Westwood remained primarily a rural community until the construction of Route 128 in the 1950s brought suburban pressure to its doorstep. Formed from adjacent Dedham in 1636, the Town of Westwood only incorporated in 1897. Scattered farmsteads emerged in the eighteenth century, joined by modest industrial development along Mill Street after 1815. When the railroad arrived at neighboring Norwood in the late 1840s, Westwood's industries relocated there. The opening decades of the twentieth century saw the development of estates for wealthy Bostonians, part of a district of such buildings stretching from Dedham to Dover. Simpler residences were built in Islington, the district north of East Street. Two Federal-period meetinghouses and civic buildings of the early twentieth century survive amidst the rapid commercial and residential development of the mid-twentieth century and later.
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