Population can be hard to comprehend. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the thought of 7 billion people living on Earth living their own complicated, beautiful lives. Thankfully, West Boylston is and always has been a small town, so we don’t have to strain too hard. Below is a clipping from a town report in the early 1900s detailing the population throughout the course of the 19th century.
The town was founded in 1808, and two years later the population was only 600 people. By 1888, we had grown to 2,950 people. This population growth of over 2,300 people was a mark of how attractive our now washed-away industrial center was to people nearby and abroad. The population likely dipped in the late 1800s as the construction of the reservoir pushed more and more people out of their homes and destroyed their jobs at the factories or local businesses.
Despite this setback, West Boylston’s population recovered in the 20th century. Today, our population is around 7,500 people--a number much easier to imagine than 7 billion.