Dracut, Massachusetts

Dracut is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, located in the northern portion of the Greater Boston metropolitan area. Dracut is primarily a suburban community, belonging to Greater Lowell and bordering southern New Hampshire. Prior to the area’s European settlements in the mid-17th century, Dracut and the surrounding area was the site of important Pennacook Indian (Native American) settlements.

Europeans began to settle in the area then known as Augumtoocooke around 1653, establishing the town of Chelmsford, incorporated in 1655, on the opposite side of the Merrimack River from modern Dracut, which officially incorporated as a town in 1701. The town has several large ponds, bogs and swamps, as well as numerous brooks (most notably Beaver Brook). Dracut’s early economy relied on fishing, lumbering and milling, which led in turn to the 19th century industries of paper making and cotton textile manufacturing.

Suburban residential pressures from Lowell have resulted in intensive modern development in Dracut. Twice in the 19th century Lowell annexed large sections of Dracut into its borders. Some rural landscapes remain intact, however, as do some handsome historic houses. One of the better known is the Colburn/Cutter House, dating from 1717, with its massive beams, huge center chimney and fireplaces. Dracut holds the distinction of being the only town in the world with its name.

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