Billerica, Massachusetts

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Billerica (pronounced /bɪlˈrɪkə/) is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 38,981 at the 2000 census.



Billerica's prehistoric history, represented by a Native American burial site, dates to circa 1000 B.C.[citation needed]

In the early 1630s a Praying Indian village named Shawsheen was at the current site of Billerica.[1]

In 1638, Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop and Lt. Governor Thomas Dudley were granted land along the Concord River in the wilderness which was called Shawshin by the local Native Americans. (Today, Shawshin is commonly spelled Shawsheen; see Shawsheen River.) Most of the settlement was to take place under the supervision of Cambridge; however, financial difficulties in the colony prevented this from taking place, and the issue of settling Shawshin continued to be deferred. Finally, in 1652, roughly a dozen families from Cambridge and Charlestown Village, later Woburn, had begun to occupy Shawshin as well.[2]

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