Framingham Blog Posts

November 25, 2021

Shoppers World Sign

When Shoppers World first opened on October 4, 1951 it was a new concept in shopping. People could now go to one place to do their shopping.

People driving down Route 30 would see the large "Shoppers World" sign and know where to turn to start their shopping experience.

In the 1990s, Shoppers World became outdated. At the time, Shoppers World offered an open center court while newer Malls had enclosures to protect shoppers as they went store to store. New owners decided to tear down the infrastructure and rebuild.

In 1994, the Framingham Historical Society took ownership of the Shoppers World sign. You can see the sign on exhibit at the Framingham Historical Society as part of the Framingham Top 10 exhibit.

Shoppers World Desktop
Shoppers World Mobile

Four Things I Learned

The sign was made by University Brink, the same manufacturers of the famous Citgo Sign in Kenmore Square. (Can you see any resemblance?)

This sign was located at the north side of Shoppers World - near the entrance by Kohls and Chick Fil A.

When you visit the Historic Society they may have to turn the sign on when you arrive. They don't have the sign on all the time.

When the sign was first displayed at the Framingham Historical Society they had a special event where people could come and talk about their experiences working at Shoppers World.

November 18, 2021

Indian Head Road Plaque

The Nipmuc Indians were the original owners of the land that would become Framingham. In 2019, a plaque was placed on a hill where they once used as a lookout.

Indian Head Plaque
Indian Head Plaque

Sign at the top of Indian Hill Street:

This plaque commemorates the first inhabitants of the area, the Nipmuc people. As early as 1680, English settlers named this hill "Indian Head." The "Indian" they saw here were Nipmuc, part of the larger Algonquin Nation. "Head" referenced the head of a hill or "headland." The area was an ideal environment for the Nipmucs because of it abundant lakes and streams, fish being a staple of their diets, and for its wildlife and rolling meadows, easily used for the growing crops. Descendants of the Nipmuc Tribe continue to live throughout the area.

Framingham Historical Commission, 2019

Fun Facts about the Plaque

Elans Gelfand, Framingham High School student, lead the fight to put up a sign on Indian Head Heights honoring the tribe that once ruled the area.

Originally she wanted the street ( Indian Head Heights ) to be renamed but settled for a plaque commemorating the sight.

Elans had been planning on taking some action after reading a book about the Indians during the colonial days of America.

Larry Spotted Crow attended the small ceremony. Larry is a Native American Cultural Educator and a known member of the Nipmuc tribe.

The plaque was officially installed on June 12, 2019.

The plaque is located at the top of the hill which is 320 feet above sea level - one of the highest points in Framingham. Nabcott Hill is the highest point at 534-feet.

Framingham Historical Commission created and paid for the sign.

Finding The Plaque

The plaque is located at 14 Indian Head Road. There are no official parking spaces near the plaque, but it's a nice quiet street - so there should be a problem with street parking.

Note: The street is a steep uphill climb, icy weather is probably not a good time to go.

November 11, 2021

Setting Up Your Business and Life in Framingham, MA

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Framingham Park Desktop

Starting or moving a business as you are trying to juggle family responsibilities can be overwhelming. How do you know which city or town is the right place? How do you know where both your company and your family can thrive day in and day out?

While there are no shortcuts to choosing the best location for the next chapter in your life, considering factors like affordability, local business support, cost of living, and nearby colleges can help you make a sound decision and set your family up for a healthy, successful life. Below, cryan.com discusses these factors in more detail and explains why Framingham, MA could be the ideal city!

Affordability

No matter what kind of business you are starting or relocating to, the cost of living in your new city will make a major impact. When housing, groceries, fuel, and other family expenses are astronomical, it makes it hard to grow a company and flourish as a family.

Framingham is within a half-hour drive of Boston. While you will reap the benefits of living close to the iconic city with such a rich business and entrepreneurial community, you will not have to pay the high costs of living that come with living in Boston or other east coast cities like New York or Washington D.C. The average one-bedroom apartment in Framingham is $2,360, and the median home listing price is $510,900.

