Bellingham Massachusetts, 1890

Bellingham occupies the southwestern extremity of Norfolk County, and is bounded on the north by Medway and Milford, east by Wrentham and Franklin, south by Cumberland and Woonsocket in Rhode Island, and west by Blackstone and Mendon. It is about 31 miles from Boston ; and is accommodated by the main line, and the Woonsocket and Milford branches, of the New York and New England Railroad, the last two having their junction at Bellingham Centre ; the other stations being North Bellingham. South Bellingham and Caryville. The form is nearly a parallelogram, whose length north and south is about three times its width. The assessed area is 10,950 acres, of which 3,292 acres are woodland. The geological formation is calcareous gneiss. Mica slate has also been found, of which whetstones have been made to some extent. The land is level for the most part, although there are pleasant eminences at the north, the centre, and the southeast. Beaver Pond, near the Milford line, is a beautiful sheet of about 108 acres. Through it flows Charles River, in a southeasterly direction, to the central village ; then, turning abruptly, it leaves the town at the northwest corner. Jencke's Reservoir, containing about 42 acres, has its outlet by Peter's River ; which, with Bungay Brook, drains the southern sections of the town. The soil is light and sandy, yet there is some good farming land in the lower parts. The 131 farms, in 1885, yielded an aggregate product of $91,445. There are in the town two woollen mills, a boot and shoe and a straw factory, two factories for putting up food, and others to the number of ten. The total product, in 1885, was $419,412. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $613,200, with a tax of $13.20 on $1,000. The population is 1,198, and the number of legal voters, 241. There were eight school buildings, valued, with appurtenances, at $10,500. There was a public-school library of about 400 volumes, and three Sunday-school libraries with about 1,000 volumes. The Baptist church at Bellingham was organized in 1737 ; the one at North Bellingham in 1867. The territory was taken from the towns of Dedham, Mendon and Wrentham, and incorporated in 1719 under its present name, in honor of Governor Richard Bellingham. General John Milton Thayer, United States senator from Nebraska in 1867-71, was born in this town in 1820.

Pp. 140-141 in Nason's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

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