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flag  History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

Visit Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA - The Bartlett House, Chelmsford, Mass. - Built in 1692

Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA

Named after Chelmsford, England, the town was incorporated in May 1655 by an act of the Massachusetts General Court. When Chelmsford was incorporated, its local economy was fueled by lumber mills, limestone quarries and kilns.
kids.kiddle.co

Chelmsford includes Homestead and Westlands.


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There is MUCH more to discover about Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Chelmsford Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

The Bartlett House, Chelmsford, Mass. - Built in 1692
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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The Bartlett House, Chelmsford, Mass. - Built in 1692
All Saints Episcopal Church
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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All Saints Episcopal Church
Square, Chelmsford, Mass., 1905
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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Square, Chelmsford, Mass., 1905
Capt. Wm. Fletcher Place (200 years old) Chelmsford, Mass. (1907)
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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Capt. Wm. Fletcher Place (200 years old) Chelmsford, Mass. (1907)

"William Fletcher was born in 1622 in England, to Robert and Sarah Fletcher, possibly in Yorkshire. He was one of five children, and in 1630, the family migrated to America as part of the Winthrop Fleet. They settled in Concord, Massachusetts where Robert was said to be a "wealthy and influential man." On October 7, 1645, William married Lydia (Fairbanks) Bates, the widow of Edward Bates. They had 8 children together; Lydia also had a son, John, from her first marriage who became a part of the family.

In 1652, William joined with others from Concord and the town of Woburn to start a new settlement on the other side of the Concord River, the town of Chelmsford. He was one of 29 men who petitioned the General Court for a grant of land in 1653, and also helped in recruiting a minister in 1654. William's most noted involvement in the founding of Chelmsford was that on November 22, 1654, the first town meeting was... Read MORE...

Read more about William FLETCHER
High School, No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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High School, No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Congregational Society Church
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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Congregational Society Church
View on Centre St., No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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View on Centre St., No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Second Congregational Church, No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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Second Congregational Church, No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Princeton Lounge, Rt. 3, No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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Princeton Lounge, Rt. 3, No. Chelmsford, Mass.
Mrs. Nelson's Candy House
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

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Mrs. Nelson's Candy House

"[August 18, 2009] ...Mrs. Nelson’s Candy House in Chelmsford MA was started 55 years ago by the Nelson family, and has been owned by veteran candy maker Arthur Mapes and his family since 1984. Originally the cheery barn red you see in the vintage post card, the store has been repainted white, but still has the monogrammed awnings and distinctive sign out front..." retroroadmap.com

Discover Chelmsford: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1655 - Chelmsford is incorporated
Founded by settlers from Concord. The area currently encompassed by Chelmsford, Lowell, Westford, Carlisle and to a certain extent Dracut, were all originally part of Chelmsford. Westford seceded in 1729. Carlisle fully became a part of Concord in 1780, seceding from that town in 1805. Lowell would be formed under extraordinary circumstances when the Boston Associates purchased East Chelmsford to serve as a planned factory town, incorporated as Lowell in 1826. Dracut's relationship to Chelmsford is less clear cut, however the relationship of the two towns in the 17th century resembles a slightly imperial one as Dracut, while a separate entity, was largely dependent on Chelmsford, particularly the West Dracut area, near the old boundary of East Chelmsford. (wikipedia)
Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1825 - Ralph Waldo Emerson opened a school in Chelmsford in 1825, closing it after a few months to take over his brother's school in Roxbury

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Read more about Ralph Waldo EMERSON photo of ancestor
1839 - Chelmsford
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Middlesex county. On the south side of Merrimack river, and connected with Dracut by a bridge.—First settled, 1753. Population, 1837, 1,613. It lies 25 miles N.W. from Boston and 4 S.W. from Lowell. Chelmsford abounds in limestone and granite; considerable of the latter is transported to Boston by the Middlesex canal, which passes through the town. The manufactures of this town, during the year ending April 1, 1837, amounted to about $100,000;—principally of glass and iron.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - CHELMSFORD. [Pop. 1,697. Inc. 1655.]
This town was named from Chelmsford in England, and originally included the town of Westford, and the settlement of the Pawtucket tribe of Indians called Wamesit, now the city of Lowell.

The Middlesex Canal joins Merrimack River in this town; but its business has been much diminished by the railroad from Boston to Lowell.

