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Lexington is a town in Middlesex Countymarker, Massachusettsmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 30,355 at the 2000 census.

The town is famous for being the site of the opening shots of the American Revolution, in the Battle of Lexingtonmarker on April 19, 1775.


Lexington was first settled circa 1642 as part of Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker. 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 Lord Lexington, a British nobleman. Some, on the other hand, believe that it was named after Lexington (which was pronounced and today spelled Laxtonmarker) in Nottinghamshiremarker, Englandmarker.

In the early colonial days, the Vine Brook, which runs through Lexington, Burlington, and Bedfordmarker, 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, later renamed, and now the Minuteman Bikeway) 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 program, 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 War. 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 Concordmarker. 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 Tavernmarker (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.

Throughout the rest of the year many tourists enjoy tours of the town's historic landmarks such as Buckman Tavernmarker, Munroe Tavernmarker, and the Hancock-Clarke Housemarker, which are maintained by the town's historical society.


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 (42.8 km²), 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.

Lexington borders the following towns: Burlingtonmarker, Woburnmarker, Winchestermarker, Arlingtonmarker, Belmontmarker, Walthammarker, Lincolnmarker, and Bedfordmarker. It has more area than all other municipalities that it borders.


Topography of Lexington and environs
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 was 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, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.41% of the population.

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 for 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 over.


Public schools

Lexington is also renowned for its public education system, which includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school. Lexington High Schoolmarker was recently ranked the 304th best high school in the nation by Newsweek. In addition to Lexington High School, students may also attend Minuteman Regional High School if so desiring.

Private schools

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 times.
  • One of the most prominent historical landmarks, located in Lexington Centre, is the Common, or as it later became known, the Battle Greenmarker, 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.
  • Other landmarks of historical importance include the Old Burying Ground (with gravestones dating back to 1690), the Old Belfry, Buckman Tavernmarker (circa 1704-1710), Munroe Tavernmarker (circa 1695), the Hancock-Clarke Housemarker (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 Churchmarker (the oldest standing church building in Lexington, built in 1839).
  • Lexington is also home to the 900-acre Minute Man National Historical Parkmarker 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 historical landmarks.
  • 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 1884.
  • 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.

Notable residents

Sister cities

Lexington is a sister city of
Antony, Francemarker

Dolores Hidalgo, Mexicomarker

Dnipropetrovskmarker, Ukrainemarker

Haifamarker, Israelmarker


  1. Lexington, MA Chamber of Commerce Home Page
  3. Lexington - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  5. Best high schools in America, May 23, 2005.
  6. Willards Woods Conservation Area

Further reading

External links

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