Heather Keppeler, Realtor for Metrowest Boston

Your relocation agent! Helping you find your new home throughout Middlesex County, Mass.

Holliston Real Estate

Houses for Sale in Holliston, Mass.

Holliston: what a beautiful town. If you’d like to learn more about the Town of Holliston, I have included some information below from Wikipedia.org. To search for homes for sale in Holliston, please visit my easy search tool, or sign up for daily email listings.

Holliston is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States in the Greater Boston area. The population was 13,547 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Massachusetts region, located due west of Boston, that is known as the MetroWest. Holliston is the only town in Middlesex County that borders both Norfolk and Worcester counties.


First Congregational Church of Holliston on the Town Green. This is the site of Holliston’s original meeting house.

A 19th century depiction of Holliston’s original meeting house. Built in 1725, it served as the center of all town affairs until being razed 1822 for the present-day First Congregational Church and the town hall.

Holliston, then part of Sherborn, was first settled in 1659 by Massachusetts Bay Puritans. The town of Holliston was incorporated on December 3, 1724 by virtue of approval by the General Court petition requesting that “the western part of Sherborn be a Town.” The name was taken in honor of Thomas Hollis, Esq. of London, England, a benefactor of Harvard College. The first town meeting was held at the house of Timothy Leland on December 23, 1724, “at which five selectmen and all other required officers were chosen.” The town has grown from a community of a few hundred residents setting aside ten pounds per year for public education to a community of 13,801 with an annual budget of over $40 million including more than $23 million for a nationally recognized school system.[1]

In “Holliston” by Images of America and the Holliston Historical Society, it is written: An article in a local newspaper[2] in 1894 heralded the charms of Holliston as the quintessential New England village, which, the story said, sprang into existence solely due to the talent of its people. Perhaps this is so, for there was no great moment in history to mark the founding of this town. Holliston has become a reflection of the accomplishments of the inhabitants of this place for more than three hundred years, and although the town had to admit to no magnitude of greatness to rival Boston, Lexington, or Concord, Holliston did define itself as a home to heroes of the commonplace. The feature story of 1894 said:

“Many cities have sprung into existence because of their advantageous situations. The prosperity of Holliston is solely due to the genius of its people. A visit to such places stirs the blood, quickens the pulse and produces an enthusiastic desire to have a share in the developing good times. Massachusetts may be Whittier’s land, and the region from Marblehead to Amesbury may be full of legendary and spectral armies, and witchdom, and Buddha knows what, but the imaginative and the poetical must submit to the rights of the commonplace. The commonplace is honeycombed with the uncommon heroisms of the patient, everyday existence that make up the life of such plucky towns as Holliston. These are the things the average man is most interested in. Average life is but a portfolio of views of struggles with the commonplaces of everyday existence” (Holliston 1997).

The town was once the largest producer of shoes in the United States.[3] Although many of the shoe factories have been lost by fires and other problems, the largest company, the Goodwill Shoe Company, still has remaining empty factories on Water Street, many of which are now used as artists’ studios. Competition from overseas factories is largely to blame for the loss of the industry.[citation needed]

Holliston’s Mudville neighborhood claims to be the location of the 1888 Ernest Lawrence Thayer poem, “Casey at the Bat“, and maintains an ongoing rivalry with Stockton, California, which makes the same claim regarding the poem’s setting.

The Legend of Balancing Rock

Holliston Balancing Rock

On the north side of Route 16 heading into Milford sits a large rock, some 20 ft (6.1 m) in length, 10 ft (3.0 m) in width, 6 ft (1.8 m) thick, and weighing easily over 5 tons (4.5 metric tons). The rock appears to be balanced precariously on an outcrop of granite ledge. On November 6, 1789 General George Washington led his entourage from Boston to New York via this route. He recalled in his diary the road in Holliston that would eventually be honored with his name, “”an indifferent road, diversified by good and bad land, cultivated and in woods, some high barren, others low, wet and piney.” Legend has it that, as they came across this “Balancing Rock,” they took the opportunity to have some fun and tried their best to tip over the rock. It is said that the General himself, quite amused at the spectacle, added his muscle in an attempt to push the rock off its natural pedestal. Their efforts — and those of many others over the years — were to no avail as Balancing Rock still stands today. Until recently, the rock sat at the edge of a private residence. However, in 2006, construction finished on the Balancing Rock development, a community for “active” adults over the age of 55.[4]

