Millis, Massachusetts

Millis, first settled in 1657, is a small town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, approximately 19 miles (31 km) southwest of downtown Boston (with Massachusetts state routes 109 and 115 running through Millis). Lansing Millis, the founder of the town, successfully incorporated Millis into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on February 24, 1885.

Lansing Millis, a railroad expert, was successful in turning the small town of Millis into an important area of Massachusetts. This was arguably his most important accomplishment, as the rail system is regarded as the most significant factor in its independence from Medway. One of the most important sites in Millis is Richardson’s Tavern, which was built around 1720. This tavern accommodated George Washington for lunch on his way to Cambridge in 1775. It is rumored that Nathan Hale and the Marquis de Lafayette also stopped at the tavern to dine.

Aside from the tremendous contribution of the rail system, another important moment in the town’s history is the construction of the Hartford and Dedham Turnpike, known today as Massachusetts Route 109. The road was constructed in 1806 and officially accepted by the town of Millis in 1896. The Hartford and Dedham Turnpike connected Millis, Medway, Medfield and several other towns directly to Dedham and Boston. Today, Route 109 still serves as a major road connecting Metrowest Boston communities to the city of Boston.

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