Boxford Massachusetts, 1890


Boxford
is a large and long township of an irregular form, occupying a central position in Essex County. It has Bradford on the north; Groveland and Georgetown on the north and east; Rowley, Ipswich and Topsfield on the east; the last, with Middleton, on the south; and North Andover on the southwest and west. Its assessed area is 13,819 acres, of which 4,842 acres are woodland, consisting of pine, oak, birch and maple. The population in 1885 was 840, and there were 189 dwelling-houses. The Danvers and Newburyport Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad passes through the easterly side of the town, the Boxford station being at East Boxford, which is also a post-office and village. The other post-offices are Boxford and West Boxford, which are also villages.

The land is well diversified by hill and valley. The rock is calcareous gneiss and sienite, and there are many bowlders of various minerals. The flora is rich and varied. Bald, Long and Stiles hills are the most notable eminences. The ponds are numerous, and well stored with pickerel and other fluvial fish. Perley's Pond, near the Georgetown line, contains 54 acres; and Hovey's Pond, West Boxford, 36 acres. Hasseltine Brook, rising in West Boxford, flows easterly into Parker River; Pye Brook, running through Wood's, Four-mile and Spofford's ponds, and Fish Brook, coming into Boxford from North Andover, are affluents of the Ipswich River.

These streams at present furnish motive power for two or more lumber and grist mills. Other manufactures of the town are boots and shoes, wagons, matches, clothing and food preparations, valued, in the aggregate, at $60,140. The farms number 105; and their product, in 1885, amounted to $114,695. The valuation, in 1888, was $658,625; with a tax of $9.10 on $1,000.

The town has six school-houses,valued at about $4,300. There is a convenient town-hall; and the public library has nearly 2,000 volumes. There is a Congregational church at Boxford, and another at West Boxford.

Seventy-six men went from Boxford into the late war, of whom 23 died in the service.

This town was named, it is supposed, from Boxford, in England, and was incorporated August 12, 1685. It is mentioned in the Tax Act in 1694. In 1728, part of Boxford was taken, with others, to form the town of Middleton. In 1846, part of Ipswich was annexed, and in 1856 part of Boxford was annexed to Groveland. The first church was organized, and the Rev. Thomas Symmes ordained as pastor, in 1702. The first pastor of the second church was Rev. John Cushing, ordained in 1736.

This town was very patriotic in the Revolution, and eight of its citizens were killed in the battle of Bunker Hill. Col. Thomas Knowlton, an intrepid officer of the Revolutionary army, was born here, November 30, 1740. He was killed in the battle of Harlem Heights, September 16, 1776. General Washington said of him that he "would have been an honor to any country."

Samuel Holyoke, a musical composer, author of "The Columbian Repository of Sacred Music, and other works, was both here October 15, 1762 (H. U., 1789), and died at Concord, N. H., in 1820.

pp. 192-193 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer