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The Town of Medfield is an historic suburban town on an important crossing point of the Charles River valley leading to the western interior of the state. Located on a rugged upland watershed area and the adjacent river meadow, Medfield was the site of major native settlements and of early European settlements, although the latter were almost completely destroyed during the King Philip wars. The early economic base of the community was agriculture and cattle raising with some dairying and orchards, and the community gradually evolved from a front line frontier town to a moderately prosperous rural town with little development outside of farming and grazing. In the 19th century, straw hat making became a significant business in town, recording over $1 million worth of goods for one manufacturer alone in 1875. The Medfield State Mental Hospital was developed in the 1890's, providing another source of jobs for an increasing population. Presently, the town has a major suburban population and is very proud of its restored and preserved 18th and 19th century buildings. (Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)
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