North Reading Massachusetts was created as an independent town in 1853 and lies entirely within the watershed of the Ipswich River. By the 18th century the economy of the town was based on subsistence farming with limited hop production.
Along with a small saw mill, North Reading was home to numerous small shoe and boot makers and by 1850 small shops to make the footwear were attached to almost every home. These shops produced cheap footwear that was sold south to clothe slaves, so the Civil War destroyed the town’s industry. The principal products of the town then became milk, apples and fruits.
North Reading has grown into a very desirable residential community with many executive style homes within its boundaries and boasts an excellent public school system. The town center proudly retains its complete historic fabric and contains a Federal style meeting house and an affluent Federal village with a well preserved district of period houses.