Belmont is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Belmont was founded in 1859, named after Bellmont, the 200-acre estate of one of the leading advocates of and largest donor to its creation, John Perkins Cushing. Preceding its incorporation, Belmont was an agrarian-based town, with several large farms providing Boston’s produce and livestock. It remained largely the same until the turn of the 20th century, when trolley service and better roads were introduced, making the town more attractive as a residential area, most notably for the building of large estates.
The economics of the town shifted from purely agrarian to a commercial greenhouse base: much of the flower and vegetable needs of Boston were met from the Belmont “hothouses,” until the early 1980s. The reclamation of a large dump and quarry off Concord Avenue into sites for the Belmont High School and the Clay Pit Pond serves as a lasting example of environmental planning. With the introduction of automobiles and highways, Belmont continued its transition to a commuter-based suburb.
Belmont remains a primarily residential suburb, best known for the mansion-filled Belmont Hill neighborhood, although most residents live in more densely settled, low-lying areas around the Hill. There are three major commercial centers in the town: Belmont Center in the center, Cushing Square in the south and Waverley Square in the west.