Central Massachusetts

Central Massachusetts is the geographically central region of Massachusetts. Though definitions vary, most include all of Worcester County and the northwest corner of Middlesex County. Worcester, the largest city in the area and the seat of Worcester County, is often considered the cultural capital of the region. Other populous cities include Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, and arguably Marlborough.

The region is mostly wooded and hilly upland, in contrast to the Atlantic coastal plain to the east and the Connecticut River valley lowland to the west. The geographic center of Massachusetts is located in the town of Rutland.

The term is seldom used in eastern Massachusetts, where Worcester and points west are instead regarded as part of Western Mass.

Although residents of eastern Massachusetts don't use the term, residents of central Massachusetts strongly identify with the term central Massachusetts and do not identify with western Massachusetts. Likewise, residents of western Massachusetts do not consider Worcester county (central Massachusetts) to be part of western Massachusetts. Residents of central and western Massachusetts understand the differences in their communities and prefer the distinction. However, it is common for people in eastern Massachusetts to lump the communities together, in a sense, using the term western Massachusetts to describe the locations to the west of Greater Boston.


The Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) runs through the southern part of Worcester County. Other interstate highways in the area are I-190, I-290, I-395, and I-495 on the eastern edge. Route 2 is another major east-west highway that spans the northern part of Worcester County. Other significant thoroughfares include Route 9, Route 146, and U.S. Route 20.

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Central Massachusetts Railroad

The Central Massachusetts Railroad was a railroad in Massachusetts. The eastern terminus of the line was at North Cambridge Junction where it split off from the Middlesex Central Branch of the Boston and Lowell Railroad in North Cambridge and through which it had access to North Station in Boston. From there, the route ran 98.77 miles west through the modern-day towns of Belmont, Waltham, Weston, Wayland, Sudbury, Hudson, Bolton, Berlin, Clinton, West Boylston, Holden, Rutland, Oakham, Barre, New Braintree, Hardwick, Ware, Palmer, Belchertown, Amherst, and Hadley to its western terminal junction at N. O. Tower in Northampton with the Connecticut River Railroad.

Colleges of Worcester Consortium

The Colleges of Worcester Consortium (COWC) was a non-profit association of 12 colleges and universities located in central Massachusetts. The Consortium claims that it "works cooperatively both to further the missions of the member institutions individually and to advance higher education regionally." It includes both accredited public and private colleges and universities.In 2013, COWC became the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA).

Cranberry River (Massachusetts)

The Cranberry River is a river in central Massachusetts that is part of the Chicopee River Watershed. It rises in Cranberry Meadow Pond in Spencer, Massachusetts, and flows northward for 3.7 miles (6.0 km) to its confluence with the Sevenmile River southwest of Spencer.

Five Mile River (East Brookfield River tributary)

The Five Mile River (Fivemile River on federal maps) is a 10.1-mile-long (16.3 km) river in central Massachusetts, part of the Chicopee River watershed. It rises north of Dean Pond in the Town of Oakham within Rutland State Forest and flows south through Dean Pond to Brooks Pond, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northeast of North Brookfield, then continues south to its mouth at the north end of Lake Lashaway, also in North Brookfield.

French River (Massachusetts)

The French River is a river in south-central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut, USA.

The river rises near Leicester, Massachusetts, and flows generally southwards through Auburn, Oxford, and along the town line between Webster and Dudley; it then enters Connecticut where it joins the Quinebaug River at Thompson, just northeast of Putnam. The Quinebaug in turn flows into the Shetucket River and ultimately the Thames River to empty into the Long Island Sound.

The river's total length is 25.3 miles (40.7 km), of which 18.8 miles (30.3 km) are in Massachusetts. It drains a watershed area of about 95 square miles (250 km2), containing 67 lakes and ponds, 38 of which cover at least 10 acres (4.0 ha). Only one lake in its basin is larger than 500 acres (200 ha), namely Lake Chaubunagungamaug (Webster Lake) in Webster, Massachusetts at 1,195 acres (484 ha).

French River was so named from a settlement of French Protestants in Oxford.

