Topsfield is a town in Essex County, with a small population of just over 7,000 people. It is in the North Shore Region of Massachusetts. An ideal area to bring up children. It seems everything you are looking for is close by. Lakes, forests, National Parks, and even the sea is not far. The entire region has a healthy and rural feel, with many people owning their homes. Many of the elderly of Massachusetts come to live in Topsfield. If you ask the people about their town, they will gladly tell you that Essex County and Topsfield are the best places to live.
The public schools have one of the highest ratings in the county. You can choose between two elementary schools, a junior high, a senior high as well as the Essex Technical High.
If you are young, old, living on your own, or want to start a family in Topsfield, you cannot go wrong. With an extremely low crime rate, compared to the rest of the country, Topsfield, well, yes. Topsfield tops many towns in America.
Topsfield is an old town
Like so many other towns in Massachusetts, Topsfield has a rich history. It goes far beyond the Colonial time. Historians estimate that before Topsfield got its name, Native Americans lived in the region as hunters and gatherers. By 1650, through white settlement, Small Box, spread through the native tribe. All but a few were extinct. Among the survivors was the Chief Masconomet, who stroke a deal with the French. While the First Americans helped the settlers to survive in their new homeland, the French, on the other hand, helped to defend Chief Masconomet and his people against unfriendly tribes.
While all settlers virtually were self-supporting farmers, there was also a blacksmith, a saw- and a gristmill. Starting with the Boston Tea Party, in 1773, the people of Topsfield rallied for their independence. In 1775, most of the men in town left for Lexington and Concord to fight the Redcoats back to Boston. Throughout previous wars, some of those men have gathered considerable military experience fighting the French and Native Tribes, which was, in what we know now as the Topsfield Revolution, invaluable. Nonetheless, 22 men did not return from the war.
But it was not until the 1800s that the first factories, stores, and inns started to emerge. Later the Newburyport Turnpike was completed, followed by the railroad in 1884. For the first time in its 200-year history, the residents of Topsfield were able to travel.
Slowly the town started to change. The farming and shoe manufacturing community changed to a town with many large estates. People say that it was this change that helped to preserve many of the open and wide spaces visitors and residents of Topsfield still can enjoy. Over the years, however, Topsfield developed a suburban community, which is preserved to the day! With the construction of Interstate Route 95, Topsfield finally made it on the map as it became more accessible to tourists and travellers.
Sightseeing in Topsfield, Massachusetts
If you are traveling with your pooch, Topsfield has a special place for you and your dog. The Pooch-A-Palooza, a place where dogs and men are equally spoiled!
Topsfield Town Common District
In the Town Common District, you can see the original town hall, which dates to 1650 and was once the religious center of the young town. Houses started to emerge around the townhall from where the community began to grow.
Stanley Lake House
The Stanley Lake House is a historic First Period house. Assumingly this 2-1/2 story wood frame house was built in stages by Matthew Stanley or his heirs in 1675 to 1693. Later it was enlarged by the Lake Family, hence, the name. It still shows the building practices of the 17th and 18th centuries.
- Stephen Foster House
- French–Andrews House
- Willowdale Estate are real gems of recommended places to see
The estates mentioned above have not changed in the last 300 – 400 years. They are a must-see if you are in the area!
Things to do in Topsfield
- Capt. Bill & Sons Whale Watch
- Essex River Cruises & Charters
- Foote Brothers Canoe and Kayak Rentals
After a long day sightseeing, you might just come to the Topsfield Village Shopping Center and check out the many things to find. It is located at 30 Main St.
While some historical houses might not have had windows or mirrors, leave alone a shower with a magical glass door back in the day, the residents have come a long way since. You may want to stop by at Image Glassworks. Get a feel what your next bathroom could look like.