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Wakefield, massachusetts

The meaning of «wakefield, massachusetts»

Edward F. Dombroski, Jr.(through 2023)[2] Julie Smith-Galvin(through 2024)[2] Jonathan Chines (through 2022) Anne P. Danehy (through 2024) Mehreen N. Butt (through 2023)

Wakefield is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the Greater Boston metropolitan area,[9] incorporated in 1812 and located about 12.5 mi (20.1 km) north-northwest of Downtown Boston. Wakefield's population was 27,090 at the 2020 census.[10] Wakefield offers an assortment of activities around the local lake, Lake Quannapowitt.

Wakefield was first settled in 1638 and was originally known as Lynn Village. It officially separated from Lynn and incorporated as Reading in 1644 when the first church (First Parish Congregational Church) and the first mill were established. This first corn mill was built on the Mill River on Water Street, and later small saw mills were built on the Mill River and the Saugus River.

Thomas Parker (1609–1683) was one of the founders of Reading, and his home was in what is now downtown Wakefield (on the east side of Crescent Street where it intersects Princess Street). He also was a founder of the 12th Congregational Church (now the First Parish Congregational Church), and served as deacon there.[11][12][13][14] He was a selectman of Reading and was appointed a judicial commissioner.[15] There is evidence that Parker was "conspicuous in naming the town" and that he was related to the Parker family of Little Norton, England, who owned land by the name of Ryddinge.[16][17][18]

The old parish church became known as the Old or South Parish when in 1713 the North Parish was established. This North Parish later became the town of North Reading. In 1769 the West Parish was established. In 1812 the Old or South Parish of Reading separated from Reading and was officially incorporated as South Reading. At the time it was spelled South Redding, not South Reading.

The railroad was chartered and built in 1844 between Wilmington and Boston. This later became the main line of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The Boston and Maine Foundry was built in 1854 and was later reincorporated as the Smith and Anthony Stove Company. The Boston Ice Company cut and shipped ice from Lake Quannapowitt starting in 1851.

The Rattan Works (which made wicker furniture) was established in 1856 by Cyrus Wakefield. This later grew into the Wakefield Rattan Company and at one time had a thousand employees. In 1868 Cyrus Wakefield donated land and money for a new town hall, and in thanks the town voted to change its name from South Reading to Wakefield. The town hall, currently named for William J. Lee,[19] is located at 1 Lafayette Street.[2][20]

In 1856 the South Reading Public Library was established, which later became the Beebe Town Library. In 1923, the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library was built and established by Junius Beebe, the son of Lucius Beebe (1810–1884).[21]

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