About Bedford

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Location

Bedford is located on the map of Massachusetts in Middlesex County-about fifteen miles northwest of Boston near the junction of routes 3 and 95 [128]. The Town may be accessed by car, and public transportation on the M.B.T.A. Taxi, shuttle and Logan Express connect to Boston’s Logan Airport. Surrounding towns are Lexington, Concord, Carlisle, Burlington, Billerica, and Lincoln.

The Town map shows a land area of almost fourteen square miles, with 65.54 miles of public roads. There are rivers, ponds, fields and forests saved as conservation lands.  The Town maintains open spaces with walking trails and bikeways as well as athletic fields and parks for recreation.

History

Incorporated in 1729, the initial community of fifty households survived on farming and requisite industries. The Town’s history is documented in the Bedford collection at the Bedford Public Library. Visitors are drawn to view historic sites including homes, the Old Burying Ground, The Wilson Mill, the Job Lane House and the original Bedford Flag that was taken to the battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775. An historic park commemorating railroad activity in Bedford is planned by the town with support from Friends of Depot ParkExploring Bedford, a walking/biking tour guide describing these sites, is available at the Library and the Bedford Chamber.

http://www.freedomsway.org/towns/bedford/bedford.html will give you the history of what happened in Bedford the morning of April 19, 1775 and the addresses of the houses and other revolutionary sites that have been preserved in Bedford.

The circa 1713 Job Lane House (www.bedfordmahistory.org/job_lane_house.htm), a beautifully preserved example of the New England saltbox-style house, was home to one of Bedford's founding families and is open for tours twice a month, May to December.

The Bedford Historical Society (www.bedfordmahistory.org) offers an annual lecture series on local history, presents historical displays in various town buildings, answers research requests from the public, and maintains in its Archives an extensive collection of Bedford artifacts, documents, photographs, and reference materials.

Population and Housing

Bedford’s 2012 population of 14,501 represents 5,400 households 9,823 voters. In 2011 per capita income was $48,879. In FY2013the median value of owner occupied housing was $518,100. Detailed demographic information is documented by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

General Town Services, Public Education and Library

Town services for education, library, planning, code enforcement, public safety, voters, health, seniors, families, youths, streets, water, sewer, refuse, recycling, local transit, assessment and collections are carried out by departments responsible to elected Boards. The Bedford Town Services Telephone Directory is a guide to accessing the specific services. The activities, budgets and plans of all departments are found in the Bedford Annual Reports.

With a school enrollment of 2,487 the Bedford Public Schools are known throughout the Commonwealth for their excellent standards of teaching and wide offerings in extra-curricular activities and athletic organizations. There are a lower and an upper elementary school, a middle school and a high school.  For vocational education, Bedford students may choose the Shawsheen Regional Vocational Technical High School.  Adult continuing education is available at the high school and at the Middlesex Community College in Bedford.

The Bedford Public Library accommodates collections for Bedford patrons of all ages. As part of the Minuteman Library Network, it offers internet access and other on-line services.

Local Town government

Bedford’s Selectmen-Open Town Meeting form of government has been operative since 1729. Descriptions of elected and appointed offices, processes, regulations and codes are contained in detail in the Charter and General Bylaws. Elected officials, staff and many appointed citizen committees are vital in preparation, planning and delivery of town government services. The Volunteer Coordinating Committee  recruits volunteers for the appointed citizen participation committees. The annual Town election is on the second Saturday of March, with Annual Town Meeting beginning on the fourth Monday of March.

Business and Community Organizations, News media

Some forty community groups with interests around arts, schools, social service, scouting, gardening, veterans and sports are active, with representation at a town wide parade and fair on Bedford Day, celebrated the third Saturday in September. The Town’s strong business community has a Chamber of Commerce with 150 members ranging from local professional firms to large corporations with global headquarters in Bedford. Hanscom Air Force Base has been an important part in the strength of the Bedford economy.

Local news is covered in the weekly Bedford Minuteman and on local cable television.

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