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Hopkinton Town Common: Starting Point of the Boston Marathon

Hopkinton Town Common, Massachusetts
Boston Marathon "Starter" statue on the town green.

by 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 running race.

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 Bandstand
Hopkinton town common gazebo.

Editor's note: Eric Hurwitz, publisher of, 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
Hopkinton town common walkway.

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