Massachusetts towns in 1839.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged.
By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c.
Boston: John Hayward.—Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
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Barnstable county, Barnstable, Brewster, Buckland, Buzzard's Bay,
Cape Cod, Chatham, Chilmark,
Dedham, Dennis, Dukes county,
Eastham, Edgartown, Elizabeth Islands,
Harwich, Holmes Hole,
Marshpee, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts Bay,
Oldtown Harbor, Orleans,
Plympton, Cape Poge,
Sandwich, Sandy Point,
Wellfleet, Windsor, Wood's Hole,Woburn, Worcester county, Worcester, Worthington, Wrentham,
Barnstable County Mass.
Barnstable is the chief town.— This county was incorporated, 1685. Population, 1820, 24,046—1830, 28,525—and in 1837, 31,109; area, about 330 square miles. This county includes the whole of Cape Cod, extending E. and N. into the Atlantic ocean, and which Gosnold discovered in 1602. It is bounded N. W. by Plymouth county, and W. by Buzzard's bay. Cape Cod lies in the form of an arm, half open; the elbow is at Chatham, 20 miles E. of Barnstable; the hand, the wrist inclining inward, is at Race Point, 33 miles N. by W. of Chatham. The whole length of the Cape is 65 miles, and the average breadth about 5. This county is principally diluvium. Below the town of Barnstable the county is quite sandy, so much so that the people are generally dependant on Boston and other towns for a large proportion of their meats and breadstuffs. This deficit is amply compensated by the unrivalled privileges enjoyed, and well improved by them, in the cod, mackerel and other fisheries. This county has but little wood, but it is well stored with peat. About two millions of dollars are invested in the manufacture of salt. There were manufactured in this county in the year ending April 1,1837, 669,064 bushels of salt, valued at $219,870. The manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, boots, shoes, iron castings, glass, cabinet and tin wares, cordage, &c., amounted to $496,602. There are in this county 370 vessels employed in the whale, cod and mackerel fishery. The tonnage, 24,378 tons. The value of the fishery, in one year previous to April, 1837, was $557,737. Tonnage of the District, 1836, 30,278 tons. The annual amount of tonnage of vessels built is about 1,000 tons; value, $63,318. Total annual value at the fisheries and manufactures, $1,337,527. The number of sheep in the county in 1837, was 7,332.
Barnstable county is noted for its fine sailors and men of superior nautical talents. The ladies are celebrated for their fair complexions and good housewifery; but are peculiarly subject to the vicissitudes pertaining to a maritime situation. By a statement recently made, it appears that there were in this county nearly a thousand widows living, who had lost their husbands by the dangers of the sea. In two towns, (Harwich and Wellfleet,) there were 223 widows who had thus lost their companions. This county has 13 towns; and 91 inhabitants to a square mile.
This is the chief town of Barnstable county, and a port of entry. It is 65 miles from Boston. Sandy Neck, on the N. side, forms a good harbor for vessels of 8 feet of water. Hyannis, on the S. side, 6 miles S. E. of Barnstable C. H., is now a good harbor; but by an expensive Breakwater, constructing at that place by the U. S. government, it will soon become perfectly safe from all winds, for all classes of vessels navigating the Sound, and passing round the Cape; The "Pilgrim Fathers" landed here, Nov. 11, 1620, and borrowed some corn of the Mattacheeset Indians. The celebrated patriot, James Otis, was born here, Feb. 5, 1725. He died at Andover, May 23, 1783. The manufacture of salt was commenced here as early as 1779. It then sold for $6 a bushel. There was made 27,125 bushels of salt in this town in 1837. Between 50 and 60 sail of fishing; and coasting vessels belong to this place. This town has numerous ponds, a considerable water power, some fine upland, and extensive salt marshes. The manufacture of vessels, salt, boots, shoes, hats, leather, cabinet ware, chairs, and wooden ware, amounted in one year to $56,562. Pop. 1837, 4,017.
