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Princeton, Massachusetts
Town Common in Princeton, MA
Town Common in Princeton, MA
Flag of Princeton, Massachusetts
Official seal of Princeton, Massachusetts
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1743
Incorporated 1771
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 35.8 sq mi (92.8 km2)
 • Land 35.4 sq mi (91.8 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
1,175 ft (358 m)
 • Total 3,495
 • Density 97.63/sq mi (37.662/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 351/978
FIPS code 25-55395
GNIS feature ID 0618380

Princeton is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. It is bordered on the east by Sterling and Leominster, on the north by Westminster, on the northwest by Hubbardston, on the southwest by Rutland, and on the southeast by Holden. The preeminent landmark within Princeton is Mount Wachusett, which straddles the line between Princeton and Westminster but the entrance to which is within Princeton. According to tradition, in 1675, Mary Rowlandson was ransomed upon Redemption Rock, now within the town of Princeton, by King Philip. The population was 3,495 at the 2020 census. Princeton is a rural exurb, serving as a bedroom commuter town for nearby cities such as Worcester, Gardner, and Boston.


Princeton was created in 1759, out of land that was once part of Rutland. It was named after the Rev. Thomas Prince. In 1810, it annexed a piece of Hubbardston, and in 1870, it annexed a piece of Westminster.

Register of Historic Places

Princeton has five entries on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • East Princeton Village Historic District — Roughly Main St., Leominster Rd. (added April 18, 2004)
  • Fernside-Vacation House for Working Girls — 162 Mountain Rd. (added July 27, 2002)
  • Princeton Center Historic District — Jct. of Hubbardston and Mountain Rds. (added March 26, 1999)
  • Russell Corner Historic District - Merriam, Gregory Hill, East Princeton and Sterling Rds, Bullock Lane, (added February 22, 2006)
  • West Village Historic District - Jct. of Allen Hill and Hubbardston Roads
East Princeton, Massachusetts
East Princeton Village Historic District along Route 140
West Village Historic District
West Village Historic District


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.8 square miles (93 km2), of which, 35.4 square miles (92 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (1.12%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,353 people, 1,166 households, and 959 families residing in the town. The population density was 94.6 inhabitants per square mile (36.5/km2). There were 1,196 housing units at an average density of 33.7 per square mile (13.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.75% White, 0.30% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.63% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.46% of the population.

There were 1,166 households, out of which 41.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.7% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.7% were non-families. Of all households, 13.5% were made up of individuals, and 5.0% 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 3.18.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.9% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 29.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $120,559, and the median income for a family was $152,884. The per capita income for the town was $54,940. About 2.7% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


Princeton has organizations that has been created by its residents to help in many different ways.

Hearts for Heat

Hearts for Heat has recently become a notable aspect of Princeton life. Founded in 2006 by Princeton resident Cindy Shea, this non-governmental organization provides heat (oil, coal, wood, electric) to residents of Princeton. After meeting 100% of fuel assistance need in Princeton, the NGO expanded to include sections in surrounding towns Spencer, Massachusetts, North Brookfield, Massachusetts, and Leicester, Massachusetts. The up-and-coming NGO's unique attributes are its community-binding nature, as well as its promise to use every dollar donated for actual fuel distributions. Recently featured on the front page of the Worcester County newspaper, the Telegram and Gazette, Shea has also found herself the focus of articles in Worcester Living Magazine, and the Landmark, Wachusett Region's newspaper.

Points of interest

Princeton Public Library, MA
Backside of the Princeton Public Library



Princeton is part of the Wachusett Regional School District.

The Thomas Prince School serves as the town's kindergarten, elementary and middle school (K–8).

Wachusett Regional High School (traditional public high school) in Holden, MA and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (vocational/technical high school) in Fitchburg, MA are the two public high schools serving the town of Princeton.

Princeton is served by Mount Wachusett Community College, whose main campus is located in Gardner, Massachusetts.


The Princeton Public Library was established in 1884. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Princeton spent 1.6% ($129,243) of its budget on its public library; approximately $37 per resident, per year ($45.31 adjusted for inflation to 2021).

Notable people

  • Daniel Davis Jr. (1813–1887) - inventor
  • Ward Nicholas Boylston (1747–1828), gentleman, businessman, and philanthropist, lived in Princeton from September, 1804 until his death. He bequeathed $1000 to the town of Princeton for its church and minister and the support of indigent and deserving widows and orphan children
  • Moses Gill (1734–1800), Massachusetts lieutenant governor and acting governor
  • Louise H. Gregory (1880–1954), professor of zoology at Barnard College
  • Ezra Heywood (1829–1893), anarchist, slavery abolitionist, and feminist
  • Edward Savage (1761–1817), portrait artist, engraver, and early museum proprietor

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