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Reading Town


Reading Town Hall is located at 16 Lowell Street, Reading, MA 01667; phone: 781-942-9050.

Beginnings [1]

Reading has a rich background dating back to the first settlement in 1639. At that time the settlement included the current towns of Wakefield (1st parish) and North Reading (2nd parish). In 1769 the Town of Reading was set off as the 3rd parish and kept the name Reading. The first meeting house was built on what is now known as the common and established the political and religious center of Town. In 1806 the Andover/Medford Turnpike was built through the center of town and that was the beginning of the conversion of the residential buildings to the commercial development in the 'square'. In the years that followed the residential buildings in the square were gradually converted or replaced with commercial development. The Railroad, introduced in 1845, played a role in the extension of commercial development down Haven Street. This had been a primarily residential street and slowly the residences were replaced with business structures. With the railroad came a large population of businessmen who commuted to Boston. Such traffic generated the building of Reading Highland Station at the foot of Mineral St and an engine house at the site of Tannerville. Since the 1890's Reading has maintained its own electric and water utilities.

  1. Reading Massachusetts Master Plan Advisory Committee, 2005 Master Plan, Chapter 7. Natural, Historical & Cultural Resources, www.ci.reading.ma.us, accessed June, 2011.
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