Natick is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, located near the center of the state’s MetroWest region. Only 15 miles (24 km) west of Boston, Natick is considered part of the Greater Boston area. The name Natick comes from the language of a Massachusett Native American tribe and means place of hills. The original settlement, in the community of South Natick, is a hilly area. Natick was first settled in 1651 by John Eliot, a Puritan missionary born in Widford, Hertfordshire, England. The town was officially incorporated in 1781. Henry Wilson, a U.S. senator born in 1812 who became the eighteenth vice president of the United States (1873-1875), and who lived most of his life in Natick as a shoemaker and schoolteacher, was known as the “Natick Cobbler” and is buried there.
Though Natick was primarily a farming town, the invention of the sewing machine in 1858 led to the growth of several shoe factories. The shoes made in Natick were primarily heavy work shoes. Natick was also famous for its heavy, ankle-high boots, worn by soldiers in the American Civil War.
Miles 8 through 12 of the Boston Marathon run through Natick on Patriots Day every year along Route 135/Central St., with thousands of residents and visitors lining the road to watch. Communities and neighborhoods include: Natick Center, South Natick, East Natick, West Natick, Sherwood, Walnut Hill, Wethersfield, Oak Street and Little South.