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Before Cambridge Farms could become Lexington, it had to be defined as a distinct part of Cambridge. This was a gradual process, beginning when the town was still named Newe Towne, and going on as its boundaries were pushed out to the northwest in stages, and as more and more of the Farmers were settlers who lived on the land rather than employees of Cambridge investors. This part of the website concentrates on the process of defining the Farms and the town of Lexington geographically, as its boundaries changed over time.

Chapters in this part...

  • The Farms Emerge[+]
    Until 1636, no one was sure where Newe Towne ended on the northwest side. In 1636, the General Court provided an answer.
  • The First Farmers[+]
    The Court’s eight-mile line made it possible for Newe Towne to make its first grants in what’s now Lexington. Though the earliest grantees were more likely to be investors than actual farmers, the hands-on kind soon began to move in.
  • A Bigger Footprint[+]
    Billerica’s separation from Cambridge left Cambridge a big piece of land that could only be attached to the Farms. Except for a good-sized territorial contribution to the town of Lincoln, other boundary changes since that time have mostly been slight.
  • But Why ‘Lexington’?[+]
    Between 1868 and 1890 there was quite a discussion about how Lexington got its name. It's clearly time to take up the argument again. (This chapter, unlike the rest, has five pages.)
  • Map of Cambridge Farms/Lexington[+]
    This isn't a chapter; it’s the map that the first three chapters are about, and it's conveniently accessible from any point in any of those chapters. But if you want to skip all that and just look at the map, here it is.