Barnstable co. This town was the Indian Sawkatucket. It was taken from Harwich, in 1830, and took its name from Elder Brewster, one of the first settlers of Plymouth; a man of great learning and piety, who died 1644. In common with all the towns on Cape Cod, a large number of ship-masters, sailing to foreign ports, belong here. From three ponds in this town, covering about 1,000 acres, a never-failing stream of water is produced, on which are a cotton mill, carding mill, machine shop and other small mills. The value of the manufactures of cotton goods, boots, shoes, leather, axes, chairs, cabinet and tin wires, lampblack, Epsom and common salts amounted, in one year, to $52,072. Product of the cod and mackerel fishery, $9,050. Brewster lies on the north side of the Cape, 16 miles E. by N. from Barnstable, and 6 N. N. W. from Chatham. Population, 1837, 1,534. Here are about 1,000 sheep.
Franklin co. This is a pleasant town and is separated from Charlemont by Deerfield river. It lies 102 iles W. by N. from Boston, 10 W. from Greenfield, and 20 E.S.E. from Adams. Incorporated, 1779. Population, 1837, 1,051.--This is a good farming town, and produces a considerable quantity of wool.
Buzzard's Bay, Mass.
This bay lies N. W. from Dukes county, W. from Barnstable county, and S. by E. from the counties of Plymouth and Bristol. The length of the bay is about 30 miles from N. E. to S. W., and its average breadth about 7 miles. From the head of this bay, across Cape Cod to Massachusetts bay, (the place proposed for a canal,) is 5 miles.
Cod, Cape and Bay
Having briefly described this cape, under Barnstable county, we have only to add that Cape Cod light is in N. lat. 42° 2' 22";W. lon. 70° 4' 22".
Cape Cod bay is in Massachusetts bay, and is formed by the half extended arm of the cape. See Barnstable county.
Barnstable co., lies on the elbow of Cape Cod, south side. Pleasant bay, inside of Chatham beach, forms a good harbor. Chatham is 20 miles E. from Barnstable, and 32 S.S.E. from Provincetown. Incorporated, 1712. Population, 1837, 2,271. The value of the cod and mackerel fisheries, for the year ending April 1, 1837, was $56,100;—value of salt made, $8,220; —value of boots and shoes made, $1,500. There are, belonging to this place, about 20 sail of fishermen and 30 coasters.
Dukes co. This town lies on the S. and W. part of Martha's Vineyard. Gay Head, in this town, is the south point of the island; it is 150 feet above the sea, and is crowned with one of the five light-houses in this county.
Gay Head is about 60 miles E. N. E. of Montauk, on Long Island, and bears marks of having been subject to volcanic eruptions. The place abounds in specimens of minerals worthy the notice of geologists. This part of the island is inhabited by some descendants of the native Indians, who own part of the lands. There is some salt manufactured at this place, and about 7,000 sheep are kept. Chilmark was incorporated in 1714. Population, 1837, 700. It lies 92 miles S. E. from Boston, 33 W. from Nantucket, 23 S. E. by S. from New Bedford, and 12 S. W. by S. from Edgarton.
Norfolk co. County town. This town is on Charles river, with a good water power. It is 10 miles S.W. from Boston, 35 E. from Worcester, 26 N. by W. from Providence. It has a beautiful court house of hewn granite. Its Indian name was Tiot. A rail-road from the centre of the town meets the Boston and Providence rail-road, about two miles at the eastward. The manufactures of Dedham the year ending April 1, 1837, amounted to $510,755. They consisted of cotton and woolen goods, leather, boots, shoes, paper, marbled paper, iron castings, chairs, cabinet wares, straw bonnets, palm-leaf hats, and silk goods. The value of silk goods manufactured was $10,000. Dedham village is very pleasant, and possesses every inducement to render it a desirable residence for the mechanic or man of leisure. Population, 1837, 3,532.
Barnstable co. This town crosses the cape, and was taken from Yarmouth in 1793. Population, 1837, 2,750. It lies 8 miles E. by N. from Barnstable, and 7 W. from Harwich. The first salt produced by solar evaporation in this country was made in this town, by John Sears and others, in 1776. About 7,000 tons of shipping belong to this town, principally engaged in fishing and coasting, and all manned by natives of the town. Bass river, rising from a pond, affords a small water power. 150 ship-masters belong to this town, sailing from various ports in the Union. The products of the cod and mackerel fishing, in one year, amounted to $50,899. The manufacture of common salt, Epsom salts, vessels, and lampblack, amounted to $25,975.
Duke's County, Mass.
