A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts
with Numerous Illustrations
Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; revised and enlarged by George J. Varney.
Boston: B.B. Russell. 1890, 724 pages


  [title page and dedication] title
  [Nason's preface] Nason
  [Varney' preface] Varney
  [scanner's comments, links and e-mail] Kew
THE STATE ........ 11 to 57
  MOUNTAINS ........ 15
  CLIMATE ......... 19
  RELIGION ........ 34
  THE ABORIGINES ....... 43
  CIVIL HISTORY ....... 44
  [the concept and history of counties] 59
  [overview descriptions of the 14 counties, alphabetically listed, with links to their cities and towns] counties
  [detailed descriptions of the cities, towns, villages and geographic features. alphabetically listed] towns







Numerous Illustrations






"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem."





This Work is Respectfully Dedicated




THE design of this work is to present in alphabetical order a clear and concise topographical description, together with a brief historical and statistical notice, of the several counties, cities, towns, and villages of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since any attempt of the kind was made the State has rapidly advanced, not only as to its population, but also in respect to its industrial and commercial enterprises, its literary, social, and religious institutions, and its intercommunications by the railroad and electric telegraph. New cities and towns have been organized; new branches of industry introduced; new methods of utilizing waste material, and new machines for lessening manual labor, adopted; and thus new sources of wealth and power disclosed.
Since the closing of the war, art, industry, education, aspiration, have received fresh impulse; and the Massachusetts of today is by no means the Massachusetts of 1860. Advancement everywhere is distinctly visible. Now, while we have many excellent town histories and directories, and innumerable special reports of industrial, educational, and civil interests, we have no work giving the topographical, geological, and general social, religious, literary, and business aspect of the entire Commonwealth with its several sections as it now presents itself; we have no compendium from which, the public may obtain a just conception of the progress which the State of late has made, or of the attitude in which it is now standing.
To meet this want; to portray the varied local scenery, the genius, the spirit, the industrial and intellectual activities, of the people; to form a guide-book of the State adapted to the family, the student, the man of business, and the man of leisure, the editor and the literary institution, — has been, both as it regards the plan and the detail, the writer's constant aim. His material has been abundant; his chief difficulty has been in the selection and the condensation.

The notices of the Indian and other names of places, of the geological formations and peculiar minerals and plants, of eminent men the towns have given to the world, of soldiers sent to the late war, of memorials in honor of the lost, of town histories, libraries, and lyceums, as well as the illustrations of the artist, will, it is believed, be found to enhance in no small degree the value of this work. The census given is that of 1870; and the dates of the incorporation of the towns are generally those of the late George W. Chase, made under the direction of the Secretary of State, unless otherwise designated.

The valuation, rate of taxation, number of dwelling-houses and of legal voters, are from the official returns of 1872; and the educational statistics, from the Thirty-sixth Report of the Board of Education, made in January, 1873. The writer most gratefully acknowledges his obligations to nearly all the clerks of the cities and towns of the State for the prompt and valuable services they have rendered him by transmitting important information; to John Ward Dean, A.M., for assistance cordially and politely given; to S. N. Gifford, Esq., Clerk of the Senate, and to the Hon. Charles Adams, jun., Treasurer of the Commonwealth, for friendly aid and counsel.
Very essential help has been derived from the accurate and excellent "Dictionary of American Biography," by Mr. Francis S. Drake; from the carefully-prepared "Bibliography of the Local History of Massachusetts," by Jeremiah Colburn, A.M.; and from an able "Essay on the Origin of the Names of the Towns in Massachusetts," by William Henry Whitmore, A.M.

As the materials for this work have been drawn from many different and sometimes conflicting sources, as the topics are so numerous and so varied, and as the social, industrial, educational, and religious condition of the cities, towns, and villages, is ever changing, it is altogether impossible that some inaccuracies should not occur. No one will regret them more sincerely than the writer; and, when made known to him, the earliest opportunity to correct them will be embraced.

  Short bio of Nason.


In this revision of the "Gazetteer of Massachusetts," it was not; at first intended to change the original form of the work, but simply to bring it to greater completeness on Mr. Nason's plan,— by dropping obsolete portions, and substituting therefor matter supplied by subsequent occurrences, later investigations, and the latest statistics, — bringing every article up to date; but on entering upon the work it was found that in the passage of time the conditions in nearly every town had so changed, sometimes by a reduction of population and business, oftener by increase, and frequently by a change of industries, that the account of every one had of necessity to be rewritten; only rare paragraphs and occasional sentences having been adopted intact, except in the part relating to the State at large.

A new feature in the book is the addition of a heading for every village and post-office the name of which is not in part the same as that of the containing town; also, for the principal mountains, ponds, rivers, capes and islands; and still another is the grouping of the counties by themselves between the first division, relating to the State, and the towns. It will be evident that each of these several additions and changes renders the book more useful and valuable.

