Hopkinton Town Common: Starting Point of the Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon "Starter" statue on the town green.
Eric Hurwitz. Page created on 3/30/17. All photos by Eric.
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Hopkinton town common looks like a lot of other
small town greens in Massachusetts with its gazebo, paved walkways,
benches, memorial sites and historical statues, large expansive lawn
and church in the background of this classic New England scene.
One day helps differentiate the Hopkinton town common from the rest in
New England -- or any other part of the United States, for that matter
-- and that centers and that is, this village green is the start of the
world famous Boston Marathon. With thousands gathering in and around
the town common on the Monday of Patriots Day Weekend in April to be
part of a race that spans 26.2 miles east to Boston, the Boston
Marathon dates back to 1924 and has transformed from a small to global
event -- the oldest annual running race in the United States. There's
even a Boston Marathon "Starter" statue on the town green, dedicated to
Hopkinton resident George Brown (1180 to 1937) who served as a starter
at the Boston Marathon for 24 years!
While virtually all Massachusetts town commons have a special story to
tell, the Hopkinton Town Common finishes as one of the most
interesting. It's hard to believe, in retrospect, that this
pastoral location in a small town has gained such fame because of a
Whether visiting the Hopkinton town common on Boston Marathon Day or on
a much more quiet day, you will, no doubt, feel like a part of
traditional New England. The village green is a way of life in these
neck of the woods and forever shall be a traditional gathering place.
It's just that our Colonial forefathers probably never could have
imagined a gathering of this magnitude at a Massachusetts town green,
although perhaps the folks living around the mid 1800s had this
visionary thought "run through their minds" as Hopkinton served as a
major shoe manufacturing town!
Hopkinton town common gazebo.
Editor's note: Eric Hurwitz, publisher of VisitingNewEngland.com, was
commissioned by a major publishing company to write a book, Massachusetts Town Greens, that
focuses on the history of town commons in Massachusetts. The book
includes the Hopkinton town
common in much greater detail, and 70 town greens in total. Please
visit the Massachusetts Town Greens page to purchase a copy of the book.
Hopkinton town common walkway.
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