The Common Uncommon



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As tens of thousands of runners line up to begin a famous road race and spectators and news media converge on the Hopkinton Common each April, little do they know, or indeed care at that moment, how foreign the scene would look to those who lived and worked here in the past. Yet, so much was accomplished by these forgotton residents!One of the largest industries in Massachusetts history developed here. Another essential industry was centered here. English gentry from Boston were attracted by its beauty and settled here. One was a Baronet with estates in England. One went on to command one of the most famous ships in history. Another became Privy Councillor and Chief Justice of Nova Scotia. Then there was the celebrated Madam Price - a woman of independence and a large estate, at a time when women did not own property. Later, the anti-slavery movement found much support here. Famous institutions, such as Harvard University, are closely tied in to the history of this area. Connections to famous people of American history abound - people with names like Daniel Webster and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The houses which surround the Common and line the adjacent streets serve to connect us with these and less famous, but hardworking, people. Each house tells a different story. By combining deed research, genealogy, family histories, numerous historical sources, and some two hundred and fifty photographs, the author has unearthed these stories and presents them here.