Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Shrewsbury is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Shrewsbury is unusual for a New England town in that it was neither a mill town nor a farming village. Rather, from the start, it developed as a suburb to neighboring Worcester. Incorporated in 1727, the town is now governed now under the New England representative town meeting system, headed by the Town Manager and five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions and calling town meetings.

The Town of Shrewsbury, named for Shrewsbury, England, is a suburban community with an uneven and hilly terrain cut by a number of minor streams providing several small water power sites. Townspeople created an agricultural economy with apple orchards. By 1750, there were two stores and four taverns, as well as several small industries in operation. A leather industry began in 1786 in Shrewsbury, with town farmers developing large cattle herds to support the manufacture of boots and shoes.

The development of streetcar routes in the 19th century spurred the growth of single-family housing in town. A summer resort population on Lake Quinsigamond became consumers of the market garden produce grown by town farmers. Shrewsbury is home to the General Artemas Ward Homestead on Main Street, The Shrewsbury Historic District in the town center and the 1767 Milestones (of which two surviving milestones are in town).

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