Geography of Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the 7th smallest state in the United States with an area of 10,555 square miles (27,340 km2). It is bordered to the north by New Hampshire and Vermont, to the west by New York, to the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Massachusetts is the most populous New England state.

Massachusetts is nicknamed "The Bay State" because of several large bays, which distinctly shape its coast: Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay, to the east; Buzzards Bay, to the south; and several cities and towns on the Massachusetts–Rhode Island border sit adjacent to Mount Hope Bay. At the southeastern corner of the state is a large, sandy, arm-shaped peninsula, Cape Cod. The islands Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket lie south of Cape Cod, across Nantucket Sound. Central Massachusetts features rolling, rocky hills, while Western Massachusetts encompasses a fertile valley and mountains surrounding the Connecticut River, as well as the Berkshire Mountains.

Boston is Massachusetts' largest city, at the inmost point of Massachusetts Bay, the mouth of the Charles River. Most Bay Staters live in the Boston area, which covers most of eastern Massachusetts. Eastern Massachusetts is fairly densely populated and mostly suburban. Western Massachusetts features both the Connecticut River Valley - a fairly even mix of urban enclaves (e.g. Springfield, Northampton,) and rural college towns (Amherst, South Hadley) - and the Berkshire Mountains, (a branch of the Appalachian Mountains) that remains mostly rural.

Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns. Every part of the state is within an incorporated city or town, but many towns include large rural areas. The state's 14 counties have few government functions and serve as little more than judicial districts.

Gleasondale, Massachusetts

Gleasondale is a village straddling the border between the towns of Hudson and Stow in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. According to the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), Gleasondale is a "populated place," named after Benjamin W. Gleason and Samuel J. Dale. Until its closure in 1965, the Gleasondale Station — one of two train stations in Hudson — served the village. It was originally operated by the Central Massachusetts Railroad Company, and later by Boston & Maine. The station's name is printed as "Rocky-bottom" in the 1888 map of the Central Massachusetts Railroad.

This settlement began around 1750 with the construction of a dam and lumber mill on the Assabet River. The area was originally known as Randall's Mills. In 1813, the Rock Bottom Cotton & Woolen Company built a wood-framed textile mill at Randall's Mills and the emerging village and new post office became known as Rock Bottom. The current five-story brick mill building was built in 1854 after the original wooden building burned. The name of the village was changed to Gleasondale in 1898. Today, Gleasondale has a few residential buildings, plus a small industrial complex in the old mill buildings. It does not have a large enough population to support a post office, and uses the same zip code as Stow, 01775. The dam remains, even though it no longer provides hydropower.

Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district

Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district is located in central Massachusetts. It contains the cities of Worcester, which is the second-largest city in New England after Boston, and Northampton in the Pioneer Valley. It is represented by Democrat Jim McGovern.

The shape of the district was changed for the elections of 2012, after Massachusetts congressional redistricting to reflect the 2010 census. The new district covers central Massachusetts, including much of Worcester County, and is largely the successor to the old 3rd District. Most of the old 2nd district, including Springfield, has been moved into the new 1st district.

Mumford River

The Mumford River is an 18.3-mile-long (29.5 km) river in south-central Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Blackstone River.

The river rises from its headwaters in Sutton and Douglas at Manchaug Pond and flows east in a meandering path through a series of ponds (Manchaug, Stevens, Gilboa, Lackey, Whitins, just west of Whitinsville), and joins the Blackstone River in Uxbridge.

The river was named for a hunter, named Mumford, at Mendon, who drowned in this river in the 17th century. This occurred before the towns through which this river flows were formed from Mendon. These towns include Douglas, Sutton, Northbridge, and Uxbridge. Mendon was first settled in 1660. This river was a source of water power for a number of mills and factories in America's earliest industrialization, in the historic Blackstone Valley. The Whitin Machine Works grew up at Whitinsville on the Mumford River, and was once the largest manufacturer of textile machines in the world. The Linwood Mill and the Crown and Eagle Mill at North Uxbridge also grew up on the Mumford, as did the historic Capron Mill at Uxbridge, and the Winfield Shuster Mill in East Douglas.

