The Town of Barre is a small rural community located 61 miles from Boston, almost exactly in the center of the State, and covers 44.8 square miles. It is bordered by Phillipston on the north, Hubbardston on the northeast, Rutland and Oakham on the southeast, New Braintree on the south, Hardwick on the southwest, and Petersham on the northwest. Barre is 22 miles northwest of Worcester. Although originally Barre had many operating farms, in recent years they have become fewer, leaving many unsown farm fields. Barre has three distinct villages, Barre, South Barre and Barre Plains. Residents feel the town has one of the loveliest town commons in Central Massachusetts and during the summer months, band concerts are held there. The population of Barre has grown in recent years due to the influx of persons migrating from the cities in search of affordable housing. The population increase brought with it a wide mix of income levels with distinct needs and expectations of town services. Nevertheless the school system is quite progressive and Barre has a balanced budget, both of which townspeople are very proud. The town of Barre did not start out as the "Town of Barre". From the beginning of the earliest kept records Barre was part of Rutland. The town was part of the Naquag grant and was made the "Northwest District of Rutland in 1749. In 1774 the town incorporated and was called "Hutchinson". Two years later A a petition for a different name resulted in it being called "Barre", with a population of 734. During the Industrial Revolution, it became known for its production of farming equipment and palm leaf hats. During the Civil War it supplied much of the gunpowder used by the Union Army.