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Ashby, Massachusetts
Aerial photo of Ashby, looking toward the center of town (this was taken prior to the construction of the public safety building).
Aerial photo of Ashby, looking toward the center of town (this was taken prior to the construction of the public safety building).
Official seal of Ashby, Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1676
Incorporated 1767
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 24.2 sq mi (62.6 km2)
 • Land 23.8 sq mi (61.6 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
904 ft (276 m)
 • Total 3,193
 • Density 131.94/sq mi (51.01/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 351/978
FIPS code 25-01955
GNIS feature ID 0618214

Ashby is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,193 at the 2020 census, which makes it the least populous municipality in Middlesex County. The Town of Ashby is primarily a bedroom community consisting almost entirely of single family homes and a limited number of businesses.

Ashby is also host to a large portion of the Willard Brook State Forest. Including Damon Pond, Trap Falls, and numerous miles of hiking trails.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.2 square miles (63 km2), of which 23.8 square miles (62 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (1.53%) is water.

Ashby is bordered by New Ipswich, New Hampshire and Mason, New Hampshire to the north, Townsend to the east, Lunenburg to the southeast, Fitchburg to the south, and Ashburnham to the west.


Route 31 runs north–south through Ashby, and Route 119 runs east–west. The two routes have a short overlap to the east of the town center.

Ashby is a member of the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART), but there is no direct public transportation to the town beyond paratransit services; the nearest service is in the city of Fitchburg, to the south.


At the 2010 census, there were 3,074 people, 1,105 households and 862 families residing in the town. The population density was 129.2 per square mile (49.9/km2). There were 1,191 housing units at an average density of 50.0 per square mile (19.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.1% White, 0.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 1,060 households, of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.5% were married couples living together, 0.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.20.

Of the 3,074 people in the population, 24.5% were under the age of 18, 8.0% were 15 to 19 years of age, 4.6% were 20 to 24 years of age, 22.7% were 25 to 44 years of age, 35.6% were 45 to 64 years of age, and 10.5% were 65 years and over. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females, there was 101.0 males. For every 100 females 18 years and over there were 102.0 males.

First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist) - Ashby, Massachusetts
First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist), built 1809 as the town's meetinghouse to a pattern by architect Asher Benjamin

The median household income was $82,614, and the median family income was $84,655. The median income of individuals working full-time was $62,355 for males versus $44,511 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,434. About 0.9% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Ashby was first settled in 1676 and was officially incorporated in 1767. The town was formed from portions of Townsend,Ma., Lunenburg,Ma.,Fitchburg,Ma., and Dorchester, Canada(portion of Ashburnham,Ma.)

Ashby Free Public Library, Ashby MA
Ashby Free Public Library

Ashby Free Public Library

The library is a public library, founded in 1874 "largely through the efforts of Rev. George S. Shaw." In the 1890s it was "kept in a private house" open to the public Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Around 1890 the Ashby library had "1,584 volumes, with which its inhabitants have a pleasant and profitable acquaintance."

In 1901 businessman and Civil War veteran Edwin Chapman donated a new building, which opened in 1902.


Ashby is a member town of North Middlesex Regional School District, along with Pepperell, and Townsend. It has its own elementary school, Ashby Elementary School. Middle School students attend Hawthrone Brook Middle School, and high school students attend North Middlesex Regional High School.

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