Northbridge is a growing suburban town made up of several villages, including Linwood, Northbridge, Riverdale, Rockdale and Whitinsville. It is located in the Blackstone River Valley of south central Massachusetts. The area played a major role in early American industrial development, due to its natural resources and strategic location to Worcester and Providence. Situated between Interstates 90, 146, 395, and 495, today the Blackstone Valley has good highway and rail access to the ports, airports, and intermodal facilities of Worcester, Providence, and Boston.
Three rivers flow through Northbridge: the Blackstone River, running north to south, and two of its major tributaries – the West River which runs through the southeast corner of town, and the Mumford River, which originates in Sutton and cuts eastward across Northbridge to join the Blackstone in Uxbridge. The Blackstone and Mumford valley are wide, in places as much as a mile and a half across, and lie at about 300' above sea level; the historic Northbridge Center is located on a ridge between these two river valleys. Soils in the valleys are especially good for cultivation, while the stonier hillsides are better suited to pasture, hay and orchards, with occasional granite outcrops that have been quarried in the past. Northbridge is bounded clockwise, beginning in the north, by Upton, Hopedale, Mendon, Uxbridge, Douglas, Sutton and Grafton.
The presence of rich water resources attracted precontact Native American groups to the Northbridge area, especially for seasonal hunting and fishing along the broad Blackstone River valley. Small Late Archaic and Woodland campsites have been located in the eastern part of town, as well as evidence of possible quartz quarrying activity. The Blackstone corridor also provided main routes north/south, with secondary trails along the Mumford River and on the highlands west of the Blackstone, which would later become the center of colonial settlement.
Updated: 19th March, 2019 8:22 AM.