Hanover Massachusetts, 1890
Hanover is a very pleasant town in the northerly part of Plymouth County, 26 miles from Boston, with which it is connected by the Hanover Branch of the Old Colony Railroad. It is bounded on the north by Rockland and South Scituate, on the east by the latter, on the south by Pembroke and Hanson, and on the west by Rockland. The assessed area is 9,297 acres, including 3,896 acres of woodland.
The Four Corners village, at the confluence of the Third Herring Brook and North River (forming respectively the eastern and the southern lines of the town), is "Hanover" station, the terminal point of the railroad, at the southeast corner of the town. Other stations and villages along the railroad are Curtis' Crossing, Winslow's Crossing, South Hanover and West Hanover. Other villages are the centre, North Hanover, and at the northeast corner, Assinippa Village, having West Scituate as its post-office.
With the exception of Walnut Hill in the north, and Round Top in the southwest, the land is quite generally level, and the scenery somewhat monotonous. The underlying rock is sienite and carboniferous. Here and there a small pond meets the eye. Several sources of the North River spring up in this town, and, uniting, flow into Indian Pond, which, for some distance, divides the town from Hanson; and then the river itself forms the divisional line between the town and Pembroke. Formerly there was considerable shipbuilding on this stream, for which Hanover and the neighboring towns furnished excellent white oak timber.
There are in the town 99 farms, but few owners devote themselves wholly to agriculture. The aggregate farm product in the census year of 1885 was $83,248. The making of boots and shoes occupied about 250 persons; the goods selling for $72,348. The product of the several nail and tack factories, with other iron goods, reached a value of $182,800; boxes, house lumber and other wooden goods, $38,732. Twenty-four persons were employed in the rubber factory; and there were manufactures of carriages, bricks, leather, meal and flour, etc. The aggregate value of the entire manufactured product was $708,015. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $1,116,657, with a tax-rate of $12.50 on $1,000. The inhabitants numbered 1,966, with 445 dwelling-houses. There were 570 legal voters.
The schools are graded, occupying eight buildings, valued at nearly $10,000. The Hanover Academy, established in 1828, is still active, and has a good school building. Three libraries, in as many different villages, are accessible to the people. The academy and the high school also have each a small library; and there are five Sunday-school libraries. The churches are Baptist, two Congregational, one American Episcopal, one Methodist Episcopal, and one Roman Catholic. The "Hanover Advance" and the "North River Pioneer" are weekly visitors of much usefulness.
Though settled as early as 1649, this place was not incorporated as a town until June 14, 1727, when it was named in honor of the Duke of Hanover, who at this date had been three days George the Second, King of England. In 1754 there were seventeen slaves in town. It is said that the first saw-mill erected in America was built in this place, and before one had been established in England. The anchors of the "Old Ironsides" were forged here; and here also the first cast-iron ploughs were made.
"Few towns in the State," observes a writer, "can show a larger proportion of pleasant, attractive country residences than Hanover. There is unmistakable evidence that the previous generation was one of thrift and success." Hanover is still an intelligent, industrious and temperate place. It furnished 180 men for the Union army in the late war, losing about 40.
Col. John Bailey (1730-1840), and Rear-Admiral Joseph Smith, United States Navy (1790), were born in Hanover.
pp. 355-356 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890