Acton’s network of rivers has supported habitation for more than 7,000 years serving as a location for Native American migration. Once part of Concord and used as grazing fields for its residents, it was first settled in 1639 and incorporated as an independent town in 1735.
During the Revolutionary War residents from Acton responded to the call to arms. Their 6-mile route to the Old North Bridge, known as the “Isaac Davis Trail” in honor of the first officer to be killed in the Revolutionary War, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Primarily an agricultural community, Acton’s sawmills and gristmills manufactured barrels while its woolen industry, built around Faulkner Mills, was one of the first large-scale manufacturers of woolen cloth in the United States. At the turn of the century Acton remained an agricultural community containing five villages. Apples were its main agricultural export.
In 2009 and 2011 Acton was named the 16th Best Place to live among small towns in the country by Money Magazine.