Hamilton Massachusetts, 1890

Hamilton is a pleasant rural town in the central part of Essex County, and is intersected by the Eastern line of the Boston and. Maine Railroad, 24 miles northeast of Boston. The Essex Branch runs from the main line eastward through the town. Ipswich lies on the north, Essex on the east, Manchester and Wenham on the south, and Topsfield on the west.

Except on the southern side (which is a straight line) the outline of the town is extremely irregular. The assessed area is 8,825 acres. Of this, 1,835 acres are forest, consisting chiefly of hemlock and pine. The land is rather level; Vineyard Hill in the west, and Brown's Hill in the southeast, being the highest elevations. Chebacco, Gravel, Round and. Beck's ponds diversify the southeastern section of the town; a large swamp occupies the southwestern. angle; and Miles River runs across the town from south to north, parallel with the central village. Black Brook drains the northwest part of the town, discharging into Ipswich River, which forms the western portion of the northern line, as well as the southern part; of the western line. Sienite is the underlying stone. The soil is a black loam, and quite productive.

The 93 farms in 1885 yielded crops and other products to the value of $106,121. The manufactures consist of boots and shoes, carriages, ice and. other food preparations; these amounting, in the last census year, to $117,725. The valuation in 1888 was $772,070, with a tax of $8.10 on $1,000. The population is 851; and the number of dwelling-houses, 222. There are four school buildings, valued at upwards of $2,500. The Congregationalists and the Methodists have each a. church here.

Asbury Grove, a noted camp-meeting ground in. the southwestern part of the town, is laid out with streets, avenues and parks, on which have been constructed numerous cottages in various styles of architecture for the accommodation of families during the continuance of the meetings, which annually attract thousands to this delightful spot.

A church was organized here in October 27, 1714, as the third of Ipswich; and at that time the Rev. Samuel Wigglesworth was ordained as pastor.

This town was originally a part of Ipswich. It was called "The Hamlet" until its incorporation, June 21, 1793, when it received its present name in honor of Alexander Hamilton. Among the persons of eminence, natives of this town, are Fanny Woodbury (1791-1814), Daniel Safford (1792-1856), noted for benevolence; and Mary Abigail Dodge ("Gail Hamilton") (1838), the most popular lady-essayist of the last twenty-five years, and regarded as still a resident of the town.

p. 353 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890