Edgarton is the county town. This county is formed of the islands of Martha's Vineyard, Chappequiddic, Elizabeth Islands, and No Man's Land—the latter of which is the southern extremity of Massachusetts. These islands lie off and S. of Barnstable county and Buzzard's bay, and contain about 120 square miles. The principal island, Martha's Vineyard, the Indian Nope, or Capawock, was first settled by the whites, at Edgarton, in 1641, and is 21 miles in length and 6 in breadth. Although a large portion of this county is woodland, and many of the people engaged in the fisheries and coasting trade, yet considerable exports are annually made of wool, woolen cloth, salt and grain. This county suffered much during the revolutionary war. In 1778, the people were compelled to surrender their fire arms and 2,300 head of cattle to the British. Incorporated, 1695. Population, 1820, 3,292; 1830, 3,518; 1837, 8,785: 32 inhabitants to a square mile There were on these islands, in 1837, 11,281 sheep.
Barnstable co., on a narrow part the cape, 23 miles E. by N. from Barnstable. Population in 1837, 1,059. First settled, 1644. Incorporated, 1646. The product of the cod and mackerel fishery in 1836, was $30,900. The value of salt, boots, shoes and palm-leaf hats manufactured, was $10,561.
Dukes co. County town and port of entry on the island of Martha's Vineyard—91 miles S. E. from Boston, 20 N. W. by W. from Nantucket, 28 S. E. by E. from New Bedford, 20 S. from Falmouth, and 495 from Washington. First settled, 1641. Incorporated, 1671. Population, 1837, 1,625. Edgartown. (Old Town) harbor is on the east side of the town, in lat. 41° 25' N , lon. 70° 25' W. This township includes the fertile island of Chappequiddick on the southeast, on which are some Indians. This island is 5 miles in length and 2 1-2 in breadth. It is very pleasant and forms Old Town harbor. Eight whale ships belong to this place, and a number of coasting vessels. This is said to be the only place in the state where grouse are native. The value of sperm oil imported, in the year ending April 1, 1337, was $65,598. The value of salt, oil, cables, boats and hats manufactured the same year, was $7,260. The value of wool, the product of 2,150 sheep, was $1,590.
Elizabeth Islands, Mass.
These islands are attached to Dukes county, and lie between Buzzard's bay and Vineyard sound They are 16 in number. The largest, Nashawn and Nashawenna, are inhabited. Gosnold, the discoverer of Cape Cod, spent the winter of 1602-3, on one of these islands.
Barnstable co. A pleasant town on Vineyard Sound. There are belonging to this town 9 whale-ships, and about 40 sail in the coasting trade and fishery Two streams afford a water power, on which are two woolen mills and other manufactories. There are about 40 ponds in this town, some salt and some fresh — these, with the views of the islands in the Sound, form a variety of agreeable scenery. "Wood's Hole" harbor, at the S. W. extremity of the town, is a good harbor and much frequented by vessels, and by invalids in search of health. The value of oil imported into Falmouth, the year ending April 1, 1837, amounted to $146,600. The value of vessels, salt, woolen goods, boots, shoes and leather, manufactured the same year was $58,657. Falmouth lies 71 miles S. E. by E. from Boston, and 22 S. W. from Barnstable. "Woods' Hole" is 4 miles W. from the centre of the town; and "Holmes' Hole" harbor, on Martha's Vineyard, is 6 miles S. Population, 1837, 2,580. Incorporated, 1686.
Barnstable co., on the S. side of Cape Cod, 14 miles E. from Barnstable. Incorporated, 1694. Population, 1830, 2,464; 1837, 2,771. On Herring river, the outlet of Long pond, are cotton and other mills. Some vessels are built here and some salt manufactured. The product of the cod and mackerel fishery the year ending April 3, 1837, was $33,000. Harwich is a pleasant town: the village makes a good appearance from the sea.
Holmes Hole, Mass.
