American History

Acton, Massachusetts…

…lies between the Massachusett and the Nipmuc tribes’ former ranges. Arable soil, Assabet River). On Wednesday, April 19, 1775, in colonists’ first organized defense against British troops, Minutemen from Acton marched east to defend Concord’s North Bridge, a route now known as the Isaac Davis Trail. Captain Davis, Private Abner Hosmer, and schoolteacher James Hayward, who all died in that day’s fighting, lie beneath a monument on Acton’s common. A mile away stands the Hosmer family’s 1760 saltbox (). By the 1800s, roads were carrying pencils, piano stools, and other Acton products 25 miles to Boston. Rail enhanced that trade and helped Acton grow. The 1900s brought a municipal water system and fire department that proved invaluable when a 1913 fire imperiled the town’s west end. Completion in 1960 of the Yankee Division Highway, aka State Route 128, spawned a suburban high-tech zone for which Acton became a bedroom community.

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