Westford is a town located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 20,754.
Westford was first settled in 1635. Originally a part of neighboring Chelmsford, Westford soon grew large enough to sustain its own governance, and was officially incorporated in 1729.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford was primarily an agricultural village, primarily producing corn and apples. Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War, and the town is said to have been along the path of Paul Revere's Ride on April 19th, 1775 (although the less well-known Samuel Prescott probably alerted Westford's citizenry, rather than Revere himself).
Westford Academy, the local public high school, was once attended by Paul Revere's son and a bell cast by Revere graces its lobby today.
By the end of the civil war, as roads and transportation improved, increasing the distance one could travel in a day, Westford began to serve as a residential suburb for the factories of Lowell, becoming one of the earliest notable examples of suburban sprawl. Throughout the 20th century (and with the invention of the automobile, Westford progressively grew, continuing to serve as residential housing for the industries of Lowell, and later, Boston.
By the 1970s, with the advent of the 128 Technology Belt , Westford began to act as a suburb for high-tech firms in Burlington, Woburn, and other areas, and later became a center of technology itself.
By the 1990s, Westford was home to offices for Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, and many other technology firms.
Today, Westford's agricultural past has given way to a thriving, densely populated center of commerce and development, with continually rising growth rates.
Although discredited by many historians and archaeologists, some townspeople continue to claim that Westford was once a stopping point for Scottish Prince Henry Sinclair's surverying expidition to Greenland, Iceland, Nova Scotia, and Massachusetts which is said to have occurred in 1398, nearly 90 full years before Columbus made his discovery of The Americas. The primary evidence for this tale is in the form of a burial marker, (known by residents and historians as the Westford Knight), which some claim is the gravestone of Sir James Gunn of Scotland, who traveled with Sinclair. The marker is generally accepted to be the result of 19th Century residents, but continues to be an integral part of Westford folklore.
The town has two major annual festivals, the Apple Blossom Festival in April, and the Strawberry Festival in June - traditional celebrations dating back to the town's agricultural roots. While not an official town event, the Pig & Pepper Festival held each summer at Kimball's Farm is New England's largest BBQ event.
The town has a largely suburban residential culture and like many New England towns, an active civic life. The Roudenbush Community Center and the Westford Parish Center for the Arts are two notable places for residents to take classes or see concerts and art exhibitions. Westford is also home to the Butterfly Museum, a historical museum and an M.I.T Telescope complex.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 81.1 km² (31.3 mi²). 79.3 km² (30.6 mi²) of it is land and 1.9 km² (0.7 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.30% water.
The town is bordered by Chelmsford to the East, Tyngsboro to the north, Groton to the West, Littleton to the Southwest, Acton to the South, and Carslile to the Southeast.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 20,754 people, 6,808 households, and 5,807 families residing in the town. The population density is 261.8/km² (678.0/mi²). There are 6,941 housing units at an average density of 87.6/km² (226.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 93.69% White, 0.30% African American, 0.06% Native American, 4.79% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 6,808 households out of which 48.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.2% are married couples living together, 6.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 14.7% are non-families. 11.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.03 and the average family size is 3.31.
In the town the population is spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.4 males.
Westford was once a town of large fields and forests and used as a summer home community by city residents. Development boomed once I-495 was built in the 1960s and people found it to be conveniently located for commuting to Boston.
The median income for a household in the town is $98,272, and the median income for a family is $104,029. Males have a median income of $77,417 versus $45,095 for females. The per capita income for the town is $37,979. 1.7% of the population and 1.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.2% of those under the age of 18 and 1.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- Revolutionary War Lt. Col John Robinson .
- Revolutionary War era preacher Rev. Joesph Thaxter