The statistics of this edition are from the State census for 1885 (the last volume of which was issued in June of the present year) or from later sources, as, in part, from the clerks of the towns and cities. The topographical survey of the State, now in progress, has opportunely furnished corrected figures for many elevations, areas and distances.

The Reviser here renders his thanks for valuable aid to Messrs. Wadlin and Pidgin, of the Bureau of Labor Statistics; to Mr. Tillinghast, of the State Library; to Hon. Henry B. Peirce, Secretary of the Commonwealth; to Samuel W. Abbott, M.D., Secretary of the State Board of Health; to Mr. Henry B. Wood, Dr. J. F. Pratt and others of the State Department; to Mr. Edward A. McLaughlin, Clerk of the House of Representatives; to Hon. Samuel A. Green, M.D., of the Massachusetts Historical Society; to John Ward Dean, A.M., of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; and to many others whose courtesy has facilitated the work of this revision.
The Editor's thanks are also due to the city and town clerks who have so kindly contributed local facts and statistics for this work.

BOSTON, December 31,1889.

Scanner's comments.

I started by scanning the towns of special interest to me, and kept going from there. I find it interesting to see what a 19th century writer included: statistics on farm, fishing, and industrial production; population, number of (male) voters, number of "taxed dwelling-houses," and total property valuation with tax-rate; railroad lines and stations, and post-offices; location with respect to Boston, topography, soil types and minerals; school grades and buildings; newspapers, libraries and their number of books; church buildings and sects; scenic interest, historical anecdotes and prominent citizens; Civil War manpower contributions, losses and memorials.

I was surprised to find the book so neutral about religious sects, being written by a 19th century minister, although there is usually a sentence or two about the date of the first church and its ministers to show pride of place; and also surprised to find that several towns had Mormon churches. It is amusing to find that typical school buildings were worth less than $1,000. The total valuation of many towns was less than some individual homes in them today, but the tax-rates were similar to current rates (no income, payroll or sales taxes, however). Most towns had multiple newspapers, mostly weeklies but some dailies. Shoe-making was an enormous industry, cloth-making and metal-working were important, farming was common but not huge, fishing seems to be fairly minor. Cranberries were grown in many towns, not just in the southeast; many towns had tens of thousands of fruit trees. Forest products were important in the western towns. Most towns had local banks — their capitalization was microscopic.

The optical character readers made lots of mistakes — I didn't catch them all. Nason and Varney certainly made plenty of mistakes too, and I note the few I catch [in brackets], although many of their "errors" are just 19th century grammatical style. Don't take their statistics as gospel where the numbers are highly disproportionate to comparable towns. I also suspect some of their historical dates confuse the century! There are only a few interesting pictures, but I haven't enough server space or expertise to work with them for most.

[The picture titles are in brackets.]

Questions, corrections, bad link reports and other feedback welcome - vze2c48q[at]verizon.net.

My links: main page, 18th Century documents, maps, review of Presto! OCR 4.0

good outside links:
Short biography of Nason.

David Kew
Worcester Massachusetts
May 2002


The State of Massachusetts is distinguished for its local scenery, its liberal institutions, and the enterprise and intelligence of its inhabitants. Its name is supposed to be derived from two Indian words,— massa, "great," and wachusett, "mountain-place." The Rev. John Cotton defines Massachusetts as "a hill in the form of an arrow-head;" and Roger Williams says, "The Massachusetts were so called from the Blue Hills." In allusion, to its broad and beautiful bay, it is often called the OLD BAY STATE. It lies on the Atlantic Ocean, in the north-eastern section of the United States, between the parallels of 41° 10' and 42° 53' north latitude, and between 69° 57' and 73° 30' west longitude. In form it is quite irregular, the south-eastern portion projecting far into the ocean, and in part enclosing Cape-Cod Bay. Its length is about a hundred and forty-five miles, and its breadth about ninety miles in the longitude of Boston, and about forty-eight in that of Springfield. It is bounded on the north by Vermont for the distance of forty miles to the Conne[c]ticut River and thence by New Hampshire about ninety miles to the sea-coast; on the east, in a very circuitous line, by the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by the same, together with Rhode Island and Connecticut; and on the west by New York. A part of the boundary-line between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was settled in 1861 by an exchange of territory, in which the former received a section of Tiverton over which Fall River was extending, and the latter the whole of Pawtucket and about one-third of Seekonk. The superficial area of the State is about 8,040 square miles, or 5,145,600 acres, of which about 939,260 are cultivated.


