Lexington, Massachusetts

Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,394 at the 2010 census,[1] in nearly 11,100 households. Settled in 1641, it is celebrated as the site of the first shots of the American Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. It is part of the Greater Boston Area and is the sixth wealthiest small city in the United States.[2]

Lexington, Massachusetts
Statue of Captain John Parker and Hayes Memorial Fountain on Lexington Common, by H. H. Kitson
Statue of Captain John Parker and Hayes Memorial Fountain on Lexington Common, by H. H. Kitson
Flag of Lexington, Massachusetts

Official seal of Lexington, Massachusetts

Etymology: Likely from Laxton, Nottinghamshire
Birthplace of American Liberty
"What a Glorious Morning for America!"
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°26′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.44722°N 71.22500°WCoordinates: 42°26′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.44722°N 71.22500°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeRepresentative town meeting
 • Total16.5 sq mi (42.8 km2)
 • Land16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
210 ft (64 m)
 • Total31,394
 • Density1,900/sq mi (730/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
02420 / 02421
Area code(s)339 / 781
FIPS code25-35215
GNIS feature ID0619401


Buckman Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts
Buckman Tavern, built 1710

Lexington was first settled circa 1642[3] as part of Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3] What is now Lexington was then incorporated as a parish, called Cambridge Farms, in 1691. This allowed them to have a separate church and minister, but were still under jurisdiction of the Town of Cambridge. Lexington was incorporated as a separate town in 1713. It was then that it got the name Lexington.[4] How it received its name is the subject of some controversy. Some people believe that it was named in honor of Lord Lexington, an English peer.[5] Some, on the other hand, believe that it was named after Lexington (which was pronounced and is today spelled Laxton) in Nottinghamshire, England.[6]

In the early colonial days, Vine Brook, which runs through Lexington, Burlington, and Bedford, and then empties into the Shawsheen River, was a focal point of the farming and industry of the town. It provided for many types of mills, and in the 20th Century, for farm irrigation.

For decades, Lexington grew modestly while remaining largely a farming community, providing Boston with much of its produce. It always had a bustling downtown area, which remains to this day. Lexington began to prosper, helped by its proximity to Boston, and having a rail line (originally the Lexington and West Cambridge Railroad, later the Boston and Maine Railroad) service its citizens and businesses, beginning in 1846 (turned into a bikeway in 1992). For many years, East Lexington was considered a separate village from the rest of the town, though it still had the same officers and Town Hall. Most of the farms of Lexington became housing developments by the end of the 1960s.

Lexington, as well as many of the towns along the Route 128 corridor, experienced a jump in population in the 1960s and 70s, due to the high-tech boom. Property values in the town soared, and the school system became nationally recognized for its excellence.[7] The town participates in the METCO program, which buses minority students from Boston to suburban towns to receive better educational opportunities than those available to them in the Boston Public Schools.[8]

On April 19, 1775, what many regard as the first battle of the American Revolutionary War was a battle at Lexington. After the rout, the British march on toward Concord where the militia had been allowed time to organize at the Old North Bridge and turn back the British and prevent them from capturing and destroying the militia's arms stores.[9]

Lexington was the Cold War location of the USAF "Experimental SAGE Subsector"[10] for testing a prototype IBM computer that arrived in July 1955[11] for development of a computerized "national air defense network"[12] (the namesake "Lexington Discrimination System" for incoming ICBM warheads was developed in the late 1960s).[13]


Topographic maps of Arlington, Belmont, Lexington Massachusetts 1946
Topography of Lexington and environs

Lexington is located at 42°26′39″N 71°13′36″W / 42.44417°N 71.22667°W (42.444345, -71.226928).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.5 square miles (42.8 km²), of which 16.4 square miles (42.5 km²) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²), or 0.85%, is water.

Lexington borders the following towns: Burlington, Woburn, Winchester, Arlington, Belmont, Waltham, Lincoln, and Bedford. It has more area than all other municipalities that it borders.


Historical population

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]

By the 2010 census, the population had reached 31,394.

