Town of Westford
Westford is a town in the county of Middlesex, state of Massachusetts, United States of America. The town is bounded on the north by the town of Tyngsborough, on the east by the towns of Chelmsford and Carlisle, on the south by the town of Acton, on the southwest by the town of Littleton, and on the west by the town of Groton.
Westford was originally the western part of Chelmsford, which was settled by persons from Woburn and Concord in 1653. The struggle for separation from the old town began in 1713, and lasted fourteen years. In 1724 the General Court gave the people leave to be a separate religious society; and in 1727 they were recognized as a precinct. The act of incorporation was granted 23 September 1729, and was signed by Lt.-Gov. William Dummer, then acting governor.
The act of incorporation defines its boundaries in general terms, but the area was enlarged in 1730 by petition of inhabitants of Groton, whose estates were, in September of that year, annexed to Westford.
The first town meeting, for the purpose of choosing officers, was held 2 March 1729/30, at which Deacon John Comings was chosen moderator.
The first church in Westford was formed 15 November 1727. It was then called the Second Church in Chelmsford, being in the West Precinct of that town. The covenant was signed by seventeen men.
The Union Congregational Church was organized 25 December 1828, with fifty-nine members. It was composed of members of the First Church, who withdrew on account of doctrinal differences, and a few others who were members of churches in other towns, but residents here.
In “An Act for Erecting the West Precinct of the Town of Chelmsford into a Township by the Name of Wesford,” passed in the House of Representatives 20 Sept. 1729, and signed by the acting governor three days later, the boundaries were defined as follows:
Beginning at the South East Corner at a Heap of Stones, being the bounds between Chelmsford and the said Town of Wesford, thence running north to a chestnut tree marked and stones about it, so running on a straight line north to a tree marked at Coll. Tyng's Farm, thence Westwardly upon Coll. Tyng's Farm or Dunstable line to a heap of stones, thence Southerly by Groton line till it come to Littleton land, then upon Littleton land Southerly or Southeasterly, till it come to Concord Line, thence easterly on Concord Line to Bounds first mentioned.
The General Court enacted on 10 Sept. 1730, an area to be set off from the town of Groton and annexed to the town of Westford, bounded as follows:
Beginning at North East corner of Stony Brook Pond, from thence extending to the Northwest Corner of Westford, commonly called Tyng's Corner, and so bounded Southerly by said Pond.
In May 1827, the Selectmen of the two towns ran the boundary lines between them and erected permanent monuments where none had been previously erected, and the lines and monuments were thus described:
Beginning at a stone post on Millstone hill marked G. W. T. at the ancient pillar of stones, thence running South 10° West 186 rods to a stone post near the house of Oliver Wright; thence South 12½° West 386 rods to another stone post on Clay-pit hill; thence South 12° West 252 rods to another stone post near the house of Capt. Nathan Brown; thence South 10½° West 49 rods and 20 links to the shore of Forge Pond, so called, and thence the same course into said Pond to a heap of stones the corner of Littleton.
Originally a part of neighboring Chelmsford, West Chelmsford soon grew large enough to sustain its own governance, and was officially incorporated as Westford on September 23, 1729.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford primarily produced granite, apples, and worsted yarn. The Abbot Worsted Company was said to be the first company in the nation to use camel hair for worsted yarns. Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War. Westford Minutemen were alerted by efforts of Samuel Prescott who alerted Acton, to the southeast towards Stow.
Paul Revere's son attended Westford Academy and a bell cast by Revere graces its lobby today. A weather vane made by Paul Revere sits atop the Abbot Elementary school.
By the end of the American Civil War, as roads and transportation improved, Westford began to serve as a residential suburb for the factories of Lowell, becoming one of the earliest notable examples of suburban sprawl. Throughout the 20th century (and with the invention of the automobile), Westford progressively grew, continuing to serve as residential housing for the industries of Lowell, and later, Boston.
In the 1960s, the town was home to one of the research sites supporting Project West Ford.
By the 1990s, Westford was home to offices for Red Hat, Samsung, Sonus Networks, Seagate, Iris Associates, Visual Solutions, and many other technology firms, most located along Massachusetts Route 110, parallel to I-495. It is also the North American headquarters for Puma, which holds a road race in town. The leading manufacturer of EEG electrodes, HydroDot Inc., located here in 2007.
Today, Westford's agricultural past has given way to rapidly expanding high technology industries, suburban retail, and upper-middle class residential areas.
Westford's inter-town sports teams have the colors of maroon, white, and sometimes black.