What are some facts about Southbridge, Massachusetts?


Quick Answer

Southbridge is in Worcester county, south-central Massachusetts approximately 17 miles southwest of Worcester and 53 miles west of Boston. It is on the northern side of the Connecticut border and comprises approximately 21 square miles. The town blends hilly and flat farmland with suburban, urban and rural neighborhoods.

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Full Answer

Southbridge has a long history of manufacturing optical products, which earned it the title, "Eye of the Commonwealth," in reference to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Industrial revolution by the American Optical Company brought a rapid growth to Southbridge, leading to the development of various neighborhoods and a historical downtown with large streets.

The original inhabitants of Southbridge were the Mohegan and Nipmuc Native Americans with the Quinebaug river dividing their territories. The first Europeans settled in the area in 1730. The region started operating as a town 1816 and by 1950 a good infrastructure was already in place. People from neighboring nationalities started migrating to Southbridge to seek employment in the mills.

The town had an estimated population of 16,825 in 2014, and has four public schools, including the West Street, Southbridge Middle and High School, the Charlton Street and the Eastford Road. Major attractions near the town are the Quinebaug River, the Old Sturbridge Village and the Westville Lake and Recreation Area.

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