As of the census[25] of 2010, there had been 31,394 people, 11,530 households, and 8,807 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,851.0 people per square mile (714.6/km²). There were 12,019 housing units at an average density of 691.1 per square mile (266.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 68.6% White, 25.4% Asian (15.4% Chinese, 4.8% Asian Indian, 3.2% Korean[26]), 1.5% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 11,530 households out of which 38.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

In 2013,[27] the mean home price for detached houses was $852,953, and the median price of a house or condo was $718,300. According to a 2012 estimate,[28] the median income for a household in the town was $191,350, and the median income for a family was $218,890. Males had a median income of $101,334 versus $77,923 for females. The per capita income for the town was $70,132. About 1.8% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.

By race, the median household income was highest for mixed race households, at $263,321. Hispanic households had a median income of $233,875. Asian households had a median income of $178,988. White households had a median income of $154,533. Black households had a median income of $139,398. American Indian or Alaskan Native households had a median income of $125,139.[28]

Foreign-born population

In 2010, 20% of the residents of Lexington were born outside of the United States.[29]


CaryMemorial Library ca1913 Lexington Massachusetts
Cary Memorial Library

Public schools

Lexington's public education system includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Overall the Lexington school district is among the top ranked in the state and nationally.

Bridge Elementary School and Jonas Clarke Middle School were High Performing National Blue Ribbon Schools in 2010 and 2013 respectively.[30][31] They have been ranked as top schools based on Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test scores. Lexington High School was ranked in 2014 as the 19th best high school in the nation by U.S. News.[32] In 2012, 2017, and 2018, Lexington High School won the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl competition.[33] In addition to Lexington High School, students may attend Minuteman Regional High School. In 2019 Jonas Clarke Middle School won the National Science Bowl competition.

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

Private schools

Supplementary education

The Lexington Chinese School (LCS; 勒星頓中文學校) holds its classes at Belmont High School in Belmont.[34] In 2003 over 400 students attended classes at LCS, held on Sundays.[35]

Culture and Art

Engraved memorial bricks lining the Lexington Depot sidewalk
Mullikan Oak Tree - Lexington, MA - September 2012
Historic Mullikan Oak Tree, September 2012
Old Belfry, Lexington
Old Belfry in Belfry Hill Park, Clarke Street. Its plaque reads: "This belfry was erected on this hill in 1761 and removed to the Common in 1768. In it was hung the bell which rung out the alarm on the 19th of April 1775. In 1797 it was removed to the Parker Homestead in the south part of the town. In 1891 it was brought back to this hill by the Lexington Historical Society. Destroyed by a gale in 1909. Rebuilt 1910."


Lexington is home to the Lexington Symphony, which performs regularly at Cary Hall.[36][37]


Major employers in Lexington include the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Stride Rite, Agilent, Global Insight, CareOne, the Cotting School, Ipswitch, and Lexington Public Schools.[38]

MBTA Bus operates three routes that connect with the Red Line at Alewife station in Cambridge.


Lexington appears in the videogame Assassin's Creed 3. It also appears in Fallout 4, a Bethesda Softworks games

