Ashland Public Library
The Clock Town
The Home of the Electric Clock
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Massachusetts
Ashland (the United States)
Ashland (North America)
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Town Manager||Michael Herbert|
|• Total||12.9 sq mi (33.5 km2)|
|• Land||12.4 sq mi (32.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2)|
|Elevation||188 ft (57 m)|
|• Density||1,274.8/sq mi (490.9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0619394|
The area now known as Ashland was settled in the early 18th century and inhabited prior to that by the Megunko Native Americans, to which Megunko Hill owes its name. Previously known as "Unionville," Ashland was incorporated in 1846, bearing the name of statesman Henry Clay's Kentucky estate. It is considerably younger than many of the surrounding towns, as Ashland's territory was taken in near-equal parts from the previously established towns of Hopkinton, Holliston, and Framingham.
The construction of the Boston & Worcester Railroad, later the Boston & Albany, in the 1830s was key to the early development of the town. Decades later, two other rail lines opened stations in Ashland. Along with the Sudbury River, the railroad helped to attract numerous mills to develop a bustling boot and shoe industry. However, by constructing three reservoirs along the river in 1878, the Boston Water Board inadvertently stymied further growth, most notably by halting the construction of the Dwight Printing Company's granite mills. Although the mills closed, starting in the 1890s the Hopkinton Railroad Company, providing a connection to Milford, and the Natick Street Railway, which operated streetcars between the towns of Sherborn, Framingham, and Natick, offered service in Ashland. These rail lines were gone by the 1920s, rendered obsolete by automobiles.
Around the same time that the local rail lines were in decline, the inventor Henry E. Warren developed the Warren Synchronizing Timer in 1916, which made synchronous electric clocks possible by keeping alternating current flowing from power plants at a consistent sixty cycles per second. Warren founded Telechron, which, in partnership with General Electric, manufactured electric clocks in Ashland until 1979. A Warren Synchronizing Timer is on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in Washington D.C., and the Ashland High School sports teams are coined "The Clockers."
For most of the 20th century, Ashland's population remained slow in growth, until the post-war boom beginning in the 1950s. During that period, Ashland grew from a far-removed rural town 22 miles (35 km) west of Boston to a primarily residential suburb by the 1980s. Over time, many farms and open spaces have given way to housing, although some untouched land still remains, including the Ashland Town Forest, Ashland State Park, Warren Woods, and land comprising the beach and dam portions of Hopkinton State Park.
Two major routes, 135 and 126, pass through Ashland. Route 135 is dominated by older residential development of varying density and is also part of the route for the Boston Marathon, which began in Ashland on Pleasant Street until the start was moved to Hopkinton's Main Street in 1924. Route 126 has developed rapidly since the 1980s, as farms have given way to shopping centers and condominiums. A part of the draw of Ashland, and one that has been publicized in recent years, is its "ideal" location about halfway between the cities of Boston and Worcester. Travel is easy, with its own stop on the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line and nearby access to both I-90 and I-495. Ashland is considered part of MetroWest, which also consists of the towns of Framingham, Holliston, and Hopkinton.
Even though Ashland has left its humble roots as a rural area, it still retains the look and feel of a typical residential Boston-area New England town. Traditions like Ashland Day and small-town favorites like the ice cream shop Tasty Treat and breakfast joint Sunnyside Cafe maintain the feeling of a close-knit community. Ashland's longstanding rival for the Thanksgiving Day football game is Hopkinton, a rivalry with roots in the formation of the town and the resulting 1846 dispute concerning Ashland's fire engine "Megunko 1."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33 km2), of which, 12.4 square miles (32 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (3.72%) is water.
