Warwick is situated on 37.6 square miles and is bordered by Winchester and Richmond, New Hampshire, to the north, Royalston (in Worcester County) to the east, Orange to the south and southeast, Erving to the southwest, and Northfield to the west. The town is dominated by Mount Grace, which is located in the center of town and has a network of hiking and cross-country ski trails. It has a population of approximately 780.
Mount Grace State Forest, on route 78 near the New Hampshire border, this 1,689-acre forest includes a picnic area, table and fireplaces. There are streams for fishing and trails for hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Hunting is also allowed. The summit of Mt. Grace rises to an elevation of 1,617 feet, making it the second-highest peak in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River. A trail beginning on the west side of the mount, near the administration building, provides a 1 1/2 hour hike to the top. A fire observation tower is atop the summit. Call 978-544-3939 for further information.
Warwick State Forest, on Route 78 and Athol Road, features Sheomet Lake, which is a 31-acre trout-stocked lake also known as Clubhouse Pond. Motor boats are not allowed. (978) 544-3939
Indian Cave, is a rock formation located north of Stevens Swamp and south of the Old South Road to Northfield. There is no longer a tunnel, as the rock ledge has collaspsed, but there is still a good-sized cave there.
Wawbeek Rock, is a huge glacial boulder at the side of Hastings Pond Road, behind the fire station at the south end of Warwick Common. "Wawbeek" is the Algonquin Indian name for "big rock." It was dedicated in 1916 as a monument to God's work on earth, and bears a carved inscription from the Bible. "In the beginning - God."
Warwick Historical Society, in Warwick Center next to Town Hall, has a collection that includes picture albums, furniture, costumes, relics from local industry such as glass and boot factories, civil war mementos and papers, a Revoluntionary War musket and two town hearses. Open Sundays from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., July and August, or by appointment. Call Lawrence Cary (978) 544-7545 or Ed Lemon (978) 544-7463 for further information.
Old Home Days happen in late August.
The history of Warwick began in the 1730s when the grant of township was made by the Province of Massachusetts Bay. This was during the time of French and Indian attacks on settlements along the Connecticut River, and the province felt the best defense against the encroachment of the French was to establish and encourage settlements whenever possible. The hilly land some six miles east of the Connecticut River which became Warwick was given to survivors and descendants of soldiers who took part in the Canadian campaign.
On December 4, 1734, the House of Representatives received a petition from Shubael Sever, Samuel Newell, Thomas Gardner and "sundry" others of Roxbury and Brookline who were representatives of the company which took part in the Canada expedition under Capt. Andrew Gardner. All in the expedition were lost except the petitioner, Newell. The petition asked for " a grant of six miles square for a township." After the area was surveyed by Nathaniel Kellogg of Hadley, the General Court confirmed the grant on June 15, 1736.
The township eventually came to include previous grants given to Joseph Severance of Deerfield, Zachariah Field of Northfield and Samuel Kendell, William Johnson and 10 others from Townsend. It was also altered by the addition of lands in New Hampshire and Orange.
Much of the formal establishment of the new township took place a a meeting in Roxbury at the home of James Jarvis on September 22, 1736 and in subsequent meetings in that town. The meetings were called in the name of either Roxbury or Gardner's Canada until the township was incorporated under the name of Warwick.
It is not known how the town got its name, but one explanation is that it is named in honor of Guy, Earl of Warwick, England, who played a prominent role in the colonization of New England.
By the mid-1800s, there were sawmills, pail, stave and ax factories, blacksmith shops and tanneries.