Clinton Massachusetts, 1890
Clinton is one of the younger towns, remarkable for its carpetings and woven wire. It is situated in the easterly part of Worcester County, about 35 miles west of Boston. The Fitchburg Branch of the Old Colony Railroad and the Central Massachusetts Railroad have stations at the centre, and the Worcester, Nashua and Portland Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad has a station at South Clinton. Lancaster bounds it on the northwest and north, Bolton and Berlin on the east, Royalston on the south, and Sterling on the west. The area is but 3,706 acres, besides highways and water surfaces; and of this 1,029 acres is woodland .
The land is much diversified with hills and valleys, but without extremes. The Nashua River pursues a serpentine course northeasterly through the town, affording, with other streams, much hydraulic power. The summer flow is enhanced by the storage afforded by ponds. Sandy Pond of 75 acres, Mossy Pond and Clam-shell Pond, west of the central hills, are beautiful sheets of water. The flora on the margin of these ponds is rich and varied; and here, among other beautiful plants, the Trillium grandiflorum appears in full perfection.
The farms in this town number but 30; their aggregate product in 1885 being $33,134, of which the greenhouse, hothouse and hot beds afforded $3,700.
The manufactures of the place are extensive and peculiar; consisting of Lancaster ginghams, cotton quilts and counterpanes, Brussels and Wilton carpetings, ladies' various underwear containing springs, gala-plaids, horn combs, clothing, wire-cloth and machinery.
The Lancaster Mills cover above four acres of land, one room devoted to weaving embracing nearly an acre of flooring; and the several mills, in 1885, employed 1,466 persons. The Bigelow Carpet Company, in the same year, employed 774 operatives in the manufacture of the numerous and complicated patterns of the excellent carpets for which they are famous. The Clinton Wire cloth Company is said to be the first that ever wove metallic wire by the power-loom. The products include the finest sieve-cloth, mosquito netting, desk and counter guards, and out-door fences. The cotton-goods product, in 1885, had the value of $2,788,576; while the entire product of the several factories reached the sum of $3,624,663 The valuation of the town in 1888 was $5,531,811; and the tax-rate was $18 on $1,000. The population is 8,945, and the voters number 1,570. There are 1,208 dwelling-houses.
There is here a national and a savings bank, the latter at the close of 1888 having $1,128,257 in deposits. The Memorial Town-hall cost about $90,000. The public library contains about 15,000 volumes, and there are an association and six Sunday-school libraries. The "Clinton Courant" is the weekly journal of the place, and receives a good support.
The churches are the Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist Episcopal, Protestant Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Second Advent and Unitarian. The usual social organizations thrive here.
Clinton furnished 336 men for the war of the Rebellion, of whom 85 were lost in the service.
This town was taken from Lancaster and incorporated March 14, 1850, being named for DeWitt Clinton. The town owes much of its prosperity to Erastus Brigham Bigelow, LL.D., born in West Boylston in April, 1814, who invented a machine for weaving coach-lace, and, in 1839, a power-loom for weaving two-ply ingrain carpets, which has had an extensive use.
Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890, pp. 241-242