West Acton

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"The Native American history of Acton dates back to the Middle Archaic Period (8,000-6,000 B.P.) with confirmed sites from this period and the Late Archaic Period (6,000-3,000 B.P.) through the Woodland Periods (3,000-450 B.P.). Many areas of Acton were good campsites with presumed hunting and fishing areas along Nashoba and Fort Pond Brooks as well as Nagog Pond. European settlement began in 1655 as part of Concord’s “New Grant,” when the first Concord farmers moved west for pasture and farmland. The 1,000-acre Concord Iron Works Farm, with much of the land in Acton, was established in ca. 1660.Charcoal to fuel the ironworks was produced here on the part of the farm that eventually became South Acton. South Acton was the center of the early industrial activity with the first fulling mill and sawmill on Fort Pond Brook in operation by 1706. Early roads followed the brook where Native Americans had made trails. School Street connected Concord with South Acton and eventually Central Street led west to West Acton where farmland was abundant." 




Photos on this page:  Ann Sussman
Art:  Courtesy of Acton Historical Society
When a company was needed to lead the advance on the bridge which was defended by the British regulars, Captain Isaac Davis (from our West Acton village!) was heard to reply, "I haven't a man who is afraid to go." The Acton men led because, unlike other militias there, they were fully equipped with bayonets which allowed the Minutemen to advance on the British as they reloaded their guns.

The colonists advanced on the bridge; in the exchange of
musket fire that followed, Captain Isaac Davis and Private James Hayward were killed and Abner Hosmer, also of Acton, was mortally wounded. Davis was the first officer to die in the American Revolutionary War. In Acton they refer to "the battle of Lexington, fought in Concord, by men of Acton."

Each year on Patriot's Day (the 3rd Monday in April), the Acton Minutemen[5] lead a march from Acton Center to the Old North Bridge in Concord. This route is known as 'The Isaac Davis Trail' and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1957, Acton's Troop 1 [2] of the Boy Scouts of America have organized an annual march along the Isaac Davis line of march, and since 1976 the "Scouters of the Isaac Davis Trail" have organized the annual Isaac Davis Camporee [3].

Learn more about Acton's History and the role Acton played on April 19th! Check out:

"The Story of the Pinehawk/Nipmuck"
Friends of the Pinehawk
Acton Historical Society 

Stop in to see:

- the Pinehawk artifacts collection at the Acton Town Hall (472 Main St)
-  Acton Long Ago Exhibit at the Acton Memorial Library (486 Main Street Acton, MA - original wing - 2nd floor). (colonial artifacts)


For more things to do in West Acton Village, click here!

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