Winchendon is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 10,300 at the 2010 census. The town includes the villages of Waterville and Winchendon Springs (also known as Spring Village). A census-designated place, also named Winchendon, is defined within the town for statistical purposes. The Winchendon State Forest, a 174.5 acres (70.62 hectares) parcel, is located within the township as is Otter River State Forest; both recreational areas are managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
|• Type||Open town meeting|
| • Town|
|Keith R. Hickey|
|• Board of Selectmen||Barbara Anderson, Chair (2018)|
Audrey LaBrie, Vice Chair (2019)
Michael Barbaro (2018)
Austin Cyganiewicz (2019)
|• Total||44.1 sq mi (114.1 km2)|
|• Land||43.3 sq mi (112.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,000 ft (305 m)|
|• Density||230/sq mi (90/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||351 / 978|
|GNIS feature ID||0618394|
The House of Representatives made the grant of New Ipswich Canada, now Winchendon, on June 10, 1735, in answer to a petition from Lt. Abraham Tilton of Ipswich. The petition was on behalf of veterans or surviving heirs participating in the 1690 expeditions against Canada. Winchendon was officially incorporated in 1764, named after Nether Winchendon, Buckinghamshire, England, which itself was the site of land owned by Governor Francis Bernard, who signed the town's incorporation into law. (The English village would be where the Governor would die, fifteen years later.) The Millers River provided water power for mills, and at one time Winchendon produced so many wooden shingles that it was nicknamed Shingletown.
Morton E. Converse started his business career in Converseville, New Hampshire, manufacturing acids. In 1873, he purchased a nearby mill to make wooden products. Apparently he started making toys there, but soon teamed with Orland Mason of Winchendon to form the Mason & Converse Company, which lasted until 1883. Converse then partnered with his uncle, Alfred C. Converse, and Converse Toy & Woodenware Company was formed. In 1887, the company changed its name to Morton E. Converse & Company. It remained in business until 1934.
Converse made a great variety of toys, including Noah's Arks, doll furniture, kiddie riding racers, hobby horses, floor whirligigs, drums, wagon blocks, building blocks, pianos, trunks, ten pins, farm houses, and musical roller chimes. Such a large number of toys were made in Winchendon that it became known as Toy Town.
The original Giant Rocking Horse was built in 1912 by Morton Converse. The 12-foot (3.7 m) grey hobby horse was named Clyde, and made from nine pine trees. It was a copy of the company’s #12 rocking horse. In 1914, Clyde entered the local parade to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary. Clyde was moved to the railroad station for about 20 years. Then in 1934, he moved to the edge of the Toy Town Tavern for about 30 years. After that, he was put in storage and fell into disrepair. A replica, Clyde II, was sculpted in 1988 using the original as a model. He is now on display in a covered pavilion.
In addition to the manufacturing of wood products, Winchendon is known for its textile business during the Industrial Revolution. Located at the headwaters of the Millers River, Joseph ‘Deacon’ White of West Boylston, Massachusetts, with his son Nelson, purchased a textile mill in Spring Village in 1843. By 1857, the Nelson Mills had revamped a previous facility. In 1870, Joseph N. White, son of Nelson, traveled to Canada to recruit additional workers from Quebec. Spring Village became a prototype ‘company town’ with jobs, housing and a school for its workers. A second mill was built in 1887 and was known as the Glenallan Mill. The business thrived during the last half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. As the south was modernized during the 1930s, textile operations in New England migrated south. In 1911, Lewis Hine, a noted photographer employed by the US Government, visited the Nelson Mills in Spring Village and documented the presence of child laborers, particularly teenage girls who were employed at reloading spindles of cotton thread for the looms. Both World War II and the Korean War demands for denim were instrumental in keeping White Brothers, Inc. in business; the organization ceased operations in 1956 due to economic pressures from industrialization of the south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.1 square miles (114 km2), of which 43.3 square miles (112 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), or 1.77%, is water. Winchendon is drained by the Millers River. Winchendon is home to the Lake Dennison Recreation Area and Whitney Pond, and shares Lake Monomonac with Rindge, New Hampshire to the north. Along the path of the Millers River, in the western part of town, much of the land is marshy, with several brooks feeding into both the Millers River and the nearby Otter River, which flows into the Millers River in the southwest corner of town. The town lies on relatively flat high ground, with the western slope of Town Line Hill (1,320 ft) being the highest point in town, near the southeast corner of town. Two protected areas, the Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area and the Otter River State Forest, both have part of their lands within the town, as well as the small Winchendon State Forest.