The coast is indented by three large bays, which lend a peculiar aspect to the littoral section of the State. Massachusetts Bay, having a breadth of about forty miles, is formed by Cape Ann, a rocky promontory on the north, and Cape Cod, a long incurvated strip of low, sandy land upon the south. Its broad and deep waters wash, to a great extent, the eastern shore of the State. Of the harbors in this bay, that of Boston is the best; it being deep, capacious, and well protected. Its other important harbors, commencing at the north, are those of Gloucester, Salem, Marblehead, Lynn, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Provincetown. Cape-Cod Bay is included between the eastern point of Plymouth and Provincetown, and forms the south-east part of Massachusetts Bay. Buzzard's Bay, in the southern part of the State, extends thirty miles northeasterly from the ocean, between the Elizabeth Islands and Barnstable County on the east, and Bristol and Plymouth Counties on the west. Towards Cape-Cod Bay it contains the harbors of New Bedford, Fairhaven, Wareham, and Rochester. Between this bay and Cape-Cod Bay, a distance of only five miles, it is proposed to cut a ship canal. In addition to those enumerated, the State has important harbors at Newburyport, Ipswich, Rockport, Harwich, Falmouth, Fall River, Holmes's Holl, Edgartown, and Nantucket. Cape Ann extends about fifteen miles easterly into the sea, and its rocky headlands afford delightful maritime scenery. Cape-Cod — sometimes called, from the character of its people, "the strong right arm of the State"— projects from the mainland some forty miles easterly, forming the southern side of Massachusetts Bay, and then, turning like an elbow at right angles, runs northerly about thirty miles, and terminates, after making another sudden bend to the westward, at Provincetown. It varies in width from five to twenty miles, and resembles a man's arm turned inward, both at the elbow and the wrist. The land upon the ocean-side appears in some localities to be wearing away, the creeks and harbors to be changing their places; and an island of twenty acres off the eastern shore, once covered with trees, now lies six fathoms below the surface of the sea. Nahant, which lies nine miles north, and Nantasket on the south, of Boston Harbor, are noted peninsulas, having handsome beaches, to which many people resort in the summer season for boating, fishing, gaming, and sea-bathing.

Commencing at the north, we find a narrow strip of sandy land, called, from an edible fruit it bears, Plum Island. It extends from the mouth of the Merrimack River along the coast nine miles to Ipswich Harbor. The sand is drifted into fantastic forms; and the eastern shores is subject to continual changes from the action of the sea. A bridge connects the island with the mainland.

Thatcher's Island, on which there are two lighthouses, lies off Cape Ann. Long Island, Deer Island, Castle, and other islands, beautify and protect Boston Harbor. Clark's Island, celebrated as the landing of the Pilgrims 1620, is a beautiful knoll in the southern part of Duxbury Bay. Monomoy, like Plum Island, is a long strip of low, sandy soil, extending southerly from the outer point of the elbow of Cape Cod.

Nantucket lies in the form of an irregular crescent, some twelve miles south of Monomoy. It contains an area of about fifty square miles. The land is level, sandy, and almost entirely destitute of trees. The climate is very mild and healthful. South of this island lies a long and dangerous reef of sand, called the Nantucket Shoals, on which many vessels have been lost. Martha's Vineyard, about twenty miles long and ten miles broad, extends westward from the Island of Nantucket, and has a good soil and commodious harbors at Holmes's Holl and Edgartown. The Indians called the island Capawock. The Vineyard Sound separates Martha's Vineyard on the north-west from a chain of sixteen small islands, recently incorporated as the town of Gosnold. They are called the Elizabeth Islands, and will be described under the town to which they now belong. Noman's Land is a little solitary island, lying about six miles south-east of Gay-Head Light, containing two or three habitations, mostly used by fishermen, and pilots looking out for vessels bearing towards the coast.


The surface of Massachusetts is greatly diversified: being, in the eastern and south-eastern parts, undulating or level; in the central section hilly and broken; and in the western, rugged and mountainous. The scenery along the seaboard, especially at Newburyport, Ipswich, Manchester, Nahant, Nantasket, Duxbury, Gay Head, and Fall River, is exceedingly beautiful; while from the highlands of Haverhill, Andover, Hopkinton, Bolton, Princeton, Ashby, and other elevated places east of the Connecticut River, the most varied and extensive prospects are enjoyed. The valley of the Connecticut abounds in picturesque views of alpine scenery, contrasting grandly with the winding glades and luxuriant intervals through which the majestic stream pursues its way. The view from the summit of Mount Holyoke, embracing the beautiful towns of Amherst, Hadley and Northampton, the windings of the river, and the near and distant mountains, is one of the most charming in the country; and the romantic scenery of the Deerfield River, of the Housatonic River, the broad panorama which the eye sweeps over from the summit of the Hoosac Mountain, and the magnificent range of vision gained from the top of Saddle Mountain, command the admiration of the lovers of the grand and beautiful in nature, and render Massachusetts worthy of the study of the landscape-painter and the poet.


