The Town of Hopkinton was incorporated on the 13th of December, 1715. Hopkinton was named for Edward Hopkins, who left a large sum of money to be invested in land in New England, the proceeds of which were to be used for the benefit of Harvard University. The trustees of Harvard purchased land from the Native American residents with money from the fund and incorporated the area, naming it in honor of its benefactor. Grain was the first
production crop grown in the area, while fruit and dairy industries were developed later. Agriculture predominated until 1840 when the boot and shoe industries were introduced into the town. By 1850 eleven boot and shoe factories were established in Hopkinton. Fires in 1882 and the migration of those industries to other parts of the country eliminated these industries from Hopkinton.
At one time, it was believed that the waters flowing from the large swamp south of Pond St., under Pond St. and into Lake Whitehall contained magical healing powers. As a result, the area quickly was built up as a resort area. Visitors came by stagecoach to the Hopkinton Hotel, which was
located between Pond St. and the lake. The mineral baths and their powers lured the visitors to the area. The baths can still be viewed by the edge of the stream that drains from the swamp. Within the ACEC area are also two beehive shaped stone structures, about 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. Their origin and use is unknown.
Once a year Hopkinton gains national attention in April. Since 1924 the Boston Athletic Association’s Marathon has started in Hopkinton. Thousands of runners from all over the world gather on Main Street to begin their 26 mile run to Boston.
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