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WORCESTER, a city and the county seat of Worcester county, Massachusetts, United States, is situated in a region of Glacial hills, lakes, and ponds, which form varied and pleasing landscapes, 39 miles west of Boston. Besides the closely-built portion, the city includes a large suburban district, which contains fourteen villages of various sizes. The closely-built portion is very irregularly laid out, conforming in some degree to the slope of the ground. There are 197 miles of streets, very little of which is paved. The public parks have an aggregate area of 35 acres. The population in 1885 was 68,389 (20,182, or 29.51 per cent. of foreign birth). The proportion of coloured people was very small. The manufacturing industries are very large and varied; prominent among them are the manufactures of iron and steel, foundry and machine shop products and tools, and second to these the manufacture of boots and shoes.

The settlement of Worcester began in 1713. Earlier attempts had been made, but the incursions of Indians had frustrated them. It was incorporated as a town in 1722, but made very slow progress in growth until the completion of the Boston and Worcester (now Boston and Albany) Railroad in 1835. Since that date, with the extension of its railroad connexions, it has developed rapidly. In 1848 it received a city charter, and at present it is the third city of the State in population and wealth. The population, which in 1765 was 1478 and in 1790 was 2095, rose to 4173 in 1830, 7497 in 1840, 17,049 in 1850, 41,105 in 1870, and 58,291 in 1880.