Lexington is a town in
County, Massachusetts, United
The population was 30,355 at the 2000
is famous for being the site of the opening shots of the American Revolution, in the Battle of
Lexington on April 19, 1775.
was first settled circa 1642 as part of Cambridge,
What is now Lexington was first
incorporated as a parish, called Cambridge Farms, in 1691, and was
incorporated as a separate town in 1713. It was then that it got
the name Lexington. How it received its name is the subject of some
controversy. Some people believe that it was named in honor of
, a British nobleman.
the other hand, believe that it was named after Lexington (which
was pronounced and today spelled Laxton) in Nottinghamshire, England.
early colonial days, the Vine Brook,
which runs through Lexington, Burlington,
and Bedford, and then
empties into the Shawsheen River,
was a focal point of the farming and industry of the town.
It provided for many types of mills, and later, in the 20th Century
for farm irrigation.
For decades, Lexington showed modest growth while remaining largely
a farming community, providing Boston with much of its produce. It
always had a bustling downtown area, which remains so to this day.
Lexington began to prosper, helped by its proximity to Boston, and
having a rail line (originally the Boston and Maine Railroad
renamed, and now the Minuteman
) service its citizens and businesses, beginning in
1846. For many years, East Lexington was considered a separate
village from the rest of the town, though it still had the same
officers and Town Hall. Most of the farms of Lexington became
housing developments by the end of the 1960s.
Lexington, as well as many of the towns along the Route 128
corridor, experienced a jump in population in the 1960s and 70s,
due to the high-tech boom. Property values in the town soared, and
the school system became nationally recognized for its excellence.
The town participates in the METCO
which buses minority students from Boston to suburban towns to (in
theory) receive a better education in a safer environment than in
Boston Public Schools.
On April 19, 1775, Lexington was the location of the first battle
of the American Revolutionary
. Every year, on the third Monday of April, the town
observes Patriots' Day
. Events begin with
Paul Revere's Ride,
with a special re-enactment of the Battles of
Lexington and Concord. At 6 a.m., there is a re-enactment of the
skirmish on the Battle Green, with shots fired from the Battle
Green and the nearby Buckman Tavern (to account for the fact that no one knows from
where the first shot was fired, or by whom).
After the rout,
the British march on toward Concord. The battle in Lexington
allowed the Concord militia time to organize at the Old North
Bridge, where they were able to turn back the British and prevent
them from capturing and destroying the militia's arms stores.
the rest of the year many tourists enjoy tours of the town's
historic landmarks such as Buckman Tavern, Munroe
Tavern, and the Hancock-Clarke House, which are maintained by the town's historical
Lexington is located at (42.444345, -71.226928).
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of
16.5 square miles
), of which, 16.4 square
miles (42.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles
(0.4 km²) of it (0.85%) is water.
borders the following towns: Burlington, Woburn, Winchester, Arlington, Belmont, Waltham, Lincoln, and Bedford.
It has more area than all other
municipalities that it borders.
Topography of Lexington and
As of the census
of 2000, there were 30,355
people, 11,110 households, and 8,432 families residing in the town.
The population density
1,851.0 people per square mile (714.6/km²). There were 11,333
housing units at an average density of 691.1/sq mi
(266.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.13% White
, 10.90% Asian
, 3.13% Black
or African American
, 0.08% Native American
0.34% from other races
and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 5.41% of the
There were 11,110 households out of which 37.8% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples
living together, 7.7% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families.
20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age
of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to
64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
44 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in
the town was $122,656, and the median income for a family was
$142,796. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $73,090 for
females. The per capita income
the town was $61,119. About 1.8% of families and 3.4% of the
population were below the poverty line
including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or
Lexington is also renowned for its public education
system, which includes six
, two middle schools
, and a high school
High School was recently ranked the 304th best high school in
the nation by Newsweek.
to Lexington High School, students may also attend Minuteman Regional High
if so desiring.
Points of interest
Engraved memorial bricks lining the
Lexington Depot sidewalk
- Lexington is probably most well-known for its history and is
home to many historical buildings, parks, and monuments, most
dating from Colonial and Revolutionary
of the most prominent historical landmarks, located in Lexington
Centre, is the Common, or as it later became known, the Battle
Green, where the battle was fought, and the Minuteman
Statue in front of it.
- Another important historical monument is the Revolutionary
Monument, the nation's oldest standing war memorial (completed on
July 4, 1799) and the gravesite of those
colonists slain in the Battle of Lexington.
landmarks of historical importance include the Old Burying Ground
(with gravestones dating back to 1690), the Old Belfry, Buckman Tavern (circa 1704-1710), Munroe
Tavern (circa 1695), the Hancock-Clarke House (1737), the U.S.S. Lexington Memorial,
the Centre Depot (old Boston and
Maine train station, today the
headquarters of the town Historical Society), and Follen Church (the oldest standing church building in Lexington,
built in 1839).
- Lexington is also home to the 900-acre
Minute Man National Historical
Park and the National Heritage
Museum, which showcases exhibits on American history and popular culture.