Entrepreneurial Support

Wherever you choose to move, you will want to research whether or not the community offers support for business owners and entrepreneurs. Framingham is a prime example of a city that loves its businesses. As you go through the challenges of starting or growing your venture, you will benefit from having access to many resources, including:

  • Downtown Framingham, Inc.
  • Small Business Development Center at Clark University
  • MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
  • Framingham Business Association
  • MetroWest Economic Research Center
  • Leadership MetroWest

Living in Framingham

Quality of life is also critical when it comes to choosing where to live. You, your family, and your future employees and customers all stand to benefit from diverse cultures, world-class food, top-notch community events, and kid-friendly parks. Framingham has much to offer in this area. Here are a few examples:

  • Garden In the Woods: Native Plant Trust
  • Amazing Things Art Center
  • Callahan State Park
  • Hanson's Farm
  • Framingham Public Library
  • Action Athletics
  • Chocolate Therapy Birthday Parties
  • Plaster Fun Time
  • American Heritage Museum

Colleges and Universities

Being surrounded by renowned educational institutions can do wonders for a new or growing business. Even if you have no plans of going back to school to earn a degree, you will benefit from having an excellent talent pool to choose from when there are good colleges and universities near your city. And it doesn't get much better than the schools in the Framingham area! Here are a few of the many options:

  • Framingham State University
  • Wellesley College
  • Babson College
  • Boston College
  • Harvard University
  • Regis College
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College

General Business Tips

If you are starting a company, you have many other things to think about in addition to the city to which you are moving. Get an early start on your business preparation responsibilities so that you can launch on a firm foundation. For example, choose a business structure that will work in your company's favor. Consider forming an LLC so that you and your business are protected from liability. If you work with a service like Zen Business, you can rest assured that your LLC is established in compliance with state regulations.

You will also need to create a catchy business name that represents your mission, values, and offerings, and then you will need to register it with the state. And of course, you will need to research any licenses and permits you must obtain before opening up shop. If you would like additional tips on getting your business up and running, visit cryan.com to access informational blogs, multimedia, and other entrepreneurial and technology resources!

Choosing a city for your family's next chapter can be challenging. But if you consider the information and advice above, you can make the process easier and less stressful for everyone in your household. Framingham is a beautiful business-friendly town that has plenty to offer for adults and kids alike!

Would you like to read more helpful content on business, software, and more? Visit cryan.com today!

November 4, 2021

Election 2021 Recap

A quick follow-up to this week's Mayor election. While the City of Framingham hasn't released the final numbers, they are likely not to change from the unofficial results.

Framingham Votes

Six Things That I Learned

Charlie Sisitsky beat Yvonne M. Spicer by a nearly 2:1 margin. (He won by 4,374 votes.)

In 2017, Yvonne M. Spicer beat John A. Stefanini by a closer margin - 2,673 votes. 2017 was the first year Framingham elected a Mayor.

Voters commented to the Framingham Source that they didn't like how Yvonne M. Spicer handled the whole pandemic and water-sewer enterprise funds.

District 9, Southern Framingham, was the only district where Yvonne M. Spicer beat Charlie Sisitsky. It also happens to be the district with the lowest turnout. Precent 16 has an 18% turnout and Precent 17 had a 10% turnout. Both precents also had single-digit turnouts for the primary.

Yvonne M. Spicer worst performing district was District 1, Northern Framingham, where she only got 20% of the vote in Precent 1 and 22% of the vote in Precent 2.

Precent 4 had the highest turn out with 42% reporting. Precent 4 covers the Pheasant Hill area. This is part of District 2 where Adam Steiner and Mary Feeney were fighting for the District 3 City Councilor spot. Adam Steiner won the seat by only 2 votes!

October 28, 2021

Downtown Framingham Commons

When driving through downtown Framingham, you'll probably see a small park - not too far from the train tracks. This is the Downtown Framingham Commons.

If you look carefully, you'll see a couple of markers on the Concord Street side of the park. This park is actually an old Indian Burial ground.

Downtown Framingham Park

Ten Things I Learned

This is the Nipmuc Tribe graveyard - the final resting place of the chieftains and warriors.

