Worcester’s Police Headquarters is located where Timothy Bigelow’s house and forge stood. In this house, on the banks of the Mill Brook that ran through the town, Bigelow not only lived but worked as a blacksmith.
In 1767 he was awarded a license to run a tavern four times a year, when the Courts of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace were in session. That license was expanded in 1776 to allow him to keep a tavern all year round.
Within his house Bigelow had what was, for those times, an extensive library, which contained volumes of English, European, and Roman history; novels, and a collection of political pamphlets.
Whether a private residence where like-minded individuals would gather informally, a tavern that attracted fellow Patriots to discuss politics and current events, or as a place of business, Bigelow’s home, forge, and tavern was a center of Patriot resistance, and Bigelow himself became one of the leaders in Worcester.
In late 1774 he and Dr. Joseph Warren of Boston invited Isaiah Thomas to move his printing press to Worcester. The first Worcester edition of Thomas’ newspaper, The Massachusetts Spy, issued in April 1775, was printed in Bigelow’s home.
Bigelow died on March 31, 1790; in 1861 a monument was erected in Worcester Common to commemorate his role in the Revolution.