Points of interest

  • Lexington is most well known for its history and is home to many historical buildings, parks, and monuments, most dating from Colonial and Revolutionary times.
  • One of the most prominent historical landmarks, located in Lexington Centre, is the Common, or as it later became known, the Battle Green, where the battle was fought, and a statue of John Parker, captain of the Lexington militia stands.
  • Another important historical monument is the Revolutionary Monument, the nation's oldest standing war memorial (completed on July 4, 1799) and the gravesite of those colonists slain in the Battle of Lexington.
  • Other landmarks of historical importance include the Old Burying Ground (with gravestones dating back to 1690), the Old Belfry, Buckman Tavern (circa 1704-1710), Munroe Tavern (circa 1695), the Hancock-Clarke House (1737), the U.S.S. Lexington Memorial, the Centre Depot (old Boston and Maine train station, today the headquarters of the town Historical Society), Follen Church (the oldest standing church building in Lexington, built in 1839), and the Mulliken White Oak (one of Lexington's most distinguished and oldest trees).[39]
  • Lexington is also home, along with neighboring Lincoln and nearby Concord to the 900-acre (3.6 km2) Minute Man National Historical Park.
  • The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library showcases exhibits on American history and Freemasonry.
  • Lexington's town center is home to numerous dining opportunities, fine art galleries, retail shopping, a small cinema, the Cary Memorial Library, the Minuteman Bikeway, Depot Square, and many of the aforementioned historical landmarks.
  • The Great Meadow, a.k.a. Arlington's Great Meadows, is a sprawling meadow and marshland located in East Lexington, but owned by the town of Arlington, Lexington's neighbor to the east.
  • Willards Woods Conservation Area, a small forest of conservation land donated years ago by the Willard Sisters.[40] Willards Woods is referenced in the classic Saturday Night Live skit "Donnie's Party".
  • Wilson Farm, a farm and farm stand in operation since 1884.
  • The Lexington Community Center is a meeting place for Lexington residents.
  • Notable Lexington neighborhoods include Lexington Centre, Meriam Hill (and Granny Hill), Irish Village, Loring Hill, Belfry Hill, Munroe Hill, Countryside (sometimes referred to as "Scotland"), the Munroe District, the Manor Section, Four Corners, Grapevine Corner, Woodhaven, and East Lexington (fondly "East Village", or "The East End").
  • Marrett Square, at the intersection of Marrett Road and Waltham Street, is the location of some light shopping and dining.
  • The "Old Reservoir," sometimes referred to by locals as "The Res," used to provide drinking water to Lexington residents and surrounding areas. Now it offers a place to swim and picnic in the summer time. In the winter, when it freezes over, it is used as an ice skating area.
  • Book publisher D.C. Heath was founded in 1885 at 125 Spring Street in Lexington, near the present day intersection of Route 128 and MA Route 2, and was headquartered on that spot until its 1995 sale to Houghton Mifflin.
  • Lexington is home to several historically significant modernist communities built by notable architects. These neighborhoods include Six Moon Hill, Peacock Farm, and Five Fields.[41]
Lexington Community Center 08
The Lexington Community Center, opened on October 17, 2015. It is located next to the Headquarters of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

Notable people

Sister cities

Lexington is a sister city of:


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Further reading

External links

Charles Hudson (American politician)

Charles Hudson (November 14, 1795 – May 4, 1881) was a United States minister, writer, historian and politician. Hudson served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court, on the Massachusetts Governor's Council, and as United States Representative from Massachusetts.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals

Cubist Pharmaceuticals was a U.S. biopharmaceutical company with activities spanning from research and development to commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Its main products target pathogens like MRSA.

Cubist was one of the few firms that continued to research in antibiotics while larger pharmaceutical companies have abandoned such research. The company employs 638 people, with 370 in their headquarters in Lexington, MA. As of 2011, the company’s headquarters are under expansion and is expected to occupy 373,000 sq ft (34,700 m2) in Lexington, MA. On 8 December 2014, Merck & Co. acquired Cubist for $102 per share in cash ($8.4 billion) as entree to the market for drugs that can combat superbugs.

Eddie Britt

Edward Joseph "Eddie" Britt (July 19, 1912 – November 21, 1978) was an American football running back in the National Football League for the Boston/Washington Redskins and the Brooklyn Dodgers. He attended the College of the Holy Cross.

Epix Pharmaceuticals

Epix Pharmaceuticals Inc (formerly Predix Pharmaceuticals Inc) was a pharmaceutical company based in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Its products included the following agents:

PRX-00023—5-HT1A receptor full agonist (later discovered to be an antagonist): for major depression and generalized anxiety disorder

PRX-03140—5-HT4 receptor partial agonist: for Alzheimer's disease

PRX-07034—5-HT6 receptor antagonist: for obesity and cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia

PRX-08066—5-HT2B receptor antagonist: for pulmonary hypertension associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseAs of July 2009, the company was in the process of asset liquidation due to insufficient funds to stay afloat.

Ethan Zohn

Ethan Zohn (born November 12, 1973), is a former American professional soccer player, and a reality television series contestant who won $1,000,000 on Survivor: Africa, the third season of the reality TV series Survivor. He also appeared on the All-Stars edition of the show. After winning Survivor he co-founded Grassroot Soccer, which uses soccer to raise money and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS.On January 22, 2010, he was ranked 14th in the USL Second Division Top 15 of the Decade, which announced a list of the best and most influential players of the previous decade. In 2011, Zohn and his longtime girlfriend and fellow Survivor winner Jenna Morasca participated in the 19th season of The Amazing Race. They were one of the two teams eliminated in the opening double-elimination leg, and finished 10th for the season.