Barnstable co. An ancient Indian territory, and an incorporated district of 10,503 acres, or about 16 square miles. It lies 12 miles S. E. from Barnstable, 8 S. S. E. from Sandwich, and 8 E. from Falmouth. It is bounded on the S. by the ocean. There are 350 colored Inhabitants on this territory, and some whites. There now remain only seven inhabitants, of pure blood of the fathers of the forest. Their land is good for grain of all sorts, and is well wooded. The territory is pleasant, and some parts of it afford beautiful scenery. The Marshpee and Quashmet are considerable streams, which, with numerous ponds and the ocean, afford an abundant supply of fish of various kinds. These people live by agricultural pursuits, the manufacture of various articles of Indian ware, by the sale of their wood, and by fishing, fowling, and taking deer. They are docile and hospitable; they appear to relish moral and religious instruction; and, under the superintendence of a humane and intelligent commissioner, appointed by the state, they are prosperous and happy. This is the largest remnant of all the tribes of red men west of Penobscot river, who, 218 years ago, were fee simple proprietors of the whole territory of New England!
Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
The principal of a cluster of islands lying off and S. of Barnstable county and Buzzard's bay, comprising the towns of Edgarton, Tisbury and Chilmark. See Dukes county.
The whole of this bay is within the limits of Massachusetts. The exterior bounds of this celebrated bay are Capes Cod and Ann. The former is in N. lat. 42° 6', and W. long. 70° 7'. The latter is in N. lat. 42° 45', and W. lon. 70° 17'. Cape Ann bears from Cape Cod, N. N. W., about 40 miles.
The length of this bay is about 62 miles. from N. W. to S. E.: its breath is about 25 miles. Numerous bays and rivers of various sizes set in from the bay, and its whole coast is lined with commodious harbors, and pleasant commercial towns.
This bay is noted for its delightful scenery, and as containing the first settlements of the Pilgrim Fathers of New England.
Nantucket Co. Mass. and Town.
An island in the Atlantic ocean—town and county It lies E. of Dukes county, and about 30 miles S. of Cape Cod, or Barnstable county. This island is about 15 miles in length, from east to west, and about 4 miles average breadth. It contains 50 square miles. The town, formerly called Shelburne, is in about the centre of the island, on the north side, in lat. 41° 16' 42", W. lon., 70° 7' 42". It is 100 miles S. E. by S. from Boston, 55 S.E. from New Bedford, 30 S. E. from Falmouth, and 500 from Washington. Population, 1837, 9,048.
Nantucket has a good harbor, with 7 1-2 feet of water, at low tide, on the bar at its mouth. This island was formerly well wooded, but for many years it has not had a single tree of natural growth The soil is light and sandy; it however affords pasturage for about 7,000 sheep, 500 cows, and other cattle. In 1659, when this county was incorporated, the island contained 3,000 Indians, but now, not one.
The whale fishery commenced here in 1690; and this place is, perhaps, more celebrated than any other, for the enterprize and success of its people, in that species of nautical adventure. Indeed Nantucket is the mother of that great branch of wealth in America, if not in the world. In the year ending April 1, 1837, Nantucket employed 74 vessels in that fishery, the tonnage of which was 25,875 tons. 1,277,009 gallons of sperm and whale oil was imported, the value of which was $1,114,012. The number of hands employed, was 1,897. The capital invested, was $2,520,000, this includes the ships and outfits only, yet many of the manufactories of the place, are appendages of the whale fishery; altogether, employing a capital of over five millions of dollars. There are manufactures on the island, of vessels, whale boats, bar iron, tin ware, boots, shoes, oil casks, and candle boxes. The whole amount of the manufactures, for that year, including oil and candles, was $2,524,907. Total tonnage of the district of Nantucket, in 1837, 29,960 tons.
Great attention is paid to education on this island. The men are noted for their sedateness and daring spirit, and the women for their intelligence and beauty.
Nantucket Shoals is a dangerous place, where many a sailor has found a watery grave. They lie S. E. from the island, and cover an area of about 50 by 45 miles.
Oldtown Harbor, Mass.
Barnstable co. Orleans was taken from Eastham, in 1797. It extends across a narrow part of Cape Cod, and is indented with coves and creeks on both sides. Stage harbor opens on the east through Chatham and Nauset beaches, which extend along the coast:—between which and the town is Pleasant bay, with several islands. In 1837, there were 33 vessels belonging to Orleans engaged in the cod and mackerel fishery, the tonnage of which was 2,310 tons. They took 20,000 quintals of cod fish and 600 barrels of mackerel. There were 31,000 bushels of salt used, and 264 men and boys were employed. The value of fish taken, when cured and packed, was $91,100;—capital invested, $33,000. There are 50 establishments for the manufacture of salt in the town ; during the year ending April 1, 1837, there were 21,780 bushels made. There are also manufactures of palm-leaf hats, leather, boots, shoes and tin ware. Orleans lies 20 miles E. from Barnstable. Population, 1830, 1,799; 1837, 1,936.
