Living in Milton
Milton is a contemporary suburban community in eastern Massachusetts that prides itself on a rich historical heritage, tree-lined streets, and acres of protected open space. Milton is unique in that it has the most privately and publicly conserved land within 20 miles of Boston, giving the town a bucolic atmosphere in close proximity to the cultural and business opportunities in the Greater Boston area.
Residents have quick access to major highways such as Routes 128, Interstate 93 and Interstate 95. The Red Line into Boston via the Mattapan Trolley is also available.
There are several small commercial areas including Milton Village and East Milton Square. Current Town plans include making improvements to the Milton Village area. This includes streetscape improvements to Adams Street and Central Avenue, four station rehabilitation projects along the Red Line’s Trolley Service and a new zoning overlay district to encourage revitalization.
The Milton Public School system consists of 6 schools: 4 elementary (Collicott, Cunningham, Tucker and Glover), the Pierce Middle School, and Milton High School. During the last five years, Milton has made rebuilding aging school structures a priority. All of the schools have undergone or are currently undergoing renovation or construction.
Milton was settled in 1640 by Puritans who began the settlement of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Originally a part of the town of Dorchester, Milton was incorporated as an independent town in 1662 and remains as such today, although it borders in the burgeoning city of Boston on the north along the Neponset River. For well over two centuries after its founding, Milton remained a primarily agrarian community with farms and open lands, as well as industrial activity along the Neponset River at Milton Village; it included a gristmill, a gunpowder mill, a paper mill, and a chocolate mill – all thought to be among the first of their kind in New England. After the Civil War, however, Milton’s population began to rapidly increase due to the convenience of the Milton and Dorchester branch of the Old Colony Railroad, which provided railway access to Boston with a depot at Mattapan Square and passanger stations at Central Avenue and Milton Village. Today, the former railroad line is perpetuated by the surface trolley connecting Ashmont Station and Mattapan Square and has stations on both the Dorchester and Milton sides of the river. A horse-drawn streetcar began running in 1856 from the Lower Mills to downtown Boston via Dorchester Avenue, so the ease of transportation allowed people of all walks of life to live in Milton but to commute to the city for employment. (Paragraph from Anthony Mitchell Sammarco’s book Then & Now Milton)
Milton still retains a good many 19th century country houses and estates and early 19th century workers’ housing, including the Forbes House and the Suffolk Resolves House, and field stone walls forming property boundaries are not uncommon.