The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 18, 2005


Happy 200th Birthday, Carlisle! Celebration starts tonight
Two hundred years old? "I thought Carlisle was much older," we can hear some of you saying.

Yes, the town is much older than the Bicentennial suggests. Today Carlisle celebrates the 200th anniversary of its incorporation as a town. We were originally part of four surrounding towns: Acton, Billerica, Chelmsford and Concord, and were heavily taxed (sound familiar?). In order to establish our independence and then be able to send representatives to the General Court of Massachusetts, Carlisle had to become a district. It did so twice — from 1754 to 1756 it was a district of Concord, with 6,600 acres of land and 60 families. In 1780, Carlisle became a district of Acton. After 25 years of sharing representation with Acton, Carlisle petitioned the Commonwealth to become a town, which was granted on February 18, 1805. At the time, the town was reported to have "one physician, one store, two taverns, and a few mechanics shops" for the 634 people living here.

The town's earliest inhabitants were the Musketaquid Indians, followed by European settlers who began arriving in the 1640s and 1650s. James Adams, a farmer originally from Carlisle, England, was allegedly the first settler. Around 1640, he was banished from England by Oliver Cromwell and settled here, running a saw-mill on Concord Street. The families of Blood, Heald, Barrett, Parlin and Robbins date back to the 17th century as well.

So the town of Carlisle is a thriving, vibrant 200 years old. Happy Birthday to us!

Old Carlisle building
The 2005 Bicentennial Year kicks off tonight with the first performance of Under the Chestnut Tree: A Chronicle of Carlisle, Massachusetts. The play will run all weekend with other activities planned throughout the year. Special bicentennial events will be held on the Old Home Day weekend, June 25 and 26, and throughout the year.

If you would like to contact the Carlisle Bicentennial Committee to co-sponsor a special event, please contact Anne Marie Brako at

Below are listed upcoming events for the Bicentennial:

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito