Worcester ( ) is a city in the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America. Named after Worcester, England, the city
had a population of 172,648 in the 2000 census, making it the second
or third largest city in New England.
It is the
county seat of Worcester County.Worcester is located approximately 40 miles
west of Boston, and marks the western periphery of the
Boston-Worcester-Manchester (MA-RI-NH) U.S.
Census Combined Statistical Area
Due to its location in Central
, Worcester is often referred to as the "Heart
of the Commonwealth."
The city is also noted for its mill era Victorian architecture
Bird's-eye view, c.
The Pakachoag tribe of the Nipmuc
were the indigenous settlers of the area. They called
it Quinsigamond, meaning "fishing place for pickerel
." Lake Quinsigamond provided fine hunting and
fishing grounds a short distance from their
main village near a spring on
Pakachoag Hill in what is now Auburn.
Mt. Wachusett was their sacred place.
Worcester was first settled by the English
in 1673, but the modest settlement of
six or seven houses was burned to the ground during King Philip's War
on December 2, 1675,
when settlers were either killed or driven off. The town was
subsequently resettled and was incorporated in 1684. On September 10
of that year, Daniel Gookin
and others petitioned to have
the town's name officially changed from Quinsigamond to Worcester.
However, its inhabitants were still vulnerable to attack, and some,
such as Samuel Lenorson Jr., were taken hostage by natives during
the 1690s. When Queen Anne's War
started in 1702, the town was again abandoned by its English
inhabitants except for Diggory Sargent. Sargent was later
tomahawked, as was his wife, who was
too weak to make the journey on foot to Canada.
Their children were taken to Canada and survived.
In 1713, Worcester was resettled for the third time, permanently,
which ruled, by Jonas Rice, whose farm was located atop Union Hill.
after the historic city of Worcester, England, Worcester
[= War + cester camp] was incorporated as a town in 1722
and chartered as a city in 1848.
When the government of
Worcester County was established on April 2, 1731, Worcester was
chosen as shire town (later known as a county seat
). From that date until the
dissolution of the county government on July 1, 1998, it was the
only county seat.
As political tensions rose in the months before the Revolution
, Worcester served as a center
of revolutionary activity. Because it was an important munitions
depot, Worcester was targeted for attack
. However, officers sent
secretly to inspect the munitions depot were discovered by Patriot
Gage then decided to move on to the second munitions depot in
Lexington. In 1775, determining that Boston was too
dangerous, Isaiah Thomas moved his
newspaper, the Massachusetts Spy,
to Worcester. The Massachusetts Spy
was one of the
few papers published continuously during the Revolution.
14, 1776, Isaiah Thomas, intercepting the packet from Philadelphia to Boston, performed the first public reading of
the Declaration of
Independence ever in front of Worcester
City Hall. In 1812, Thomas founded the American
Antiquarian Society, a research library holding nearly two thirds of
the items known to have been printed in America from 1639 through
1820. The Society's holdings from 1821 to 1876
compare favorably with those of the Library of Congress and other major research libraries.
American Steel & Wire Company,
1905, employer of about 5,000
Known for innovation in commerce
social thought, Worcester and the nearby Blackstone Valley
claim their historic
role as birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution
. Ichabod Washburn
, an early industrialist
, developed a process for
extruding steel wire. His company, Washburn & Moen, founded in
1831, was "the company that 'barbed-wire
fenced the American West
held the battle lines during World War
. In 1840, Loring Coes invented the monkey wrench
. In the 1850s, George Crompton
and L.J. & F.B. Knowles founded companies that manufactured
drove the Industrial Revolution. Another Worcester innovator,
physician Russel Howes, invented the first envelope
folding machine in 1856. It could produce
25,000 envelopes in ten hours, using three operators.
Women found economic opportunity in Worcester. An early female
entrepreneur, Esther Howland
designed and manufactured the first American valentine cards
in 1847. Women also found
opportunity in The Royal Worcester Corset Factory, a company that
provided employment opportunity for 1200 women; it was the largest
employer of women in the United States in 1908.
Several entrepreneurs brought growth to Worcester's economy during
this period. John Jeppson, a skilled potter, emigrated from Hoganas, Sweden to Worcester
in search of a better life.
In Worcester he founded Norton
Company, now Saint-Gobain
, the world's
largest manufacturer and supplier of performance engineered
for technical manufacturing and
commercial applications, in addition to general household and
automotive refinishing. Jeppson created economic opportunity for
the thousands of his countrymen who followed him to Worcester, and
for others, too. Many Irish
settled in Worcester during this period, as well. They helped build
and Blackstone Canal
, further driving
Worcester's economic engine.