Ashland is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by:
Ashland's climate is variable. Winters are typically cold, with frequent Nor'easters and occasional blizzards. Snowfall ranges widely from season to season, although the average is about 60 inches (150 cm). In the recent past, there has been as little as 14 inches (360 mm) of snow (in the 1988–89 winter season) to 148 inches (in 1995–96). The amount decreases dramatically eastward towards Boston because of the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Snowfall amounts can also decrease rapidly south of Ashland. Low temperatures below zero are not uncommon in winter, and the lowest recent temperatures have been 17 below in January 1994, 14 below in January 2011 and 16 below in February 2016. Average January high temperatures are in the low 30s. Average January low temperatures are in the upper teens. Snow depth can reach two feet or more during the winter season. The winter of 2010–11 was notable for snow depths of nearly 40 inches during January and February. Nearly 60 inches of snowfall was recorded in Ashland in January 2011 alone. The winter of 2014–15 saw a very cold February and March. Snow cover lasted from late January until the first week of April. February 2015 was one of the coldest months on record. Snowfall for Ashland was 107.6" for the season. Snow depth reached 45". Spring temperatures can be mitigated by penetrating cold fronts originating from the Canadian Maritimes, known as "Backdoor Cold Fronts". Typically, high temperatures consistently above 70 degrees do not set in until late May. The last frost is usually in mid-May. Summers are generally comfortable, with periods of high humidity. Prolonged heat waves of three or more days with highs of 90 or above are uncommon but can occur. In July 2011 an unusually high temperature of 101 was reached. Average July high temperatures are in the low 80s and average lows are around 60. Severe summer weather is not as common as in areas to the west in Central Massachusetts. However, on July 10, 1989, high winds occurred, causing widespread tree damage through most of Ashland with several homes damaged. This storm was part of a complex of severe storms that spawned several EF0 and EF1 tornadoes in towns in some neighboring counties. Fall is pleasant with the first frost usually around October 1, and the peak of the fall foliage season averages around October 12. Ashland can expect a "white" Christmas slightly over 50 percent of the time.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
At the 2010 census, there were 16,593 people, 6,385 households and 4,531 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,338.1 per square mile (515.3/km2). There were 6,609 housing units at an average density of 533.0 per square mile (205.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 84.2% White, 2.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 8.8% Asian, 2.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.
There were 6,484 households of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.04.
Of the 16,593 people in the population, 24.9% were under the age of 18, 5.5% were 15 to 19 years of age, 4.1% were 20 to 24 years of age, 27.9% were 25 to 44 years of age, 30.7% were 45 to 64 years of age, and 10.9% were 65 years and over. The median age was 40.1 years. For every 100 females, there was 94.6 males. For every 100 females 18 years and over there were 92.0 males.
The median household income was $93,770, and the median family income was $116,799. The median income of individuals working full-time was $79,485 for males versus $60,720 for females. The per capita income for the town was $46,626. About 2.2% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.
In 2005, the town completed the new high school and revised the division of grades. These changes include the 6th grade being moved to join the 7th and 8th grades in the former high school to form what is now Ashland Middle School and moving the 3rd grade from the Henry E. Warren Elementary School into the Mindess Elementary School to join the 4th and 5th grades. The 8th grade students have an annual short field trip to Washington D.C. The kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades are in the Henry E. Warren Elementary School and preschool is in the William Pittaway School. The graduating class of 2007 was the first class to complete a full year in the new high school. In 2009, a new program at Ashland High School encouraged teachers to "bridge the gap between subjects like math and history to the art world and visually engage students with traditional subject matter." This allowed students to make a connection between the material they were learning in the classroom and the knowledge of the arts and culture.
In 2014, Ashland High School was ranked #19 in the state of Massachusetts (out of 352 schools) and #396 in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2015, Ashland High School was ranked #424 in the country according to Newsweek. In 2016, Ashland High school is ranked #51 among all of the high schools in Massachusetts and #1224 in national school rankings. The mathematics proficiency is at 97% and the English proficiency is at 98% at Ashland High School.
Ashland Day is typically held on the third Saturday in September, each year. The festivities occur near the center of town at Stone Park from the morning until the late afternoon, and include a number of booths and various carnival-like rides. Many of the school system's athletic clubs and organizations use the day as an annual fundraising event, but it serves primarily as a day for residents to enjoy numerous activities and delicious food. Traditionally, there are fireworks atop the dam at Hopkinton State Park (the dam is in Ashland), but budget cuts have canceled several recent displays. Ashland Day has only been canceled once, due to inclement weather, in 2004. The 25th Anniversary of the event, was held in 2010. For the first time in several years, fireworks were once again launched from atop the dam at Hopkinton State Park.
Built in 1832 by Captain John Stone, to capitalize on the new Boston and Worcester Railroad, The Railroad House, later renamed John Stone's Inn, and now known as Stone's Public House, is located in the center of Ashland.
Stone's is reportedly the site of multiple hauntings. According to legend, the Inn was the site of a murder. Captain Stone is said to have killed a New York salesman named Mike McPherson accidentally after hitting him over the head with a pistol when he suspected McPherson of cheating at poker. It is said that Stone and three friends with whom he had been playing swore to keep the event secret and buried the salesman's body in the Inn's basement. The legend contends that the ghosts of the salesman and the three other players involved all roam the inn. No body has ever been found.
