The City of Marlborough is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The population was 38,499 at the 2010 census. Marlborough became a prosperous industrial town in the 19th century, partly due to its shoe manufacturing industry. The city made the transition to high technology industry in the late 20th century after the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes 495 and 290.
Marlborough was first settled in 1657 by fourteen men led by Edmund Rice. It was officially declared a town in 1660. Marlborough was one of the seven “Praying Indian Towns”—where Native Americans were converted to Christianity. In 1674 a deed was drawn up dividing the land between the settlers and the native population. The settlement was almost destroyed by the local tribes in 1676 during King Philip’s War.
In 1711, the town’s territory included Northborough, Southborough, Westborough and Hudson. As population, business, and travel grew in the colonies, Marlborough became a favored rest stop on the Boston Post Road. Many travelers stopped at its inns and taverns, including George Washington, who visited the Williams Tavern soon after his inauguration in 1789.
In 1836, Samuel Boyd, known as the “father of the city,” and his brother Joseph opened the first shoe manufacturing business—an act that would change the community forever. By 1890, with a population of 14,000, Marlborough had become a major shoe manufacturing center, producing boots for Union soldiers as well as footwear for the civilian population. Marlborough became so well known for its shoes that its official seal was decorated with a factory, a shoebox, and a pair of boots when it was incorporated as a city in 1890.
The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the City. Elected every two years, the Mayor is responsible for overseeing all city departments as well as serving as Chair to the Marlborough School Committee. Primary to the duties of the Mayor’s office are setting the city’s annual budget and tax rate, as approved by City Council.
The Marlborough City Council is comprised of eleven councilors, four of whom are Councilors-At-Large elected citywide and seven of whom are Ward Councilors. City Councilors serve a two-year term of office, co-terminus with the Mayor.