An innovative form of affordable housing appeared in the 19th
century: the three-decker
. Hundreds of
these houses were built, affording capacious, comfortable
apartments for a homeowner and two tenants. Many extended families
settled in these houses, developing safe, stable neighborhoods for
city factory workers.
20th centuryWyman Gordon manufactured ...David Clark manufactured
space suits for almost all NASA space explorations.
Late 20th and early 21st century
December 1999, the Worcester Cold Storage Fire received national attention.
people, deemed mentally disabled, accidentally knocked over a lit
candle in an abandoned cold storage warehouse, igniting a
conflagration. Six firefighters lost their lives in an attempt to
rescue the homeless people. Less than two years before the attacks
on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, this fire was one
of the worst firefighting tragedies of the late 20th-century.
President Bill Clinton
, Vice President
, and other local and national
dignitaries attended services and a memorial program.
The first decade of the 21st century saw the closing and creation
of major cultural instutions in the city. In April 2006, the
Worcester Common Outlets
1,000,000 square foot mall that occupies a large swath of downtown
Worcester was planned to be demolished as to make way for the
long-planned "City Square," a multi-use collaboration of several
downtown buildings for commercial, retail, and residential use. The
, formerly located in the Outlets, "suspended
operations" on May 10, 2009 due to lack of funding. It is unclear
if it will ever reopen. Also, a year earlier, in March 2008, the
for the Performing Arts
opened as a venue for touring broadway
Worcester is emerging as an attractive alternative to the rest of
Greater Boston due to its more
affordable home prices and its relatively close commuting distance
to Boston and the communities of Metrowest.
"Worcester" is correctly pronounced with two syllables
, not three ( ).
Worcester is located at (42.268843, -71.803774).
Worcester and surrounding area,
looking north at 3700 feet (1128 m)
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of
38.6 square miles (99.9 km²), of which, 37.6 square
miles (97.3 km²) of it is land and 1.0 square miles
(2.6 km²) of it (2.59%) is water. Worcester is bordered
by the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Paxton, Shrewsbury, and West Boylston.
These towns serve as some of the bedroom
communities and suburbs of the greater Worcester area.
The Blackstone River
through Worcester. Its headwaters are found in Institute Park. The
river courses underground through the center of the city, and
emerges at the foot of College Hill, flowing through Quinsigamond
Village and into Millbury. Water Street, originally the Blackstone
Canal, is emerging as the center of the "Canal District." Legend
has it that the city sits atop seven hills: Airport Hill, Bancroft
Hill, Belmont Hill (Bell Hill), Grafton
, Green Hill, Pakachoag Hill and Vernon Hill. Actually,
there are more than seven hills. Other hills include; Indian Hill,
Poet's Hill, Wigwam Hill among others. Worcester's lakes
Quinsigamond, the site of rowing
competitions, Indian Lake, Bell Pond, and Coes Pond.
Worcester counts within its borders over 1,200 acres (5 km²)
of publicly owned property. Elm Park, purchased in 1854 and laid
out by Frederick Law Olmsted
was not only the first public park in the city (after the 8 acre
(32,000 m²) City Common from 1669) but also one of the first public
parks in the U.S. Both the City Common and Elm Park are listed in
Register of Historic Places
. In 1903 the Green family donated
the 549 acres (2.2 km²) of Green Hill area land to the city,
making Green Hill Park the largest in the city. Green Hill
Park Shelter, built in 1910 is on the National Register of
In June 2002, city and state leaders
dedicated the Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Green
Hill Park grounds. Other parks include: Newton Hill, East Park,
Morgan Park, Shore Park, Crompton Park, Hadwen Park and University
Dodge Park gazebo
- North Worcester
- Indian Hill
- Indian Lake
- Lincoln Street
- Green Hill Park
- West Side
- West Tatnuck
- Mill Street
- Worcester Airport
- Park Ave
- Lincoln Square
- Federal Square
- Shrewsbury Street
- Lake Avenue/Quinsigamond Lake
- Bell Hill
- Grafton Hill
- Vernon Hill
- Kelley Square/Water Street
- Green Island(a.k.a.the island)
- College Hill
- Quinsigamond Village
- South Worcester
- Main South
- Cambridge Street
- Webster Square
- Plantation Street
- Sunderland/Massasoit Road/Rice Square
Successive waves of immigrants have in the past formed coherent
ethnic enclaves, some of which continue to contribute to the rich
ethnic texture of Worcester today. Swedes
settled in Quinsigamond Village and
Greendale, Italians settled along Shrewsbury Street, Irish and
Polish settled around Kelly Square, Lithuanians settled on Vernon
Hill, and Jews built their first synagogue on Grafton Hill. The
African-American community has existed since colonial times. Since
the late 1800s, Grafton Hill and Vernon Hill have been points of
entry for immigrants from all over the world: Irish
Lithuanians, Poles, Syrians, Lebanese, Puerto Ricans, French
Canadians, and more recently, Albanians and Brazilians. Other
prominent groups include Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Vietnamese,
Liberians, and Congolese.
