Nine miles north of Boston, in Middlesex County, is the town of Woburn, Massachusetts. Covering nearly 13 square miles of land, the population is over 38,000. The neighboring towns include Wilmington, Reading, Stoneham, Winchester, Lexington, and Burlington.
Woburn is conveniently located just one mile from the intersection of Interstates 93 and 95, giving residents easy access to Boston and points south, New Hampshire, and the I-95 corridor. These roads being built in and near the town allowed the population to boom in the 1950s and 1960s. There is also MBTA bus and commuter rail service within the town.
Today, Woburn mixes residential with commercial and industrial properties. It is the headquarters of Boston Acoustics, Monotype, and Skyworks Solutions. Other top employers include Marshalls and Target.
Woburn, like many towns in Massachusetts, was first settled around the year 1640. The first settlers set up homes near Horn Pond, a source of the Mystic River. The town was incorporated in 1642, and included the land that is now Winchester, Burlington, Stoneham, and Wilmington. These towns slowly split off over the next 200 years.
In its early days, the town saw steady growth with the first religious ordination in America, the building of the first mill and house in town, and the opening of a tannery all by 1668. The Middlesex Canal and Boston and Lowell Railroad in the first half of the 1800s further allowed the town to prosper. When I-95 and I-93 were completed in the 1950s and 60s, the population boomed and Woburn became the town it is today.
Woburn has not been without controversy. In the 1970s, the community began experiencing a rise in rates of childhood leukemia, cancer, and other diseases in certain neighborhoods. It was determined that the chemicals from local corporations were contaminating the groundwater. Despite compelling evidence, the victims received little compensation and the case went on to be memorialized in the book and film A Civil Action.
Vulcanized rubber is one of the most important products in modern life, being used on shoes, car tires, conveyer belts, and a wide assortment of other products – and it all got its start on Montvale Ave. in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and later found homes in Philadelphia and New York before moving to Woburn, Massachusetts. Throughout the years, he had been fascinated with the process of turning rubber into a more stable product, able to withstand head, cold, and other conditions. Through years of experimentation he had some success, but in 1839, while living in Woburn, he finally figured out the secret to vulcanized rubber. Using a combination of gum, Sulphur, and heat, Goodyear created a weatherproof rubber suitable for a wide range of applications. He was later granted the U.S. Patent for vulcanized rubber.
Woburn, Massachusetts is a residential and industrial suburb of Boston. Conveniently located, it attracts a wide range of businesses and residents to the area. With an esteemed history and long list of notable residents, Woburn has contributed much to the history of Massachusetts, the country, and the world.