Enfield Massachusetts, 1890

Enfield is a farming town of varied and picturesque scenery, lying in the easterly part of Hampshire County, near 100 miles west of Boston. It is bounded on the north by Pelham, Prescott and Greenwich, east by the latter and Hardwick, south by Ware, and west by Belchertown and Pelham. The assessed area is 10,041 acres, of which 2,471 is woodland.

Ridges of high and wooded land extend from north to south through the town, and through the valleys intervening flow Swift River and two or three small tributaries. Beaver Brook, having its origin in Sunk and Morton Ponds, flows southerly from the southeast section. These streams furnish motive power for a woollen factory and several saw and box mills.

The farms — 89 in number — yield fair crops in the usual variety; and these, with the dairies, domestic animals and the poultry yard, yielded an aggregate product, in the census year of 1885, valued at $75,118. The valuation in 1888 was $606,210; with a tax of $9 on $1,000. The population was 1,010; and there were 209 dwelling-houses. The principal village is Smith's Station on the Springfield and Athol Railroad, which passes through the midst of the town.

The primary and grammar schools occupied six school-houses, valued at about $2,500. The public library has nearly 2,000 volumes; and two Sunday schools have about 1,000. The churches are Congregationalist, Methodist and Roman Catholic.

The early settlers —among whom were Robert Field, a clothier, John Sawin, Caleb Keith, Abner Eddy, Reuben Colton, William Morton, and William Patterson — came, in part, from Bridgewater and Easton. The first meeting-house was built in 1786, and had for seats movable benches instead of pews. The Rev. Joshua Crosby, settled December 2, 1789, was the first minister. The first saw mill was built by Ephraim Woodward, and the first grain mill by Robert Field prior to 1773. The "Quabbin whetstones " were manufactured here from 1790 until 1820, and were then the principal articles of export.

The town was incorporated as the South Parish of Greenwich ill June, 1787; embracing the south part of that town, together with parts of Belchertown and Ware. The place was incorporated as a town February 18, 1816; and, according to Dr. J. G. Holland, was named in honor of Robert Field; prefixing a syllable, however, to his family name.

The Hon. Josiah B. Woods of this town was the principal donor of the "Woods Cabinet " of Amherst College.

Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890, p. 293