Winchendon is the middle town of the three Worcester County towns bordering New Hampshire's Cheshire County. It is bounded by Fitzwilliam and Rindge to the north, Ashburnham to the east, Gardner to the southeast, Templeton to the southwest, and Royalston to the west. From its town center, Winchendon is 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Fitchburg, 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Keene, New Hampshire, 35 miles (56 km) north-northwest of Worcester and 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Boston.
Winchendon has no interstate or limited access highways within town; the nearest is Route 2, the major east-west route through the northern part of the state, in Templeton and Gardner. U.S. Route 202 passes through the town before heading into New Hampshire. Route 12 also passes through the town, from Ashburnham towards Fitzwilliam and Keene. The northern terminus of Route 140 is also within town, at its intersection with Route 12. This intersection was improved around the turn of the 21st century to include stoplights, in order to make it safer (as it had been a common site for accidents within town). When Route 140 was rerouted to bypass the Town of Gardner in the 1970s, Winchendon's status as a bedroom community was facilitated by easy access to Route 2 and points east toward Greater Boston, I-495 and I-95.
The Boston & Albany Railroad had an important junction in town; the former station was location on Center and Railroad Streets. Freight service ended in the 1980s when successor Guilford Rail System abandoned the line, which followed Route 12 for much of its route.
A line of the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MRTA) links the town with Gardner (and, in the mornings, directly with Fitchburg). There is no air service within town; the nearest small airport is Gardner Municipal Airport in Templeton, and the nearest national air service is located at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,611 people, 3,447 households, and 2,478 families residing in the town. The population density was 222.0 inhabitants per square mile (85.7/km2). There were 3,660 housing units at an average density of 84.6 per square mile (32.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.96% White, 0.80% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.03% of the population.
There were 3,447 households out of which 39.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.1% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the town, the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $43,750, and the median income for a family was $50,086. Males had a median income of $36,875 versus $29,099 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,798. About 6.8% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 19.3% of those age 65 or over. The local senior high is Murdock High School.
The Winchendon public library began in 1867. In 1907 the library trustees approached philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie to fund a new facility; when Carnegie declined to increase his funding from $12,500 to $25,000, Charles L. Beals, a local businessman, presented the Selectman of Winchendon a check for $25,000 to fund a new library. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Winchendon spent 0.62% ($149,399) of its budget on its public library—some $14 per person.
The town's largest employer is Saloom Furniture Company, a dining furniture manufacturer that has two factories with 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of space.
Albert Hosmer Bowker (September 8, 1919 – January 20, 2008) was an American statistician and university administrator. Born in Massachusetts, he worked at Stanford University in the late 1940s to early 1950s. In 1953, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. He then served as Chancellor of the City University of New York from 1963 to 1971. During this period, in 1964, he married his second wife, Rosedith Sitgreaves, herself a notable statistician who had gone through the graduate program in statistics at Columbia University with Bowker and was at the time a professor at Columbia. He served as Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley from 1971 to 1980 until serving as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Post-Secondary Education in the Carter administration. After 1 year, he went to the University of Maryland to serve as Dean of the School of Public Affairs. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2008.Artemas Hale
Artemas Hale (October 20, 1783 – August 3, 1882) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.
Born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, Hale received a limited education and worked on a farm. He taught school in Hingham, Massachusetts from 1804 to 1814. He became interested in the manufacture of cotton gins in Bridgewater. He served as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1824, 1825, 1827, and 1828. He served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1833 and 1834. He was again a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1838-1842. He served as delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1853.
