A Profile of Holliston in 500 Words? Part 1
by Mary Greendale 6/10/12
How do you write a profile of home, the community you love, in 500 words.
Introduction to Holliston Massachusetts
Folks on the “I’m Holliston Happy” Facebook page offered the following:
Linda Ahronian: “We are a Community! We rally for those that need help, we celebrate achievements, we LOVE our kids, our veterans, our senior citizens and we support our local businesses. Holliston is a feeling. It's a beautiful place to call home.”
Peggy Billingham: “Holliston is not just a town, it's an extended family. Familiar faces everywhere, a feeling of belonging to someplace SPECIAL.”
John Paltrineri: “Holliston is like a field of flowers where many individuals come together to create a beautiful community.”
The town is a bedroom community for greater Boston, 26 miles west of the city. Because we do not have sewers or direct access to major highways, our population has not grown as dramatically as have neighboring communities. Holliston was settled in 1659 and established in 1724. We treasure our history and honor it in many ways. Our streets are lined with old homes. Holliston had its first major swing in population in the 1950’s and 60’s when the population went from 3,500, (consistent since the end of the Civil War), to 8,000 in those two decades. In the ensuing four decades, our population has grown more gradually, not even doubling in that time, to 15,065 today.
Our town government is a combination of volunteer committees working with paid, professional staff, some part and some full-time. Holliston’s budget, policy and legislative work is done at open Town Meetings twice a year where every voter has a say and a vote. The committees, boards and staff then implement accordingly throughout the year. We have a Town Administrator on staff to oversee day-to-day operations.
Holliston is serious about our children. We provide the best of schools (and have received many awards). Our children score high on the state and federal tests, our special education is outstanding, and we try our best to offer opportunities for all no matter, what their abilities are.
Holliston is a major sports town, too. Maybe that comes from the spirit of Casey at the Bat, the poem that we have reason to believe was written about our own Mudville neighborhood.
Our businesses are an integral part of the community with trades-people serving on the call Fire Department and retailers and industries providing resources and support for many community efforts including a Community Fund to help residents in need. We have a local food pantry that is funded and run exclusively by local volunteers.
The Downtown Marigold Project is the pet of Bobby Blair, the unofficial Mayor of Mudville. His long term goal is to put Holliston “on the map” with the best floral display between the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne, MA (western part of state) http://bridgeofflowersmass.org/ and the Boston Public Gardens http://www.cityofboston.gov/parks/emerald/Public_Garden.asp .
The community response to America in Bloom has been amazing. It has captured attention faster than anything this writer can recall, and we are reaping unexpected benefits just for participating.