Auburn Massachusetts, 1890

Auburn is a pleasant little town near the centre of the southern half of Worcester County, 50 miles southwest of Boston. It is connected with Worcester and towns south of it by the Norwich and Worcester Railroad, which runs through the whole length of the town. The Boston and Albany Railroad passes along its northwestern side, having a station (Rochdale) near the line in Leicester. Leicester and Worcester bound it on the north ; the last and Millbury on the east ; Oxford on the south and southwest ; and Leicester on the west. The villages are Larnedville and Stoneville ; the post-offices, Auburn and West Auburn.

The largest of the six ponds lies in the northern part of the town, and contains about 175 acres. Eddy Pond, in the southern section, covers 40 acres. Bark Brook, Kettle Brook and Stone Brook run northerly through the town, furnishing valuable power, and with other tributaries forming Blackstone River. The rock formation of the town is Merrimack schist and gneiss, in which good specimens of masonite occur. The surface is pleasantly diversified by hill and valley ; an eminence in the western section, bearing the name of "Crowl Hill" (from an early settler), being the highest point.

The assessed area of the town is 9,429 acres ; and in 1888 there were 230 assessed dwelling-houses. There were 2,486 acres of woodland, and about 8,000 fruit trees. The farms numbered 82 ; and their product in 1885 was valued at $132,032. The dairies gave $47,164, and vegetables, $19,391 of this aggregate. There were also reported six manufactories ; one, of woollen ; one, worsted ; one, leather ; one, building material ; and two of food preparations ; with an aggregate product valued at $115,965. The valuation, in 1888, was $482,919 ; and the rate of taxation, $14 on $1,000.

The six public school-houses were estimated to be worth, with appurtenances, $7,500. There were two libraries ; of which one was the town public library, and contained about 1,700 volumes ; the other belonged to a Sunday school, and contained some 1,400 books. The Congregational church here was organized in 1776, and has a substantial house of worship. At Stoneville is the Roman Catholic church St. Joseph's.

There were in 1885 twelve residents over 80 years of age. Auburn furnished seventy men for the late war, of whom seven were lost ; and to whose memory a monument has been erected.

The territory of this town was taken from Leicester, Oxford, Sutton and Worcester, and incorporated, April 10, 1778, under the name of "Ward," in honor of the Revolutionary general, Artemas Ward. In 1837 the name was changed to Auburn.

Jacob Whitman Bailey, an eminent naturalist and inventor, was born in this town, April 29, 1811, and died at West Point in 1857.

Pp. 127-128 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

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