Hale was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1849). He engaged in agricultural pursuits. He served as presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1864. He died in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, August 3, 1882. He was interred in Mount Prospect Cemetery.Blueberry Island (Massachusetts)
Blueberry Island is an inhabited island in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It is surrounded by Lake Monomonac, an artificial lake that straddles the border between Rindge, New Hampshire, and Winchendon, Massachusetts.Channel 17 virtual TV stations in the United States
The following television stations operate on virtual channel 17 in the United States:
K12QZ-D in San Luis Obispo, California
K17BV-D in Redwood Falls, Minnesota
K17DL-D in Branson, Missouri
K17DU-D in Christmas Valley, Oregon
K17ED-D in Payette, Idaho
K17FU-D in Marshfield, Missouri
K17GD-D in Paso Robles, California
K17GE-D in Dove Creek, etc., Colorado
K17GJ in Twentynine Palms, California
K17HI-D in Amarillo, Texas
K17II-D in Logan, Utah
K17JJ-D in Cortez, Colorado
K17JN-D in Enid, Oklahoma
K17KW-D in Gettysburg, South Dakota
K17LM-D in Yuma, Arizona
K17MW-D in St. James, Minnesota
K26OH-D in Roseau, Minnesota
K47OQ-D in Alexandria, Minnesota
KAAS-LP in Garden City, Kansas
KABH-CD in Bend, Oregon
KBMY in Bismarck, North Dakota
KBNT-CD in San Diego, California
KDOR-TV in Bartlesville, Oklahoma
KDSM-TV in Des Moines, Iowa
KEEN-CD in Las Vegas, Nevada
KGET-TV in Bakersfield, California
KGLU-LD in Ottumwa, Iowa
KHJL-LD in Rapid City, South Dakota
KIDU-LD in Brownwood, Texas
KJRW in Eureka, California
KLDF-CD in Lompoc, California
KMIZ in Columbia, Missouri
KMOL-LD in Victoria, Texas
KMPH-CD in Merced-Mariposa, California
KNIC-DT in Blanco, Texas
KNTS-LP in Natchitoches, Louisiana
KOCW in Hoisington, Kansas
KODG-LP in Palm Springs, California
KPCB-DT in Snyder, Texas
KSAS-LP in Dodge City, Kansas
KSBB-CD in Santa Barbara, California
KSWL-LD in Lake Charles, Louisiana
KVAT-LD in Austin, Texas
KVDO-LD in Albany, Oregon
KWVT-LD in Salem, Oregon
KYTL-LD in Twin Falls, Idaho
W09CZ-D in Roslyn, New York
W17CT-D in Manteo, North Carolina
W17DF-D in Muskegon, Michigan
W17DL-D in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
W23ER-D in Poughkeepsie, New York
W31BX-D in Danville, Illinois
W40CV-D in Jacksonville, Illinois
W41DI-D in Bat Cave, etc., North Carolina
W42AX-D in Bakersville, North Carolina
W42CB-D in Hesperia, Michigan
W44DW-D in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
W45AA-D in Columbia, Mississippi
W51EE-D in Marion, North Carolina
WALE-LD in Montgomery, Alabama
WAND in Decatur, Illinois
WBKH-LD in Port Charlotte, Florida
WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida
WDBB in Bessemer, Alabama
WDEM-CD in Columbus, Ohio
WDLI-TV in Canton, Ohio
WDYI-LD in Macon, Georgia
WEWA-LD in Wewahitchka, Florida
WIIH-CD in Indianapolis, Indiana
WKTD-CD in Portsmouth, Virginia
WLRN-TV in Miami, Florida
WMAU-TV in Bude, Mississippi
WMHT in Schenectady, New York
WNCN in Goldsboro, North Carolina
WNDT-CD in Manhattan, New York
WNED-TV in Buffalo, New York
WOIW-LD in Lima, Ohio
WPCH-TV in Atlanta, Georgia
WPGF-LD in Memphis, Tennessee
WPHL-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WQFT-LD in Ocala, Florida
WRLW-CD in Salem, Indiana
WTVO in Rockford, Illinois
WUMN-LD in Minneapolis, Minnesota
WUNE-TV in Linville, North Carolina
WVMA-CD in Winchendon, Massachusetts
WVXF in Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands
WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan
WXVT-LD in Cleveland, Mississippi
WZTV in Nashville, TennesseeDudley W. Adams
Dudley Whitney Adams (November 30, 1831 in Winchendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts – February 13, 1897 in Tangerine, Florida) was a horticulturalist who led the granger movement.Earle E. Partridge
Earle Everard "Pat" Partridge (July 7, 1900 – September 7, 1990) was a 4-star general in the United States Air Force and a Command Pilot.
