Business View Civil and Municipal | March 2021

47 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL MARCH 2021 S ituated 30 miles northwest of Worcester and 60 miles northwest of Boston, the City of Gardner shines as the ‘diamond of north central Massachusetts’. With a population of 21,000, it’s quickly becoming a sought-after location to live and do business. “Gardner is unique,” shares Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson. “It’s a city with a ‘town feel’ and I think that’s one of the best things about it.” Gardner’s politics are also rare and full of “neat little tidbits.” Nicholson was elected as Mayor in July 2020 at the age of 25 – making him the city’s third youngest Mayor. Currently, the average age of an elected Gardner official is 35, well below state average, and largely below national average. Another of the city’s many unique aspects is its name. “We were founded as a town in 1785, right after the American Revolutionary War,” Nicholson recounts. “If you look at the other towns surrounding Gardner, they are named after places in England where the first settlers were from. Gardner is the only one named after a Revolutionary War Veteran, Colonel Thomas Gardner, who was the first person killed during The Battle of Bunker Hill. Gardner was the first town in the area created after the revolution. They wanted to discontinue the use of naming towns after places in England, so they named it after a Massachusetts war hero.” Gardner, M Rich in history and potential The demolition of an old factory building in the city (featuring the Mayor, thou