City skyline, looking northeast from
Prior to the 2000 census Worcester was the second largest city in
New England, second only to Boston. According to a 2006 estimate this title
has been reclaimed after briefly losing it to Providence in the 2000 census.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 172,648 people, 67,028
households, and 39,211 families residing in the city. The population density
was 4,596.5 people per
square mile (1,774.8/km²). There were 70,723 housing units at an
average density of 1,882.9/sq mi (727.0/km²). The racial
makeup of the city was 77.11% White
, 6.89% African American
, 0.06% Pacific Islander
, 7.24% from
, and 3.39%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 15.15% of the
population. The top 5 largest ancestries include: Irish
(6.2%), and Polish
There were 67,028 households out of which 29.0% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples
living together, 15.6% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 41.5% were non-families.
33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.11.
The population is spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 13.3%
from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.1%
who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For
every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age
18 and over, there were 88.7 males.
The median household income is $35,623, and the median family
income is $42,988. Males had a median income of $36,190 versus
$28,522 for females. The per capita
is $18,614. About 14.1% of families and 17.9% of the
population were below the poverty line
including 24.6% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or
over. Of the city's population over 25, 76.7% are high school
graduates and 23.3% have a bachelor's degree.
Worcester's continental climate is typical of the
The weather changes rapidly owing to
the confluence of warm, humid air from the southwest; cool, dry air
from the north; and the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean
to the east. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters
are cold, windy and snowy. New Englanders expect snow as early as
October (rarely), and as late as May. The USDA classifies the city as hardiness zone 5.
The hottest month is July, with an average high of
) and a low of 61 °F (16 °C). The coldest
month is January, with an average high of 32 °F (0 °C)
and a low of 16 °F (-8 °C). Periods exceeding in summer
and below in winter are not uncommon, but rarely prolonged. The
all-time record high temperature is 102 °F (38.8 °C),
recorded on July 4, 1911. The all-time record low temperature is
-24 °F (-31.1 °C), recorded on February 16, 1943.
The city averages 47.3 in
including averaging 68 in (172 cm) of snowfall a season,
receiving more snow than coastal locations less than 40 miles
(64 km) away. Massachusetts' geographic location's jutting
out into the North
Atlantic also make
the city very prone to Nor'easter weather
systems that can dump more than 20 in (50 cm) of snow on the
region in one storm event.
While rare, the city has had its share of extreme weather. On
September 21, 1938, the city was hit by the brutal New England Hurricane of 1938
Fifteen years later, Worcester was hit by a tornado
94 people. The deadliest tornado in New England history, it damaged
a large part of the city and surrounding towns. It struck Assumption Preparatory School,
now the site of Quinsigamond Community
Worcester is governed by a Council-manager government with a popularly elected mayor. A city council acts as the legislative body, and the council-appointed manager handles the traditional day-to-day chief executive functions.
City councilors can run as either a representative of a city
district or as an at-large candidate. The winning at-large
candidate who receives the greatest number of votes for mayor
becomes the mayor (at large councilor candidates must ask to be
removed from the ballot for mayor if they do not want to be listed
on the mayoral ballot). As a result, voters must vote for their
mayoral candidate twice, once as an at large councilor, and once as
the mayor. The mayor has no more authority than other city
councilors, but is the ceremonial head of the city and chair of the
city council and school committee. Currently, there are 11
councilors: 6 at-large and 5 district.
Worcester's first charter
, which went into
effect in 1848, established a Mayor/Bicameral
form of government. Together, the two
chambers — the 11-member Board of Aldermen
and the 30-member Common Council — were
vested with complete legislative powers. The mayor handled all
administrative departments, though appointments to those
departments had to be approved by the two-chamber City
Seeking to replace the old outdated charter, Worcester voters in
November 1947 approved of a change to Plan E municipal government.
