Carver Massachusetts, 1890

Carver lies in the middle section of Plymouth County, 38 miles southeast of Boston. It has Plympton on the north, Kingston and Plymouth on the east, the latter and Wareham on the south, and the last, with Middleborough, on the west. Its length northwest and southeast is about twice its width. The assessed area is 21,292 acres, and 17,011 of this are woodland, consisting of pitch pine and red oak on the uplands, and white cedar in the swamps. The red deer still roam in the long range of woods extending throughout this town and quite to Barnstable County.

There are no great elevations in the town, but ponds and streams are numerous, adding much to the scenery. Of the former there are twelve, whose names are Wenham, Sampson, Crane, Mohootset, Cooper, Muddy, Vaughan, John, Flax, Clear, Barrett and Waukanquog. Near the latter cranes and eagles build their nests. Sampson Pond was so called from an Indian sachem, for whom a reserve of 200 acres was made in 1705, with the privilege of fishing and hunting, making tar and turpentine, and cutting poles and bark in the undivided cedar swamps. These ponds once furnished large quantities of bog-iron ore. Winetuxet River gathers up the overflow of the northern ponds, discharging into the Taunton River; and South Meadow and Sampson's brooks drain the southern part emptying into Weweantit River, which forms nearly one half of the western line of the town.

The soil is a light sandy loam, and not less than 745 acres are devoted to cranberries. The fruit trees number 4,153; and the proceeds of these and the cranberry bogs amounted, in 1885, to $45,270. The number of farms was 116; and the entire agricultural product amounted to $105,791.

The town has braid, straw and carpet factories, four saw mills, and iron and brass founderies. The Ellis Foundery, near Sampson's Pond, was established under the name of "Charlotte Foundery" as early as 1757; and here was cast, about 1762, the first iron tea-kettle made in this country. The hollow iron-ware of these furnaces is of excellent quality, and widely known. The wooden goods, in 1885, were valued at 518,593; and the iron and other metallic goods, at $96,044. The aggregate manufactured product reached the value of

$120,156. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $588,850; and the rate of taxation $9 on $1,000. The population in 1870 was 1,092, with 228 dwelling-houses; while in 1885 the inhabitants numbered 1,091, and were sheltered in 264 dwellings; which, certainly, is an indication of thrift.

The loss of the town in the late war was some 22 persons. The cemetery at South Carver is very beautiful. The first burial here was in 177526. The Methodists have a church at this village, established in 1831; the Baptists one at Carver Centre, organized in 1791; and the Congregationalists one at North Carver, which dates from 1733. There is also an Advent Christian church. The town has four school-houses, valued at upwards of $2,500. Each of the Sunday schools has a library.

The post-offices are Carver, North Carver, East Carver, and South Carver. North Carver, South Carver, Wenham, Carver Green and Ellis Furnace, are the villages. The town is about midway between the Plympton, Plymouth, Tremont and Middleborough stations of the Old Colony Railroad in the adjoining towns.

Carver bears the name of the first governor of the Plymouth Colony. The territory was taken from Plympton, and incorporated June 9, 1790. In 1827 a portion of it was annexed to Wareham. South Meadows was purchased of the Indians in 1664; and in 1700 lands were sold to settlers at two shillings an acre. There are several aboriginal burial places in town, and traces of their occupancy are frequently met with. Rev. Othniel Campbell, ordained over the Congregational church in 1734, was the first minister here.

Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890, pp. 223-224