Sherborn is a small, semi-rural town (pop. 4,500) located about 18 miles west of Boston. A part of the Middlesex County, Sherborn is bordered by the towns of Natick, Framingham, Ashland, Millis, Holliston and Medfield
Primarily a farming community until the early part of the 20th century, Sherborn now is a bedroom town for Boston and the surrounding hi-tech area.
Throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries Sherborn remained a small and relatively self-sufficient farming community. Little industry developed because of the lack of good water power, although there continued to be saw and gristmills on several of the small, intermittent streams. However, apples grew well, and there were always small cider mills. With the coming of both the railroad and steam power one mill developed further, John Holbrook and Sons, until by the 1890s it was advertised as the "largest refined cider mill in the world". At that time it pressed over 1.25 million gallons of cider per season and exported "Champagne" cider as far west as Nebraska and Texas and as far east as England and Belgium.
In the late 18th century and early 19th century several small cottage industries developed, particularly along North Main Street. They produced guns, shoes, willow baskets, whips, pitchforks and edge tools. Cranberries became an important crop, as well as mixed farming and dairying. Crops and crafts were sold in the Boston markets via stagecoach and later railroad.
The early 20th century saw several new trends. In the early 1900s several wealthy families moved into different parts of town and built estates for either year-round or summer use. Those remaining today are located primarily along the Charles River - The area of first settlement. Dairy and poultry raising increased in importance, as did service related jobs.
Following World War II the town began to change rapidly from one with a relatively static population (c. 1500) to a growing and transient one. Developments were built in 1, 2, and 3-acre (12,000 m2) zones. The disappearance of family farms accelerated as the town became increasingly suburban; today estate-farms form most of the few farms which remain. Over 50% of the town's area is open space. The town is trying hard to retain its rural character; but that is increasingly difficult as land prices and taxes escalate.
In the late 1990s and the early 21st century, the downtown area underwent significant expansion, including the construction of a new fire department, the addition of a skate park for the town's youth in 2002, and in 2005, new stores in a lot previously occupied by a decrepit, closed gas station. C & L Frosty's is a popular diner in the downtown area, as well as "The Heritage" which is a recently renovated inn previously known and owned as the "Sherborn Inn". Many people also visit the Sherborn Library which currently is undergoing a serious renovation as voted by the town (one million dollars were allocated to them to build a recreations room, purchase some art to decorate the walls, and a number of other new features). Today, most of the children attend the Pine Hill Elementary School for grades 1-5, and most Sherborn students attend the joint Middle/High School shared with the adjacent town of Dover for grades 6-12.
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