In effect from January 1949 until November 1985, this charter (as
outlined in chapter 43 of the Massachusetts General Laws)
established City Council/City Manager government. This type of
governance, with modifications, has survived to the present day.
Initially, Plan E government in Worcester was organized as a
9-member council (all at-large), a ceremonial mayor elected from
the council by the councilors, and a council-appointed city
manager. The manager oversees the daily administration of the city,
makes all appointments to city offices, and can be removed at any
time by a majority vote of the Council. The mayor chairs the city
council and the school committee, and does not have the power to
veto any vote.
In 1983, Worcester voters again decided to change the city charter.
This "Home Rule" charter (named for the method of adoption of the
charter) is similar to Plan E, the major changes being to the
structure of the council and the election of the mayor. The
9-member Council became 11, 6 At-Large and 1 from each city
district. The mayor is chosen by popular election, but must run as
an At-Large Councilor.
Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans'
Memorial, erected in 2002
Lincoln Square c.
Worcester's social progressivism includes a number of temperance
movements. It was also a leader in
the women's suffrage
first national convention advocating women's rights was held in
Worcester, October 23-24, 1850.
Two of the nation’s most radical (and often despised)
abolitionists, Abby Kelley
Foster and her
husband Stephen S. Foster, adopted Worcester as their home, as did
, the editor of The Atlantic Monthly
correspondent, and Unitarian minister Rev. Edward Everett Hale
The area was already home to Lucy Stone
, and Samuel May, Jr
. They were joined in their
political activities by networks of related Quaker families such as
the Earles and the Chases, whose organizing efforts were crucial to
the anti-slavery cause in central Massachusetts and throughout New
Anarchist Emma Goldman
and two others
opened an ice cream shop in 1892. "It was spring and not yet warm,"
Goldman later wrote, "but the coffee I brewed, our sandwiches, and
dainty dishes were beginning to be appreciated. Within a short time
we were able to invest in a soda-water fountain and some lovely
On October 19, 1924, the largest gathering of the Ku Klux Klan
ever held in New England took place
at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Worcester. Klansmen in sheets
and hoods, new Knights awaiting a mass induction ceremony, and
supporters swelled the crowd to 15,000. The KKK had hired more than
400 "husky guards," but when the rally ended around midnight, a
riot broke out. Klansmen's cars were stoned, burned, and windows
smashed. KKK members were pulled from their cars and beaten.
Klansmen called for police protection, but the situation raged out
of control for most of the night. The violence after the
"Klanvocation" had the desired effect: Membership fell off, and no
further public Klan meetings were held in Worcester.
Robert Stoddard, owner of The Telegram and Gazette, was one of the
founders of the John Birch Society.
Sixties radical Abbie Hoffman
in Worcester in 1936 and spent more than half of his life there.
Until he was 30, Worcester was the center of his universe; when he
moved to New York in 1966, Worcester remained a haven. Even during
his years as a fugitive, he would slip back into town and gather
with old friends at his favorite restaurant, El
Biographer and friend Jonah
explains that "Worcester provided him with his view of
society and his way of dealing with the world."
The citizens of the City of Worcester are protected 24/7 by the
professional firefighters of the Worcester Fire Department. The
Worcester Fire Department operates out of ten fire stations
throughout the city and operate an apparatus fleet of 13 engines, 7
ladders, one rescue, one dive water rescue, and one special
operations unit out of two divisions, the North Division and the
South Division. The Department is staffed by over 400 full-time
firefighters and responds to over 30,000 emergency calls
Historically, Worcester's economic roots
were tied to the Blackstone River,
and in the beginning to the Blackstone
Canal, which connected Worcester to the port of Providence,
Textiles, shoes, and finished clothing were
some of the first industries in the city. A second wave of
manufacturing facilities soon came on the scene to further develop
Worcester into a manufacturing center. Wire and machinery were the
strengths of this economic cycle. One of the leaders of this
manufacturing wave was , an inventor and philanthropist, who
developed a heat-treating process crucial to developing steel
strong enough to be used in train couplings and the first
automobile crankshafts. His company, Wyman-Gordon
, has been a leading manufacturer
of machine parts.