Plymouth co. This town is watered by a branch of Taunton river. It lies 32 miles S.E from Boston, and 8 W. from Plymouth. Incorporated, 1707. Population, 1837, 835. The manufactures of the town consist of cotton and woolen goods, nails, shovels, spades, hoes, forks, hoop rivets, shoes, leather, palm-leaf hats, chairs and cabinet ware; annual amount about $100,000. The Indian name of Plympton was Wanatuxet.
A noble oak was cut in this town a few years ago. It contained seven tons and seven feet of ship timber, and two cords of fire wood.
Poge, Cape, Mass.
This cape forms the northern extremity of Chappequiddic island, a part of Dukes county.
Barnstable co. A noted fishing town on the extreme point of Cape Cod; including Race point, which lies 3 miles N. W. from Provincetown village It comprises Cape Cod, or Provincetown harbor, which opens on the S. This ocean harbor is very large, exceedingly easy of access, and has sufficient depth of water for the largest ships of war. This is the first harbor the "Mayflower" touched at on her passage to Plymouth in 1620.
An elaborate and highly interesting report of a survey of this harbor and the extremity of Cape Cod, by Major J. D. Graham, has recently been printed by order of congress.
The report is accompanied by a series of tables, showing the result of a long course of observations on the tide, which are not only curious, but may be useful to those who are in a situation for pursuing their speculations on this subject, by comparing them with the results of similar observations in other places. The fullness and precision of these tables indicate the care and labor with which the work has been prosecuted. The result is of a nature to show the great importance of this position, both as a naval and commercial station.
The value of Cape Cod harbor to our naval and mercantile marine in time of war is inappreciable. In possession of an enemy, it would afford facilities for annoying our commerce, without exposure to the gales that so often sweep along the coast. Fortified, and in the occupancy of a portion of our navy, it offers a secure retreat, accessible at all seasons, and sheltered from every storm.
The soil of this town, in common with many others on Cape Cod, is very sandy; indeed, it may be said to possess no soil, for its vegetable qualities are very deficient.
During the year ending April 1st, 1837, there were belonging to Provincetown, 2 vessels employed in the whale, and 98 in the cod and mackerel fishery; besides a large number in the freighting business. The value of fish and oil taken was $298,407. Hands employed, 1,113. During that year 48,960 bushels of salt were made, employing 156 hands, the value of which was $18,360.
Provincetown lies 50 miles N. E. from Barnstable, by land, and 50 E. S. E. from Boston, by water. Incorporated, 1727. Population, 1830, 1,710; 1837, 2,049.
Race Point, Mass.
The N.W. extremity of Cape Cod. N. lat. 42° 6', W. lon. 70° 7'. See Provincetown.
Barnstable co. This town is very pleasantly situated on the shoulder of Cape Cod, 12 miles S. W. from Barnstable, 30 E. from New Bedford, and 53 S. E. from Boston. Incorporated, 1639. Population, 1830, 3,367; 1837, 3,579. Sandwich is watered by a number of streams which afford a good water power; and by numerous ponds, some of which are large, affording a variety of excellent fish. The forests afford an abundance of deer, and to the lovers of rural sports, Sandwich and the neighboring towns of Barnstable and Falmouth have justly become favorite resorts. The value of the manufactures of the town for the year ending April 3, 1837, amounted to $382,248. They consisted of glass, ($300,000) leather, nails, vessels, salt, iron castings, stores, &c. The value of the New England crown glass has been fully tested and found to be as clear and stronger than any other now in use. Sandwich has a good harbor, and about 20 sail of coasting and fishing vessels.
It is proposed to unite Massachusetts and Buzzard's bays by a ship canal through this town. The distance is five miles and the route level. A glance at Mr. Bale's excellent map of New England, shows most conclusively, the immense advantages to be derived by such a work.
Sandy Point, Mass.
The most northern extremity of Nantucket Island, on which is a light, 60 feet in height.
