Milton was settled in 1640 by Puritans who began the settlement of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Milton is located between the Neponset River and the Blue Hills. It is bordered by Boston’s Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park neighborhoods, and Quincy, Randolph and Canton. Throughout its history, Milton has been home to farms as well as industrial activity along the Neponset River at Milton Village; it included a gristmill, a gunpowder mill, a paper mill, and a chocolate mill (the Baker Chocolate Factory) — all thought to be among the first of their kind in New England. In 1801 Josiah Bent began a baking operation in Milton, selling “water crackers” or biscuits made of flour and water that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages from the port of Boston. The crackling sound occurred during baking, hence the name. This is where the American term “cracker” originated. East Milton Square developed as a direct result of the Granite Railway which transported granite from Quincy to be dressed prior to it being brought by rail to the wharf for transfer to boats. Laying of streetcar lines fueled the rapid expansion of residential development. The town was also home to America’s first piano factory and is currently home to the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, home of the nation’s oldest continuously kept meteorological records. Milton is one of the few school systems to offer a full French immersion program. The Neponset River Trail, which offers 5 miles of recreational use along the Neponset River, connects Milton to Boston. Milton also has access to Boston via the MBTA subway line and highway access to Interstate 93.
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