Nashua River

The Nashua River, 37.5 miles (60.4 km) long, is a tributary of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in the United States. It is formed in eastern Worcester County, Massachusetts, by junction of its north and south branches near Lancaster, and flows generally north-northeast past Groton to join the Merrimack at Nashua, New Hampshire. The Nashua River Watershed occupies a major portion of north-central Massachusetts and a much smaller portion of southern New Hampshire.

The north branch rises west of Fitchburg and Westminster. It flows about 30 miles (48 km) generally southeast past Fitchburg, and joins the south branch about 5 miles (8.0 km) below its issuance from the Wachusett Reservoir.

Nashua Valley Council

The Nashua Valley Council is a Boy Scouts of America council serving Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, and Venturing crews in north central Massachusetts with administrative support, program resources, activities, events, and camping properties. The council was formed in 1965 from the merger of the Wachusett Council and the Fitchburg Area Council. On May 30, 2018, the Nashua Valley Council annual meeting approved a proposal to merge with Mohegan Council. The Mohegan Council annual meeting approved this proposal on May 31, 2018.

Oakmont Regional High School

Oakmont Regional High School is a public high school in New England, located in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Its students come from both Ashburnham and neighboring Westminster which together comprise the regional School District. The building itself is in both Ashburnham and Westminster (majority Westminster) as the town line runs through the school. The superintendent of the district is Dr. Gary F. Mazzola. These towns, located in North Central Massachusetts, are considered rural/residential in character and are growth communities.

Quaboag Regional Middle High School

Quaboag Regional Middle/High School is a public middle/high school in south-central Massachusetts, serving the towns of Warren and West Brookfield.

Quinebaug River

The Quinebaug River is a river in south-central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut, with watershed extending into western Rhode Island. The name "Quinebaug" comes from the southern New England Native American term, spelled variously Qunnubbâgge, Quinibauge, etc., meaning "long pond", from qunni-, "long", and -paug, "pond". The river is one of the namesake rivers in the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor.

Quinsigamond River

The Quinsigamond River is a river in central Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Blackstone River and ultimately drains into Narragansett Bay.

Although the Quinsigamond has many small tributaries and drains a sizable area, the river proper is only 5.6 miles (9.0 km) long. It flows roughly southwards from its origin at Lake Quinsigamond at Worcester's eastern edge, past North Grafton where Bummet Brook enters, through Lake Ripple northwest of Grafton, and into Fisherville Pond at Fisherville, where it merges into the Blackstone River.

Seven Mile River (East Brookfield River tributary)

The Seven Mile River or Sevenmile River is a 9.6-mile-long (15.4 km) stream in central Massachusetts. It heads at Browning Pond, at the Oakham and Spencer border, and travels south through Spencer, following a short distance from State Route 31 (North Spencer Road). It crosses under Route 31 the highway becomes Pleasant Street, then continues south along Old Meadow Road and under State Route 9 near the junction of State Route 49. It then parallels Route 9 to its south until it joins the East Brookfield River between Lake Lashaway and Quaboag Pond.

Thompson Pond (Massachusetts)

Thompson Pond is a fresh water pond in central Massachusetts, near North Spencer and Paxton. It is part of the Chicopee River Watershed.


WAAF (107.3 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Westborough, Massachusetts. It is owned by Entercom and it airs a mainstream rock radio format for Greater Boston and Central Massachusetts. The station's studios are located in Boston's Allston district, while its transmitter is on Stiles Hill in Boylston, with a backup in Paxton.

Ware River

The Ware River is a 35.4-mile-long (57.0 km) river in central Massachusetts. It has two forks, the longer of which (the east branch) begins near Hubbardston, Massachusetts. The Ware River flows southwest through the middle of the state, joins the Quaboag River at Three Rivers, Massachusetts, to form the Chicopee River on its way to the Connecticut River.

The Brigham Pond Dam, forming a pond of the same name, first impounds the East Branch of the Ware River in Westminster. The area north of Hubbardston feeds tributaries of the Ware and Millers rivers, the Millers River running generally west, and the Ware River running generally southwest. The Ware River is part of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority drinking water system serving the greater Boston area.

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