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Old 10-21-2018, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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Are there any Massachusetts towns that have fallen behind over the years?
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:45 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
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Well, just about any former mill town. I wouldn't even know where to begin, maybe with Ware. Neighboring Palmer is not as bad, but still mostly a ghost town. Palmer will be getting a water park so finally, FINALLY, they have some hope for jobs and some sort of activity besides a few run down bars.

Both of these towns were adversely affected by the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, Ware especially. It was cut off from its own county seat of Northampton by the gigantic reservoir that was previously just a river. At least it still had factories, but then those died off. The location is isolated. Too far west of Worcester, too far from anything. But if Palmer makes a comeback, next door neighbor Ware could ride in on its coat tails.

The running joke, "Where's Ware?" may no longer apply if it gets back on the map. But as it now stands, it's the number one drug hellhole in the state, median house or condo value is $171,766 and median gross rent is only $761.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Ware-Massachusetts.html
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:54 PM
 
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Holyoke, North Adams, Athol also come to mind.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Southern VT
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A TON of them. Fall River, New Bedford, Brockton, Lawrence, athol, winchendon, Gardner, orange, greenfield, Holyoke, Springfield, adams, north Adams, Pittsfield, Ware, Taunton, wareham, southbridge, Webster, Fitchburg. I could go on and on. Generally the old mill towns and mid sized cities.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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How about Worcester?
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:12 PM
 
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Find I-495 on a map. Anything south or west of it, chances are it has economically lagged. There are exceptions, but in a general sense...


There are many forgotten towns like Ware and Winchendon that have far more in common with Anytown Appalachia than the ritzy suburbs near Boston (and many people in the latter have zero care or knowledge of the prior's existence). And they are just maybe 60 miles away!
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
How about Worcester?

It's a mixed bag. Still a shell of what it once was, but these days it's up and coming and looking brighter than most cities in Mass. not named Boston.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:40 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
How about Worcester?
The OP was asking about towns though. I did mention Palmer (along with Ware) in my post but when I checked later, I found that Palmer is actually a city. It has three sections or villages--two of them are on my gag list and I didn't even know they were part of Palmer.

It's odd and sad how so many towns in central, WMass, and the Berkshires resemble Appalachia so much more than they resemble anything around Boston. These were once thriving towns but are now mostly forgotten and, in their hopelessness, the inhabitants have turned to drugs and other crimes.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:39 AM
 
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Generally, if it’s not a tourist area, anywhere not commutable to the Boston job market isn’t doing well. In the region commutable to Boston, the old mill cities with the lousy school systems aren’t doing well and the suburbs are booming. There are some exceptions. The western Mass college towns are doing fine. A few of the Springfield suburbs are doing OK.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
How about Worcester?
Maybe if comparing early 19th century Worcester to now, but the city is leaps and bounds more vibrant than it was in the '90's-00's. Outside of the Boston/Camridge/Someville juggernaut, it seems to be the MA city with the most momentum thanks to it's critical mass of higher ed and healthcare, as well as healthy private and public investment.

I wouldn't be surprised if Worcester supersedes Providence as the second-tier darling in greater Boston over the next decade+. I love Providence, but the city's fiscal/credit standing is dismal and much of it's 'renaissance' came via public investment, where as Worcester has maintained a better mix of public and private investment. Additionally, Worcester is not dogged by an under performing job market.
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