First District of Carlisle, 1754
In the 18th century, the people in the northern part of Concord found it hard
to get to church in winter and in the time of the "flud". They petitioned the
Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to make their area
a separate district so that the taxes that they had to pay for the support of a
church could be used to provide a minister and meetinghouse closer to their
farms. The General Court complied;
| it established the First District of
Carlisle in 1754. The town was named after Carlisle, England, because the first settler in the district, James Adams, came from there to settle on South Street.
The local people supported a minister for two years, but when they could not
agree on the location of the meetinghouse they successfully petitioned the General
Court to restore the district to its original status as part of Concord.
Second District of Carlisle, 1758
Despite having to pay minister rates to the town of Concord again, Carlisle
people continued to support a minister of their own. In 1758, Timothy Wilkins
donated land (the acre and a half where the First Religious Society now stands)
to be used for a meetinghouse, which was built with voluntary contributions
from more than 70 families.
Twenty years later, the General Court consented
to the formation of the Second District of Carlisle and freed the local people
from a double church expense. Landowners in Billerica, Chelmsford, and Acton had
joined the Concord families and the new district, with the meetinghouse in the
center, was considerably larger than the earlier one.
Town Incorporation, 1805
In 1805, the district was given the status of a town and was allowed to send
its own representatives to the General Court instead of sharing one with Acton.
Because people could choose the town they wanted to join, the town line was
jagged for some time. There was even an island of Concord property within Carlisle.
The Chelmsford line was adjusted after 1850 and the Concord line settled about 1900.
By the early twentieth century, Carlisle was primarily an agricultural town
with a very slowly growing population. Mills, farms and a few stores provided
most of the employment opportunities in town.
Based on excerpts from 'Know Your Town',
Courtesy of The League of Women Voters of Carlisle, April 1985
The 'Carle of Carlisle'
Other colonial historical sites
History of Ipswitch, Essex, and Hamilton
American Colonies Ring
Old Home Day
ORIGINS OF OLD HOME DAY
Researched and written by Al Peckham
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