Town of Wendell, Massachusetts

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A Short History of Wendell

contributed by Jean S. Forward, Historical Commission

Wendell, Massachusetts is a small, rural hilltown on the edge of the Connecticut River Valley. Many Algonquian speaking peoples used the area for gathering and hunting well into the era of English colonization. Squakheag, Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, Abenaki and others gathered groundnuts, acorns, and other woodland resources while also hunting for game, both fur covered and feathered. 

In the mid 1700s, the first English colonists began to settle on and develop the land using Anglo-European methods for fencing agricultural land and milling the vast forests.  Much of Wendell’s evolution is closely tied to its forests and their wood products. 

Over the centuries, the town has seen the population grow and decline, never passing 1000 souls, always retaining a rather independent character. The town seems to have regularly attracted people who wish to live slightly different lifestyles in an out-of-the-way location. 

Today, the town of Wendell maintains a strong sense of community while facing the ever-increasing demand for development. The town meets this demand with excellent economic management of its woods and waterways.  For example, the town purchased the Fisk Pond property in order to continue its conservation and its use for recreation by the citizens.

 

Download History of Wendell Chapter 1 (pdf 44kb) by Jean S. Forward

Download Wendell, Massachusetts: its settlers and citizenry, 1752-1900 (pdf 27.7mb) by Pam Richardson

 



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