In 1651, English colonists settled the area that would become the town of Carlisle—previously part of the surrounding towns of Acton, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Concord. On the morning of April 19, 1775, a number of Carlisle men responded to the call to arms. The Carlisle Minutemen were distinguished by the sprig of pine they wore in their hats serving today as an emblem of the town’s rural character.
American Author Henry David Thoreau described Carlisle as “the city of the woods.” With its rural character, Carlisle retains the charm of a New England farming community. The landscape includes winding roads that weave past historic stone walls, fields farmed for many generations, unspoiled woods, and a working cranberry bog. More than 30 percent of its land is under some form of conservation restriction.