It is rumored that a ten-year-old girl, Mary J. Smith, was struck by a train while playing on the railroad tracks just outside the inn, on June 11, 1862. Onlookers rushed her inside the inn, where she would later succumb to her wounds. A number of employees, patrons, and passersby have reported seeing the apparition of a young girl in a dress, with most reports detailing her looking out various windows that overlook the rear of the building.
The inn was purchased and renovated in 1976 by Leonard "Cappy" Fournier. During renovations, a hidden chamber was discovered in the basement, and it is speculated that this was used to house runaway slaves who made their way to freedom in the North along the Underground Railroad.
One notable guest of the hotel, Daniel Webster, gave a speech from the balcony on the day the first train arrived in 1834. Joining him for the inaugural train were Governor John Davis and former Governor Levi Lincoln Jr.
Ashland State Park, Hopkinton State Park, Ashland Town Forest, and Warren Woods are all either completely or partially located within the town lines. Both state parks have a lake with hiking, biking and boating. Hopkinton State Park has swimming, boat rentals, fishing and horseback riding trails. Ashland State Park is 470 acres including a 157-acre reservoir. State budget cuts had led to the Park closing in 2009, but new funding let the Park reopen in July 2013. The Ashland Town Forest is 550 acres of forest, streams and hiking trails. The town recently purchased a parcel of land from Northeastern University which includes open fields and densely wooded area.
US Color and Chemical Company, later named New England Aniline Works, Inc., and finally The Nyanza Color and Chemical Company, had a dye-manufacturing plant in Ashland. The plant opened in 1917 when American entry into World War I cut off the supply of dyes from Germany, then the world's principal source. In 1971, the factory was identified as a hazard when pollution was discovered in the nearby Sudbury River. The site was placed on the Superfund National Priority List in 1982 when heavy metals and organochlorides were discovered in the soil and water near the site. It was also deemed probable that particles of mercuric sulfate were blown into the air. In 1998, Trustees settled NRD claims with the responsible parties at the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump Superfund Site for $3 million. $230,769 of the settlement is for groundwater resources. Cleaning up the contaminated site cost residents $55 million, and is still not complete as of 2013. The estates of the Nyanza executives were charged for the cleanup.
In 2006, the Massachusetts State Department of Public Health released a study that found that people who grew up in Ashland between the late 1960s and early 1980s and swam in the waters near Nyanza had a 200-300% higher incidence of cancer than those who were not exposed to the chemicals.
In 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup's Natural Resource Damages (NRD) program settled with the slowly-going-bankrupt Nyanza for $3 million, which with interest has grown to almost $4 million. The Nyanza case had previously been at the NRD program of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
In 2016, proposed housing near Nyanza site raised alarm in Ashland.
Opened September 6, 1986, Sri Lakshmi Temple is a large regional Hindu temple located on Waverly Street and is the largest such temple in New England. Sri Lakshmi temple hosts several Hindu functions throughout the year. First housed in a Knights of Columbus Hall in Melrose in 1978 and later in the Needham Village Club, the congregation purchased about 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land from Ashland in 1981.
Commuter rail service from Boston's South Station is provided by the MBTA with the Ashland station on its Framingham/Worcester Line. The station is accessible from either Pleasant St or from an access road off of Union St that runs behind Ashland Middle School.
