Cohasset Massachusetts, 1890
Cohasset is a pleasant seaboard town and watering-place 20 miles southeast of Boston by the South-shore Railroad. The town of Hingham separates it from the rest of Norfolk County, to which it belongs. It has the southeast part of Hull on the northwest, Massachusetts Bay on the north and northeast, Scituate on the south east and also on the south, with an angle of Norwell, and Hingham, on the west.
[old and new Minot's-Ledge Lighthouses, Cohasset]
The geological formation is sienite, and ledges of this rock give a romantic aspect to the town, and form many picturesque and dangerous reefs, points and islands off the shore. "The Cohasset Rocks, so called, have sent many a proud vessel to destruction, and are greatly dreaded by the mariner when driven to wards the coast by the northeastern gale. The lighthouse on one of these rocks, called "Minot's Ledge," with its two keepers, was carried away in the tremendous storm of April 16, 1851. Another lighthouse, on the model of the Eddystone, constructed in its place, has withstood the storms unharmed.
From these rocks large quantities of sea-moss are gathered, and among them numerous shellfish are taken. Scituate Hill, the highest point of land in town, is 180 feet above sea-level and commands an ocean view of remarkable extent and beauty. Connohasset River flows into the harbor and affords some motive power; and Scituate Pond, a fine sheet of water, 53 acres in extent, adds attraction to the scenery in the southern part of the town. Old Harbor, being almost land-locked, has the effect of an inland lakelet.
There are a number of attractive drives in the town; and the "Jerusalem Road" is famous for its charming scenery. The summer residences of wealthy citizens of Boston beautify the place; and visitors to the shore for gunning, fishing, boating, bathing, during the warm season, fill the place with animation and variety. Here one has the ocean in its glory; and the shore itself is but an extended and impressive natural curiosity.
Many of the people are engaged in the fisheries; and the annual product, as exampled in the census year of 1885, has a value of $55,503. The area of the town is 5,970 acres; and of this, 1,795 is woodland. The farms number 52, and have the usual variety of products, amounting, in the year mentioned, to $64,358. The manufactures of food preparations, boots and shoes, carriages and wagons, and other metallic goods , amounted to $62,797. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $3,444,875; with the wonderfully low tax-rate of $3.90 on $1,000. The number of dwelling-houses was 582, the population 2,216, of whom 556 were voters.
There is a savings bank, a good town-hall, and seven school buildings, — the last estimated worth about $15,000. The schools are graded from primary to high. There is a Congregationalist church at the village of Beechwood, and one at Cohasset village; also a Unitarian. The Methodists have one at Nantasket (North Cohasset). The railroad stations are North Cohasset, King Street, and Cohasset.
The name of this place was from the Indian Connohasset, signifying "fishing promontory." The territory was taken from Hingham , and incorporated as the district of Cohasset, April 26, 1770. On August 23, 1775, it was made a town, by the general act of that date. On June 14, 1823, a part of Scituate was annexed.
The Rev. Nehemiah Hobart, grandson of the Rev. Peter Hobart, of Hingham, was the first minister of the place, having been settled in 1721. Benjamin Pratt (1710-1763), a distinguished lawyer and jurist; Joshua Bates, D.D. (1776-1854), a scholar and divine; and Joshua Flint Barker (1801-1864), an eminent surgeon and author, were natives of this town.
Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890, Pp. 243-244