Tyngsborough, Massachusetts

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Tyngsborough (also spelled Tyngsboro and rhymes with KINGS-burro) is a town located in the northwest section of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Composed of 17.86 square miles (46.3 km2) of land and surface water, Tyngsborough borders the towns of Dunstable, Groton, Westford, Chelmsford, Dracut, and the City of Lowell, as well as the New Hampshire communities of Hudson, Pelham, and the City of Nashua. Tyngsborough is 44 miles (71 km) from Boston[1] along the recently widened Route 3 corridor. The town calls itself 'The Gateway to the White Mountains' of New Hampshire, which is the source of the Merrimack River that bisects the town. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 11,081 but has experienced steady growth since World War II as part of Greater Boston.

Contents

History

Tyngsborough was settled in 1661, as part of the massive Dunstable Township. The town of Dunstable, incorporated in 1673, was named after the hometown of pioneer Edward Tyng. However, a relative of his, and the source of the town of Tyngsborough's name, was Colonel Jonathan Tyng whose home, the Tyng Mansion House, was one of the oldest north of Boston. He settled near the Merrimack in what is now Tyngsborough in 1675. The house stood until the 1970s, when it was destroyed by arson. Early on Tyngsborough residents fought a series of small and bloody skirmishes with local Native American tribes. Evidence of this can be found in several old colonial homes in town that still have emergency passages that were used during these attacks. In 1789, Tyngsborough's parish split from the rest of Dunstable, making Tyngsborough a recognized district. On February 23, 1809, Tyngsborough became a town.

After Tyngsborough was incorporated it became known for its ferries which travelled up and down the Merrimack River, the quarries that produced granite, and several box companies that started in town. As the town developed, Tyngsborough became a vacation community and had a large seasonal resident population even up until the late 1960s. Today, Tyngsborough is primarily a bedroom community, part of Greater Lowell and the Nashua, New Hampshire region, as well as being an easy commute to the Boston area. The town is probably best known today for its green painted single-arched iron bridge over the Merrimack. Constructed in the early 1930s as a replacement for an earlier wooden planked structure, this bridge has become the town's emblem, and more practically, a major river crossing for residents of Massachusetts and New Hampshire alike. Having fallen into serious disrepair, the green bridge has been replaced by a temporary structure while work is done to restore the former.

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