A third of a century ago, it was the universal belief that the metamorphic locks of the State were mostly of the primitive formation: but more recent investigations in geology seem to establish the fact, that granite, gneiss, schists, and other crystalline rocks have been transformed by fire from the original clays, sandstones, and limestones; and, although belonging to the eozoic age, are not, therefore, to be classified as primitive. According to Prof. C. H. Hitchcock, the sienite and porphyry, gneiss, granite, and hornblende schists of the eastern section of the State, the sienite flanking the sandstones of the valley of the Connecticut River, and the gneiss of the Hoosac range of mountains, should be referred to the period in which the dawn of animal life appears, now called the eozoic. Such rocks, varying in form and inclination, constitute the geological structure, and mark the scenic features, of a large portion of the State. The Merrimack schists run along the valley of the Merrimack, Concord, and French Rivers, from Salisbury to Webster. Sienite underlies large sections of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth Counties. A strip of granite extends across the State, from Duxbury to Fall River; and calcareous or ferruginous gneiss is the basis of the central section of the State. The alpine region also, from Munroe [sic] to Sandisfield, rests upon the same formation. Vast sienite quarries of excellent building-stone are found at Rockport, Westford, Quincy, and other places; and bog-iron ore appears in connection with gneissic rocks in various localities.

To the palæozoic rocks, or those which contain no form of plants or animals now living, may be referred the slates, conglomerate and carboniferous rocks, in the eastern part of the State; certain metamorphic strata appearing at various intervals as far west as the Hoosac Mountains, together with the rocks beyond that range. In one kind of this rock at Braintree there has been discovered a large fossil trilobite, called the Paradoxides Harlani, which Prof. Hitchcock thinks should regarded with veneration, as "one of the oldest inhabitants of the State." The Levis and Potsdam limestones, which occupy the valleys of the Hoosac and Housatonic Rivers, and the "coal measures" of Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties, in which ferns and fruits have been found, may be referred to the palaeozoic group. The beautiful white marble at Lanesborough, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, and other towns in the Berkshire Valley, is represented in the buildings of almost every city in the Union.

To the mesozoic period belong the red and gray sandstone, the shales and greenstone of the valley of the Connecticut River. In these sandstones, at Turner's Falls and other places, have been discovered the footprints or ichnites, of more than one hundred and fifty species of birds and other animals of remarkable size, structure and habits, which have long since ceased to exist, and of which no other traces have in any place been found. It is supposed that this valley once formed an arm of the sea; and that the tracks, being made during the recession of the tide, were, in its rising, covered by a thin layer of mud, which, hardening beneath the rays of a tropical sun, held the footmarks distinct and clear for the examination of future ages.

In the "Hitchcock Ichnological Cabinet" at Amherst there are more than 20,000 of these fossil impressions. The largest footprint, twenty inches long, is that of the Otozoum Moodii, — a gigantic frog. The drift, or alluvium, consisting of sand and gravel, of which the whole of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and the western part of Martha's Vineyard are composed, together with the beds of peat and lignite found in various parts of the State, belonging to the cenozoic period, and contain fossilized leaves of plants, and bones of fish and animals still living. The bowlders which cover the surface of the State were deposited in the glacial period, marks of which may be distinctly traced in the scratching of the ledges from the shore of the ocean to the summit of the mountains.

(For a notice of the localities of mineralogical specimens, see description of the different towns.)


The Green Mountain range, divided into two parallel ridges, called, in general, the Taconic and the Hoosac mountains, runs from north to south across the western part of the State. The Taconic ridge divides the waters of the Housatonic from those of the Hudson; the Hoosac ridge, the waters of the Connecticut from those of the Hoosac and Housatonic. Between these ranges, in the north-western part of the State, stands Greylock, 3,505 feet above sea level. The rocks of Greylock are a "shining schistus" of a light blue color; and the land is covered with forests of maple, beech, and birch, among which appears a luxuriant growth of lichens, mosses, and evergreens. In the extreme south-western part of the State, is Mount Everett, or Taconic Dome, 2,624 feet high.

The Hoosac is not as elevated as the Taconic range; the greatest eminences being Spruce Hill in Adams, 2,588 feet high, and Mount Hazen in Clarksburg, which has an altitude of 2,272 feet. Mount Tom on the right and Mount Holyoke on the left bank of the Connecticut River are peaks of the Greenstone range which extends across Connecticut. Mount Toby in Sunderland and Sugar Loaf in Deerfield are isolated peaks. Bear Hill in Wendell, and Mount Grace in Warwick, seem to constitute a part of the White-Mountain range. Wachusett Mountain, 2,018 feet above the sea, belongs, perhaps, to the same system. The most elevated points in the eastern section of the State do not, in any instance, reach an altitude of 1,000 feet. The most noted are Powwow Hill in Salisbury, 328 feet high; Prospect Hill in Waltham, 482 feet high; Blue Hill in Milton, 635 feet high; Manomet Hill in Plymouth 394 feet high; and Nobscot Hill in Framingham, 602 feet high.

