There were some exploratory town-founding efforts in 1870, followed by a petition to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, filed January 26, 1871. Both parent towns opposed this effort, but state approval was granted April 19, 1871. The population of the newly formed town – at 1,820 – was larger than either of its parent towns.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,469 people, 3,718 households, and 2,992 families residing in the town. The population density was 674.0 people per square mile (260.2/km 2 ). There were 3,825 housing units at an average density of 224.8 per square mile (86.8/km 2 ).