Randolph, Massachusetts

The Town of Randolph is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, named after Peyton Randolph, first president of the Continental Congress. Called Cochaticquom by the local Cochato and Ponkapoag tribes, the town was incorporated in 1793 from what was formerly the south precinct of the town of Braintree. Although it retains the word Town in its official name, the council-manager form of government adopted in 2010 means that it is legally a city in Massachusetts.

Randolph was formerly the home of several large shoe companies, producing many popular styles, including “Randies.” At the time of Randolph’s incorporation in 1793, local farmers were making shoes and boots to augment household incomes. By the next half century, this sideline had become the town’s major industry, attracting workers from across New England, Canada and Ireland (and later from Italy and Eastern Europe). By 1850, Randolph had become one of the nation’s leading boot producers.

The decline of the shoe industry at the beginning of the 20th century led to Randolph’s evolution as a suburban residential community. Boot and shoe making has since been supplanted by light manufacturing and service industries. The town’s proximity to major transportation networks has resulted in an influx of families from Boston and other localities who live in Randolph but work throughout the metropolitan area.

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