Melrose is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It is within the greater Boston metropolitan area.

The population was 37,234 at the 2010 census. Melrose is home to Foxborough Regional Charter School and ten historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including Wiggin Street District, Washington Park Historic District, Appleton Street Area, Parting Ways Cemetery (aka Proctor’s Ledge), Pine Banks Park Historic District, Melrose Highlands Historic District, Ball Square Neighborhood Historic District, Oakdale-Wakefield Archway Erected by Walter McCarty Spaulding in 1901, New England Transportation Corridor along Rt 1A By Henry G Masterman 1896 and South Border Road Area 1836.

The town was first settled by Europeans in 1628 when James Knapp purchased land on the east side of the Mystic River. The area was initially called “Mistick Side” and would be incorporated as Medford in 1630.

A ferry across the river to Boston became the basis for establishing a trading post at this location.

Melrose is named for Thomas Melrose, who owned a home near the river crossing on Salem Street.

His name was given to his grandson, Charles Brooks when he opened a general store there in 1826.

During that same year, Josiah Flagg constructed the first sawmill in this area just south of Melrose Highlands, beginning its industrial development with lumbering ventures into northern New Hampshire and Maine and boat-building along the Mystic River.

The area, which is now Melrose, was initially known as “Mistick Side.” It had been part of Medford (later incorporated into Everett in 1870), Stoneham, and Winchester. In 1850, Parting Ways Cemetery was established on Highland Avenue with its entrance on Walnut Street. This became the site for a new city when residents from various communities in Middlesex County joined together to break away from surrounding towns.

On August 14, 1857, the City of Melrose was officially incorporated by a vote of 176-126. The first City Council meeting took place on March 13, 1858, where Jonathan L. French was selected to serve as the town’s first Mayor.

Melrose was initially called “Mistick Side” and was a part of Medford shortly after the incorporation of Medford in 1630. The area became known as “Biscoe’s Farm,” although locals referred to it as “Blossom’s Inn.” It was later named “Walnut Hill” before its last name changed to Melrose in 1851. Its earliest recorded property owner came from across the Atlantic; Dr. Synoch Norfolk purchased land on High Street in 1647 and built a home there, naming the building Norfolk House after himself, which stood until 1743 when it burned down.

Caleb Brooks moved to Walnut Hill in 1826 and opened a general store at an old stage road near the crossing of the Shawsheen River. Brooks’ son, Charles Brooks, decided to change the family’s last name to “Brooks” to avoid confusion when his father’s business was passed on to him.

The younger Mr. Brooks also built a new store called “The Brooks Store,” which later would be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Melrose is connected by several active rail lines running through its borders: CSX Transportation (former Boston & Maine Railroad) and Pan Am Railways (formerly known as Guilford, or Grand Junction Railway).

For 200 years, Melrose was home to the industry, including manufacturing bricks, pottery products, paint, rubber goods, textiles, and confections. The industry’s decline began in the early 1900s and was replaced by small businesses that served local needs and residents traveling to Boston and surrounding communities.

Melrose Today

Today, Melrose is known for its high-quality housing, attractive physical setting (including wildlife areas, wetlands, and forests), excellent public schools, library, police, and fire departments, as well as active community life. In addition, Melrose boasts many parks, including South Border Park Historic District (a large garden with two historic homes), which features walking trails along the Mystic River; Appleton Street Area (which includes a state-of-the-art playground); Oakdale-Wakefield Archway Erected by Walter McCarty Spaulding in 1901; New England Transportation Corridor along Rt. 1; and the Heron Rookery Natural Area (a large park located near Walnut Street). Melrose is also home to Peaceful Valley, one of North America’s oldest conservation organizations dedicated to protecting wildflowers since its founding in 1927.

Melrose is also home to National Historic Sites such as The Moby Dick House of Art, the site where Herman Melville once lived, and The Walter E. Fernald State School initially established in 1848 as the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth.

It later became known as the Walter E. Fernald Developmental Center, named after Dr. Walter E. Fernald. He led expansion programs at the school during his time there (including adding additional buildings). The facility housed over 1,500 disabled individuals between its opening date until its closed in 2014 due to allegations of abuse against residents during their stay there.

