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What’s it like to live in Woburn?

Location, Location, Location
The Count Rumford Museum.
The Count Rumford Museum. joanne Rathe/Globe Staff

When Dorothy Capone moved from Medford to Woburn as a newlywed in 1953, she knew the contractor after whose daughter her street, Maura Drive, was named. At the time, “a lot of houses were being built, and our street was one of the first on the west side being built up very quickly,’’ Capone said.

But construction on the west side wasn’t always copacetic. At some point, Capone recalled, the relationship between her contractor and his business partner dissolved, so each built half the street. She can laugh about it now, she said, but “it wasn’t funny at the time.’’

Dorothy and William Capone were married for 57 years. They raised three daughters, who “got a good education’’ in the city’s public schools, Capone said.

The couple selected Woburn because of its low taxes, making it the “sensible’’ choice. She believes a reasonable tax rate continues to attract young families. She is also grateful for Woburn’s leaders and their dedication to the city. “All of the mayors we have had were very attentive to what Woburn needed,’’ Capone said.

The city’s responsive police and fire departments deserve praise, Capone added. Once, when she accidentally dropped her portable medical alert system on the garage floor, “they were here in three minutes,’’ she said.

Capone, who has been on the board of directors for the Woburn’s Council on Aging for about 15 years, volunteers “wherever she’s needed’’ and is proud of the $2 breakfasts served Wednesdays at the senior center, both for the affordable price and the way they foster a sense of community among the city’s elderly.

Locationwise, Woburn is convenient, Capone added, with Interstates 93 and 95 bisecting just northeast of the city.

“It’s a nice place to live,’’ she said. “People keep their homes very nice, so you wouldn’t mind moving into any neighborhood.’’

BY THE NUMBERS

1839

The year Charles Goodyear pioneered the discovery of the vulcanization process in East Woburn, where the nation’s early rubber industry had been established a few years prior. Additionally, the Civil War boosted the city’s leather production; by 1865, there were 21 tanning and curryingestablishments. Well into the 20th century, Woburn was considered the area’s leading leather producer, according to the city’s website.

1,300+

The number of historical objects in the Woburn Public Library. They shed light on the city’s early industry, Civil War involvement, and well-known citizens. The library itself is a source of local pride: A national historic landmark, it was designed by famed architect H.H. Richardson and opened in 1879.

102

The acreage of Horn Pond. Swimming is discouraged because there are no lifeguards, but watercraft without motors are allowed. Stocked with trout, it’s open to fishing, and hiking and biking trails abound.

1998

The year the film “A Civil Action’’ was released. The book and movie illuminate the struggles of a Boston lawyer who spent years trying to link child leukemia diagnoses in Woburn with water pollution in the 1970s. Those municipal groundwater wells were closed in 1979, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and the cleanup targeted five properties.

 

PROS & CONS

Pro

Historic, affordable housing stock

The Woburn Historical Society is inventorying the city’s homes, and any house more than 75 years old will be reviewed for possible historical value. Living in this community can be economical: According to Zillow, the median home value in Woburn is $410,200.

Con

Downtown

As part of a master plan update, residents at public forums pointed to a desire to revitalize the city’s downtown, mitigate commercial traffic, improve parking, and offer better shuttle, bus, bike, and pedestrian options.

Stones from original Woburn High School lay as a sculpture in front of the recently built high school. —photos by joanne rathe/ globe staff
Walkers take to the Horn Pond Trail.
Lisa Grande of Medford takes a break with dog Ava at Horn Pond.
Woburn Public Library
Bridget Finn,7, of Billerica climbs at Boston Rock Gym.

Rachel Lebeaux can be reached at rachel_lebeaux@yahoo.com.