Profile

The Town of Ashland's ideal location midway between Boston and Worcester provides easy access to the interstate highway system and the Massachusetts Turnpike. Ashland was, in earlier times, a stopping point on a major Indian trail which later became known as the Bay Path, connecting Cambridge and Connecticut. It was here that a community of Natick Indians was established as the Village of Magunkaquog in about 1659.

Once the original starting point of the world famous Boston Marathon, which still runs through Ashland, the town is also known as the site of Henry Warren's invention of the electric clock, later manufactured here under the Telechron name. Ashland, although predominantly residential, is committed to a close working relationship with its business community. Businesses, residents and visitors look forward to "Ashland Day," a not-to-be-missed annual celebration of traditional New England spirit!
Ashland Clock

Helpful Documents

Community Information


Note: This Community Profile draws information from a diversity of sources. The main source of information is listed under each section. In some instances comments submitted by the municipality were incorporated to correct and/or enhance the information obtained from the main source. However, no changes were made to those data bases which must be consistent throughout the state. The Department of Housing and Community Development has made efforts to ensure the accuracy of all data in the Community Profiles, but cannot take responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained in this document.

Narrative


The Town of Ashland is full of opportunities, with a strong community, vibrant arts and culture, thriving business community, rich history, outstanding education, and active recreation.

The Town of Ashland began first around 1659 as a stop along a major trail, Bay Path, connecting Cambridge to Connecticut and becoming a community for the Natick Indians, established as the Village of Magunkaquog.  Transforming to “Unionville” the construction of a railway, Ashland became a bustling mill town with the boot and shoe industry flourishing. Incorporated in 1846, the town’s modern memorable historic moments include hosting the starting line for the Boston Marathon and homing Henry Warren during his invention of the electric clock- Telechron. Transforming from a quaint town rich in history, to an upcoming suburban neighborhood, the community has a lot to offer.

The Town of Ashland is conveniently located between the cities of Boston and Worcester, providing quick access to the MBTA commuter rail, MWTRA bus system, and major roads, Route 9, I-90, and I- 495.

Presently, the Town of Ashland has over 600 businesses ranging from entrepreneurships, brick and mortar store fronts, family run restaurants, and innovative technology companies.

Ashland is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors featuring thousands of acres of open space including miles of wooden terrain through the Ashland Town Forest, Warren Woods, Riverwalk, Upper Charles Trail, Trolley Brook Trail, and both the Ashland and Hopkinton State Parks.

With more than 2,500 students in the Ashland Public School system, the district ranks in the top 20% of public schools in the state. Featuring the William Pittaway School, David Mindess and Henry Warren Elementary Schools, Ashland Middle School, and Ashland High School, to provide a safe, engaging, and inclusive learning environment, empowering every student to acquire and develop the necessary skills and knowledge to become active, caring, and passionate life- long learners and citizens in an evolving and diverse world.  

The Town of Ashland has celebrates its stake in New England History and prides itself on its community spirit hosting annual events such as the MetroWest Famous Farmers Market, a season of events and business opportunities at the Corner Spot, summer concerts and the annual Ashland Day at Stone Park, celebrating arts at the annual Dragonfly Festival, and the seasonal holiday festivities downtown.

The Town of Ashland maintains its New England small town charm while transforming, again, to a bustling town in the heart of the MetroWest community.




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Geography


Eastern Massachusetts, bordered by Sherborn on the East, Framingham on the North, Southborough on the West and Northwest, and Hopkinton and Holliston on the South. Ashland is 20 miles East of Worcester, 22 miles West of Boston, and 191 miles from New York City.
  • Total Area: 12.93 square miles
  • Land Area: 12.45 square miles
  • Population: 18,832 (2020 Federal Census)
  • Density: 969 per square mile
  • Climate: (National Climate Date Center, Framingham Station)
  • Normal temperature in January: 24.7ºF
  • Normal temperature in July: 72.9ºF
  • Normal annual precipitation: 44.9"
  • U.S.G.S. Topographical Plates: Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough
  • Regional Planning Agency: Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Metropolitan Statistical Area (1993 Definition): Boston
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Government


  • Municipal Offices: 508-881-0100
  • Form of Government:
    • Board of Selectmen
    • Open Town Meeting
    • Town Manager
  • Year Incorporated as a Town: 1846
  • Registered Voters: 11,370 (2018 Town Election)
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Housing Characteristics


  • Average Unit Value- $401,900- 2020 Census
  • Ashland House - 119 Main Street - 66 Units (1 Bedroom Apartments)
  • Ashland Housing Authority - 59 Park Road - 40 Units (1 Bedroom Apartments)
  • 6796 Total Housing Units - 2020 Census
  • 82.6%  Owner Occupied Rate- 2020 Census 
  • 20.3% Renter Occupied 2016
  • 277 Affordable Rental Units
  • 34 Owner Occupied Affordable 
Median Household Income - $124,130.00- 2020 Census

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Transportation


  • Transportation and Access: Ashland is situated in the Greater Boston Area, which has excellent rail, air, and highway facilities. State Route 128 and Interstate Route 495 divide the region into inner and outer zones, which are connected by numerous "spokes" providing direct access to the airport, port, and intermodal facilities of Boston.
  • Major Highways: Principal highways are State Routes 126 and 135. The Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90, is easily accessible in the neighboring town of Framingham.
  • Rail: Commuter rail service to Back Bay Station and South Station, Boston, is available from Ashland. Travel time to BBS: 42-45 min.; 700 MBTA parking spaces available. Freight rail service is available from CSX. Contact number: 617-783-6222.
  • Bus: Ashland is a member of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). LIFT offers hourly bus service between Ashland, Framingham and Hopkinton.
  • Other: The Worcester Municipal Airport, a Primary Commercial (PR) facility with scheduled passenger service, is easily accessible. It has 2 asphalt runways 5,500' and 6,999' long.
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Culture & Recreation


Libraries (Board of Library Commissioners):
Ashland Public Library
466 Chestnut Street
Ashland, MA 01721

Museums (American Association of Museums):
Ashland Historical Society
2 Myrtle Street
Ashland, MA 01721
Phone: 508-881-8183

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Miscellaneous


  • Health Facilities (Department of Public Health 1992):
    • Hospices: None
    • Hospitals: None
    • Longer Term Care:
    • Waterview Lodge - Rehabilitation & Healthcare - 250 West Union Street
    • Residence at Valley Farm - Assisted Living & Reflections Memory Care - 369 Pond Street
    • Rest Homes: Mill Pond Rest Home - 84 Myrtle Street
  • Utilities: Telephone Numbers for Public Utilities