Originally known as Cambridge Farms, Lexington was first settled in 1642. Additional residents were soon attracted by the availability of hay fields and farming acreage and the possibilities of land speculation. Early settlers formed their own parish in 1691 to avoid traveling to Cambridge, and soon thereafter, Lexington was incorporated in 1713.
The town remained a quiet farming community until April 1775. With a total population of seven hundred, the town played a pivotal role in United States history when the “Skirmish on the Green” began the American Revolution. It was in Lexington, on the morning of April 19, 1775, that “the first blood was spilled in the dispute with Great Britain” according to Washington’s diary when colonists faced British regulars. In this first skirmish, eight Minutemen lost their lives, ten were wounded, and two British soldiers were also wounded. After the battle, Samuel Adams exclaimed to John Hancock, “What a glorious morning for America!”
Today, the Lexington is an affluent community that prides itself on the beauty of town land and the excellence of its public school system. The town has numerous parks, conservation lands, museums, and libraries that provide exceptional opportunities for recreational and cultural activities. The town’s physical location allows easy access to Boston, the White Mountains, and many important historical sites in the state.
Attention is given to preserving the town’s strong historical importance as the birthplace of the American Revolution. The annual Patriot’s Day celebration in April, complete with a re-enactment of Paul Revere’s ride and the battle with the British, is one of the town’s most popular events.
The Lexington Recreation Department offers a wide range of classes and instruction. Programs include summer camp, preschool camp, sports clinics, tennis, aquatics, skiing, adult programs, youth programs, preschool programs, senior programs, youth leagues, adult leagues, drop-in gym and Special Olympics.
Hayden is a privately endowed non-profit corporation. The Centre provides a wide range of recreational, athletic, and social activities for the youth of Lexington. The Hayden Recreation Centre houses a swimming pool, gymnasium, weight training room, auditorium, ten activity rooms, and a large athletic field for the various programs offered throughout the year.
The John P. Chase Ice-Skating Facility has a modern indoor full-size ice surface with a full complement of programs including all levels of instruction plus general skating sessions. Formed in 1979, the Haydenettes have long been recognized as the premier Precision Skating Team in the United States.
In 1963, Lexington citizens recognized the importance of the natural resources of the Town and created a Conservation Commission whose members are charged with the protection of the Town’s natural resources. Concerned about maintaining the residential quality of the town while providing services, Lexington citizens established one of the country’s first planning boards and zoning regulations. Today Lexington proudly preserves its history while continuing to support its reputation for progressive action and independent spirit.