Winchester is a town located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, eight miles north of Boston. With its agricultural roots having mostly disappeared, it is now an affluent suburb. The land on which Winchester now sits was purchased from Native Americans by representatives of the settlement of Charlestown in 1639, and the area was first settled in 1640. In the early years of the settlement, the area was known informally as Waterfield, a reference to its many ponds and to the river which bisected the central village. In its second century, the area was referred to as Black Horse Village, after the busy tavern and hostelry in its center.