Partridge enlisted in the United States Army in July 1918 at Fort Slocum, New York, and was assigned to the 5th Engineer Training Regiment. He went to France in August 1918 to join the 79th Division, participating in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Partridge graduated from the United States Military Academy in the Class of 1924.
He received flight training at Brooks Field and Kelly Field, and was a stunt pilot in the 1927 silent film Wings.
He taught mathematics at West Point, then went to the Panama Canal Zone with the 6th Composite Group. He was adjutant and assistant operations officer of the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, and commanding officer of the 94th Pursuit Squadron.
In 1943, Partridge became chief of staff of the Fifteenth Air Force, and was named deputy commander of the Eighth Air Force in 1944. That June, he became commander of the 3rd Bomb Division, and assisted in its reorganization and movement to Okinawa.
Partridge returned to Headquarters Army Air Forces in January 1946 as assistant chief of staff for operations. He went to Japan in October 1948 as commanding general of the Fifth Air Force, serving through the first year of the Korean War. On his return to the United States in June 1951, he commanded the newly formed Air Research and Development Command at Baltimore, Maryland.
In April 1954, he became commander of the Far East Air Forces at Tokyo. He then became acting Commander of the Air Defense Command from 20 July 1955 to 17 September 1956; he was later named commander in chief of the North American Air Defense Command and the Air Defense Command, at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs.
He retired from active duty on July 31, 1959.
Partridge's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, four Air Medals, World War I Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Korea Medal, Belgian Croix de Guerre with Palm; Companion, British Order of the Bath; French Croix de Guerre with two Palms; Knight, French Legion of Honor; Commander's Cross with Star, Polish Order of Polonia Restituta, and the Korean Order of Military Merit.Ed Bagdonas
Ed Bagdonas (June 20, 1937 – March 29, 1985) was an American athlete. He competed in the men's hammer throw at the 1960 Summer Olympics.Fred Woodcock
Fred Wayland Woodcock (May 17, 1868 – August 11, 1943) was a professional baseball pitcher. He attended Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. He appeared in five games in Major League Baseball for the 1892 Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. He played college ball at Brown University and Dartmouth College. After his one season in the majors, he played in 1893 in the New England League and in 1895 in the Texas-Southern League.Jacob Brown Harris
Jacob Brown Harris (January 24, 1830 – February 6, 1875) was an American lawyer and politician.
Harris, son of Reuben and Rowena (Woodbury) Harris, was born in Winchendon, Mass., Jan 24, 1830. He graduated from Yale College in 1854. The year after graduation he spent in Strasburgh, Pa, studying law and teaching. After an interval of more than a year, caused by severe illness, he resumed the study of law in June, 1837, with Hon. Giles II Whitney, of Winchendon. In 1859, he removed to East Abington (in that portion which is now Rockland), Mass., and won for himself a leading position in the Plymouth County Bar. He was for two sessions a member of the Massachusetts Legislature. A few years ago he removed to Boston, where he died, after many months of suffering, of Bright's disease of the kidneys, Feb. 6, 1875. He married, Dec 31, 1862, Miss Mary M. Knight, of Boston, who survived him, without children.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Yale Obituary Record.James Cook Ayer
James Cook Ayer (5 May 1818 in Groton, Connecticut – 3 July 1878 in Winchendon, Massachusetts) was the wealthiest patent medicine businessman of his day.Lake Monomonac
Lake Monomonac is an artificial lake that straddles the border between Rindge, New Hampshire, and Winchendon, Massachusetts, in the United States. It was created from a small pond in New Hampshire by the construction of dams on the North Branch of the Millers River, a part of the Connecticut River watershed.