- Central to the town is Lexington's town
center, home to numerous dining
opportunities, fine art galleries,
retail shopping, a small cinema, the Cary Memorial Library, the Minuteman
Bikeway, Depot Square, and many of the aforementioned
- The Great Meadow a.k.a Arlington's Great Meadows, is a
sprawling meadow and marshland located in East Lexington, but owned
by the town of Arlington, Lexington's neighbor to the east.
- Willards Woods Conservation Area, a small forest of
conservation land donated years ago by the Willard Sisters.
- Wilson Farms, a farm and farm stand in operation since
- Notable Lexington neighborhoods include Lexington Centre,
Meriam Hill (and Granny Hill), Irish Village, Loring Hill, Belfry
Hill, Munroe Hill, the Munroe District, the Manor Section, Four
Corners, Grapevine Corner, and East Lexington (fondly "East
Village", or "The East End").
- Marrett Square, at the intersection of Marrett Road and Waltham
Street, is the location of some light shopping and dining.
- The "Old Reservoir" used to provide drinking water to Lexington
residents and surrounding areas. Now it offers a place to swim and
picnic in the summer time. In the winter, when it freezes over, it
is used as an ice skating area.
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee,
inventor of the World Wide Web
- Harold Dow Bugbee, Western artist born in
- Noam Chomsky,
professor of linguistics at MIT, creator of
the theory of generative grammar
and one of the most prominent linguists of the 20th century, as
well as a noted political activist, commentator, and
- Francis Judd Cooke,
- Joseph Dennie, writer
- John M. Deutch, Deputy Secretary of Defense
(1994–1995) and Director of Central Intelligence (DCI)
- Rachel Dratch, cast member of
- David Elkind, child psychologist,
- Philip Elmer-DeWitt, science
editor for Time Magazine
- Jean B. Fletcher, Norman C. Fletcher, (See John & Sarah
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,
African-American Studies scholar, co-editor of Encarta Africana
- Dana Greeley, last president of the
Association and first president of the Unitarian Universalist
- Jonathan Gruber,
Professor of Economics at MIT and former Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Economic Policy in the U. S. Treasury Department
- Cyrus Hamlin,
co-founder of Robert College in Istanbul
- John C. Harkness and Sarah P. Harkness, founders of The Architects Collaborative in
Massachusetts with Bauhaus veteran Walter Gropius
- Yu-Chi Ho, mathematician
- Bill Janovitz, lead singer and
guitarist of the rock and roll band Buffalo
- Tama Janowitz, author, Slaves
of New York (1986)
- Dennis Johnson, guard for the
- Claude Julien,
current head coach for the Boston
- X. J.
Kennedy, noted poet and writer
Kulhawik, arts and entertainment anchor for WBZ-TV
- Steve Leach, former NHL Player
- Bill Lichtenstein, journalist,
filmmaker, radio producer
- Salvador Luria, Nobel Prize in
- Alexander McGregor,
singer/songwriter and guitarist of Ponies in the Surf
Massimino, led Villanova Wildcats to basketball national championship in
1985, former Lexington High
School teacher and coach
- Matt Nathanson, musician
- Bill McKibben
- Scott McCloud, Cartoonist
- Eugene Mirman, comedian
- Douglas Melton, pioneer of
stem cell research
- Mario Molina, Nobel Prize in Physics
- Joseph Nye, political analyst, author
of Soft power
- Peter Orszag, economist, Director of the
Office of Management and Budget
- Amanda Palmer, songwriter,
vocalist, pianist of the duo The
- Theodore Parker, Unitarian
minister and Transcendentalist
- Charles Ponzi, con man
- John Rawls, philosopher; known for
his theory of justice
- Ruth Sawyer, author, winner of the
- Clarence Skinner, Dean of Crane
School of Theology at Tufts and
influential 20th century American
- Clifford Shull, Nobel Prize in Physics
- Tom Silva, Building contractor and
co-host of the PBS show This Old House
- Barbara Washburn and Bradford Washburn, mountaineers
- Sheila E. Widnall, aerospace researcher and educator
at MIT, former Secretary of the Air Force
- Edward Osborne Wilson,
entomologist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author
- Ethan Zohn, winner of Survivor: Africa
Lexington is a sister city
- Lexington, MA Chamber of Commerce Home Page
- Lexington - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
- Best high schools in America, May 23,
- Willards Woods Conservation Area
- 1871 Atlas of Massachusetts. by Wall
& Gray. Map of Massachusetts. Map of Middlesex County.
- History of Middlesex County,
Massachusetts, Volume 1 (A-H), Volume 2 (L-W) compiled by Samuel Adams Drake,
published 1879 and 1880. 572 and 505 pages. Lexington section by Charles Hudson in volume 2
pages 9–33 (note page 9 missing).
- History of the Town of Lexington, Middlesex County,
Massachusetts, Volume 1 - History, Volume2 - Genealogies, by Charles Hudson,