Holliston today

Once populated by factories and farms up until the latter part of the nineteenth century, Holliston has now transformed itself into a bedroom community for Boston and the Route 128 and Route 495 technology belts. Holliston is known for its quaint Town Center with its Fiske’s General Store, the Superette, numerous antique shops and boutiques, Carnegie public library, town hall, and white-steepled churches. Numerous white antique colonial, Greek revival, and Victorian homes with well-manicured lawns dot the landscape along Washington Street (Massachusetts Route 16), with Holliston Center and the Town Green wedged in between—a scene reminiscent of the distinctive New England character.

The average work commute for Holliston residents, however, is quite long. On average, people spend 32.25 minutes each day getting to work, which is significantly higher than the national average. Being a small town, Holliston does not have a public transit system that can be used by locals to get to and from work. Residents who want to take public transportation into Boston must drive to one of the commuter rail stations in Ashland, Framingham, or Franklin.

The town is the setting for an upcoming FEARnet series “Holliston” [5] scheduled to debut in April 2012.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49 km2), of which, 18.7 square miles (48 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it is water. Water covers 1.73% of the town’s total area. The Charles River passes near the southern region of town.

It is located 24.6 mi (39.6 km) west of Boston and is within short driving distance of Interstate 495 and the Massachusetts Turnpike (part of Interstate 90). Massachusetts Route 16 and Massachusetts Route 126 pass through the town.

Adjacent towns

Holliston is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by:


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1765 705
1776 909 +28.9%
1790 875 −3.7%
1800 783 −10.5%
1810 989 +26.3%
1820 1,024 +3.5%
1830 1,304 +27.3%
1840 1,782 +36.7%
1850 2,428 +36.3%
1860 3,339 +37.5%
1870 3,073 −8.0%
1880 2,098 −31.7%
1890 2,619 +24.8%
1900 2,598 −0.8%
1910 2,711 +4.3%
1920 2,707 −0.1%
1930 2,804 +3.6%
1940 3,000 +7.0%
1950 3,753 +25.1%
1960 6,222 +65.8%
1970 12,069 +94.0%
1980 12,622 +4.6%
1990 12,926 +2.4%
2000 13,801 +6.8%
2001* 13,973 +1.2%
2002* 13,944 −0.2%
2003* 13,938 −0.0%
2004* 13,901 −0.3%
2005* 13,848 −0.4%
2006* 13,859 +0.1%
2007* 13,913 +0.4%
2008* 13,987 +0.5%
2009* 14,191 +1.5%
2010 13,547 −4.5%
* = population estimate. [6] Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 13,801 people, 4,795 households, and 3,842 families residing in the town. The population density was 737.8 people per square mile (284.8/km²). There were 4,868 housing units at an average density of 260.2 per square mile (100.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.7% White, 0.9% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population. Ancestries of Holliston residents are reported to be Irish (29.4%), Italian (18.3%), English (17.8%), German (9.7%), French (5.6%), and Polish (5.6%).

There were 4,795 households out of which 44.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.2% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.9% were non-families. 16.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the town the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the town was $78.092, and the median income for a family was $84,878. Males had a median income of $48,473 versus $36,405 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,116. As of the census of 2000, about 1.5% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.

In 2009, 79% of Holliston residents age 25 and over held bachelor’s degrees or higher and 35.8% held graduate or professional degrees.[18]


Holliston retains its original open town meeting form of government, in which registered voters act as the town’s legislature. The town’s day-to-day affairs are overseen by an elected Board of Selectmen with a Town Administrator.

County government: Middlesex County
Clerk of Courts: Michael A. Sullivan
District Attorney: Gerard T. Leone, Jr.
Register of Deeds: Eugene C. Brune
Register of Probate: Tara E. DeCristofaro
County Sheriff: Peter J. Koutoujian
State government
State Representative(s): Carolyn Dykema (D)
State Senator(s): Karen E. Spilka (D)
Governor’s Councilor(s): Kelly A. Timilty (D)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): James P. McGovern (D-3rd District),
U.S. Senators: John Kerry (D), Scott Brown (R)

[edit] Education

Holliston High School Athletic Field

The Town of Holliston has a public school system which serves students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district include two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Public schools include: Sam Placentino Elementary School, Fred W. Miller Elementary School, Robert H. Adams Middle School, and Holliston High School.

