Founded in 1635, Concord was the first inland settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Company. It was also the site of the first battle of the American Revolution. In the nineteenth century Concord was home to Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other prominent authors and philosophers. Today Concord is home to 16,000 people and has an open town meeting style of government. The town shares a regional high school with the town of Carlisle.
Acton was home to Isaac Davis, a farmer who led a group of Minutemen to fight the British at the Old North Bridge in Concord at the start of the American Revolution. Today the town is largely residential, and it features a variety of beautiful parks and conservation areas including the Acton Arboretum and Great Hill. Acton shares a regional high school with the town of Boxborough to the west. Acton has been named “The 16th Best Place to Live in the Country” by Money Magazine.
Henry David Thoreau once called Carlisle “the City of the Woods.” The town has always been predominantly rural, and it remains so today. Over 30 percent of the town is designated for conservation, and residents continue to enjoy the town’s rural character. Carlisle features many acres of farmland and a working cranberry bog. Children in Carlisle attend school in the town through eighth grade, and then they attend Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord.
Chelmsford was an agricultural community from the time of its founding in 1655 until the second world war. The original area of the town was much larger than its present area, including the land that is now downtown Lowell. Chelmsford played an important role in the Industrial Revolution as the site of woolen mills along the Merrimack River and as a portion of the route of the Middlesex Canal, an early milestone of engineering that connected Boston and Lowell. Today the town is largely residential, acting both as an immediate neighbor to Lowell and as a more distant suburb of Boston.