Mason, originally known as “Number One,” was the first in a line of border towns after New Hampshire’s border was fixed with Massachusetts in 1739. Chartered in 1749, it is named after Captain John Mason, who held the title patent to the land that became New Hampshire.

Mason’s original proprietors chose a location at its geographical center for the five-mile-square township inside a symmetrical parcel of hills, valleys, and virgin forests with one large pond. Here, they erected the First and Second Meeting Houses, the Pound, a Parade Ground, two Noon Houses, Number One School House and later, the Hearse House. In 1768 Mason was incorporated as a town.

Near Mason’s town center stands the boyhood home of Samuel Wilson, also known as Uncle Sam. Elizabeth Orton Jones, a local author, teacher and illustrator modeled Grandmother’s Cottage in her illustrated version of Little Red Riding Hood on Pickity Place, a popular attraction featuring daily luncheons and its own herb gardens.


County: Hillsborough
Incorporated: 1768
Population: 1,382
Area: 24 square miles


Freedom's Way National Heritage Area
94 Jackson Road, Suite 311
Devens, MA 01434
(978) 772-3654