Brimfield Massachusetts, 1890
Brimfield, is an excellent farming town in the extreme east of Hampden County, on the Boston and Albany Railroad, whose station at West Brimfield is 79 miles from Boston. The post-offices are Brimfield and East Brimfield; and these, with " Little Rest," are the villages. The town is bounded north by Warren, east by Sturbridge, south by Holland and Wales, and west by Monson and Palmer,
The assessed area is 21,104 acres; which includes 6,456 acres of forest, containing a large proportion of New England varieties. The geological structure is dolorites and ferruginous gneiss and specimens of iolite in gneiss, adularia, or white felspar, molybdenite, mica and garnet, are found in the northern part. West Mountain is the most extensive eminence. On another eminence, 500 feet in height, is an immense bowlder known as "Steerage Rock," the summit of which affords a very extensive view. Great Pond, of nearly 95 acres ; enclosed by hills; Sherman Pond, of about 80 acres; Little Alum Pond, of 34 acres; and Baker's Pond, of 16 acres, diversify the landscape. Several streams, meeting near the centre, form Mill Brook, an affluent of Quinebaug river, which winds through the southeast corner of the town; while a rapid stream flows through the westerly part of the town into Chicopee River, as the latter runs along the northwestern border.
Brimfield has 1,137 inhabitants, 244 dwelling-houses and 280 farms. In 1884 the aggregate farm product was $161,301. There is a considerable extent of land yet unimproved. Large quantities of lumber, firewood, bark, and charcoal are annually prepared for market. There are two saw mills, planing mill, grist mill; one or more brickyards; an auger factory; two factories for food preparations; one for fertilizers, and others; the aggregate product of these being $33,460. The valuation of this town in 1888 was $462,860; and the tax was $16 on $1,000.
Brimfield has primary and high schools, which occupy 11 schoolhouses, valued, with appurtenances, at $20,300. There is a good town-hall; a public library of nearly 3,000 volumes, public-school libraries of 1500 volumes or more, a church and two Sunday-school libraries. There are two Congregational churches, the first was organized in 1724. There is also a Moravian church; and East Brimfield has one of the Christian denomination. Brimfield sent 138 men to the late war of whom 18 perished in service ; and to the of these it has erected an elegant monument at an expense of $2,500.
[Hitchcock Free High School, Brimfield.]
This town was incorporated in 1731, taking its name, probably from the parish of Brimpsfield, eight miles from Gloucester, England. Moses Brooks, a son of Deliverance Brooks, was born here in 1717, and is said to have been the first white native. The first family that settled here bore the name of Hitchcock. The Thompson family came from Woburn, and the Russell and Blodget families from Lexington. The original limits of the town included Monson, Wales and Holland. A church was built in 1722 and the first minister was Rev Richard Treat. Brimfield took a very active part in the Revolutionary War, furnishing about 200 men.
Gen. William Eaton, of some renown from his exploits in Egypt, was long a resident of this town, and here ended his days. He married the widow of Col. Timothy Danielson (1733-1791), a Revolutionary officer and patriot, who had his birth and death in this town. Others of eminence were Gen. Fitz Henry Warren, Professor. John W. Foster, Hon. Ava Lincoln, M.D., Eben Knight, M.D., Hon. John Wyles, Samuel A. Hitchcock, Hen. Erastus Fairbanks (later of Vermont), Hon. Joseph Vaill and Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes.
pp. 201-202 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890