This park used to be called the "the Old Field"

In 1693, Nathaniel Eames found this spot and cleared the area to make room for a cornfield. Nathaniel Eames would have known that it was a graveyard as the Indians had mounds of dirt or stones above the graves.

When building the Baptist meeting-house an Indian grave was discovered. Along with skeleton remains, they found spearheads.

On June 17, 1910 - The small bolder and tablet was dedicated by the Framingham Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Participating in the ceremony was Dorothy Boynton Eames, the daughter of Mr and Mrs George H. Eames and the eighth direct descendent of the Eames family that was massacred in 1676.

In 1946 - The granite stone marker was placed. (There isn't any information on the ceremony.)

Size of the Park: 0.43 Acres

Official Address is: 2 Park Street, Framingham MA 01702

Framingham Property ID: 128-86-5248-000

Stone Engraving

This is the description on the granite stone marker:

This the "Old Field" of 1800 was an indian Burial ground A Town Common since 1854 The gift of Lovell Eames

This stone erected under the will of William Harvey Smith 1946

The bronzes represent local Indian Life The Center The carrying of corn to the hungry bay colonists in 1630. Over the nearby trail later called "Old Connecticut Path"

October 21, 2021

Aaron Hill

Near the front entrance of the "Old Burying Ground Cemetery" is a gravestone that has a Revolutionary War marker. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about this gravestone.

Hills Framingham Desktop
Hills Framingham Mobile

Interesting Things I Learned

Aaron was born on April 27, 1752 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Joined the American Revolution, at age 25, with the Captain Buckminster's Company, Col. Bullard's Regt. This is the description in the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution:

HILL, AARON, Framingham. Descriptive list of men raised in Middlesex Co. for the term of 9 months from the time of their arrival at Fishkill, agreeable to resolve of April 20, 1778; Capt. Buckminster's co., Col. Bullard's regt.; age, 25 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 6 in.; residence, Framingham; arrived at Fishkill June 21, 1778; also list of men returned received of Jonathan Warner, Commissioner, by Col. R. Putnam, July 20, 1778.

Fishkill Supply Depot was the site chosen by General George Washington as the principle supply depot for the Continental Army. The Depot is located in Fishkill, NY. (The site is 168 miles from Framingham.)

Married Katharine Hall on June 4, 1778. They had 3 children:

  • Abel Hill (1787 - 1874) - Buried in Cavendish Village Cemetery in Cavendish, Vermont
  • Sally Hill (1788 - 1879) - [ Sally Hill Chickering ] Buried in Edwards Church Cemetery in Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Nancy Hall Hill (1806 - 1867) - [ Nancy Hills Irving ] Buried in Walnut Street Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Aaron Hill died by a "Disease if the heart" at 66 on May 4, 1818 in Brookline.

October 14, 2021

Corporal. John Ryan

Walking around the Saint Georges Cemetary in Framingham, you may encounter the gravestone of Corporal John Ryan. His gravestone is located in the middle of the graveyard.

Corprl John Brown Grave

GraveStone Text

This is the text on the gravestone:

Erected
By Edward Hannall Ryan.
In memory of dear beloved Son
Corprl. John Ryan
Of Com. C. 33 Regt. Mass. Cols.
Who was killed
In Battle on Lookout Mountain Tenn.
Oct. 29, 1863
AEt. 22

Far off, away from home, and on the field of battle/br> A youthful daring an unflinching soldier fell/br> No more to hear their clash of Arms or Cannon rattle/br> Soldiers we hope thou art in peace farewell, farewell

Interesting Facts about John Ryan

In August 1962, John Ryan joined the 33rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry to support the Union Army in the American Civil War.

John Ryan was promoted to Full Corporal on September 11, 1863.

He was killed on October 29, 1863, at Raccoon Ridge, Tenn. during the battle of Wauhatchie. Eleven other soldiers died on that day from the 33rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

The Battle of Wauhatchie was fought October 28-29, 1863, in Hamilton and Marion counties, Tennessee, and Dade County, Georgia, in the American Civil War.

The 33rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry lost a total of 188 men during the 3-year service; 7 officers and 104 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, 77 enlisted men died of disease.

During the United States Civil War only Generals, that died in battle, were returned home. Corporal. John Ryan isn't buried here. He is likely buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. This is marker is known as a Cenotaph (a monument to someone buried elsewhere)

There was another John Ryans that served in the 33rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Company C. The other John was from Grafton and was recorded as leaving service due to disability.

The Story of Wauhatchie

Andrew J. Boies kept a journal of the 33rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. This a part of his description of the events around the Battle of Wauhatchie.

[October 29, 1863 ] -

About midnight we were awakened by the beating of the "long roll" and a cry made, "To arms." The enemy had attacked our pickets, and it was true a battle had commenced. It fell to the lot of the "Iron Brigade," as Hooker calls it, which was immediately ordered out, and before 1 o'clock was marching back with orders to carry and hold the ridge at all hazards. Upon their arrival it was found to be a steep declivity of nearly 200 feet, so thickly wooded and covered with underbrush as to almost render it impassable ; but it must be done before daylight, or the consequences would prove serious. To the 33d Massachusetts and 73d Ohio was assigned this perilous duty of charging up that steep mountain side and driving the enemy from the top, and how well it was done, the result will prove.

The 33d regiment had only seven companies present, the other three having gone on a secret expedition. At the word "Forward," the boys took as quick a step as the nature of the ground would permit, and slowly worked their way up the steep side of the ridge, not knowing what might be in store for them upon their arrival at the top, determined to do or die. The 33d was on the right, the 73d Ohio on the left. Arriving near the top and but a short distance from the pits, a few shots were fired by our men, when the "Rebs" commenced their old game, crying out, "Don't fire on your own men."

It being so very dark, our boys did not know but such might be the case, and the firing ceased. One of our officers inquired, "Is that the 73d?' "Yes," was the reply, "what regiment is that?" Upon being answered, "33d Massachusetts," they poured into us a terrible volley from right to left. Our men gave them shot for shot, but the loss in our regiment was fearful. Adjutant Mudge fell dead at the first fire, Col. Underwood fell, dangerously, and as we supposed, mortally, wounded.

It being impossible to advance the regiment further, in its disordered state, it fell back to the foot of the hill and quickly formed for the charge, and as they now knew what they had got to contend with on their way up, and the disposition of the occupants at the top, they started slowly and cautiously, with orders not to fire, but drive the enemy out entirely with the point of the bayonet.

Once more gaining their forfner position, they were received with a murderous fire. The men, with knapsacks on, kept pushing and climbing for the top, which was finally reached, and then commenced a scene of heroism and bravery seldom equalled in this war. Over the bank and into the pits, with the enemy, was but the work of an instant, and at it they went, charging with the bayonet, dealing each other blows over the head with the musket, slashing and cutting with swords, until the whole scene resembled a grand knock-down, our boys reaching over the pits and dragging out the "Rebs" by the collar.

This was too much for them, and they seemed amazed and confused, and finally gave way and started over the opposite side of the hill at a fast pace, our boys giving them the contents of their muskets as fast as possible, leaving the 33d in possession of the hill, about 100 prisoners, a large number of guns and all of their intrenching tools, which were speedily given into the hands of the pioneers, and in a short time we had a formidable line of pits thrown up on the other side of the ridge.

Then we had a little time to look over and see how much this gallant act had cost us in the loss of officers and men.

Out of 238 men and officers who went into action, the 33d regiment lost 87 killed, including eight commissioned officers, colonel, adjutant, two captains and four lieutenants.

The 73d Ohio did bravely and fought nobly, losing a number of good boys.

October 7, 2021

Lorenzo Gibbs

There a lot of notable people buried at the Old Burying Ground Cemetery and the St.George Catholic Church Cemetery in Framingham. Some are well known more than others.

Over the next few weeks, I'll highlight some headstones of people that have stories that would otherwise go unnoticed.

This week, its all about the Lorenzo Gibbs gravestone in the Old Burying Grounds. It's located near the back left of the cemetery. The writing on the gravestone is slowly disappearing.

