Dana Massachusetts, 1890

Dana is a small farming and manufacturing town situated near the middle of the western border of Worcester County, about 75 miles west from Boston. Petersham forms the north and most of the eastern boundary, with the western angle of Barre and a portion of Hardwick on the latter side, while the last mentioned town forms the southern boundary, with Greenwich, Prescott and New Salem on the west.

The assessed area in 1888 was 10,970 acres. Another return gives 11,591, and a third 10,867. Neither of these are intended to include highways or water surfaces. There are 5,632 acres of woodland, consisting mainly of chestnut, pine, and oak. There are intervals of good land; the soil varying from loam to sand. The number of farms is 187, which is an increase of 69 since 1870. Their aggregate product in 1885 was $65,904. The population at the same date was 695; and they were sheltered by 179 dwelling-houses.

The villages and post-offices are Dana Centre and North Dana. The Springfield, Enfield and Athol Railroad passes through North Dana, which is at the northwest of the town. Swift River also passes through this village, and its east branch forms for a mile or two the southeastern line of the town. In this quarter is Pottapaug Pond, of 160 acres; and in the northwest corner is Neeseponset Pond, of 118 acres. The scenery is further diversified by brooks, verdurous meadows and woody hills; the largest of the latter being Rattlesnake and Pottapaug. There is much granite in the town, and a soapstone quarry has been worked with fair returns.

A box factory and a satinet factory in the town furnish the chief employment aside from the farms. Formerly large quantities of piano fittings, picture frames and palm-leaf hats were made here, and this work is still done to some extent. The manufactured product in clothing in 1885 was $16,850; in boxes and other wooden goods, $51,225. The aggregate value of the goods of all kinds was $71,169. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $281,869; with a tax-rate of $18 on $1,000.

There is a town-hall for entertainments, and five school-houses provide for primary and grammar schools. The churches are the Methodist and Universalist. Sixty men were furnished for the late war, of whom eight were lost.

Dana was made up of parts of Hardwick, Petersham and Greenwich, and incorporated February 18, 1801. A Congregational church was founded here in 1824. Perhaps the most eminent names of this town are Nathaniel Johnson and Albert Ameden.

Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890, Pp. 259-260

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