Dukes co. Tisbury lies on the north side of Martha's Vineyard, and contains the noted harbor of "Holmes' Hole." This harbor is large and safe, and of a sufficient depth of water for the largest merchantmen. It is much frequented by vessels passing through Vineyard Sound; particularly when the winds are contrary. From this harbor, across the Sound, to Falmouth, on Cape Cod, is 6 miles.
A number of small vessels belong to this place, and one of 388 tons is employed in the whale fishery.
There are some manufactures of salt, boots, shoes, leather, and hats; and, in 1837, there were 2,635 sheep in the town.
Tisbury is 77 miles S. S. E. from Boston, 8 W. from Edgarton, and 23 S. E. from New Bedford. Incorporated, 1671. Population, 1837, 1,461.
Barnstable co. Truro lies on Cape Cod bay, between Wellfleet and Provincetown, it is nearly surrounded by water,—by Pamet river, which sets in from Cape Cod bay on the south, and by Cape Cod harbor in Provincetown. Truro was the Pamet of the Indians, and after its settlement, in 1700, was called Dangerfield for some years. Pamet river affords a good harbor for fishermen, it lies about 5 miles S. E. from Provincetown harbor. There is in this town, near the light house, a vast body of clay, called the " Clay Pounds," which seems providentially placed, in the midst of sand hills, for the preservation of this part of the cape. Although there is but little vegetation at Truro, and the people are dependent almost entirely for their fuel, and most of their food on other places, yet there are but few towns in the state where the people are more flourishing, and independent in their circumstances. To such towns as this old Massachusetts looks with pride for one of her chief resources of wealth—the fishery; and for men of noble daring in all her enterprises on the ocean. In 1837, there were 63 vessels owned at Truro, employed in the cod and mackerel fishery, measuring 3,437 tons; the product of which, in one year, was 16,950 quintals of cod fish, and 15,750 barrels of mackerel, valued at $145,350. The number of hands employed was 512. The value of salt manufactured, annually, is about $20,000. There are also, manufactures of palm-leaf hats, boots, shoes, &c.
No one would suppose that this was much of a wool growing place; and it is not so in regard to the quantity grown, but much so as it regards its means. In 1837, the people of Truro sheared 400 sheep of their own rearing. If the single county of Penobscot, in Maine, would produce as much wool, in proportion to its territory and the quality of its soil, as the town of Truro, there would be no cause of strife about the tariff on wool or woolen cloths; for the quantity would be sufficient to clothe all the inhabitants on the globe.
Truro was incorporated in 1709. It lies 41 miles below Barnstable, and 106 from Boston, by land. Population, 1830, 1,549; 1837, 1,806.
Vineyard Sound, Mass.
This is a great thoroughfare for vessels bound along the coast between Cape Cod and the the mouth of Buzzard's bay. It lies between the island of Martha's Vineyard and the islands of Nashawn and Nashawena. The tides in this Sound are rapid, and the passage dangerous, without a good pilot.
Barnstable co. This township lies on both sides of Cape Cod : it is bounded N. by Truro, S. by Eastham, and is 33 miles below Barnstable. The town is on the west side of the Cape : it is neatly built, and although it is surrounded by sand hills, and almost entirely destitute of vegetation, it makes a handsome appearance. Wellfleet bay sets into the town from the south, and is separated from Cape Cod bay by several islands, which form a good harbor, at a place called "Deep Hole."
In 1837, there were 120 vessels, measuring about 6,000 tons, belonging to this place, employed in the cod and mackerel fisheries, and a number engaged in the coasting trade. The fishermen took 3,100 quintals of cod fish, and 17,500 barrels of mackerel: the value of which was $128,500. The quantity of salt used was 29,350 bushels : the number of hands employed was 496. During that year there were 39 establishments for the manufacture of salt in this place; the quantity made was 10,000 bushels.
There are several ponds and streams in the town, which afford water power sufficient for a large cotton mill. There are some manufactures of leather, boots and shoes; but the people are principally employed in the fishery, coasting trade and manufacture of salt.
Wellfleet was incorporated in 1723 [1763, in fact]. Population, 1830, 2,044; 1837, 2,303.
Dr. Morse slated in 1797, that "since the memory of people now living, there have been in this small town thirty pair of twins, besides two births that produced three each."
