Settled by Europeans in 1730, the city of Fitchburg was named for John Fitch, a man whose name was synonymous with pioneer heroism.
Situated along the Nashua River, the location provided a beautiful setting with views of the Turkey Hills and the surrounding wilderness.
The Nashua River powered the early mills, transforming Fitchburg from a farming community into an industrial power by 1845. The town’s fortunes soared during the Industrial Revolution, and many of the fine public buildings such as the courthouse, library, and opera house, as well as neighborhood parks and private mansions were built throughout town during the Victorian period. Before the Civil War, some of these houses played a role in the Underground Railroad.
More recently, the city’s residents have included Grammy-nominated singer and actress Amerie, columnist Mike Barnicle, singer and actress Mikayla Campbell, actor Bruce Gordon (Get Smart, The Untouchables), Olympic athlete Art Longsjo (for whom the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic bicycle race is named), origami master Michael LaFosse and Major League Baseball player Pat Moran. The city was also the setting for D.B. Johnson’s children’s book Henry Hikes to Fitchburg.