With numerous ponds and proximity to the Merrimack and Nashua Rivers, Westford was a propitious location for Native Americans. A trail network from this period connected its first settlers to town centers at Chelmsford, Groton and Dunstable.
Its earliest economy was based on subsistence agriculture and the grazing of cattle; orchards were introduced in the 1700s. Industrial activities followed including the manufacture of naval stores such as pitch, tar and turpentine and the first quarrying of stone at Graniteville by 1826. In 1848 the Stony Brook Railroad opened providing a convenient and economic means to transport stone from Westford to Lowell and the rest of New England and the east coast, supporting the development of Brookside, Graniteville, and Forge Village.
Interstate 495 was constructed through Westford in 1961 and today Westford’s agricultural past has given way to technology industries, suburban retail, and upper middle-class residential development.