About the Town of Athol
The Naming of a Village
Athol, originally named Pequage was named by John Murray, a heavy land owner in nearby Rutland and a member of legislature. At the time during the French and Indian War (1745) the question of confirming the title of the lands in Pequage to the original proprietors came up for action before the General Court. Basically, the land proprietors (Indians) were under certain obligations and were unable to meet those obligations which led to the appointmen of a committee to investigate. John Murray was on that committee and in time found himself able to purchase the land of Pequage. Upon visiting the land he became owner of, as he approached, it reminded him of the rolling hills of his homeland in Scotland, known as Atholl. He was supposedly a relation to the Duke of Atholl from Blair Castle in the Highlands of Scotland. This name means Pleasant land and the name has remained. Murray never resided in Athol. In 1774, he ended up loyal to the King at the wrong time and found his house surrounded by 500 Patriots, forcing him to flee to the refuge of the British Troops in Boston. He remained by the Royal Army until they were forced to flee and made his way to Halifax. The return to America was not possible and he retired to New Brunswick losing all rights to land in Massachusetts. He died in 1794.
584 Main Street - Athol, MA 01331
978-249-4551 Town Clerk
Other department contacts
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
- Town Information -
Athol: means "pleasant land"
Incorporated: March 6, 1762
City Elevation: 535 ft. above sea level
Location: 42N, 72 W - 80 miles west of Boston
Zip Code: 01331
Population: approximately 11,000
Highways: Route 2 West - connect to 91, Route 2 East - 190, 495
Polling Places: Precinct 1 - Athol Congregational Church, Precinct 2 - Memorial Hall, Precinct 3 - Liberty Hall (Downstairs Town Hall)
-Within Town Limits-
Library - Athol Public Library
Business Categories - Pizza, Restaurants, Gas Station, Auto Parts, Auto Repair, Tire Repair, Bars, American Legion, North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, North Quabbin Commons strip mall.
- Places to Stay, Places to See -
Lakes: Tully Lake, Quabbin Reservoir, Silverlake
Airfields: Orange Municipal Airport.
Clarion Hotel Colonial: Gardner, MA 978-630-2500. 20 minutes east on Rte. 2
Wachusett Village Inn: Westminister, MA 978-874-2000. Minutes off Rte. 2
King Phillip Motel, Restaurant: Phillipston, MA 978-249-6300; 978-249-6263
Inn at Clamber Hill: Petersham, MA 978-724-8800
Bullard Farm B&B: New Salem, MA 978-544-6959
Super 8 Motel: Gardner, MA 978-630-2888
Executive Inn: Orange, MA 978-544-8864
Travel Inn: Orange, MA 978-544-2986