The town of Grafton, Massachusetts was settled in 1718. It was officially incorporated as a town in 1735. When the English colonists first settled and purchased the land, Grafton was known as the Plantation of Hassanamisco with both English and Native American proprietors. The Grafton Town Common was laid out in 1728, along with plans for the meeting-house (1730) and a school (1731).
The present Grafton Common is anchored by three churches: the Congregational Church of Grafton, the Baptist Church of Grafton and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton and Upton. The three traditional white buildings give the Common a decidedly traditional and picturesque New England feel.
The Grafton Inn, a functioning inn and tavern has been presiding over the eastern side of the Common since 1805. The Grafton Public Library is also located on the eastern side of the Common. In the commercial buildings on the northern side of the Common you will find the Grafton Historical Society.
The current bandstand on the Common was built in 1935 for the production of the film "Ah Wilderness", adapted from Eugene O'Neill's play of the same name which was filmed in town. The film starred Lionel Barrymore and a young Mickey Rooney.
The Grafton Common became a Local Historic District in 1981 and a National Register District in 1988.