Melrose is now home to several businesses ranging from large-scale retail stores including:

  • Marshalls/HomeGoods
  • Whole Foods Market
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC store chain (includes store brands such as Star Market)
  • Petco Animal Supplies Inc
  • and the United States Postal Service (located at Brooks Square)

The town also holds popular restaurants such as:

  • Boston Pizza
  • Tin Drum Asia Cafe
  • The Blue Ox Restaurant & Bar
  • Coffee Milano Espresso Bar
  • Domino’s Pizza Inc.
  • El Poblano Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar
  • Gourmet Kingdom Chinese Cuisine
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
  • St. Alphonzo’s Kitchen-American Eatery/Lounge/Catering Co.
  • 57 North Tapas & Wine Lounge

Things to Do in Melrose, MA

There are tons to do when you visit the city of Melrose. So whether you are looking to relax in nature or experience something new – Melrose has it all.

– Enjoy the Peaceful Valley, which is home to several wildflowers, including orchid, lily, violet, and many more.

– Relax in Brooks Park, where you can sunbathe on the extensive lawns or have a picnic with friends and family – Come early for a great seat!

– Watch out for local wildlife while cruising down Rt. 1 between Melrose Highlands and Wakefield during your drive towards Beverly Farms along the coast of Massachusetts.

Melrose is also home to several historical places such as The Moby Dick House of Art, Walter E. Fernald State School, Melrose Veterans Memorial Cemetery & Soldiers Monument, Brooks Square Historical Marker. In addition, there are several Family Fun Centers located throughout Melrose, such as Melrose Action Park, Fun Junction USA.

Melrose is a beautiful city with a deep history, and the people there are always looking to help others, from locals to visitors.

– When in doubt, ask someone! A local will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can.

– Take advantage of all that this city has to offer – You won’t regret it once you experience all that Melrose has in store

Tourism in Melrose, MA

Tourism plays an essential part in the Melrose economy. Many residents from surrounding towns travel to Melrose for its restaurants and shopping opportunities. In addition, visitors can enjoy a day trip to one of the town’s most popular locations: Historic Walnut Street, which features several shops, cafes, pubs, bakeries, breweries & wineries, as well as several historical sites including:

  • The Archelaus Smith House built by Captain Smith in 1828
  • The Governor Brooks Estate is also known as “The Brooks Mansion,” is named after Caleb Brooks, whose son Charles built the store that now bears his name.
  • The Henry Wilson Shoe Shop where Henry David Thoreau bought boots in 1850
  • Richard Frothingham Jr.’s House was a lawyer during the American Revolution and a participant in the Boston Tea Party.

Melrose is also home to several properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including:

  • The Black Horse Tavern was built circa 1716 initially as a private residence and kept up as a tavern until 1833. The Brazer Building, built-in 1903 by George W. Brazer, who was one of Melrose’s most successful textile magnates The First Unitarian Meeting House designed by architect Alexander Rice Esty which built from 1870-1872

In addition, visitors can enjoy participating in various activities such as the following:

  • Hiking / Bicycling / Jogging Trails located throughout town
  • Walnut Street shopping district where visitors can visit local shops & business
  • Old Town Hall Museum dedicated to local history
  • Peaceful Valley, which includes the Walter E. Fernald State School
  • and more!

Need to take a DOT Physical Exam in Melrose, MA?

When traveling to Melrose, MA, you might need to take a DOT physical exam. A DOT physical exam and card are a requirement for all commercial drivers. It is an extensive health check that includes vision, hearing, and physical testing.

Frequently, an individual will need to take a DOT physical exam annually or biannually, depending on age.

The following are the general guidelines required for DOT physicals:

  • The health care professional should ask about your past medical history – Do you have any ongoing medical conditions? What medications are you currently taking? Have you ever had any major surgeries or traumas?
  • You must be able to read letters presented on an eye chart at either 20/40 or 20/50 with both eyes (depending on your license type) while wearing corrective lenses if needed.
  • Your VISION MUST BE CLEAR IN BOTH E! There is no waiver for corrective lenses worn full-time.
  • Your HEARING must be at or better than an average of 2,100 Hz in both ears (at 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hz).
  • You MUST BE ABLE TO CLIMB UP ON THE SCALE AND WEIGH AT LEAST 150 LBS WITHOUT ASSISTANCE. In addition, you will not pass the DOT physical exam without proof of your weight unless you are under 4’10” tall OR weigh less than 95 lbs.
  • Swallowing reflex must be present (the health care professional should watch to make sure you can drink correctly) – If a person has a severe gag reflex either with or without stimulation, they may have a swallowing disorder that would interfere with their ability to operate safely

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