Grafton, Massachusetts

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Grafton is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 14,894 at the 2000 census. Grafton is the home of a Nipmuc village known as Hassanamisco Reservation, the Willard House and Clock Museum, and the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Contents

History

Bands of the Nipmuc tribe were the indigenous inhabitants, and maintain a state-recognized reservation known as Hassanamessit, or Hassanamisco, which was formerly a Praying Indian village.[1] Grafton was first settled by Europeans in 1718 and was officially incorporated in 1735. Grafton stands tall in the industrialization of the Blackstone Valley. It Northeast Village was once known as "New England Village". The following is an excerpt from the Blackstone Daily about the history of the town:

Grafton has been a significant contributor in the success and progress of the American Industrial Revolution that was started in 1793 by Samuel Slater with his cotton mill in Pawtucket. North Grafton's Upper Mill, now known as the Washington Mills complex that still produces abrasives, was once known as the New England Manufacturing Company. This was part of the New England Village as North Grafton was known for generations. This part of the mill was built in 1826 and was part of a much larger complex, but most of that is now gone, mostly due to serious fires. Mill housing was built at 12, 14 and 16 Overlook Street. These central chimney style homes were boarding houses with ornate trim that has since been lost.[2]

The town is named for Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton,[3] a title created for the illegitimate son of King Charles II of England. Ethan Allen ran a gun factory in Grafton in the early 19th century. In the 1930s, a movie, Ah, Wilderness!, was filmed in the town. The moviemakers built a bandstand on the town common which still stands there today. Grafton Common has many historic homes, churches and buildings and is considered the most quintessential common in the Blackstone Valley.  The Town is part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, the oldest industrialized region in the U.S.

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