When Isabelle Murphy and her husband, Mark, sought a community to call their own, they wanted a town where they would know their neighbors. That’s certainly paid off in Southborough when it comes to their mixed-breed Labrador, Rory “The Roaming Dog.’’
“One of the nice things about living in Southborough is that the neighbors and police all know your dog,’’ Murphy said with a laugh.
Murphy, a consultant, acknowledges that she’s not a Southborough local; she has lived here only since 1990. “Your grandparents need to be born here to be considered a local,’’ she said.
That being said, the town of about 10,000 “was everything we were looking for at that point in time. My husband and I were traveling, so being able to get into Boston and Worcester did it,’’ she said.
The natural resources attracted them as well. “I loved being able to come home and see cows, horses, and open land,’’ she said. “The beauty for us is we have the [Sudbury] reservoir; you can literally see it from our deck,’’ she said.
Even after all these years, the town’s open spaces still wow Murphy and make the town something of a hidden gem. “For a lot of people, their only knowledge of Southborough is sitting in traffic on Route 9. But when you get off Route 9, no matter where you go in town is beautiful,’’ she said.
The Murphys’ children were educated in Southborough’s public schools. “I’ve got three very different kids, and all three had different and wonderful experiences in the school system,’’ she said, noting that they participated in everything from robotics to lacrosse to music and theater programs.
Southborough doesn’t have everything, Murphy said. It lacks the defined downtown commercial area many other communities enjoy. To sit outside and enjoy meals at restaurants, “we have to go elsewhere,’’ she said. But the community spirit makes up for a lot. Annual events include Heritage Day, Southborough Summer Nights, and the Gobble Wobble on Thanksgiving.
The schools reinforce that spirit. “The teachers are really committed to teaching kids not only a good education, but a real sense of community,’’ she said.
The number of founding members of Pilgrim Congregational Church, located in Southborough’s historic center and known for its white spire, when it was established in 1831. The sanctuary can hold about 250 worshipers.
The number of years the town has held Heritage Day, a fair celebrating Southborough’s history and pride typically held during Columbus Day weekend (scheduled this year for Monday, Oct. 9). The event was first held in the 1960s, discontinued in the late 1970s, and revived in the 1980s. It usually includes a big parade, a pumpkin lighting, and vendors on the St. Mark’s School field.
The year it became a town. Southborough, like its neighbors, was primarily a farming community in its early days as Stony Brook, as this southern portion of Marlborough was known. The town was incorporated in 1727 and elected its first selectmen that year.
The median list price in Southborough, according to Redfin. The average residential property tax comes in at a lofty $9,459 for fiscal 2017.
You can get anywhere from here
Both the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 495 pass right through Southborough, as do Routes 9 and 30. The MBTA commuter rail’s Framingham/Worcester line also stops in town.
PRO AND CON
Great schools, but high school is out of town
Niche.com awards Southborough’s public schools an A-plus. But unlike its elementary and middle schools, Southborough’s public high school options are out of town. Algonquin Regional High School is in Northborough, and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School is in Marlborough. The town, however, is home to two private institutions: Fay School, which serves students K-9, and St. Mark’s School for high school.