This is one of the most thriving towns in the state. One of its former residents, Col. Elisha Doane, is said to have acquired a fortune of 120,000 pounds sterling on this sandy spot. The Indian name of the town was Rinonakannit.
Berkshire co. This town is situated on the ridge of high lands which divides the waters of the Housatonick and Connecticut. Branches of the Housatonick and Westfield rivers rise here. There are some good fish ponds in the town, but no important streams. The surface of the town is much broken, but the soil is warm and finely adapted for grazing. There are some excellent farmers in Windsor, and the productions of the dairy and of cattle are considerable. In 1837, there were 7,157 sheep in the town, principally of the Saxony and Merino breeds. Their woo! weighed 21,337 Ibs., and sold for $10,521. This town is remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants ; which is doubtless owing to the purity of its air and water. Windsor contains beds of serpentine and soapstone. It is 117 miles W. by N. from Boston, 18 N, N.E. from Lenox, and 12 E. N. E. from Pittsfield. Incorporated in 1771. Population, 1837, 887.
Middlesex co. This town is situated 10 miles N. W. by N. from Boston, 12 E. by N. from Concord, and 14 W. from Salem. It was incorporated in 1642, and first settled in 1640. Population, 1830, 1,977; 1837, 2,643;
There are some elevations in Woburn which give the surface a variegated and pleasing aspect. Tbere is considerable wood land in the town, and some pine plain land; but the soil is generally strong, fertile and well improved. It contains some beautiful farms.
The manufactures of the town consist of leather, boots, shoes, india rubber, chairs, door sashes, blinds, tin, cabinet and wooden wares : total value, the year ending April, 1, 1837, $421,042.
Horn Pond in this town is a delightful sheet of water, surrounded by evergeens, and is so remarkable for its rural beauties as to attract many visitors from a distance. This pond serves as a passage for the Middlesex canal; it also furnishes the town with a water power of some value. The waters of this and several smaller ponds in Woburn full into Mystic river, through Mystic pond in Medford.
Wood's Hole, Mass.
Worcester County, Mass.
Worcester is the county town. This county was incorporated in 1731. Population, in 1820, 73,635; 1830, 84,365; 1837, 96,551. It contains an area of 1,500 square miles.
This county crosses the state from New Hampshire on the north, to Connecticut and Rhode Island on the south. It is bounded W. by the counties of Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden, and E. by Norfolk and Middlesex counties. This is the largest county in the state. Its territory is larger than the state of Rhode Island, and its population is greater than that of the state of Delaware. Its surface is rather undulating than hilly. The soil is generally strong, and produces all kinds of grain, grasses, fruits, &c. common to its climate. Its water power is abundant in almost every town, and perhaps in no section of New England are the interests of agriculture, commerce and manufactures more completely blended; nor can there be found better resources for their united support. Its principal rivers are the Blackstone, Quinabaug, Nashua, Ware, Millers, and Mill. There are in this county 54 towns, and 64 inhabitants to a square mile.
In 1837, the value of the manufactures in the county of Worcester was $11,407,790; the number of sheep in the county was 24,901; value of the wool, $37,267.
County town, Worcester co. town was incorporated in 1684, in consequence of Indian hostilities, the first town meeting was not held until 1722. This part of the country was called by the Indians, Quinsigamond, and Tatmuck and Bogachoak hills were Indian residences.
The central situation of the town, both in regard to the county and state, the fertility of its soil and that of the surrounding country, the salubrity of its climate, and the industry, intelligence and wealth of its people, have long since entitled it to the honor of being called the chief town in " the Heart of the Commonwealth." The town is situated in a valley, and surrounded by hills of gentle acclivity. It is well built and beautifully shaded, and travellers from every direction, are delighted with its neatness and beauty.
A number of the streams which form the head waters of the Blackstone meet in this town, and furnish a considerable water power.
Worcester is 40 miles W. from Boston, 51 E. from Northampton, 38 S. W. from Lowell, and 41 N. N. W. from Providence, R. I. Population, 1820, 2,962; 1830, 4,172; 1835, 6,624; 1837, 7,117.
There are in Worcester 8 woolen, 3 cotton and 2 paper mills ; an air and cupola furnace, 9 woolen machinery factories, 3 tin factories, and manufactures of coaches, chaises, boots, shoes, hats,cutlery, chairs, cabinet ware, ploughs, straw bonnets, palm-leaf hats, wire, lead pipe, paper machinery, &c.: total value, the year ending April 1, 1837, $1,042,369.
