Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester is a city located in Massachusetts in Worcester County and is also the county seat. Early settlers named the city for Worcester, England and the city's population in the 2010 census was 181,000. Worcester is the second largest city in Massachusetts behind Boston and is the second largest in all of New England. The city is located just 40 miles from Boston.

The city was originally a mill town and has a number of Victorian-era architecture displayed in the different mills and buildings throughout the city. Worcester is known worldwide for its excellent higher education institute Worcester Polytechnic Institute or WPI, considered one of the best Polytechnic schools in the United States. There are also a number of private schools both at the elementary and secondary levels in the city.

Worcester has a broad mix of immigrants that have settled in the city. Many are from Latin America as well as others from Europe. This has helped make the city more diverse and cultural. The area's climate is typical of New England, having the ability to change at the blink of an eye. Summers are warm and sometimes uncomfortably humid and winters have many snowstorms.

Welcome to the city of Worcester, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. The city also has a bustling nightlife, various places to eat, places to see and can also offer you a great shopping experience. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Worcester History

The first to settle in the area were the tribe of Pakachoag of Native Americans that formed part of the Nipmuc Nation. They named the region Quinsigamond, which roughly translated to a place of fishing for pickerel. The area lake, Lake Quinsigamond offered excellent fishing and hunting and was helped due to the water attracting animals such as deer, moose and bird.

The English first settled in what is now Worcester, in 1673 near what is the Upper Boston Post Rd. The first settlers had their seven to eight homes burned. They were either murdered or sent away from the area only two years later. The town was then resettled and incorporated nine years later in 1684.

Attacks were still commonplace during the latter part of the 1690s. The town was abandoned again in the early 1700s during the Queen Anne's War. For a third time the town was resettled in 1713. In June of 1722, the town was officially incorporated and chartered in 1848 as a city of Massachusetts.

Worcester was an area of much activity during the revolutionary war and was attacked numerous times. One newspaper that had been relocated to Worcester was "The Massachusetts Spy", was one of just a couple of newspapers that published throughout the War. The first time the Declaration of Independence was read publically, it was done so at the opposite of Worcester City Hall by Isaiah Thomas.

Worcester became known as innovative in industry, commerce and education as well as in social thought. The city was a major contributor in the American Industrial Revolution. Barbed wire was developed in Worchester and helped to create a fence at the American West as well holding the lines in World War I. Loring Coes another "Worcester-ite" designed the monkey wrench in 1840.

Women were able to find opportunities in Worchester. The first American Valentine's Card was designed by Esther Howland and manufactured in Worcester. The largest employer in the United States, for women was the Royal Worcester Corset Company that employed over 1,200 women in 1908.

The early part of the 21st century has seen the city both open and close venues for culture. The Worcester Common Outlets were ready to be demolished and the Worcester Foothills Theatre closed its doors. The Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts on the other hand, opened on 2008 for touring off Broadway type shows. The city was hit hard by the economic crisis in 2008 and lost a number of businesses and jobs. Like many cities around the country, the government has had to cut expenses and public services as well.

About Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester has a colorful and storied history that has evolved over the years since its founding. A number of different cultural centers and museums help to celebrate the city's history and the diversity the city enjoys today. Libraries are also plentiful in the city and offer a myriad of selections to read.

The American Antiquarian Society national library is well known throughout the United States. The Worcester Art Museum has a number of works. The Higgins Armory Museum is located in an Art Deco Building and is the only museum in the complete western hemisphere dedicated just to armor and arms. The Ecotarium is a very nice science museum.

There are a number of different performing arts venues in the city such as Mechanics Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, Tuckerman Hall that was designed by one of the country's first woman architects, DCU Center that is the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra's home and many more. The Hanover Theatre is Worcester's version of Broadway while the Worcester Palladium attracts many performers and musicians from across the globe.

Worcester hosts a number of different annual events that attract both young and old. The Worcester Music Festival is the United States' first music festival. Music Worcester, Inc. produces the festival as well as the Mass Jazz Festival. "stART on the Street" is a street art festival that celebrates local culture and art and is on the third Sunday of each September.

A popular festival held each year is the Asian Festival that takes place in June and is hosted by the Massachusetts South East Asian Coalition. The festival is a mix of food, performances, cultural exhibits and discussion tables. There is also a New Year's Day festival, a large one that celebrates St. Patrick's Day, and of course the New England Summer Nationals, a large muscle car and motorcycle show.

Worcester has a very large Jewish population with six synagogues in the city. There are also many other churches and houses of worship within the city. The city has only on daily newspaper the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that is owned in its entirety by the New York Time Company. The local television channel in Worcester is channel 3 (WCTR) and there are a number of different radio stations that offer music of all genres.

There are over 23,000 children in the Worcester Public School system. There are 44 schools that make up the system from elementary to middle school to high school. An additional 13 learning centers such as magnet schools, special education and alternative schools are also available. There are also more than 20 parochial and private schools in the city including Worcester Academy that dates back to 1834.

About Worcester County, Massachusetts

Worcester County had a population of 798,000 in the 2010 census. The County seat is located in the city of Worcester and the county is non-governmental. Since July of 1998, Worchester County has been without an official government. A change at that time of state law allowed for state agencies to take over the county functions at the option of the local county. A county sheriff, prosecutor and court officials are elected. The county is predominantly democratic with over 55% of voters voting democratic in the 2008 elections.

Massachusetts Law is different from most other states and many county governments have been abolished for regional governments. There are only five traditional county governments remaining in Massachusetts. The county is 1579 square miles in size with 1,513 square miles of land and 66 square miles of water. Geographically Worcester County is the largest county in all of Massachusetts. The county is actually larger in geographic size that the smallest state in the United States, Rhode Island.

Worcester County is bordered by three different states. The county is one of two counties that touch both the northern and southern state lines. The county is recognized throughout the northeastern United States as having some of the best higher education institutes. The oldest of them is Jesuit College of the Holy Cross founded in 1843. There have been a number of famous graduates from Holy Cross including Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court Justice and a number of Poet and Nobel laureates.

Other recognized institutes include Worcester Polytechnic Institute founded in 1865, Worcester State University founded in 1874, Clark University that was founded in 1887 and was the first graduate school in the United States. In 1970, the University of Massachusetts Medical School was opened and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Medical schools in the United States. Becker College is a private school that has both Leicester and Worcester campuses. The school was founded in 1784 in Leicester while the Worcester campus was founded in 1887. Assumption College is the fourth oldest New England Roman Catholic college and was founded in 1904.