, another innovator, received the first patent (1891) for a lunch wagon, or diner. He built his "fancy night cafes" and "night lunch wagons" in the Worcester area until 1901. After building a lunch wagon for himself in 1888, Thomas Buckley decided to manufacture lunch wagons in Worcester. Buckley was very successful and became known for his "White House Cafe" wagons. In 1906 Philip Duprey and Irving Stoddard established the Worcester Lunch Car Company, which shipped 'diners' all over the Eastern Seaboard. Worcester's Boulevard Diner, Parkway Diner and Miss Worcester Diner are all examples of Worcester Lunch Car Company units, with the Miss Worcester being located across the street from the former factory.
They were joined in early automobile
manufacture by American
, which built compressed air-powered trucks at
Worcester in 1904.
In the 1930s a local merchant, Anthony "Spag" Borgatti, opened
, a small hardware business. Credited
with the invention of discount marketing, he stored his wares in
old trailer trucks in order to avoid paying taxes. He was a local
philanthropist. Every spring, Spag offered free tomato seedlings to
Today, Worcester has a diversified economy. The largest employer
is the University of Massachusetts Medical
The adjacent biotech park is host to many
innovative companies, including Advanced Cell Technology
focuses on the development of effective methods to generate
replacement cells from stem cells, and Abbott Laboratories
, a leading
pharmaceutical research and manufacturing firm.
Morgan Construction, a manufacturer of steel rolling mills, has
their headquarters in Worcester. Wright Line, a manufacturer of
consoles and other workstations for 911/emergency operations
centers, server enclosures and racks for data centers, office and
computer lab furniture, is also headquartered in the city.
Saint-Gobain has a substantial presence in
Worcester following its 1993 purchase of the Norton
Abrasives, a 100+ year old manufacturer of abrasives,
ceramics, and specialty materials.Polar Beverages
is also located in the
In the financial sector, Hanover
maintains their national headquarters in the city. A
subsidiary of Unum
(formerly UnumProvident), the
Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, is also headquartered in
Worcester as is the Harleysville Worcester Insurance Company, the
oldest insurance company based in Massachusetts.
David Clark Company
aeronautical protective equipment since 1941, ranging from
anti-gravity suits to space suits. Innovations include
full-pressure suits for X-15 test pilots flying to record speeds
and altitudes and the spacesuit worn by all Apollo astronauts on
lunar missions. The company produces the suits worn by modern space
Foundation for Experimental Biology located in nearby Shrewsbury is best known for the development of the oral
contraceptive pill (1951) and for pioneering research on in vitro
The first American conceived by this method
(1981), Elizabeth Jordan Carr
lived in nearby Westminster.
In the area of small
retailing, Worcester is home to the notable popular cultureemporiumThat's Entertainment
1980), which in 1997 was one of three comic
stores worldwide that received a "Will Eisner Spirit of
Comics Retailer Award" from Comic-Con International: San Diego
The award, named for comic book creator Will
, recognizes "an individual retailer who has done an
outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the
community and within the industry at large".
Primary and secondary education
Worcester's Public Schools educate more than 23,000 students in
through 12th grade. The
system consists of 33 elementary
, 4 middle schools
, and 13 other learning
centers such as magnet schools
city's public school system also administers an adult education
component called "Night Life", and operates a cable accessible
television station, Channel 11.
Academy of Math and Science was founded in 1992 as a public
secondary school located at the Worcester
Twenty-one private and parochial schools are also found
throughout Worcester, including the city's oldest educational
Academy, founded in 1834, and Bancroft School, founded in
Boynton Hall, 1868, designed by
Worcester architect Stephen Earle, Worcester Polytechnic
Jonas Clark Building, 1887, by Stephen
Earle, Clark University
UMass-Worcester Medical School
Worcester is home to several institutes of higher education,
- Clark University, founded in 1887, is the first graduate school in
the country. It is noted for strengths in psychology and
geography. Well-known professors include Albert A. Michelson, who won the first American
Nobel Prize in 1902 for his measurement of light, Robert Goddard, the father of the space age,
and G. Stanley Hall from Clark University, the
founder of organized psychology as a science and profession, the
father of the child study movement, and the founder of the American Psychological
Association. Clark offers the only program in the country
leading to a Ph.D. in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies.
Sigmund Freud spoke only at Clark
during his single trip to the United States.
University of Massachusetts Medical
School (1970) is one of the nation's top 50 medical
schools. Dr. Craig Mello won the 2006 Nobel Prize for
Medicine. The University of Massachusetts Medical School is ranked
fourth in primary care education among America's 125 medical
schools in the 2006 U.S. News & World Report
annual guide "America’s Best Graduate Schools."
