Hyde Park Massachusetts, 1890
Hyde Park, situated in the northeasterly part of Norfolk County, adjoining Boston on the south, is a new, beautiful and progressive town. The West Roxbury district bounds it on the northwest, the Dorchester district on the northeast, Milton on the southeast, and Dedham on the southwest. The town ship is nearly of lozenge shape, with the longest axis varying little from north and south. The assessed area is 2,406 acres. Trees occupy some 250 acres, beside those along the streets.
There were but nine farms (embracing 582 acres) reported in the last census; their aggregate product in that year having a value of $25,314. The greenhouse product alone made up more than one half of this sum. On the entire eastern side the Milton Hills lift their picturesque slopes; one of the group, Brush Hill, occupying a considerable space in the town along the border. Through the eastern section the Neponset River winds northward, furnishing power for mills at Readville in the south and for other mills at the north; and near the centre of the town receiving Mother Brook from Dedham. Hyde Park and Readville are stations on both the New York and New England and the Boston and Providence railroads; and these, with Clarendon Hill, are post-offices. The last, with Hazelwood, are stations on the Providence Railroad; while Fairmount is a residential hamlet growing up about an avenue of the same name running over Brush Hill southeastward. The views from this point are extensive and impressive. The golden dome of the State House, the hundred spires of the surrounding country, the harbor with its islands, the winding silvery line of the Neponset, the white villages along its course, and the village of Hyde Park just below, form a panorama of great attractiveness. Neponset Mountain is another eminence of note in the town. The rocks are the St. John's group, and sienite; and there is also a great deal of conglomerate (Roxbury pudding-stone) in view.
The manufactures of this town consist of cotton and woollen cloths (four or five mills). paper (Tileston and Hollingsworth Mills), iron castings, machinery, artisans' tools and various metallic work, sporting and athletic goods, furniture and curled hair, leather, piano parts, pottery ware, carriages, printers' work, and food preparations. The value of the latter, as reported in the census of 1885, was $86,635; iron and other metallic goods were $242,600; textiles, $891,511; the aggregate value of all manufactures being $1,954,919. In 1888, the dwelling-houses numbered 1,601; and the valuation was $6,874,500; with a tax-rate of $15.80 on $1,000. The Hyde Park Savings Bank, at the close of last year, had deposits to the amount of $230,603.
The schools are graded from primary to high, and occupy seven buildings valued at about $100,000. The other public buildings are spacious and substantial. There is a free public library of some 10,000 volumes. The newspapers are the long-established "Norfolk County Gazette" and the "Hyde Park Times " — both weeklies. The Roman Catholics have here a handsome church edifice of brick and stone. The Congregationalists have two churches; and the American Episcopal Church, the Unitarian, and the Methodist, one each; that of the latter being a quite elegant edifice of wood. The central part of the town is well supplied with water of excellent quality for domestic purposes by artesian wells.
This town was formed from parts of Dorchester, Milton and Dedham, and incorporated April 26, 1868. Perhaps the beauty of its landscapes led to its adoption of the name of the famous London park as its own, The population of the town in 1870 was 4,136; in 1885 it had increased to 8,306. Several hundreds of its inhabitants are engaged daily in business in Boston; the town, by reason of the two railroads, with their seven stations and some forty trains a day, being a very convenient as well as attractive residence.
pp. 392-393 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890