Paxton, Massachusetts is a town of 4,800 located in Worcester County. Of its 15.5 square miles, nearly 5% is water, including Thompson Pond. Moore State Park also lies within the town borders, including Turkey Hill Brook.
Paxton has many neighbors, including Oakham, Spencer, Rutland, Leicester, Holden, and Worcester. In fact, the town was created from land from Leicester and Rutland in the 1700s. Paxton maintains a close relationship with these neighboring towns, participating in the Wachusett Regional School District. Students remain in Paxton through eighth grade, and then can choose from either the Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, or the Bay Path Vocational Technical High School.
The town does not share utility services with other towns, running its own electric service. The town also maintains its own water department, drawing water from Asnebumskit Pond, selling it to Worcester, and buying back the treated water. Natural gas and sewer do not run into town, and the town voted against extending Worcester’s sewage system to the residents along the border.
Paxton was created from land taken from neighboring Leicester and Rutland, Massachusetts. The land was first settled in 1749, and then incorporated in 1765. It was named after Charles Paxton, with the agreement that he would provide the town with a church bell. He failed to follow through on this promise, though the town retained his name. The town later acquired a Paul Revere bell for their church, which remains in use today.
Prior to European settlement, the land was inhabited by the Nipmuc Indian tribe, who used Turkey Hill Brook for fishing and hunting grounds. Later on, the natural 90-foot drop provided ample water power for mills to arise, adding industry to this agricultural community.
For a time, there was a small amusement park located in the town, drawing regional visitors to this Massachusetts town. That has since closed, leaving Paxton to thrive as a primarily residential and agricultural town.
Moore State Park is a point of pride for Paxton residents, encompassing the history of the town in beautiful natural scenery. This 400-acre plot of land was a private estate, and today is open to the public for a variety of recreational uses. Among the azaleas and rhododendrons you can find the foundations of the old mills, a sawmill that has been fully restored, waterfalls, and wooded paths.
Visitors to the park can enjoy a wide range of activities including:
They are also welcome to learn about the unique history of Paxton and central Massachusetts with educational and visitors services to help fully appreciate the historical sites within the park.
Paxton, Massachusetts is a town with stunning natural features that played a key role in the history of the town. From its agricultural and industrial roots, it has developed into a proud residential community that many are proud to call home.