Welcome to American Alarms’ business and home security page for Ashby, Massachusetts. This informational page provides important crime data along with additional information for those living in or considering moving to Ashby.
Ashby Business and Home Security Facts
According to the FBI Crime Database for Massachusetts’ 279 cities and towns, Ashby was ranked 136th in “Most Property Damage per 100,000” in 2013 declining from 188th in 2012. It was 25th for “Most Burglaries per 100,000” declining from 36th in 2012.
American Alarm’s History in Ashby
Based in New England since 1971, we’ve worked in the Ashby area for decades. We know the landscape and we have good relationships with local police and fire officials. Our team of employees (200 strong and growing) live in the communities we serve, this means our customers are our neighbors.
Origin of Ashby
The town of Ashby was first settled in 1676 by James Coleman, James Locke, John Fitch, and their families. Initially, Ashby was part of the present towns of Townsend, Lunenberg, Ashburnham, and Fitchburg.
John Fitch had moved to the area from Bradford, Massachusetts. On July 5, 1748, Fitch, his wife, and two children were captured by Native Americans and taken to Canada. Fitch had traded with the Native Americans and they knew that his friends would contribute handsomely for the family’s release. Fitch’s friends in Bradford paid the ransom and six months after they had been captured, they returned to their farm in Ashby.
Ashby, which is situated 45 miles from Boston in the northwestern corner of Middlesex County, was incorporated in 1767. The first town meeting was held was held soon after. John Fitch was chosen moderator as well as one of the town’s selectman.
What Ashby is Known for…
Although Ashby was originally agrarian like most New England towns, by the middle of the 1700s it began to use its fast flowing streams for water-powered manufacturing. There were 23 water-powered mill sites in Ashby, and the first gristmill was built in 1750. Other manufacturing included; sawmills, a wood turning mill, wool carding, and several food-processing mills.
In 1831, the Lawrence brothers and Martin Allen made the first wooden tubs and pails in Massachusetts that were turned on a lathe driven by a water wheel. In the early 20th century, waterpower brought electricity to parts of town.
Well-known clock makers, Abraham Edwards and brothers, Alexander and Philander Willard, worked in Ashby making large-standing, eight-day clocks. A number of women in Ashby made braided palm-leaf hats in their homes. Approximately 60,000 of these hats were made in 1837 and were sold south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Listing of Ashby Favorites
873 Cafe, 873 Main St., Ashby, MA 01431
Short List of Historic Places or Recreation Spots
Ashby Center and Town Common: The center was established with the building of the first meetinghouse and burial ground. The early settlers traveled along roads that followed Native American trails, e.g., County Road to Main Street was an east-west route to Watatic Pond.
First Parish Burial Ground: Often referred to as the Old Burial Ground, this cemetery was established on the common in 1767 when the town was incorporated. The burial ground is located behind the First Parish Church. The slated headstones show distinctive 18th century motifs, but the cemetery also includes later marble and granite markers. Prince Estabrook, an African American patriot wounded at the Battle of Lexington, is buried in the northwest corner of the cemetery.
Jewett Hill Caves: Local legend has it that these stone outcroppings – naturally occurring caves – in the woods near West Road were once used as shelter by Native Americans.
Famous People from (or Who Lived in) Ashby
Capt. Abijah Wyman (1745-1804), captain in Colonel Prescott’s Massachusetts Battalion, Continental Army at the Battle of Bunker Hill; and general store owner of Ashby.
John Fitch, Ashby’s first town moderator, founded the neighboring town of Fitchburg, which was incorporated in 1764.