Drive west along tree-canopied country roads beyond historic Concord, Mass. and you come to Carlisle, a peaceful old village, founded in 1640, in easy commuting distance from Boston and Lowell. There’s a post office, expanded red-brick library, a bank, Fern’s Sandwich Shop, The Artisan’s Gallery and a police and fire station clustered around a traffic island graced by a post-Civil War bronze statue to the Goddess of Liberty.

But that’s it – no malls, strip centers or traffic lights. Yet many busy men and women from the Greater Boston business, scientific and academic world have chosen to live in this former farming community. Town administrators and residents at Town Meeting vigorously restrict Carlisle’s growth and conserve its values from its rural past. The town is rich in unspoiled private and publicly preserved open space. There are approximately 730 acres of protected conservation land and 151 acres of bog land which includes a 40-acre town-owned operating cranberry bog. It is also an outdoor recreational haven for hiking, biking and canoeing. Every weekend dozens of recreational bicyclists gather at Fern’s before continuing on their route. You may spot them later with the kids at Kimbell Farm Ice Cream Stand.

Carlisle, Mass once caught the attention of renowned neighbor and author Henry David Thoreau. “It gets laughed at because it is a small town, I know,” Thoreau wrote, “but nevertheless it is a place where great men may be born any day.”

It is still small, only 4800 residents. But it’s still home to great men and women and their families.

In short, it’s a bright spot where the brightest find their quiet place in the world.

Have a look at one of my Carlisle Listings – expansive and relaxed: