Charlton Community Information

Charlton, Massachusetts: European settlers first arrived in Charlton in 1735. The community was originally part of Oxford, breaking away to independence in 1755. This move is considered to be the beginning of Charlton’s identity. The town officially incorporated 20 years later, in 1775.

Notable historic personalities associated with Charlton include Grizzly Adams and Dr. William Thomas Green Morton. Grizzly Adams, also known as James Capen Adams, is famous for the years he spent living in the Rocky Mountains interacting with vicious grizzly bears and other wild animals. Adams is buried in Charlton’s Bay Path Cemetery. Dr. Morton, who was born in Charlton, pioneered the use of ether as an anesthetic in 1846. He is considered by many to be the father of anesthesiology.

Detailed information about Charlton’s history is maintained by the Charlton Historical Society (CHS), housed in the Rider Tavern – a notable landmark in its own right. The Tavern is an exceptional marker of history because many of its interior architectural features have been relatively unchanged over time. Built in the late 1700s, Rider Tavern was designed to be the finest inn around, with woodworking and stenciling work consistent with the tastes of that era. Rider Tavern is periodically open for public tours.

Nature enthusiasts and families will be sure to explore Charlton’s Buffumville Lake. The lake itself is comprised of 200 acres of water. Surrounding this is another 500 acres of protected land, featuring many species of trees, wetland plants and wildlife. Buffumville Lake is commonly used for boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, hunting and picnicking.

Charlton, situated in the northeastern corner of the U.S., has a climate marked by four distinct seasons: white winters, colorful springs, cool summers and earthy autumns. Year-round temperatures vary from January lows in the teens to July highs in the low-80s. Precipitation is pretty even throughout the 12 months of the year, adding up to just fewer than 50 inches annually.

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