The mountains and hills of Massachusetts are mostly clothed with verdure, and many of them are cultivated even to the summit. The soil is generally strong, and excellent for grazing. From their sides many fresh and sparkling springs and streams flow forth to irrigate the land, and furnish hydraulic power for the manufactories.


Of water-power this state has an abundant supply; and few towns, excepting those in the south-east, are destitute of valuable mill-privileges, and springs and rivulets for mechanical or domestic purposes. A large portion of this hydraulic power, especially in the western section of the State, is still unemployed.

The Hoosac River rises in Berkshire County, drains the northern part of the valley between the Hoosac and the Taconic Mountains, furnishes valuable motive power at Adams, and leaves the State by a north-west course at Williamstown. The interval through which it runs is very fertile; and the scenery on either hand magnificent. The Housatonic River, so called from the Indian word Hooestennuc, meaning "over the mountain," rises near the sources of the Hoosac River, and pursuing a southerly direction, drains more than half the territory of Berkshire County, furnishes many valuable mill-sites in the towns through which it passes, and discharges its waters into Long-Island Sound. The valley of this river is celebrated far the fertility of its soil and the beauty of its scenery. The Connecticut River, which receives its name from an Indian word signifying "long river,'' enters the State, a large and beautiful stream about thirty rods wide at Northfield, and flows in a meandering and southerly course through one of the most beautiful and fertile valleys of the country. It receives the waters of Deerfield and Westfield Rivers on the west, and Miller's and Chicopee River on the east; and thus drains a hydrographic basin of about sixty miles in width from east to west. It has a fall of about a hundred and thirty feet in passing through the State, and thus furnishes a vast amount of motive-power for manufacturing purposes. The most remarkable descent is at Turner's Falls, near which a busy manufacturing town is rising. Holyoke, on the next grand fall below, has grown to a city.

The Quinnebaug River enters the State from Connecticut at Holland; and after making a détour through Brimfield, Sturbridge, Southbridge, and Dudley, to which towns it affords manufacturing power, it re-enters Connecticut, and unites with other streams to form the Thames at Norwich. The French River, so called from a company of Huguenots who settled near its left bank in Oxford, rises in Leicester, and, running southerly, joins the Quinnebaug at Thompson, Conn. Though but a narrow stream, it has a rapid current; and this, together with some large reservoirs which retain the surplus waters of the spring for summer use, gives hydraulic power for the extensive manufactories at Webster and other places in the valley through which it flows. The Blackstone River rises in the highlands of Worcester County, and, after furnishing motive power for the manufactories at Millbury, Blackstone, and other places, meets the tide-water in Providence River. The Nashua River and its tributaries drain the north-easterly part of Worcester County, and furnish important mill-sites at Fitchburg, Clinton, Shirley, Pepperell, and other places. It is a very beautiful stream, and enters the Merrimack at Nashua, N.H. The Concord, another tributary of the Merrimack, rises in Hopkinton, and, flowing centrally through Middlesex County, joins the larger stream at Lowell. It receives the waters of the Assabet, a valuable stream at Concord; and has motive-power at Ashland, Framingham, North Billerica, and Lowell.

The Merrimac, one of the principal rivers of New England, and so called from a word signifying "sturgeon," enters the State, a broad and majestic stream, at Tyngsborough, and then, soon bending to the north-east, pursues that course to the ocean. By its immense power at Lowell and Lawrence the machines of the vast manufactories of those industrial cities are propelled. In its course, it probably turns more spindles than any other river in the world. It spreads out into a broad harbor at Newburyport, and is navigable for small vessels as far as Haverhill. The mouth is somewhat obstructed by a shifting sand-bar.

Charles River, called by the Indians Quinobequin, rises in Hopkinton, and after a very circuitous course, during which it sends a portion of its waters into Neponset River, enters Boston Harbor at Charles town. It is navigable seven miles,— to Watertown. Neponset River, after turning many mills, meets the tide-water at Milton. Taunton River carries the waters of parts of Bristol and Plymouth Counties into Narragansett Bay. It is fed by many ponds, and noted for its alewive-fisheries. North River drains the eastern part of Plymouth County, and flows into the sea at Marshfield. To the water-power afforded by these streams, which flow towards every point of the compass, — though, in the mountainous regions, mainly towards the south, — the State is, to an eminent degree, indebted for its industrial activity and commercial growth. They compensate, in some measure, for the rich mineral and agricultural resources which some other States possess. Along the margin of these streams the railroad lines connecting the manufacturing towns and villages are generally extended; and the valleys through which they pass are the most fertile of the State.