Lorenzo Gibbs Grave

Interesting Things I Learned

Lorenzo Gibbs was born on November 10, 1828, in Framingham Massachusetts.

On September 17, 1862, he enlisted in the Forty-fifth Regiment, Massachusetts volunteer militia to help defend the Union in the Civil War. He was 38 when he enlisted. According to military records he was a married farmer when he joined the militia. He was with Company F in the Forty-fifth Regiment.

Military Listing:

Company F

GIBBS, LORENZO, Private. Farmer, age 33, married, Framingham; en. Sept. 17, 1862; m. i. Sept. 26, 1862; m. o. July 7, 1863. Died Feb. 19. 1892.

According to Massachusetts documents he married twice:

In 1857, he married Sarah Elizabeth Sutphen. (1838 - 1880) and they had 4 children.

On November 24, 1875, he married Catherine Elizabeth Bullard of Newton. (November 9, 1829 - February 13, 1900)

Lorenzo Gibbs died on February 19, 1892

Children

George Washington Gibbs - 1857 - 1929

Charles Henry Gibbs - 1860 - 1860

Alzena Frances Gibbs - 1861 - 1871

Hattie Isabell Gibbs - 1868 - 1881

George W. Gibbs is the only family member not buried in Framingham's Old Burying Ground Cemetery. He fought in the Spanish American War. He is buried in Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois,

Some Mystery Around Lorenzo Gibbs

There are some reports that he died on February 18 and other reports that he died on February 19, 1892. The discrepancy can be because of when the death reports arrived in different locations.

Military records show that he died on February 19th, and other records - including his gravestone shows it was February 18th.

Information from this research came from various online family tree websites.

September 30, 2021

Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance

In Massachusetts, 62 cities and towns have some type of restrictions on the availability of single-use plastic bags. This covers about 80% of the Massachusetts population.

Framingham is one of the cities with plastic bag restrictions. In 2021, they have gone a bit stricter and make consumers pay for bags. This is to encourage consumers to bring their own bags when shopping.

Framingham Bag Desktop
Framingham Bag Mobile

History of the Plastic Bag Ban

July 5, 2021 - Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance was updated - consumers now have to pay for bags on checkout.

January 1, 2018 - No plastic bags allowed at checkout in supermarkets and retail stores

May 12, 2016 - Framingham Town Meeting votes to ban plastic bags 78 to 34

Current Rules on Bags in Retail Stores

Here are the general rules for the bags in retail stores. The City of Framingham put out a PDF for retail establishments to display at the register for consumers. So far, only HobbyLobby printed out the flyer and posted them near the registers.

Stores are no longer allowed to offer any single-use plastic bags in retail or grocery stores.

You can purchase reusable checkout bags or 100% recycled paper checkout bags for at least $.10.

All fees collected for the bags will be retained by the store.

The $.10 fee is taxable and subject to the Massachusetts sales tax.

If a store offers reusable bags, they must have handles, be able to carry at least 25-pounds, and be able to be washed.

The Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance applies to all retail stores. They apply to pharmacies, convenience, and grocery stores, liquor stores, seasonal and temporary businesses, farmers markets, public markets, jewelry stores, and household goods stores. Oddly enough they do not apply to bazaars, fairs, and festivals. So the weekly farmer's market will charge a fee but the local church fair doesn't.

September 23, 2021

Street Signs of Framingham

Welcome to the Fall Season! Did you know that the city of Framingham has streets named after the four seasons?

There are xx streets in Framingham. Did you know that there is a street name after each of the four seasons?

Framingham Street Season

Finding The Streets

Winter Street - This street goes from Route 9 to Waverly Street near Framingham State. This is located between the villages of Salem End Road and the South Framingham area.

Spring Street - This short street is located off of Franklin Street near Mason Park in the South Framingham village area.

Summer Street - This street is located between Central Street and Concord Street near the Golden Triangle village area.

Autumn Lane - This is the shortest street of the four. This street is located off of Haleah Lane in the Saxonville village area.

Finding Steet Signs

In Framingham, the street signs are located at the start and the end of a street.