The Ashland Dam and Spillway is a historic site at the north end of Ashland Reservoir in Ashland State Park in Ashland, Massachusetts. Ashland Reservoir was constructed in 1885, impounding a portion of Cold Spring Brook, a tributary of the Sudbury River. The dam and spillway were built as part of Boston's second major water works effort, which impounded large portions of the upper Sudbury River. They were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.Ashland High School (Massachusetts)
Ashland High School is a public secondary school in Ashland, Massachusetts. It was opened in January 2005. It is designed to be an environmentally friendly school. The high school was estimated to cost over $40 million with athletic facilities included in the original plans. However, the athletic complex and practice fields were not established until several years later.Ashland State Park
Ashland State Park is a public recreation area surrounding the 157-acre (64 ha) Ashland Reservoir in the town of Ashland, Massachusetts. The state park's 472 acres (191 ha) incorporate the entire shoreline of the reservoir which is abutted by the Warren Conference Center and Inn, Camp Winnetaska, a former Girl Scouts of America camp, and residential houses. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.Ashland Town House
The Ashland Town House is the current town hall of Ashland, Massachusetts. It is located at 101 Main Street, in the town center. The 2-1/2 story wood frame building was built in 1855, and has been used continuously for municipal purposes since then. It is a fine local example of Greek Revival architecture, with some Italianate and Colonial Revival details. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.Ashland station (MBTA)
Ashland is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Ashland, Massachusetts. It serves the Framingham/Worcester Line. It has a long driveway leading from the south parking lot to the intersection of West Union Street (MA 135) and Voyagers Lane. Like the other stations on the line west of Framingham, Ashland serves as a park-and-ride station with 678 parking spots.Charlie Hope
Charlie Hope is a Canadian children's singer and song writer. Her debut album I'm Me! A Collection of Songs for Children, won two Independent Music Awards in 2010 for Best Album and Best Song for the title track, in the Children's Music category. This album was nominated for a Juno Award for Children's Album of the Year, that same year.
Her second album World of Dreams was recognized with a Creative Child "Seal of Excellence" and a Parents' Choice Silver Award.
Charlie Hope followed these two albums with Songs, Stories and Friends: Let's Go Play!, which won a Juno Award in 2012 for Children's Album of the Year. Songs, Stories and Friends: Let's Go Play! also won the Independent Music Award for Best Children's Album. The song "Best Friends" received an Independent Music Awards nomination.
Charlie Hope is from Toronto, and was raised in Ashland, Massachusetts from the age of 11. She resides in Seattle.Dave Blass
David (Dave) Blass is a three time Emmy Nominated American production designer and art director.
His work includes the following:
Production design and art direction for television series:
The Boys (2019 TV series)
Secrets and Lies
The Biggest Loser
Beauty and the Geek
Trivial Pursuit: America Plays
Production design for films includes:
Asylum (Robert Patrick, Malcolm McDowell)
Overdrive (Steve Guttenberg, Robert Wagner)
"Stray Bullet" (Robert Carradine)
Black Scorpion episodes "Love Burns" and "Bad Sport"
Sexual Matrix (originally titled Possessions and Obsessions)
Director for music videos:
Teutonic Terror  and Pandemic  ,  & Producer Stampede (for the German heavy metal band Accept) 
Executive producer for television series:
True Lives (a reality TV series)
Co-Producer for Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award Show 2014 and 2015 ADG Excellence in Production Design AwardHe was nominated for the 2012 and 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards as Production Designer for the Justified television series, and the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for the "Constantine" television series , Nominated for the 2015 Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for a One Hour Contemporary Television Series , and has twice been published with cover stories in Perspective Magazine. Oct/Nov 2009, , with an article on his pre-visualization of the final shot for the ER television series,  and February/March 2012 featuring an article on his production design of the Justified series. For his work accurately portraying the State of Kentucky on the Television program Justified he was awarded the honor of "Kentucky Colonel in 2011 by Governor Steven Beshear.
He is a member of the Art Directors Guild and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.Douglas R. Green
Douglas Green (born 1955), is an American biologist. He holds the Peter C. Doherty Endowed Chair of Immunology in St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Green received his PhD from Yale.
His research has focused on the process of active cell death and cell survival, extending from the role of cell death in cancer regulation and immune responses in the whole organism to the fundamental molecular events directing the death of the cell. Green is editor in chief of the Nature Publishing Group journal Oncogene (journal). He is the author of the book Cell Death, Means To An End.Frank Nelson Cole
Frank Nelson Cole (September 20, 1861 – May 26, 1926) was an American mathematician, born in Ashland, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard, where he lectured on mathematics from 1885 to 1887.
Later, he was employed at the University of Michigan and Columbia University. Professor Cole became secretary of the American Mathematical Society in 1895 and an editor of its Bulletin in 1897.