- Becker College
is a private college with campuses in Worcester and Leicester,
Massachusetts. It was founded in Leicester in 1784 as
Leicester Academy; the Worcester campus was founded in 1887 and the
two campuses merged into Becker College in 1977.
An early higher education institution, the Oread Institute
, closed in 1934.
Many of these institutions participate in the Colleges of Worcester
. This independent non-profit collegiate
association includes academic institutions in Worcester and other
communities in Worcester County, such as Anna Maria
College in neighboring Paxton.
It operates and facilitates cooperation
among the colleges and universities. One example is its
inter-college shuttle bus and student cross registration.
Worcester is the home of Dynamy
, the oldest
student residential internship program in the United States. The
organization was founded in 1969 and provides internships to young
adults during a Gap year
, helping them
mature, become self-sufficient and choose a vocation.
Warner Memorial Theater, opened 1932,
designed by Drew Eberson, Worcester Academy
Museums and libraries
Worcester is home to several noteworthy libraries and museums,
Antiquarian Society, a national library.
- The Worcester Art Museum,
whose highlights include works by El Greco,
Kandinsky, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollock.
Armory Museum, housed in a steel Art Deco Building, is the sole museum in the
Western Hemisphere devoted to arms and armour.
EcoTarium, a Science Museum.
Performing arts centers and arenas are abundant in the city. They
- Mechanics Hall, a Renaissance
Revival concert hall on the National Register of
- Tuckerman Hall, designed by
Josephine Wright Chapman,
one of this country's earliest woman architects, is home of the
Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra.
- The Hanover
Theatre for the Performing Arts, at the site of the old Poli
Palace Theatre on Main Street, is Worcester's venue for Broadway
Shows, concerts, and nationally recognized performers.
- The Worcester Palladium, on
Main Street, is a venue attracting many musicians and performers
from around the world.
- The New
England Metal and Hardcore Festival is usually held in April at
the Palladium. It has run annually since 1999.
- Rock and Shock, a horror
convention and heavy metal concert is held at the Palladium and DCU
Convention Center each October.
- The Worcester Music Festival is the oldest music festival in
the United States. This festival is presented by Music Worcester, Inc., which also
presents the Mass Jazz
- stART on the Street is a large street art festival which takes
place on the 3rd Sunday in September". This is hosted by the
Central MA Arts
- Worcester First Night is the name of the city's New Years Eve celebration.
a WPI-based folk trio called the Wanderers recorded one
album for Strand Records.
This was done under the name Minute
Men to avoid confusion with another existing recording group. The
trio also recorded one single for Swan
under the name College Boys.
1963, WPI-based rock
band the Blue Echoes recorded a local hit single on their own
This was picked up and released nationally by
the Lawn subsidiary of Swan Records
The group later recorded two more singles on the local BEP label,
one of which was a regional hit.
Worcester was the site of an experimental and highly controversial
creative community comprising musicians, artists, poets and writers
called Congress Alley in the late 1960s. Ultimately over 350 people
were involved. The Congress Alley "district" encompassed roughly
0.6 square miles, bounded loosely by Highland Street on the North,
Chandler Street on the South, Park Ave on the West and Main Street
on the East. It was the subject of a popular song, penned by
Stephen Martin and aptly titled Congress Alley
recorded by Orpheus (see below), it has since been recorded by
several other artists, including Lee Andrews (originally with the
doo-wop group Lee Andrews
& the Hearts
). Andrews named the group that recorded the
song Congress Alley, which was also the title of the album
The soft-rock group Orpheus (Orpheus
), which recorded three albums and four singles for MGM Records
in the late 1960s, was initially
based in Congress Alley. All three albums and two of the singles
charted nationally. In 1971 a reconstituted group, which also
included several members of the Congress Alley community, recorded
one album and one single for Bell
was formed in Worcester in 1967. Several original members,
including John Geils
" Salwitz and Danny Klein,
were associated with the Congress Alley community.
Early in the 1970s former Congress Alley denizen Norman Schell
founded the country-rock band Clean Living. The group, which
included other Congress Alley alumni, recorded two albums and one
hit single for Vanguard
In September 1981, the Rolling
played an unscheduled performance at the nightclub Sir
Morgan's Cove (later renamed The Lucky Dog) before embarking on
their national tour that year. Billed as "Blue Monday with The
Cockroaches", the Stones played before a packed house of 350 people
who had been given tickets in a promotion by WAAF Radio that
One of Rammstein
's performances in the
Family Values Tour
ended with lead
singer Till Lindemann
Christian "Flake" Lorenz
arrested due to the controversial performance of "Bück dich
" during a concert on June 5, 1998
in Worcester. They were each fined $200 and spent the night in
"Wormtown," a nickname for Worcester that first appeared about
1978, originally referred to an underground
, but later became used by a few to
refer to the city itself.