Historical districts

  • Kampersal Field
  • Metcalf
  • East Holliston
  • Thomas Hollis Historical District
  • Holliston Center
  • Phipps Hill
  • Gooch’s Corner
  • “The Queens”
  • Strawberry Hill
  • West End
  • Lakeside

Points of interest

Arch Bridge off Woodland Street

  • Apollo 14 Moon Tree, at the Holliston Police Department.
  • Bogastow Brook Viaduct also known as the Arch Bridge off Woodland Street, named as one of the 1,000 places to visit in Massachusetts[19]
  • Bullard Farm, the preserved homestead of the Bullard family, some of the first settlers of the town. Established in 1652, it served as the family’s farm until 1916.
  • Casey’s Crossing The town’s first train depot, built in the 1840s. Presently a family restaurant and pub.
  • Fatima Shrine, a restful haven in a peaceful rustic setting, Fatima Shrine is an oasis for prayer, reflection, and meditation. The rosary walk at Fatima Shrine is believed to be the world’s largest rosary.
  • Fiske’s General Store, founded in 1863, is a town gem. Popular with residents, it’s known for its catchphrase, “‘most everything”.
  • First Congregational Church of Holliston, built site of Holliston’s original meeting house, this church is the holding institution of the King James Bible donated by Thomas Hollis in 1724
  • Highland Farm, offering apple-picking in a picturesque orchard in the town’s rolling hills.
  • Holliston Grill, offering great breakfast and lunches in beautiful downtown Holliston.
  • Holliston Mill Artist Studios, once the former factory of the Goodwill Shoe Company, the Holliston Mill is open around twice a year for open house expositions of the different artist occupants and their work.
  • Lake Winthrop is nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) in diameter and covers approximately 140 acres (57 ha). It was originally called “Dean Winthrop’s Pond.” and used as a boundary marker for his land. Dean was the son of John Winthrop. The town history states that the Nipmuck tribe, a clan of the Algonquian Indians, lived on the lake’s southwestern shore in the village of Musquit near present-day Lake Grove Cemetery.[citation needed] The lake was then called Wennakeening, meaning “smile of the great spirit” or “pleasant smile”.[20] Today, Lake Winthrop offers fishing, kayaking, and swimming.
  • Outpost Farm
  • Upper Charles River Trail, a scenic, recreational path for bicycling, walking, cross-country skiing, roller-blading, and other non-motorized uses. When completed, the 20-mile (32 km) trail will connect Holliston to Ashland, Hopkinton, Milford, and Sherborn.
  • Winter Street one of the longest and oldest roads in Holliston. The street begins at the height of the Thomas Hollis Historic District and stretches all the way to Ashland Street. Many of the oldest houses in Holliston can be found on Winter Street.

Golf courses


  • Goodwill Park, playgrounds for children, tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields
  • Patoma Park, Stoddard Park’s sister park offers woodland trails for hiking and recreational activities
  • Pleasure Point, located on Lake Winthrop with a beach, picnic area, playground, and boat launch.
  • Stoddard Park, located on Lake Winthrop with a beach, picnic area, and recreational area

Annual events

Annual events include the Memorial Day Parade, Celebrate Holliston, the Holiday Stroll, summer concerts at the Town Hall, and an abundance of craft fairs and autumn festivals.

Local organizations

Notable residents


One comment on “Holliston Real Estate

  1. Pingback: Daily Listings « Heather Keppeler, Re/Max Agent and Realtor Serving Metrowest and Greater Boston

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Contact Heather

Heather Keppeler, REALTOR
buywithheather@gmail.com (508) 474-5374
Facebook logo icon for Heather Keppeler Twitter logo icon for Heather Keppeler Linked In logo icon for Heather Keppeler Email Heather Keppeler

Free Daily Listings

Want daily listings of properties for sale in Massachusetts? Email me for free daily MLS listings for your target towns!

Search Houses for Sale

Ready to start your search for a home in Metro Boston or Central Massachusetts? Head over to my office's site to get started, then call me for a showing!

Heather’s Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

%d bloggers like this: