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Chelmsford MA

Living in Chelmsford

Chelmsford, with a population of about 33,000, has twice been ranked by Money Magazine in the top 100 Best Places to live in the United States. It is one of the Massachusetts Bay Colonies and is named after Chelmsford, England. The town was settled as a farming community and established in 1655. Now mainly a residential community, Chelmsford preserved its historical roots. The Chelmsford Historical Commission is committed to their mission to preserve and protect Chelmsford's historic sites. Relive Chelmsford history by visiting their historic district. The Barrett-Byam Homestead and the Chelmsford Garrison House date back to the late 1600s. The Fiske and Hildreth-Robbins houses date to the mid to late 1700s and the Oliver Hutchins House and Middlesex Canal from early 1800s.

Chelmsford History

Chelmsford grew to become an active industrial area beginning with a saw and grist mill built on Russell Mill Pond by Samuel Adams, great-grandfather of John Adams, the second president of the United States. More sawmills followed as well as a glassworks, granite quarry, and Scythe factory. The year 1832 saw the first machine shop in the U.S. to make yarn machinery and the first Sulfur matches in the U.S. originated, ironically, at the Lucifer Match Factory in Chelmsford in 1835. What we know as Canada Dry Ginger Ale, was first produced in Chelmsford in 1901.

Many notable people have called Chelmsford home. Among these people are politicians including Josiah Gardner Abbott (1814-1891), U.S. House of Representatives, Sports columnist Gerry Callahan and several professional athletes, such as Phil Bourque- former NHL player. George Condo is a painter who has also called Chelmsford home. His work is displayed in several museums, formerly with Andy Warhol, and his artwork can also be found on Kanye West's 2011 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Lance Wilder, the background design supervisor for the iconic Simpsons television show, grew up in Chelmsford. Wilder based many of the buildings, stores, and restaurants in fictional Springfield on the Chelmsford of his childhood including the school, library, and popular restaurants including Zesty Pizza.

Interesting Fact

If you have ever caught an episode of the Simpsons, you may have thought a few of the buildings that make up the backdrop seemed familiar. And you were correct! Those familiar settings are due to background design supervisor, Lance Wilder, who graduated from Chelmsford High School in 1986. Some noteworthy buildings to watch for on the Simpsons are the elementary school, based on McCarthy Middle School, which formerly served as the high school until the construction of the current high school in 1974. The public library is also represented as the show's town hall. Other settings include Zesty Pizza, Tony and Ann's Pizza, Jack's Diner, and Skip's Ice Cream.

Chelmsford Schools

Chelmsford High School (9 -12)

Parker Middle School (5-8)

McCarthy Middle School (5-8)

Byam Elementary School (K-4)

Center Elementary School (K-4)

South Row (K-4)

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