By the 1800's shoe factories, stores and inns appeared. The Newburyport Turnpike was completed in 1805 and the railroad came in 1854, making it possible for residents to travel and work in other communities. In 1818 the first Topsfield Fair was held and is now the nation's oldest continuing fair. Topsfield lies approximately at the center of Essex County in northeastern Massachusetts, bordered by Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Danvers, Middleton and Boxford. It is located about 10 miles southeast of Lawrence and 20 miles north of Boston. The town is a fairly compact thirteen square miles with rolling hills and winding streams. The Village Shopping Center and other small businesses are located along Route 1. However, Topsfield remains primarily a residential community with a population of approximately 6,200 residents. The town retains a rural character with a typical New England Town Common.
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