Cole published a number of important papers, including The Diurnal Variation of Barometric Pressure (1892). In 1893 in Chicago, his paper On a Certain Simple Group (the group is PSL(2,8)) was read (but not by him) at the International Mathematical Congress held in connection with the World's Columbian Exposition.On October 31, 1903, Cole famously made a presentation to a meeting of the American Mathematical Society where he identified the factors of the Mersenne number 267 − 1, or M67. Édouard Lucas had demonstrated in 1876 that M67 must have factors (i.e., is not prime), but he was unable to determine what those factors were. During Cole's so-called "lecture", he approached the chalkboard and in complete silence proceeded to calculate the value of M67, with the result being 147,573,952,589,676,412,927. Cole then moved to the other side of the board and wrote 193,707,721 × 761,838,257,287, and worked through the tedious calculations by hand. Upon completing the multiplication and demonstrating that the result equaled M67, Cole returned to his seat, not having uttered a word during the hour-long presentation. His audience greeted the presentation with a standing ovation. Cole later admitted that finding the factors had taken "three years of Sundays."Cole died alone in New York City, aged 64. The American Mathematical Society's Cole Prize was named in his honor.Gryncel Park
Gryncel Park is a little league baseball field located on 10 High Street in Ashland, Massachusetts. The complex is across the street from the Ashland Train Station and consists of two baseball fields and 4 batting cages. There is a Snack Shack on site that sells typical baseball cuisine - hot dogs, pizza, snacks, candy and ice cream. It has been the home of Ashland Youth Baseball since 1985 and was renovated and updated in 2013.Homer Loring
Homer Loring was an American industrialist who served as chairman of the Boston & Maine Railroad from 1924 to 1928. He was known for reorganizing large industries.Hopkinton Dam and Spillway
The Hopkinton Dam and Spillway is a historic site at the eastern end of Hopkinton Reservoir in Hopkinton State Park in Ashland, Massachusetts. The western end of the reservoir lies in the town of Hopkinton. The reservoir was constructed between 1891 and 1894 as part of the city of Boston's second major water works project, the impoundment of significant portions of the Sudbury River watershed. The Hopkinton Dam impounds Indian Brook, a Sudbury River tributary, creating the reservoir to its south. The core of the dam is concrete, with earthen embankments that are bermed on the water side, with rip-rap below. The spillway is at the northern end of the dam, and is a 650-foot (200 m) series of steps lined with granite set in concrete. Unlike other dams in the system, this one apparently never had gatehouses built above the chambers from which water flow is controlled.The dam and spillway were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.Lou Perini
Louis Robert Perini (November 29, 1903 in Ashland, Massachusetts – April 16, 1972 in West Palm Beach, Florida) was the principal owner of the Boston / Milwaukee Braves of the National League from 1945 through 1962.In 1945, he purchased the club from Bob Quinn for $500,000 and the club won the National League pennant in 1948, but lost the World Series in six games. Performance of the club then tailed off, accompanied by poor attendance and revenue. In March 1953, Perini moved the club to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the club set the NL attendance record that first season and continued to increase. The Braves won two NL pennants in Milwaukee, in 1957 and 1958, and played the New York Yankees in the World Series twice, winning the first. They also tied for a third straight league title in 1959, but fell in the playoff series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
At the completion of the 1962 season, he sold the franchise for $5.5 million to a Chicago group led by 34-year-old insurance executive William Bartholomay, who later moved the franchise to Atlanta for the 1966 season. Perini retained a 10% interest in the club and sat on the board of directors for a number of years.
Prior to owning the Braves, Perini gained his fortune in his family's construction business in Boston, Perini Corp, having started out his working life as a water boy in his father's small construction firm, ending up running the major worldwide Perini Corporation.Massachusetts Route 126
Route 126 is a north–south state highway in Massachusetts.Michael Blaiklock
Michael "Mookie" Blaiklock is an American actor and writer who has starred in the television series Secret Girlfriend and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.Stone Park (Ashland, Massachusetts)
Stone Park is a public park located in the center of Ashland, Massachusetts.
The park contains a basketball court as well as two little league fields. The park hosts local soccer, baseball, and softball leagues. In the summer there are free concerts held every Sunday and once a year Ashland Day is held there.Telechron
Telechron is the name of a U.S. company that manufactured electric clocks between 1912 and 1992. "Telechron" is derived from the Greek words tele, meaning "far off," and chronos, "time," thus referring to the transmission of time over long distances. Founded by Henry Ellis Warren, Telechron introduced the synchronous electric clock, which keeps time by the oscillations of the alternating current electricity that powers it from the electric power grid. Telechron had its heyday between 1925 and 1955, when it sold millions of electric clocks to American consumers.WSRO
WSRO (650 AM; "Rede ABR") is a radio station broadcasting Portuguese programming. Licensed to Ashland, Massachusetts, it serves the MetroWest area. The station is owned by Alex Langer. WSRO also operates translator station W271CU (102.1 FM) in Framingham.
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
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