Massachusetts has a very large number of lakes and ponds, which serve to enhance the beauty of the scenery, to purify the atmosphere, and ameliorate the climate. They are generally well-stocked with perch and pickerel, sometimes with black bass; and are often used as reservoirs to supply the mills upon the streams below, or the towns and cities near them. Almost every town, indeed, can boast of one or more beautiful sheets of clear and sparkling waters within its borders, as a favorite resort for boating, fishing, gunning, in the summer, and for skating in the winter. From many of these ponds large quantities of ice are cut and stored in houses for the Southern market. Among the most noted of these bodies of fresh water are Wenham Pond, remarkable for the clearness of its ice; Spot Pond in Stoneham, from which Melrose is supplied with water; Watuppa Pond, furnishing vast motive-power to Fall River; Billington Sea in Plymouth; Sowampsett Pond, a favorite of King Philip, in Lakeville; Monponset Pond in Halifax; Punkapog Pond in Randolph; Cochituate Lake, from which Boston is in part supplied, with water, in Natick; Walden Pond, beautifully described by Thoreau, in Concord; White-hall Pond in Hopkinton; Sandy Pond in Ayer; Quinsigamond Pond, a very charming expanse of water of 1,051 acres, dotted with islands, in Shrewsbury; Quaboag Pond in Brookfield; and last, though not least in name, Chaubunagungamaug Lake, whose waters swell the French River in Webster. The total area of the ponds in the State, containing over ten acres, is according to the estimate of the late Mr. H. F. Walling, topographer, 92,938 acres. They are of inestimable value in a sanitary point of view: and the purity of their waters should be carefully preserved; their depth, boundaries, inlets and outlets, increase or diminution, scientifically surveyed, and noted. They are to be classed among the most important possessions of the State.


The climate of the State is very changeable, but, in general, conducive to mental vigor, health, and longevity. On. the seaboard, the easterly winds are disagreeable to those affected with pulmonary diseases. In the higher lands of the interior, and in the alpine regions, the air is bracing and salubrious.

Though subject to sudden and frequent changes in temperature, the summer season is dry and delightful. The atmosphere in August and September is remarkably clear and serene. The morning and evening breezes are pure, refreshing, and delicious.
There is in autumn a period of charming weather known as the "Indian Summer."
"In the month of October," says the Rev. James Freeman, "after the frosts which commonly take place at the end of September, the south-west wind frequently produces two or three weeks of fair weather, in which the air is perfectly transparent; and the clouds, which float in a sky of the purest azure, are adorned with brilliant colors.

"This charming season is called the Indian Summer, — a name which is derived from the natives, who believe that it is caused by a. wind which comes immediately from the court of their great and benevolent God Cautantowwit, or the south-western God, — the God who is superior to all other beings, who sends them every blessing which they enjoy, and to whom the souls of their fathers go after decease."

The winter season—which commences in December, and continues till March—is cold and rigorous, the ground being sometimes covered with snow through the entire period, and the mercury often falling below zero.

The temperature on the seaboard is so modified by the Gulf Stream as to be ten degrees higher in winter at Martha's Vineyard than at Williamstown, where it has an average of twenty-three degrees. The average annual rain and snow fall varies from thirty-nine inches at Nantucket to forty-five inches on the highlands of Worcester County.

The north-east winds, attended as they are with a high dew-point, and often, with rain or sleet or snow, and the sudden changes in the temperature, sometimes falling forty degrees in half as many hours, are the most unpleasant features.

The record of observations on temperature and rainfall, kept at Amherst, cover a period of fifty years, commencing with 1836. The highest temperature was on July 20, 1854, when the mercury reached 97° f. The lowest temperature in that year was 9.60; the mean being 46.99. The lowest temperature in the entire period was 22.00 degrees below zero, in 1844, 1873, and on January 5, 1886, — the last of the fifty years in this series. The highest record for the same year was 93.60; the average being 43.23. The average temperature for the period from 1836 to 1862, (25 years), for the winter months, — December, January, and February, was 24.53; and for the summer months, — June, July, and August, 68.26. For the same seasons from 1862 to 1887, (25 years), it was 25.21 and 68.53, The largest rainfall of the fifty years under observation was that of 1863, which amounted to 56.19 inches; the smallest was that of 1864, amounting to only 34.44 inches. The attainable records of the snow-fall are so incomplete that they are of little value. The prevailing direction of the wind in 1887 was northwest; the currents of January, February, March, April, August, September, October, November and December being mainly from the north-west, while those of May and June were from the south.

The peach and apricot come into bloom about the middle of April, the cherry a little later, and the apple about the middle of May; at which period planting generally begins.


The State presents almost every variety of soil, from the lightest and least productive to the strongest and most fertile. In the south-eastern part the land is level and sandy; yet there are many places which produce heavy crops of hay and grain. In. the north-eastern part are many valuable salt marshes, which afford, abundance of good hay to the farmers on the seaboard. In the central or hilly portions of the State the soil is generally good; it being a clayey or sandy loam, and well adapted to the growth of the cereals, the esculent roots, and fruit and forest trees. Here are found, especially in the well-watered towns, some of the best farms in the State. The valley of the Connecticut is remarkable for its fertility; and the mountainous lands beyond that river are excellent for grazing and the growth of timber. Extensive bogs of peat are found contiguous to the light and sandy sections, by the judicious use of which the soil is much improved.