Hancock–Clarke House

The Hancock–Clarke House is a historic house at 36 Hancock Street in Lexington, Massachusetts, that is a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1738, the house is notable as the only surviving house associated with statesman John Hancock, who lived here for several years as a child. It played a prominent role in the Battle of Lexington and Concord as both Hancock and Samuel Adams, leaders of the colonials, were staying in the house before the battle. The House is operated as a museum by the Lexington Historical Society. It is open weekends starting in mid-April and daily from May 30–October 31. An admission fee is charged.

Konrad Emil Bloch

Konrad Emil Bloch, ForMemRS (21 January 1912 – 15 October 2000) was a German American biochemist. Bloch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1964 (joint with Feodor Lynen) for discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.

Lexington Public Schools (Massachusetts)

Lexington Public Schools is a public school district in Lexington, Massachusetts, United States. The district consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school. Each elementary and middle school is named after an important figure in Lexington's history.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory, located in Lexington, Massachusetts, is a United States Department of Defense research and development center chartered to apply advanced technology to problems of national security. The Laboratory provides a technical base for military electronics ranging from radars to reentry physics. Research and development activities focus on long-term technology development as well as rapid system prototyping and demonstration. These efforts are aligned within key mission areas. The laboratory works with industry to transition new concepts and technology for system development and deployment. The laboratory also maintains several field sites around the world.

Massachusetts Avenue (metropolitan Boston)

Massachusetts Avenue (colloquially referred to as Mass Ave) is a major thoroughfare in Boston, Massachusetts, and several cities and towns northwest of Boston. According to Boston magazine, "Its 16 miles of blacktop run from gritty industrial zones to verdant suburbia, passing gentrified brownstones, college campuses and bustling commercial strips."

Michelle Ciccolo

Michelle Ciccolo is a State Representative who represents the 15th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She represents the towns of Lexington, and Woburn. Ciccolo serves on the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Joint Committee on Financial Services, and the Joint Committee on Public Health.

Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Historical Park commemorates the opening battle in the American Revolutionary War. It also includes the Wayside, home in turn to three noted American authors. The National Historical Park is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and protects 970 acres (392.5 ha) in and around the Massachusetts towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord.

Minuteman Career and Technical High School

Minuteman Career and Technical High School is a Public Vocational High School (grades 9-12) located in Lexington, Massachusetts. The school serves the towns of Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham, and Stow. Minuteman is a member of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference for sports, which competes at the Division 5 level of athletics in Massachusetts. The school's mascot is the Mustangs, and the school's colors are navy blue, gold, and white. Minuteman was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Lexington, Massachusetts

This is a listing of places in Lexington, Middlesex County, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 7, 2019.

Pete Holmes

Peter Benedict Holmes (born March 30, 1979) is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and podcaster.

Rachel Dratch

Rachel Susan Dratch (born February 22, 1966) is an American actress, comedian, and writer. Born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, she graduated from Dartmouth College in 1988 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study improvisational theatre at The Second City and ImprovOlympic.

Her breakthrough came on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live (SNL), where she was a cast member from 1999 to 2006. In addition to her work on SNL, she has appeared as a guest star in television shows such as The King of Queens and 30 Rock, as well as films such as Click and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. In 2012, she published her autobiographical book Girl Walks Into a Bar: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters and a Midlife Miracle. She also portrayed the museum guard in Sesame Street's The Cookie Thief.

Russell Morash

Russell Morash (born February 11, 1936) is a television producer and director of many television programs produced through WGBH and airing on PBS.

His shows include This Old House, The Victory Garden, and The New Yankee Workshop. He also worked with Julia Child to produce The French Chef and other cooking programs, beginning in 1963.

A native of Lexington, Massachusetts, Morash graduated from the Boston University College of Fine Arts in 1957. He is married to Marian Morash, a James Beard Award-winning chef who also appeared on The Victory Garden and edited The Victory Garden Cookbook.


Saucony is an American manufacturer of athletic shoes. The company is a subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide.

Tom Silva

Tom Silva, born c. 1947, is a contractor notable for his long-running participation in the PBS show This Old House. He is co-owner of Silva Brothers' Construction, based in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Major cities
Cities and towns
Cities and towns
Cities and towns

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