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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Mendon, Massachusetts

Mendon, the second oldest town in Worcester County, began with the purchase of eight square miles from several Native American tribes in 1662. Fifteen families settled in what was then the western frontier, and by 1667 incorporated it as the town of Mendon.

Historic barn on North Street, Mendon, Massachusetts Historic Barn on North Street, Mendon, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Blackstone River Valley)

As outlying parishes in the original settlement broke away to form separate towns, the remaining area became known as "Mother Mendon."

Today, Mendon (population 6,000) provides glimpses of a 19th-century farming community unaltered by industrialization. Unlike many nearby towns, Mendon lacked abundant water power. Instead, it became an important source of farm products at the crossroads of four major manufacturing centers.

Mendon's agrarian roots are still visible in its winding roads, weathered farm buildings, sturdy stone walls, and a few tranquil pastures not yet filled with new housing in this bedroom community. Mendon has recently listed two districts in the National Register of Historic Places and has marked more than 20 notable resources with interpretive plaques.

Visitors can see the 1745 Ammidon Tavern and a rehabilitated 1825 bank building serving as the Mendon Historical Museum and headquarters for the Mendon Historical Society. The Old Cemetery, established in 1669, contains the graves of 40 Revolutionary War soldiers.

One unusual local treasure is the mile stone in Founders' Park, erected in 1722 during Benjamin Franklin's tenure as Postmaster General for the Colonies. These markers were placed on all post roads from Boston to Philadelphia, and Mendon's marks 37 miles from Boston on what was the Middle Post Road, the major route from Boston to Hartford and New Haven.

For more information

Town of Mendon
www.mendonma.org

Blackstone Daily/Mendon
www.blackstonedaily.com/mendon.htm

 

Updated April 29, 2009

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