Other cultural resources
The Worcester County Poetry Association fosters the poetic
tradition by sponsoring readings by national and local poets,
celebrating Bloomsday, and holding conferences and literary tours
of Worcester. Local poets have competed successfully in the
National Poetry Slam
The Worcester Center for
, founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society,
provides professional-level craft studies to the Worcester
community. The Craft Center's original purpose was to foster
economic empowerment by teaching immigrants the skills needed to
create and sell crafts. Today, The Worcester Center for Crafts
offers craft education in weaving, metalwork, woodwork, enameling,
jewelry-making, and other crafts, and seeks to promote an
appreciation for fine craft.
The Unitarian-Universalist Church of Worcester was founded in
The First Unitarian Church of Worcester...
is home to six synagogues, including
Emanuel, a leading Reform congregation, and Congregation Beth Israel, a Conservative
synagogue founded in 1924.
synagogue and its rabbi
were the subject of the
book And They Shall be My People: An American Rabbi and His
by Paul Wilkes
Main Article:Media of Worcester,
The Worcester Telegram
is Worcester's only daily newspaper. The paper, known
locally as "the Telegram" or "the T and G," is wholly owned by
The New York
Times Company.WCTR, channel 3,
is Worcester's local news television station, and WUNI-TV, channel 27, is the only major over-the-air
broadcast television station in Worcester.Radio stations based
in Worcester include WCUW, WSRS, WTAG, WWFX, WICN and WXLO.
Main Article:Sports in
Worcester has a long storied past with sports teams and sporting
events. The city was home to Marshall
, an African
cyclist who won the world one-mile (1.6 km) track
cycling championship in 1899. Taylor’s legacy is being the second
black world champion in any sport. Taylor was nicknamed the
by the local papers.
Quinsigamond is home to the Eastern
Sprints, a premier rowing event
in the United States.Competitive
teams first came to Lake Quinsigamond in 1857. Finding
the long, narrow lake ideal for such crew meets, avid rowers
established boating clubs on the lake's shores, the first being the
Quinsigamond Boating Club. More boating clubs and races followed,
and soon many colleges (local, national, and international) held
regattas, such as the Eastern
, on the lake. Beginning in 1895, local high schools
held crew races on the lake. In 1952, the lake played host to the
National Olympic rowing trials.
is home to the American Hockey League team Worcester Sharks, which plays at the
Center as developmental team for the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks.
The AHL was formally
represented by the Worcester
from 1994 to 2005.
The city’s professional baseball
, started in
2005 and is a member of the Canadian-American
Association of Professional Baseball
League. The team plays at the
Insurance Park at Fitton Field on the
campus of the College of the Holy Cross and is not affiliated with any major league
The New England Surge
a member of the Continental Indoor Football
, played their home games in the DCU Center in their two
years of existence, 2007 and 2008. Candlepin bowling
was invented in Worcester
in 1880 by Justin White, an area bowling alley owner.
's Ryder Cup
first official tournament was played at the Worcester Country Club
in 1927. The course also hosted the U.S.Open
, and the
Worcester’s colleges have had long histories and many notable
achievements in collegiate sports. The College of the Holy Cross represents NCAA Division 1 sports in
The other colleges and Universities in Worcester
correspond with division II and III. The Holy Cross Crusaders
won the NCAA men's
basketball champions in 1947
and NIT men's basketball
champions in 1954
, led by future NBA hall-of-famers and Boston
Celtic legends Bob Cousy
and Tom Heinsohn
. The Crusaders men’s hockey team defeated
the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first round of the 2006
NCAA Division I Tournament in the biggest upset in NCAA Hockey
Highways and Roads
Worcester is served by several interstate highways. Interstate 290
central Worcester to Interstate 495
in nearby Auburn, and I-395
I-190 links Worcester to
MA 2 and the cities of
Fitchburg and Leominster in northern Worcester County.
also be reached from a new Massachusetts Route 146
Worcester is also served by several smaller Massachusetts state
highways. Route 9
links the city to its eastern and western suburbs, Shrewsbury and Leicester. Route 9 runs almost the entire length of the
state, connecting Boston and Worcester with Pittsfield, near the New York state border. Route 12
was the primary
route north to Leominster and Fitchburg until the completion of
I-190. Route 12 also connected Worcester to
Webster before I-395 was
It still serves as an alternate, local route.
