Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in the United States, and is a part of Greater Boston. Brookline borders six of Boston's neighborhoods: Brighton, Allston, Fenway–Kenmore, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury. The city of Newton lies to the west of Brookline.
At the 2010 census, the population of the town was 58,732. It is the most populous municipality in Massachusetts to have a town (rather than city) form of government.
Brookline was first settled in 1638 as a hamlet in Boston, but was incorporated as a separate town in 1705.
Brookline was first settled by European colonists in the early 17th century. The area was an outlying part of the colonial settlement of Boston and known as the hamlet of Muddy River. In 1705, it was incorporated as the independent town of Brookline. The northern and southern borders of the town were marked by two small rivers or brooks, hence the name. The northern border with Brighton (which was itself part of Cambridge until 1807) was Smelt Brook. That name appears on maps starting at least as early as 1852, but sometime between 1888 and 1925 the brook was covered over. The southern boundary, abutting Boston, was the Muddy River also known as the Charles River.
Throughout its history, Brookline has resisted being annexed by Boston, in particular during the Boston–Brookline annexation debate of 1873. The neighboring towns of West Roxbury and Hyde Park connected Brookline to the rest of Norfolk County until they were annexed by Boston in 1874 and 1912, respectively, putting them in Suffolk County. Brookline is now separated from the remainder of Norfolk County.
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