Royalston, Massachusetts

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Royalston is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,254 at the 2000 census.



Royalston is a small town in the North Quabbin area of northwestern-central Massachusetts. It was named after Isaac Royal, a landowner.[1] It is very large in land area (about 42.6 square miles) though it has a tiny population of about 1,200. Many of the surrounding towns like Warwick and Richmond are also very small. Most of the town's land is forest and wetlands, and there are several reservations and wildlife management areas. Two notable reservations are the Tully Lake flood protection dam area in the very southwestern part of the town, and the Royalston Falls reservation in the northern section. The largest population center in the town is the village of South Royalston in the southwestern corner of the town. This village contains the town's only store, a small convenience store and deli, and its only restaurant. The center of town is also a small village that contains a very well preserved classic colonial New England town center and common. The center of town contains the town hall, post office, congregational church, and the town's library.

Geography and transportation

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.5 square miles (110.0 km²), of which 41.9 square miles (108.5 km²) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²), or 1.39%, is water. Royalston is located in the northwestern part of central Massachusetts, on hilly land. The town center lies near Frye Hill, which quickly slopes downward just west of the town center, into the Tully River valley. The Tully River empties through Long Pond and Tully Lake before flowing into the Millers River in neighboring Athol, downstream from where that river flows through the southeast corner of town. Several other brooks cross through the town, with some of the land along these brooks being marshlands. To the west, Bliss Hill rises near the Warwick town line, and is the highest point in the town. Royalston is home to several wildlife management areas, including Birch Hill, Millers River, Lawrence Brook and Fish Brook, the first two of which cover three substantial portions of the eastern half of town. The town also has two portions of state forest near West Royalston.

Royalston is the northwestern corner of Worcester County, bordering Cheshire County, New Hampshire to the north and Franklin County to the west. It is bordered by Athol to the south, Phillipston and Templeton to the southeast, Winchendon to the east, Richmond and Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire to the north, and Warwick and Orange in Franklin County to the west. The town center lies 24 miles (39 km) west-northwest of Fitchburg, 38 miles (61 km) northwest of Worcester and 68 miles (109 km) northwest of Boston. The town is mostly divided into three villages, the central village, West Royalston and South Royalston.

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