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Acton was first settled by Native Americans who used the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord rivers for transportation and the fields for farming seasonal crops. There is evidence of Native American settlements in Acton which go back years.

When the colonists arrived in this area, the Native American population dropped dramatically due to European diseases for which they had no immunity. The original boundaries of Concord included all of Acton and residents used the Acton land as grazing fields for their animals. In , the first homestead was built within the modern day boundaries of the town. Acton was established as an independent town on July 3, The anniversary of this day is celebrated in Acton as Crown Resistance Day.

The Acton minutemen were led by Captain Isaac Davis. The colonists advanced on the bridge; in the exchange of musket fire that followed, Captain Isaac Davis and Private Abner Hosmer of Acton were killed. Davis was the first officer to die in the American Revolutionary War. In Acton they refer to "the battle of Lexington, fought in Concord, by men of Acton. By the midth century, Acton was an industrial center for the production of barrels cooperage. There were also a powder mill , three gristmills and four sawmills in town.

South Acton became a busy rail center and was the division point for the Marlborough Branch Railroad. With the railroad came increasing development in those areas. In addition to the Fitchburg Railroad, two others crossed the town: These two railroads shared a double track right-of-way that ran from West Concord aka Concord Junction through East Acton and then splitting in North Acton in the vicinity of Route 27 and Ledgerock Way.

In , the population of the town was almost In , the Memorial Library was completed and given to the town by William A. Wilde as a memorial to the Acton soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Government[ edit ] Acton uses the Open Town Meeting form of town government. The town charter specifies that the annual town meeting must begin on the first Monday in April. The selectmen may also call a special town meeting at other times of the year to consider other business.

Citizens may force a special town meeting by submitting a petition signed by registered voters to the town clerk. Anyone may attend Town Meeting but only registered voters may vote. Acton also has a water district, which is run separately from town government, as a public utility.

In addition, the town moderator appoints a finance committee 9 members which issues an opinion on each of the warrant articles presented to Town Meeting. In addition, a separate and independent branch of government, the Acton Water District , was established in and consists of three Commissioners, a Moderator, a Secretary, an appointed District Attorney, Finance Committee, Land-Water Use Advisory Committee, and paid professional staff.

A Water District was established in and a town-wide Fire Department was established in Acton was the first town in the area to have water-bound macadam highways. Water district[ edit ] The Acton Water District is a community public water supply that delivers drinking water to the majority about 90 percent of the residents of the town of Acton, Massachusetts. All of the water provided from the District comes from seven wells located within the town of Acton.

A betterment fee is charged to property owners whose property is sited proximate to the sewage lines, whether or not they connect to the system. The land was purchased by the town in and was designated an Arboretum in It now includes a 19th-century herb garden, a hosta garden, a wildflower garden, a butterfly garden and a rhododendron garden. A fragrance garden is being constructed. In addition there is a skating pond and two sets of playing fields.

Grassy Pond and Nagog Hill. Two adjoining conservation areas located in North Acton which total acres 1. Four adjoining conservation areas in North Acton that total over acres 2.

A historical trail, named the Trail Through Time, also overlays the trail system and provides interpretive plaques at various locations on the loop that include Wheeler Lane, the Potato Cave , The Pencil Factory , and other sites. The trails through the Canterbury Hill section connect to the town of Carlisle, MA conservation trail network.

It is home to over species of birds that one man had recorded one year. Located on the central school campus between the Junior High and High School, it contains an all purpose turf field and running track.

High School Complex Contains one grass playing field, two contiguous lighted multi-sport turf fields, five tennis courts, a softball diamond and two baseball diamonds one lighted.

It is adjacent to the Douglas School yard which contains a baseball diamond and two basketball courts. A baseball diamond located at Conant School. It contains a softball diamond, a large configurable field used for multiple sports, a swimming pond, playground, a performance stage with amphitheater, and a handi-cap accessible softball diamond with a synthetic surface- The Joseph Lalli Miracle Field. Contains two baseball diamonds and a playground.

A baseball diamonds located at Conant School. Located at 66 Hayward Road offers various surfaces for skateboarding and rollerblading. It contains a single baseball diamond and a playground. Contains a large configurable field, a smaller single soccer field, and a playground. This is located in the front portion of the conservation area. Located off School Street near Route 2 is a large grass surface configurable to several multi-dimension playing fields.

Located next to Morrison Farm on Woodlawn Cemetery land is used primarily for soccer. Located on in West Acton, the area consists of a playground, basketball hoop, and field area. Assabet River Rail Trail. Stow border, where it then continues another 1. Education[ edit ] At the beginning of the 20th century[ which? In , new schools were constructed to accommodate the growth in the student population. In , Acton and Boxborough created a regional school district for grades 7 In , the regional school district was expanded to include the elementary schools of each town.

The Merriam School was constructed in Other schools quickly followed: Douglas , Gates , and Conant In a building was constructed for the junior high. In a huge addition was added to this building and it became the high school; the junior high moved to the old high school building.

Acton has an uncommon method of assigning students to elementary schools, called "Open Enrollment. Boxborough students have priority for attendance in the school in their own town, but participate in the lottery if they wish to attend an Acton school. Any remaining spaces at Blanchard become available in the lottery.

This method of school choice has a large impact on the nature of the town. Acton is less oriented around neighborhoods than towns which have neighborhood based schools. This carries over into the recreational youth sport organizations whose teams are not organized around specific elementary schools. As a result, students and families are likely to have broad social connections in all parts of the town rather than being limited to neighborhoods.

While the curriculum in the district is fairly standardized, each of the elementary schools has a different teaching philosophy.

The schools and their philosophy of education are: Named for Luther Conant who taught for 17 years in the school district, served on the School Committee, and was Town Moderator for 40 years.

The school emphasizes the Whole language approach when teaching students to read. Named for Carolyn T. Douglas who was a teacher and principal in the Acton schools from to The school emphasizes Phonics for learning to read.

Named for Paul P. Gates who was the school physician from to Named for Julia McCarthy who taught at the South Acton School from to and Marion Towne who was a teacher in the primary and secondary schools in Acton from to McCarthy-Towne integrates language arts, math, social studies, science and art in the study of curriculum "units. McCarthy-Towne has a very active parent volunteer program. Parker Damon , which it shares with the Merriam School. At McCarthy-Towne, students generally call their teachers by their first names, a practice shared by Merriam.

Named for Florence A. Merriam who taught for 35 years in Acton. Merriam offers a project-based curriculum. At Merriam, teachers teach the same group of students for two years i. This practice is called "looping". At Merriam as well as at McCarthy-Towne, students call their teachers by their first names. Both the junior high and high school were enlarged and renovated in Both buildings are located at the school district campus in Acton. Current enrollment is the Junior High is appropriately 1, students while the High School has roughly students.

The High School was ranked as the 3rd best public school in the Greater Boston area defined as within I by Boston Magazine in


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