In the vicinity of the metropolis and other cities the farms have been rendered very fertile, and often present the appearance of one continuous and highly-cultivated garden.

The principal agricultural productions are hay, potatoes, Indian corn, oats, rye, barley, wheat (to some extent), buckwheat, beans, broom-corn, hops, tobacco, garden vegetables, apples, pears, cherries, peaches, quinces, and small fruits. Much attention is given to the cultivation of the grape and cranberry. Large quantities of butter and cheese are made, especially in the midland counties; and many farms in the vicinity of cities are devoted to the production of milk for the market. Wool-growing occupies, though less than formerly, the attention of many of the farmers in the western and southeastern sections.

The farms are generally owned in fee by their occupants, and are generally from forty to two hundred acres, divided into convenient lots of mowing, arable, pasture, wood land, and swale or meadow, and fenced with stone wall or wooden posts and rails or wire. Through the agency of fairs, farmers' clubs, agricultural papers, and the Board of Agriculture (established April 21, 1852), great improvement has been made in the cultivation of the soil during the last thirty-five years.

By the last returns of the agricultural condition of the State there were in 1885, 45,010 farms embracing 3,898,429 acres, valued at $110,700,707, employing 77,661 persons, and producing to the aggregate value of $47,756,033.

The following table, showing the value of the product by classes, is from Volume III of the Census of the State for 1885, prepared under the direction of Carroll D. Wright and published in 1887.

Animal products .......


Clothing, needle-work, etc. .....


Dairy products ........


Food products ........


Green-house products ......


Hot-house and hotbed products .....


Liquors and beverages . . . .


Nursery products .......


Poultry products .......


Wool products ........


Woollen goods ........


Other products ........




Fruits, berries, and nuts ......


Hay, straw, and fodder ......


Meats and game ........


Vegetables .........




Of timber trees the State has between fifty and sixty kinds indigenous to its soil. Among these may be mentioned the graceful elms; the oaks, of which ten different kinds are found; the rock, the white, and the red-flowering maples; the chestnut, used extensively for railroad ties; the walnut, the hickory, the beech, the gray, white, black, and yellow birches; the poplar and basswood, now used for making paper; the willow, the sycamore, the savin, the white, pitch, and red pine; the spruces, the hemlock, the larch, the fir, the arborvitæ, the cedar, and the horn-beam.

The primeval forest which once covered the State has long since-been felled; and such is the demand for timber, that few trees are now permitted to attain their natural growth. The forests, in general, seem young and thrifty; and it is hoped, that for the sake of the salubrity of the air, the supply of the water-fountains, as well as for the beauty of the scenery, they will be, so far as practicable, protected and extended. The laudable custom of planting forest-trees by the owners of the barren lands of Cape Cod might with profit be followed through the State. Were the song, "Woodman, spare that tree." more frequently sung, and the spirit of the ditty heeded, the scenic beauty, sanitary condition, and water-power of the Commonwealth would be materially improved, and the revenues augmented.

 The value of the wood products in the year 1885 was $2,924,574; in which amount is included the lumber product, of $740,102. There were destroyed by fire in the same year, forest trees to the estimated value of $82,254.

The most valuable and common shrubs indigenous to the State are various kinds of blueberry and whortleberry; the raspberry, black and red; the barberry and bayberry (myrica); the sumac, used for tanning; the elder (sambucus); the high and low blackberry; the beach-plum (Prunus maritima); and the buckthorn. The laurel (Kalmia latifolia), the azalea, the black alder, May-flower, wild rose, the aronia, mountain-raspberry, spiræa, pepper-bush (Clethra alnifolia), and other beautiful flowering-shrubs, decorate the margin of the streams and the pasture lands.
Some of the wild flowers of the spring are the ground-laurel, and trailing arbutus which often appear before the snows are gone; the windflower, or anemone; various species of the ranunculus; the dandelion; the Houstonia cerulea; the white, the blue, and yellow violet; the strawberry; the whiteweed, or gowan; the adder's-tongue; and the Claytonia, or spring beauty. As the season advances, the wild geranium, the iris, the cardinal-flower, the Saracencia, St. John's-wort, the beautiful pond and meadow lilies, the campanula, the lupine, the yarrow, the orchis, and the asclepias appear; and the autumn brings the coreopsis, various species of the aster, the golden-rod, the aquatic sagittaria, the Linnea borealis, and the blue gentian. The ferns, mosses, lichens, and trailing vines are very beautiful and abundant. The autumnal tints of the forests are, especially where the maple abounds, remarkably varied and brilliant. The forest bloom of the autumn has been styled "the peculiar glory of New England."


