In 1642, 11 men were proprietors of land grants in Lexington, using their land here for farming or holding it for speculation while living in Cambridge. By 1682, about 30 families lived in Lexington, then known as Cambridge Farms. Disliking the long trip to Cambridge for church, they petitioned the General Court to establish their own parish. Cambridge residents resisted this for almost ten years, but finally in 1691, the families of Cambridge Farms gained independence. The town was formally incorporated under the new name of Lexington in 1713.
They built the first little Meeting House in the fork between the Bedford and Concord Roads. When they needed more room for a larger church-meeting house, a school and other public functions, they purchased "common land." Nearby were the parson's house, the burial ground and the tavern. Although that first meeting house and school are gone, several early buildings do remain. Look for the Buckman Tavern, the Hancock-Clarke House and the Burial Ground near the Common.