Route 146, the Worcester-Providence
Turnpike, connects the city with the similar city of Providence,
Rhode Island. Route 20
touches the southernmost tip of Worcester near the Massachusetts Turnpike
20 is a
coast-to-coast route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and is the longest road in the United
Worcester is the headquarters of the Providence and Worcester
Class II railroad
throughout much of southern New England. Worcester is also the
western terminus of the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail
line run by the Massachusetts Bay
. Union Station serves as the hub for commuter railway
Built in 1911, the station has been restored to its
original grace and splendor, reopening to full operation in 2000.
serves as an Amtrak stop, serving the
Lake Shore Limited from Boston to
In October 2008 the MBTA added 5 new trains
to the Framingham/Worcester line as part of a plan to add 20 or
more trains from Worcester to Boston and also to buy the track from
. Train passengers may
also connect to additional services such as the Vermonter line in Springfield.
Regional Transit Authority
, or WRTA, manages the municipal bus
system. Buses operate intracity as well as connect Worcester to
surrounding central Massachusetts communities. The WRTA also
operates a shuttle bus between member institutions of the Colleges of Worcester
. The Worcester bus station was recently relocated to
Worcester Intermodal Center at Union Station. From here, Peter Pan Bus Lines
(based in nearby
Springfield) services other points in the Northeast.
Regional Airport, managed by Massport for
the city, lies at the top of Tatnuck
Hill, Worcester's highest.
The airport consists of one
7,000 ft runaway and a $15.7 million dollar terminal built to
attract airlines and passengers. The airport held numerous airlines
from the 1950s through the 1990s, but it has encountered years of
spotty commercial flights and disloyal air carriers. On September 4, 2008,
Direct Air announced they
would begin serving Worcester to Orlando, Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Punta Gorda, Florida in the spring of 2009.
Currently, this is
the only commercial service serving the city.
Healthcare and utilities
Old Worcester State Hospital at dawn,
the building facing east and catching the sun rising above the
Built 1870-1877, it was designed by Ward P.
Delano of the Worcester firm, Fuller & Delano.
The Worcester State Insane Asylum Hospital (1833) was the first
hospital in the United States established to treat mental
is home to the University of Massachusetts Medical
School, ranked fourth in primary care education among
America’s 125 medical schools in the 2006 U.S. News & World Report
annual guide "America’s Best Graduate Schools." The school also
operates the UMass Memorial Health Care, the clinical arm of the
teaching hospital, which has expanded its locations all over
central Massachusetts. St. Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical
Center in the downtown area rounds out Worcester's primary care
facilities. Fallon Clinic, presently the largest private
multi-specialty group in central Massachusetts, includes St.
Vincent's Hospital in its over 30 locations. Fallon Clinic was the
creator of Fallon Community Health Plan, a now independent HMO
based in Worcester, and one of the largest health maintenance
(HMOs) in the state.
Worcester has a municipally owned water supply. Sewage disposal
services are provided by the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution
Abatement District, which services Worcester as well as some
surrounding communities. National
is the exclusive distributor
of electric power
to the city, though due to
deregulation, customers now have a choice of electric
is distributed by NSTAR Gas
commercial and industrial customers may choose an alternate natural
gas supplier. Verizon
, successor to New England Telephone
, and Bell Atlantic
is the primary wired telephone service provider for the area. Phone
service is also available from various national wireless
. Cable television
available from Charter
, with Broadband Internet access
provided, while a variety of DSL
providers and resellers are able
to provide broadband Internet over Verizon-owned phone lines.
Worcester has the following sister
- Wall & Gray. 1871 Atlas of Massachusetts. Map of Massachusetts. USA. New England. Counties - Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk, Boston - Suffolk, Plymouth, Bristol, Barnstable and Dukes (Cape Cod). Cities -
Springfield, Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, Newburyport, Salem, Lynn, Taunton, Fall River. New Bedford. These 1871 maps of the Counties
and Cities are useful to see the roads and rail lines.
- Beers,D.G. 1872 Atlas of Essex County Map of Massachusetts Plate 5. Click on the map
for a very large image. Also see map of 1872 Essex County Plate 7.