Berlin Massachusetts, 1890
Berlin is one of those steady, quiet, farming towns whose people own the estates they occupy, and live independently and without fear of molestation. It lies in the easterly section of Worcester County, 40 miles northwest of Boston. On the north is Bolton, on the east Hudson and Marlborough ; Northboro is on the south, and Boylston and Clinton on the west. Beside highways and water surfaces, its area is 7,627 acres, — of which 2,596 acres are woodland. The forest consists of oak, walnut, maple, pine and chestnut. Along the highways also are numerous, well-grown maples and elms.
A good iron bridge spans the Assabet River, which runs through the southeastern angle of the town. An affluent of this river is North Brook, which, with its tributaries, drains the central part of the town. Grant Pond, in the eastern part — about one mile in length by one half mile in width — is well stored with fish. The land is uneven, but without high hills ; the largest being Barne's Hill in the southwest corner, and Wheeler Hill towards the north. The underlying rock is calcareous gneiss and Merrimack schist. There is a valuable quarry of building stone in the northerly part of town. Iron ore is also found. There is much variety of soil, but loam has the largest area.
The town has 124 farms, 224 dwelling-houses, and 899 inhabitants. The aggregate farm product in 1885 was $120,881. One or more saw mills and a shoe factory constitute the manufactories ; wooden goods were also made to the value of $1,508. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $488,777 ; and its rate of taxation $8.50 on $1,000. The Boston and Maine Railroad (Mass. Central) has a station at Berlin (village) ; and the Old Colony road has one at the same place and at West Berlin. These are also the post-offices. Other villages are South Berlin, Berlin Centre and Carterville. At the centre is an elegant Memorial Hall.
The town, in 1885, had five school-houses, valued at $6,500. The principal library contains nearly 1,000 volumes, and there are three Sunday-school libraries containing about the same number additional. There is a newspaper — the " Berlin Reporter " — issued weekly. The Congregationalists, Methodists, and Unitarians each have a church edifice here. The first society was organized in 1779. Rev. Reuben Puffer, D.D., was the first pastor, ordained in 1781, Berlin sent 122 men into the war for the Union, of whom 23 were lost.
In 1794 parts of Bolton and Marlborough were established as the district of Berlin ; in 1791, part of Lancaster was annexed ; in 1812 the district was incorporated as a town. Indian arrowheads, mortars and stone axes are occasionally exhumed here, especially about Washacum Pond.
Toward the east side of the town is Sawyer's Hill, a long ridge running north and south, on the west slope of which is the residence of Madame Rudersdorf, a musician and teacher of wide repute.
Among the eminent citizens of the past are Hon. William Bassett, Rev. William A. Haughton, Dr. E. Hartshorn, John B. Gough, and Hon. S. H. Howe.
pp. 144-145 in Nason's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890