Mendon, Massachusetts

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Mendon is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 5,286 at the 2000 census. Mendon is very historic and is now part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, the oldest industrialized region in the United States.



Early history

The Nipmuc once inhabited Mendon, and Nipmuc Pond is named for them. Nipmuc Regional High School was named after this lake. "Nipmuc" means "small pond place" or “people of the fresh waters”.[1] The Nipmuc name does not refer to a specific village or tribe, but to natives that inhabited almost all of central Massachusetts. Over 500 Nipmuc live today in Massachusetts and there are two nearby reservations at Grafton and Webster. The Nipmuc had a written language, tools, a graphite mine at Sturbridge and well developed agriculture including maize, beans and squash.Nipmuck Nation website

During King Philip's War in 1675, Praying Indians (natives who converted to Christianity) were settled into Praying Indian Villages. Wacentug and Rice City held two of these villages in Mendon, in a section that later became Uxbridge. These were two of the 14 Praying Indian villages established by Reverend John Elliot, from Natick and Roxbury, who translated the Bible into the Native American Nipmuc language.

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