Marlborough Massachusetts, 1890

Marlborough is an ancient and very thriving agricultural and manufacturing town, lying in the southwest part of Middlesex County, about 25 miles west of Boston. Its boundaries are Hudson on the north, Sudbury and Framingham on the east, Southborough on the south, Northborough on the southwest and Berlin on the northwest. The assessed area is 12,732; of which 3,939 acres are woodland. The Marlboro Branch of the Fitchburg Railroad terminates at Marlboro (centre); and the Framingham, Clinton and Fitchburg Division of the Old Colony Railroad crosses the southwest corner and has a station at South Marlboro and Marlboro (centre).

The land is finely diversified, rising into hills covered with fine farms and orchards, or sinking into valleys beautified by lakes, and streams and a rich and varied flora. Spoon Hill, in the north, overlooks a broad and beautiful sheet of water covering 250 acres, whose outlet is Fort-meadow Brook. Indian Head Hill, in the east, is a conspicuous object in the landscape. Ockoocangansett Hill is noted as having been an Indian planting-field, and as having on its northern slope an Indian burial-place; and Slygo Hill, the highest point of land in the town, commands a view of many surrounding villages. Fairmount is a charming eminence near the centre; and upon its sloping sides, ornamented with trees and shrubbery, are several elegant residences. William's Pond, of about 160 acres, is very clear and deep and beautiful, the high land about it cultivated to its very margin. The town being the water-shed between the Assabet and Sudbury rivers, the brooks flow from the central territory in different courses; Fort-meadow Brook finding its way into the former, and Stony Brook into the latter stream.

Apple trees are very numerous and thrifty. The farms number 239; and their aggregate product in 1885 reached the value of $232,514. The chief manufacture is of shoes; there being, according to the last census, 18 factories, employing 2,769 persons, and making goods to the amount of $5,831,004. Machinery, artisans' tools and other metallic goods were made to the value of $88,470; food preparations, to the amount of $168,012; furniture and other wooden goods, to the value of $63,153; and leather $14,770. Other manufactures were boxes, carriages, shoe-pegs, clothing, liquors, textiles, bleachery and dyed goods, soap and tobacco. The aggregate value of the manufactures was $6,417,617. There are two national banks whose combined capital is $250,000; and the savings bank, at the opening of the present year, held deposits to the amount of $1,225,528. The valuation in 1888 was $5,207,339; with a tax-rate of $16.50 on $1,000. There were 1,805 dwelling-houses and a population of 10,941, including 2,455 legal voters.

The post-office is Marlborough; and the railroad stations this and South Marlborough. Other villages are East Marlborough and West Marlborough. There are a good town-hall an d a free public library of some 19,090 volumes; also well-filled Sunday-school libraries. The town has a daily newspaper, the "Mirror;" and for weeklies, there are the "Mirror-Journal," the " Advertiser," the "Times," the " Star," the "Farmer's Companion and Prize Weekly," and the latter also as a monthly. The schools are completely graded, and occupy 12 buildings, which are valued at about $55,000. There are churches of the Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Unitarians, Universalists; and the Roman Catholics, who have two. The town lost 89 men in the war of the Rebellion, and has erected a fine monument to their memory.

The records of the General Court, under date of May 31, 1660, state the confirmation of a grant to the "Whip-sufferage" planters, and the establishment of the plantation as "Marlborow." It was probab1y named for Marlborough in Wiltshire, England. A tract of land called Agaganquamasset was added to the township; and from the latter have been formed, wholly or in part, the towns of Westborough, Southborough, Berlin, Northborough, Bolton and Hudson. The Indian names of the place were Ockoocangansett and Whipsuppenioke. This place was one of the seven "praying-towns" under the care of the Rev. John Eliot. In 1674, there were here about ten Indian families, whose chief, Onomog, had recently deceased. Several white settlers came early in 1669. The land for the meeting-house was bought of an Indian named "Anamaks."

On Sunday, March 20, 1676, while the people were at worship, they were alarmed by a cry of "Indians at the door!" and instantly started for the fort, which all reached in safety, except Moses Newton, who was wounded while bringing an infirm woman. The savages destroyed fruit trees, and burned dwellings and the church; the site of the latter being now marked by a granite monument.

pp. 442-443 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890