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Worcester was first settled by Europeans in 1674, when a company of fishermen arrived from Cape Ann. These settlers were led by Peter Talbot and Thomas Wilkinson, who had set up a trading post nearby at the confluence of the Blackstone River and Mill Brook. The original village site is in present-day downtown Worcester (at what is now Park Avenue). Because another settlement already existed within this area, the settlers renamed their community after Worcester, England. It was incorporated as a city on September 23rd 1722 with an initial population of just over 13 thousand people; it became Massachusetts' second largest city after Boston upon its incorporation into that state's territory in 1775 (the date for which official records begin). The 18th century saw great industrialization before experiencing any significant slowdowns due to events such as fires or financial crises like those experienced during 1873–1878 recession following America's Civil War or during other economic downturns like that associated with World War I .