Holden is located amid the beautiful rolling hills of central Massachusetts, just north of Worcester, and about forty miles west of Boston. The town was named after Samuel Holden, a merchant, philanthropist, and a director of the Bank of England. The town encompasses approximately thirty-six square miles, a good portion of which is protected open space, watershed, and recreational areas. The landscape is dominated by hills and rivers, including the Quinapoxet.
The Town of Holden was incorporated in 1741 from what was then referred to as the “North Half” of Worcester, and the Town Square (center) was donated by John Hancock, former Governor of Massachusetts. Holden was originally a rural farming area, but over time, the town began to develop around textile mills. By the early 1900s, most of the mills suffered due to the development of the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs that would supply drinking water to the city of Boston.
In 1951, Holden became one of the first communities in the state to adopt a “Selectman – Town Manager” form of government. In 1954, Holden became part of the first regional school district in Massachusetts.
Holden is bounded on the west by Rutland, on the northwest by Princeton, on the east by Sterling and West Boylston, on the southeast by Worcester, and on the southwest by Paxton.
The town of Holden has an excellent school system and public library, as well as a vibrant Recreation Department that offers a wide array of activities throughout the year. Holden is considered one of the safest communities in Massachusetts.
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