Place:Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States

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NameLittleton
Alt namesCentre Villagesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003983
Littleton Centersource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003983
Littleton Stationsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003983
Nashobaksource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003983
TypeTown
Coordinates42.533°N 71.5°W
Located inMiddlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Old Burying Ground
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

leader_name = Anthony Ansaldi | leader_title1 = Board of
Selectmen | leader_name1 = Chairman: Chuck DeCoste,
Vice Chair: Paul Glavey,
Clerk: Joseph Knox,
Chase A. Gerbig
Cynthia L. Napoli | area_magnitude = | area_total_km2 = 45.5 | area_total_sq_mi = 17.6 | area_land_km2 = 43.0 | area_land_sq_mi = 16.6 | area_water_km2 = 2.4 | area_water_sq_mi = 0.9 | elevation_m = 70 | elevation_ft = 229 | population_total = 8,924 | population_as_of = 2010 | population_density_km2 = 202.7 | population_density_sq_mi = 524.9 | postal_code_type = ZIP code | postal_code = 01460 | area_code = 351 / 978 | website = www.littletonma.org | footnotes = | leader_title2 = Police Chief | leader_name2 = Mathew Pinard | leader_title3 = Fire Chief | leader_name3 = Scott Wodzinski | timezone = Eastern | utc_offset = -5 | timezone_DST = Eastern | utc_offset_DST = -4 | blank_name = FIPS code | blank_info = 25-35950 | blank1_name = GNIS feature ID | blank1_info = 0619403 }}

Littleton (historically Nipmuc: Nashoba) is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 8,924 at the 2010 census.

For geographic and demographic information on the neighborhood of Littleton Common, please see the article Littleton Common, Massachusetts.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Littleton was first settled by Anglo-European settlers in 1686 and was officially incorporated by act of the Massachusetts General Court on November 2, 1715. It was part of the Puritan and later Congregational culture and religion of New England.

The town was the site of the sixth Praying Indian village established by John ; it was called Nashoba Plantation, on the land between Lake Nagog and Fort Pond. The term "Praying Indian" referred to Native Americans who had been converted to Christianity. Daniel Gookin, in his Historical Collections of the Indians in New England, (1674) chapter vii. says:

Nashobah is the sixth praying Indian town. This village is situated, in a manner, in the centre, between Chelmsford, Lancaster, Groton and Concord. It lieth from Boston about twenty-five miles west north west. The inhabitants are about ten families, and consequently about fifty souls.

At the time of King Philip's War between the English and Native Americans, the General Court ordered the Indians at Nashoba to be interned in Concord. A short while later, some Concord residents who were hostile to the Nashoba solicited some militia to remove them to Deer Island. Around this time, fourteen armed men of Chelmsford went to the outlying camp at Wameset (near Forge Pond) and opened fire on the unsuspecting Nashoba, wounding five women and children, and killing outright a boy twelve years old, the only son of John Tahattawan. For much of the war, the English colonists rounded up the Praying Indians and sent them to Deer Island. When increasing numbers of Massachusetts Bay officers began successfully using Praying Indians as scouts in the war, the sentiment of the white settlers turned. In May, 1676, the Massachusetts General Court ordered that Praying Indians be removed from Deer Island. Still, many died of starvation and disease. Upon their release, most survivors moved to Natick and sold their land to white settlers.

In his book, An Historical Sketch Town of Littleton (1890), Herbert Joseph Harwood wrote:

It is said that the name Littleton was given as a compliment to Hon. George Lyttleton, M.P., one of the commissioners of the treasury [one time Chancellor of the Exchequer], and that in acknowledgment he sent from England a church-bell as a present to the town but on account of the error in spelling by substituting "i " for "y," the present was withheld by the person having it in charge, who gave the excuse that no such town as Lyttleton could be found, and sold the bell."

The minutemen and militia of Littleton marched and fought at Concord and the Battle Road on April 19, 1775. The militia company and the minutemen squads mustered at Liberty Square located on the southwest side of town on the Boxborough line (then part of Littleton). They marched from there through what is now Boxborough Depot and over Littleton Rd/Boxborough Rd to Newtown Road (Littleton), up over Fort Pond Hill (stopping briefly at the Choate Farm) and along Newtown Rd (Acton) to Acton Center. From there they marched the Isaac Davis Trail to Old North Bridge. Some writing suggests that the minutemen sped ahead to join the other minutemen at the bridge.

According to local lore, the town had a contingent of Loyalists who remained after the revolution and thwarted attempts to rename King Street as Main, Washington, or Adams streets. This has been the source of ribbing from neighboring towns, who call Littleton a Tory town.

Author John Hanson Mitchell wrote a book titled Ceremonial Time (1984), which details a history of fifteen thousand years over one square mile located within the town.



The arrival of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, now part of Hewlett-Packard) in the 1970s connected the town to other businesses in the Boston-area high-tech corridor. Digital built a very large facility on King Street near the Common, as well as offices on Porter Road and Foster Street. In 2007, IBM purchased the King Street facility from Hewlett-Packard and announced this would become its main New England location.

Due to the Yankee character of the town, it was notably dry during Prohibition. The Rowse family, which then owned New England Apple Products (later Veryfine), were known for their integrity and honesty, expressed by their refusal to do business with bootleggers in a state where Prohibition was overwhelmingly unpopular. Although Prohibition was repealed in 1930, Littleton did not permit the sale of alcohol again until 1960, and then in just two locations, the Johnson's store at the Depot and the Nashoba Package store at Donelan's shopping center. Only in the late 1980s, with the building of DEC's King Street facility, was a bar allowed to open in town (this later became Ken's American Cafe, which closed in December 2008. It was followed by what is now the Chip Shot on Ayer Road). For years residents could go to establishments just over the town line that served alcohol, in the surrounding Acton, Westford, Groton, Ayer, and Boxborough.

Littleton has remained a predominantly Yankee town, with the bulk of the population belonging to the Congregational Church of Littleton, The First Baptist Church, and First Church Unitarian churches. In the post-World War II era, Roman Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Quebec, Canada, and Italy moved into Middlesex County and Littleton. The Roman Catholic parish of St. Anne's was established in 1947. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established a chapel in 1979. In 1956, the Church of Christ was built on Harwood Avenue. It disbanded in 1985 due to the closing of Ft. Devens and a resultant dwindling membership.

Many of the early families are represented by descendants in the town to the present day: Blanchard, Bulkeley, Crane, Hartwell, Hathaway, Kimball, and Whitcomb. The neighborhoods around Mill Pond (also known as Lake Warren): Long Lake, Forge Village, and Spectacle Pond, include numerous summer cottages or "camps" that have been converted into year-round residences. Many ethnic Irish, Italian, Québécois, and Finnish families moved here in the 1950s and 1960s in a kind of suburbanization after leaving their more dense, first and second-generation neighborhoods in Arlington, East Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, and Somerville.

Due to its location between Fort Devens and Hanscom AFB, Littleton has been a popular location for military retirees from the 1960s to the present day.

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