Incorporated in 1759, Princeton was named after the Reverend Thomas Prince, Pastor of the Old South Church in Boston, one of the first proprietors of the town. Active in the Revolution, Princeton supported a company of Minutemen and following the war it remained a hotbed for the political dissent that fostered Shays Rebellion in 1786.
A popular resort destination in the late 1800s and early 1900s, eight trains arrived in Princeton daily, bringing hundreds of summer visitors, including Louisa May Alcott, Sarah Bernhardt, Lydia Pinkham, the Harpers of Harper's Magazine, and Thomas Edison. With the advent of the automobile and changing tastes in leisure, Princeton’s tourist industry declined as did small industries and agricultural production.
Princeton is home to Mount Wachusett, owned and operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It is the site of “Redemption Rock” where Mary Rowlandson of Lancaster was ransomed from the native chief King Philip after eleven harrowing weeks in captivity.