Burlington Massachusetts, 1890
Burlington is a small agricultural town in the easterly section of Middlesex County, about 10 miles north by northwest from Boston. The nearest railroad station is Woburn Centre, three miles distant. The boundaries are Billerica and Wilmington on the northwest and northeast, Woburn on the east and southeast, Lexington on the southwest, and Bedford on the west.
The assessed area of the town is 7,312 acres, including 1,888 acres of woodland. The trees are chiefly oak, maple, pine and some birch. The surface is broken and uneven ; and there are conspicuous eminences at the north, centre and south which afford admirable views. From Bennett Hill in the centre there is a fine view of Wachusett and the New Hampshire mountains. A beautiful stream called Vine Brook, an affluent of the Shawsheen River, winds through the southwest part of the town, affording water power for mills, and trout for the disciples of Walton. Affluents of the Ipswich River also originate in the easterly part of the town.
The principal rock is calcareous gneiss and sienite. The soil is generally a very dark loam, with sandy or light soil in some parts, but generally good farming land. The farms, in 1885, numbered ninety ; and their aggregate product was $123,124.
There is a variable quantity of manufacturing done in lumber, leather, boots and shoes, food preparations and a few other articles. The valuation in 1888 was $480,949 ; and the tax-rate was $10.70 on $1,000.
The population, at the census of 1885, was 604, with 130 dwelling-houses. Burlington and Havenville are the villages, the first having the post-office. There are graded schools, with five school-houses, valued at about $3,000. A public library, sustained by the town, contains above 3,000 volumes.
This town was taken from Woburn and incorporated on February 28, 1799 ; and in 1800 a portion of it was annexed to Lexington. A Congregational church was organized here in 1735. The meeting-house was erected two years earlier. The venerable edifice is still standing in good repair, though it has been somewhat remodelled. The old oak frame and the boarding of hard pine are the same as when built 156 years ago.
Eighty-two men, a large number for this small town, were furnished for the late war, and nine were lost.
James Walker, a president of Harvard College, was born here. Rev. Samuel Sewall, author of the history of Woburn, was the minister for Burlington, and a resident for many years. Samuel Sewall has been town clerk for upwards of twenty years.
p. 212 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890