Lake Monomonac is 594 acres (240 ha) in size with 411 acres (166 ha) in New Hampshire and the remaining 183 acres (74 ha) in Massachusetts. The lake has a maximum recorded depth of 22 feet (6.7 m) and an average depth of 10 feet (3.0 m).The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, white perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, horned pout, and green sunfish.Murdock School
The Murdock School, also known as Old Murdock High School, is an historic school building on Murdock Avenue in Winchendon, Massachusetts. Built in 1887 to a design by Henry M. Francis, it is the town's most architecturally elaborate school building. It served as the town's high school until 1961, and now houses the local council on the aging. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.Old Centre Historic District
The Old Centre Historic District is a historic district encompassing the historic town center of Winchendon, Massachusetts. It includes the town's first cemetery, the First Congregational Church, and the oldest surviving house (c. 1752) in town, and only one building constructed after 1850. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.Peleg Sprague (New Hampshire politician)
Peleg Sprague (December 10, 1756 – April 20, 1800) was a politician from the U.S. state of New Hampshire.
Sprague was born in Rochester, Massachusetts. He clerked in a store in Littleton, Massachusetts, attended Harvard College, and was graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1783. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1785, and commenced practice in Winchendon, Massachusetts. He moved to Keene, New Hampshire, in 1787. He was selectman 1789-1791; county solicitor for Cheshire County in 1794; and member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1797.
Sprague was elected as a Federalist Party to the 5th United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Jeremiah Smith, serving from December 15, 1797, to March 3, 1799. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1798.
Sprague died in Keene, New Hampshire, and was interred there in the Washington Street Cemetery.Tarbell Brook
Tarbell Brook is a 10.1-mile-long (16.3 km) stream located in southwestern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Millers River, itself a tributary of the Connecticut River, which flows to Long Island Sound.
Tarbell Brook rises in the northeast corner of the town of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, and southeast into Rindge, where it receives the outflow of Pearly Lake and continues south to the Damon Reservoirs. The brook then passes into Winchendon, Massachusetts, reaching the Millers River approximately two miles west of the town center.The Gardner News
The Gardner News is a daily newspaper serving seven cities and towns in northwest Worcester County, Massachusetts. In addition to the city of Gardner, where it is headquartered, it also covers the rural towns of Ashburnham, Hubbardston, Phillipston, Templeton, Westminster, and Winchendon, Massachusetts.
The News publishes every day except Sunday.
Its chief competitors are the county's two largest newspapers, the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise and Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as the Athol Daily News.The Winchendon School
The Winchendon School is a coeducational, private boarding and day school located in Winchendon, Massachusetts just over an hour from Boston. Founded in 1926, The Winchendon School has an average classroom size of seven students, an enrollment of approximately 270 students, and a student to teacher ratio of 6:1.William B. Washburn
William Barrett Washburn (January 31, 1820 – October 5, 1887) was an American businessman and politician from Massachusetts. Washburn served several terms in the United States House of Representatives (1863–71) and as the 28th Governor of Massachusetts from 1872 to 1874, when he won election to the United States Senate in a special election to succeed the recently deceased Charles Sumner. A moderate Republican, Washburn only partially supported the Radical Republican agenda during the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed.
A Yale graduate, Washburn parlayed early business success in furniture manufacture into banking and railroads, based in the Connecticut River valley town of Greenfield. He was a major proponent of a railroads in northern and western Massachusetts, sitting on the board of the Connecticut River Railroad for many years, and playing an oversight role in the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel. He has been described as a latter-day "Connecticut River God" because of his role as a leading regional businessman and politician.William De Witt Hyde
William De Witt Hyde (September 23, 1858 – June 29, 1917) was an American college president, born at Winchendon, Mass.
Places adjacent to Winchendon, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
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