Though Worcester is the third-largest city in Massachusetts , it has had a troubled economic history. Named county seat in 1731, it suffered from lack of good transportation and waterpower, which prevented it from becoming an industrial powerhouse like other towns. Managing a good living as a manufacturing center instead, it drew waves of immigrants who flooded the city to produce tools and household items.
Since the city’s economy collapsed after World War II, however, it has yet to find a winning formula to rescue its downtown. On the upside, the city is notable for several fine museums and nine colleges and universities, including Clark and Holy Cross, which infuse a young energy into its nightlife.