Main Births etc
Rutland, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Community Hall
Motto: "Geographical Center of Massachusetts"[1]
Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°22′10″N 71°56′55″W / 42.36944, -71.94861Coordinates: 42°22′10″N 71°56′55″W / 42.36944, -71.94861
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1686
Incorporated 1713
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 36.4 sq mi (94.3 km2)
 • Land 35.3 sq mi (91.3 km2)
 • Water 1.2 sq mi (3.0 km2)
Elevation 1,112 ft (339 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,973
 • Density 220/sq mi (85/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01543
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-58825
GNIS feature ID 0618381
Website Town of Rutland, Massachusetts

Rutland is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 7,973 at the 2010 census. Rutland is the geographic center of Massachusetts; a tree, the Central Tree, located on Central Tree Road, marks the general spot.


The town of Rutland is a residential mountain town. Rutland's original lands of about 12 square miles (31 km2) were purchased from natives in Natick's Indian Praying Town in 1686. Frontier hostilities delayed settlement, and the land was not divided into lots until 1714 when 45 lots of 30 acres (120,000 m2) each were finally distributed. Settlers in Rutland came from older eastern towns, like Boston, Lexington, Concord and Sudbury.

Rutland was incorporated in 1713,[2] and was named after the English county.[3]

First settled in 1719, the town suffered repeated Indian attacks during Dummer's War, with the last death from Indian warfare recorded in 1724. During Dummer's War, on August 13, 1723, Gray Lock raided Northfield, Massachusetts, and four warriors killed two citizens near Northfield. The next day they attacked Joseph Stevens and his four sons in Rutland. Stevens escaped, two boys were killed, and the other two sons were captured.[4]

There were about 1,000 people in the town in 1765 when a disastrous epidemic of dysentery killed 60 children.

The early economy included agriculture and grazing. The first gristmill was built on Mill Brook in 1719, and the town was one of the earliest in the county to establish a subscription library, before 1796. Three small villages grew up around the water-powered mills of the town by 1830, and there was small-scale production of chairs, carriages, and woodenware. A tannery was opened in the 1840s to supply local boot and shoemakers, and palm leaf hats were produced in quantity. The town's fresh air and still-rural environment drew increasing numbers of visitors, and Rutland became a minor recreational and health resort in the 1880s. In 1883, Muschapogue House hotel was built. This development was followed by the building in 1898 of the Massachusetts Hospital for Consumptive and Tubercular Patients, a state prison camp and hospital, as well as the opening of a handful of small private TB sanitoria.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.4 square miles (94 km2), of which 35.3 square miles (91 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), or 3.16%, is water.

Rutland is bordered by Princeton on the northeast, Holden on the east, Paxton on the southeast, Oakham on the southwest, and Barre and Hubbardston on the northwest.

Rutland is about 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Worcester, 52 miles (84 km) west of Boston, and 181 miles (291 km) northeast of New York City. Rutland is the highest town between The Berkshires and the Atlantic. The town common is 1,200 feet (370 m) above sea level. It is also the exact geographical center of Massachusetts.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 1,223
1860 1,076 −12.0%
1870 1,024 −4.8%
1880 1,059 +3.4%
1890 980 −7.5%
1900 1,334 +36.1%
1910 1,743 +30.7%
1920 1,743 +0.0%
1930 2,442 +40.1%
1940 2,181 −10.7%
1950 3,056 +40.1%
1960 3,253 +6.4%
1970 3,198 −1.7%
1980 4,334 +35.5%
1990 4,936 +13.9%
2000 6,353 +28.7%
2001* 6,609 +4.0%
2002* 6,850 +3.6%
2003* 7,077 +3.3%
2004* 7,284 +2.9%
2005* 7,480 +2.7%
2006* 7,670 +2.5%
2007* 7,980 +4.0%
2008* 7,982 +0.0%
2009* 8,085 +1.3%
2010 7,973 −1.4%
County government: Worcester County
Clerk of Courts: Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney: Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds: Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
Register of Probate: Stephen Abraham (D)
County Sheriff: Lew Evangelidis (R)
State government
State Representative(s): Kimberly Ferguson (R)
State Senator(s): Stephen M. Brewer (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Jen Caissie (R)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): James P. McGovern (D-2nd District),
U.S. Senators: Mo Cowan (D), Elizabeth Warren (D)

As of the year 2008, there were approximately 8,257 people, 2,300 households, and 1,721 families residing in the town. The population density was 180.2 people per square mile (69.6/km2). There were 2,392 housing units at an average density of 67.8 per square mile (26.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.58% White, 1.04% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.44% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.

There were 2,253 households out of which 42.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.1% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the town the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $62,846, and the median income for a family was $70,689. Males had a median income of $45,824 versus $35,390 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,311. About 1.5% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[]

Each year, Rutland holds a four-day-long Fourth of July celebration, beginning on July 1. Events include performances by area musicians, a lip-sync concert, chicken barbecue hosted by the local Fire Brigade, a Historical Society Lemonade Social, and an acclaimed fireworks show. On the Fourth, Rutland holds a parade with floats made by local organizations and special guests including local and regional politicians.

August also brings in the Central Tree Chowder Challenge, an event hosted and sponsored by the Rutland Fire Brigade. Area restaurants compete for local bragging rights for having the best area clam chowder. With two ways to "win", restaurants compete for both the people's choice as well as the votes of their peers and competitors.

While the main draw to the day is the clam chowder, the event has evolved into a family-oriented day. There is no admission fee except for those who wish to sample the chowder. However, there are also pony rides, face painting, "exotic" animal exhibits, inflatable rooms for kids, a free "train ride" (a lawn tractor towing three cars around the local athletic track), as well as miscellaneous vendors, both local and from surrounding towns.

Proceeds go to the local Fire Brigade, which uses the money for restoration of the town's original fire station, and also to help supplement the expenses of the Fire Department by purchasing much needed equipment that would otherwise have to wait for town funding.


Rutland is a part of the Wachusett Regional School District.

There are two elementary schools: Naquag Elementary (named after the tribe of Indians that once resided there), and the newly built Glenwood Elementary.

The middle school is Central Tree Middle School.

The public high schools are Wachusett Regional High School (in Holden, and Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton.


The Rutland public library began ca.1865.[15][16] In fiscal year 2008, the town of Rutland spent 1.16% ($159,360) of its budget on its public library—some $20.17 per person.[17]

See also[]

  • Geographic centers of the United States


  1. ^ "Town of Rutland, Massachusetts". Town of Rutland, Massachusetts. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Rutland, Massachusetts". Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Profile for Rutland, Massachusetts, MA". ePodunk. Retrieved August 96, 2012. 
  4. ^ The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600-1800: War, Migration, and the Survival... p. 117
  5. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  6. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1950 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891. Google books
  16. ^ Rutland Free Public Library. Retrieved 2010-11-10
  17. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports. Retrieved 2010-08-04

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