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The Town of Chelmsford is a suburban industrial town located in the Merrimack Valley. The community had a slow start since much of its present area was contained in a so-called Praying Town, established as a preserve for Christianized Indians in 1653. But fresh water fishing, access to abundant fish runs in Merrimack and Concord, and good agricultural lands along its rivers attracted residents and there was rapid growth in the community after the eighteenth century annexation of the Indian lands. (The native inhabitants of the Praying Town had been deported during King Philip's War and few returned.) Chelmsford was a community of agriculture and grazing, with dairying and orchards as specialties. There was some lumbering, and a series of small operations such as grist mills, lime quarries, and brick yards. In the 19th century, machine shops, match makers and a granite quarry which supplied the material for Quincy Market, operated in Chelmsford. The foreign-born population of the town was mostly from Ireland. (Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)
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