Worcester is the centre of a large inland trade. The Blackstone canal, from Providence, R. I., 45 miles in length, terminates here; and here is a permanent depot on the great western rail road from Boston to the Hudson river.
This is the seat of many religious, literary, and philanthropic societies.
The State Lunatic Asylum, established in this town in 1832, is an institution honorable to the nature of man. It is a beautiful building, delightfully located, and admirably conducted. Its plan and arrangements are so excellent as to render it a model for similar institutions in other states.
This institution is a receptacle for all persons arraigned as criminals, but found to have committed the offences in a state of insanity ; of paupers, and of those who are so furiously mad as to render their continuance at large dangerous to the community.
Although the worst cases of insanity are found here, yet experience has proved that there are very few cases of derangement which may not be ameliorated by the kindly influence of humane treatment. The average recoveries, to the present time, is about 56 pr. ct.
The American Antiquarian Society, was founded in 1812. By the liberality of the late ISAIAH THOMAS, LL. D., one of its first benefactors, a spacious hall was erected in 1820, for the reception of its large and valuable cabinet of antiquities, and its library of about 12,000 volumes of American publications, particularly of all works pertaining to American history, and literature generally.
Mr. Thomas was the father of New England printers. He published the first newspaper in this town, in 1775, and, a few years after, the first bible in America. He was a gentleman of great patriotism and liberality. He was born in Boston, January 19th, 1749, and died in this town, April 4, 1831.
Hampshire co. This.town has a good soil: it is pleasantly situated on elevated ground: it has some mineral treasures, and is washed by a branch of Westfield river. It is 103 miles W. from Boston, 55 E. from Albany, N. Y., and 17 W. N. W. from Northampton. Incorporated, 1763. Population, 1837, 1,142.
The manufactures of Worthington consist of leather, boots, shoes, curtains, children's wagons and hats: annual value, about $50,000.
In 1837, there were sheared in this town 9,050 merino sheep : the wool weighed 27,000 pounds, and sold for $16,875.
Norfolk co. There is a large pond near the centre of this town, from which issue several streams which flow to the Charles, Neponset and Taunton. In this town are one woolen and four cotton mills, an axe manufactory; boat building to a considerable extent; and manufactures of boots, shoes, hats, hoops and straw bonnets. The total value of the manufactures of this town, for the year ending April 1, 1837, was $204,806; of which $77,815 was for straw bonnets.
Wrentham is a pleasant town, with a tolerable soil and diversified surface. It was taken from Dedham in 1673. Population, 1837, 2,817.
A family of Indians once resided in a cavern in this town, called " Wampum's Rock," which place is rather a curiosity. The Indian name of the town was Wallomapogge.
Wrentham is 27 miles S. by W. from Boston, and 15 S. by W. from Dedham. This town is bounded S. E. by Mansfield, and within the region of a vast bed of anthracite coal.
Barnstable co. Yarmouth extends across Cape Cod, and has a good harbor on each side. There are several ponds in the town, from which issue a small stream, called Bass river, and from which a small water power is derived. The soil of the cape here becomes thin, sandy and unproductive. The people of this town are principally devoted to the fishing business, coasting trade, and the manufacture of salt. There are, however, some manufactures of vessels, cordage, leather, cabinet and tin wares, chairs, boots and shoes. Some sheep are kept, but the agricultural productions are small. A large number of vessels are engaged in the coasting trade, and in 1837, 13 vessels, of about 50 tons each, were employed in the cod and mackerel fishery: the product, that year, was $26,622.
During that year there were in operation in this town, 52 establishments for the manufacture of common salt, and 4 for the manufacture of Epsom salts. The quantity of common salt made was 365,200 bushels. The value of common salt was $109,560; of Epsom salts, $1,350. Hands employed, 55.
In 1837, there were in the state of Massachusetts 743 establishments for the manufacture of salt: 758,392 bushels were made, valued at $246,059, employing 708 hands.
Yarmouth is bounded W. by Barnstable, and lies 72 miles S. E. from Boston. Incorporated, 1639. Population, in 1830, 2,251; 1837, 2,454.