Framingham History

A Guide for Local History Buffs

Visit the Framingham Room in the reference area of the main Framingham Public Library to enjoy the local history collection.

The Town
The first settler of record, John Stone, came to what is now Framingham in 1633. Several important land grants were issued in the seventeenth century, so that by 1700 Framingham was comprised of 20,500 acres, or about 32 square miles. Subsequently, portions of land were given to surrounding towns; the present area of the town is 25.15 square miles.  Framingham is situated midway between Boston and Worcester, and at an approximately equal distance from the New Hampshire and Rhode Island state lines. The rich and distinguished history of this town and its growth from an agricultural community to an industrial and commercial center is chronicled and reflected in this impressive collection.

General Histories
An overall view of Framingham history may be found in Josiah Temple's The History of Framingham, 1640-1880, and Supplement; William Barry's The History of Framingham, 1640-1847; Raymond J. Callahan's Framingham Historical Reflections; and Stephen Herring's Framingham, An American Town. Annual town reports are available from 1838 to the present.

The collection also contains John Stetson Barry's three-volume History of Massachusetts: The Colonial Period, The Commonwealth Period and The Provincial Period. In addition, histories of Massachusetts, Middlesex County and other surrounding towns are available.

Microfilmed Historical Records
Available on microfilm are the Temple and Barry histories mentioned above, Vital Records to 1850 of Framingham and eight surrounding towns, local cemetery records, and burial records of Framingham's veterans, and the local newspapers from 1871 to the present.

Vertical File 
The Framingham vertical file contains hundreds of folders with clippings, photos, and other memorabilia on local history. Folders cover events, places, and people of interest throughout Framingham history.

Photographic Resources
The Framingham Cultural Resource Survey, a photographic history on the historic buildings of Framingham.

We have a collection of many historic photographs depicting aspects of life in Framingham. The photos are stored in boxes each with subject indexes. Our long-term plan is to digitize all of these materials and make them available on the library website, but for now please visit the library and enjoy these unique collections.

We have gathered a collection of more than 80 postcards depicting Framingham in an era before telephones were commonly used. If you would like to add to this collection, we would be happy to be the recipient of your old post cards. Please come take a look at the Framingham Public Library Postcard Collection (Framrm Locked Case 383.122).

Chronological, geographical, and topographic maps are included. Of particular note are the 1699 Plan of Framingham Plantation, the 1832 map of Framingham drawn by Warren Nixon, and the 1895 Atlas of the Town of Framingham. Also noteworthy are historical maps of separate areas of the town showing house locations and family names.

Wallace Nutting Collection
A collection of materials on the life and work of the well-known antiquarian, furniture-maker, author, and clergyman who came to Framingham Centre in 1912. Nutting photographs, books, memorabilia, and the Newsletter of the Wallace Nutting Collectors Club are housed here. Of note is the rare and priceless Old New England Pictures, published in 1913, the only other copy of which is in the Library of Congress.

Videos  (Circulating)
974.4  Framingham - Series of interviews on local history

Historical narrative, timeline, documents, photo tour, resources, links to maps, recent history, ongoing events, Framingham Heart Study, Tercentenary, old photos, Saxonville walking tour, antique postcard collection.

Framingham History Center 
Find out about Framingham's historical society, museum, and special exhibits.

Framingham Views
A blog about the history of Framingham with fascinating historical photos.




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Updated on 09/01/2015 09:10 AM
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