated its Tercentennial.
The first syllable of the name is pronounced with a long a; that is, the name of the town is pronounced exactly like the two words "framing" and "ham."