Chelmsford has long had a manufactory of glass, and its granite is extensively used for building.

Distance from Concord, 9 miles ; from Boston, 25.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1848 - Chelmsford
In 1652, about twenty persons from Woburn and Concord petitioned the general court for liberty to examine a tract of land “lying on the other (west) side of Concord river.” This request was granted; and having, by a committee, examined the land, and having found others, to the number of thirty nine in all, desirous of uniting with them in erecting a new plantation, they jointly petitioned the legislature for a grant of land, bordering upon the river Merrimac, near to Pawtuckett. They stated that there was a very “comfortable place to accommodate a company of God’s people upon, who may with God’s blessing do good in that place for church and state. They requested that said tract of land might begin on Merrimac river, at a neck of land on Concord river, and so to run up by said river south and west, into the country, to make up a quantity of six miles square. About the same time, a petition was presented to the legislature by Rev. John Eliot of Roxbury, agent and trustee for the... Read MORE...

1874 - Earthquake
Citizens of Chelmsford, Mass. report a perceptible shock of earthquake at that place on Sunday noon, which shock shook buildings and caused considerable alarm.
genealogybank.com
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 27, 1874
Chelmsford Massachusetts, 1890
Chelmsford is an ancient and pleasant town in the northern part Middlesex county, about 26 miles northwest of Boston. Tyngsborough, Dracut and Lowell bound it on the north; the latter with Billerica on the east; Carlisle on the south; and Westford on the west. The Merrimack River forms the line along the Dracut border. The assessed area is 14,132 acres including 5,483 acres of woodland. The villages are Chelmsford (centre), North, South, West and East Chelmsford, which— except the last — are also post-offices. The Ayer Junction Branch of the Boston and Lowell Railroad has stations at North and at West Chelmsford, and the Lowell Branch of the Old Colony Road has stations at Chelmsford and South Chelmsford.

The principal eminences are Rocky Hill, abounding in ledges in the southeast; Robbin's Hill, affording grand views, near the centre; and Vine, Chestnut and Francis hills, toward the west. These are in parallel ranges lying nearly northeast and southwest. Among the hills of... Read MORE...

1895 - Chelmsford
Chelms'ford, a post-township of Middlesex co, Mass, about 24 miles N.W. of Boston, is bounded on the N. by the Merrimac River. It is intersected by the Old Colony Railroad, and contains villages named Chelmsford, North Chelmsford, South Chelmsford, Centre Chelmsford, East Chelmsford, and West Chelmsford. It has 4 churches, an iron-foundry, 2 high schools, and manufactures of ma chinery, woollen goods, &c. Pop. in 1890, 2695.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1901 - Chelmsford was the birthplace of the Chelmsford Spring Co. in 1901, which later became the Chelmsford Ginger Ale Company, acquired by Canada Dry in 1928.
The ginger ale plant, rebuilt in 1912 after a disastrous fire consumed the original plant, stood on Route 110 until its demolition in 1994.
Wikipedia
1916
Chelmsford, a post-village and township (town) of Middlesex co., Mass., 24 miles NW. of Boston, is bounded on the N. by the Merrimac River. The town is intersected by the New York, New Haven and Hartford R. It has manufactures of worsteds, boxes, etc. Pop. of the town in 1900, 3984.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Chelmsford:
Heart Pond: This picturesque pond is a local favorite for swimming and picnicking during the summer months. It also has a lovely walking trail around it, making it a great spot for a leisurely stroll.

Chelmsford Center for the Arts: Located in the heart of town, this cultural center hosts various events, including art exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances. Check their schedule for upcoming shows and exhibits.

Bike and Hike Trails: Chelmsford offers several scenic trails for biking and hiking enthusiasts. The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is a popular choice, providing a peaceful route through wooded areas and wetlands.

Great Brook Farm State Park: This nearby state park is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching, and horseback riding. You can also enjoy a farm ice cream stand during the warmer months.

Chelmsford Telecommunications Center: If you're interested in local history, visit the Chelmsford Telecommunications Center. It showcases the town's... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Chelmsford Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 118 ancestors who were born or died in Chelmsford.

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Genealogy Resources for Chelmsford

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Updated: 9/15/2023 5:09:02 PM