In the early settlement of the State, the people were greatly annoyed by the depredations of the black and brown bear and the wolf, which ranged the deep forests, and often came by night to prey upon the cattle in the clearings. The catamount and wildcat were also formidable enemies. The moose, the red deer, and the beaver were quite numerous: the traces of the latter animal are frequently met with in the meadows, where it felled the trees to form a dam across the streamlet. A few red deer still remain upon Cape Cod; but the other animals named above, if we perhaps except the wildcat, have long since disappeared.

The red fox (Canis vulpes) still ranges through the sparsely-settled portions of the State. The porcupine, the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and otter, now and then appear in some sequestered places, The mink and the muskrat are quite common on the margin of the streams; the woodchuck and the polecat (Viverra mephitis), in the fields; the striped, red, and gray squirrels, and the rabbit, in the forests. The flying-squirrel and the ferret are occasion[al]ly taken. The most mischievous of these denizens of the field and forest is the woodchuck, which is very prolific, and, by night as well as day, destroys the tender vegetables of the farm and garden.

Of birds of prey, the fish-hawk, the red-tailed hawk (Falco borealis), the red owl, cat-owl, and the snowy owl, are the most common. Occasionally the white-headed eagle, emblem of our country, of solemn cry and towering flight is seen in the mountainous and desolate regions. Of the omnivorous birds, the most frequent are the crow, the blue jay, and the chickadee (Parus atricapillus), which spend the winter here; the meadow-lark; the Baltimore oriole, the red-winged, the cow and crow blackbirds; the rice-bunting, or bobolink; and the cedar-bird; — all of which destroy innumerable insects, and regale us with their varied songs.

The robin (Turdus migratorius), pewit, bluebird (one of our earliest spring visitants), the brown thrush and the wood-thrush (Turdus mustelinus), both most beautiful singers, and the house-wren, are the most common of the insectivorous tribe; and of the passerine, the most abundant are the snow-bunting, blue snow-bird (Fringilla hiemalis), the song-sparrow, the confiding chipping-sparrow, and the American goldfinch. Of woodpeckers and. swallows there are several varieties; and the humming-bird is not at all uncommon. The nighthawk and whippoorwill (Caprimulgus vociferus) may be heard in the country almost every evening in the summer season.

Formerly the wild turkey and the heath-hen (Tetrao cupido) were plentiful in the State; but the former is found only now and then among the mountains, and the latter only on the Island of Martha's Vineyard, where great pains are taken to preserve it.
The quail (Perdix Virginiana) is not as common as it used to be; but the partridge or properly, ruffed grouse, though much hunted, is still found in almost every forest. Woodcock (Rusticulus minor) and snipe (Scolopax Wilsonii) are plentiful; and, along our beaches, multitudes of plovers, curlews, herons, sandpipers, ducks; and other water-birds, are killed.

The ponds and streams of the State are generally well stored with fish: the most common are the trout, which sometimes attains the weight of three or four pounds; the pickerel (Esox reticulatus), which has been found to weigh as much as seven pounds; the common perch (Perca flavescens); the pond-perch (Pomotis vulgaris); and the beautiful leuciscus.

The salmon (Solmo salar), formerly abundant, is still caught in the Merrimack and Connecticut; and shad, in spring, ascend these and other rivers.

But the dams for manufactories are driving both the salmon and the shad from the waters of the State. The sturgeon is sometimes taken from the Merrimack; and by the Indian name of this fish the river has been called. The black bass and trout are now raised for profit, as well as pleasure, in many natural and artificial ponds; and goldfish has become quite common in several localities.

Immense numbers of alewives, smelts, and striped bass, ascend our tidal streams in the spring months, and furnish valuable fisheries to the people on the seaboard.
But the cod, the haddock, halibut, and mackerel, which frequent the waters off the coast in countless numbers, are an inexhaustible source of revenue to the State; and, in taking them, large numbers of its hardy citizens are engaged. In this business the city of Gloucester has the lead.

The following also, should be reckoned as Massachusetts' species, since they are found in her inland waters and. along her shores:— the porgy, hake, pollock, cusk, bluefish, swordfish, turbot, scup, squateague, squid, tautog, eels, quahaug, crabs, oysters and clams.

In 1885, there were employed in the fisheries 866 vessels belonging in Massachusetts' ports; while 15,435 persons were in some capacity engaged in this industry. The capital invested in fishing boats and vessels and appliances at this date was $8,660,581. The value of the year's products $6,462,692. Of this sum, $1,270,543, was from whale and seal products.


The State is divided into fourteen counties, namely: Barnstable (containing 15 towns), Berkshire (32 towns), Bristol (20), Dukes (6), Essex (35), Franklin (20), Hampden (22), Hampshire (23), Middlesex (54), Nantucket (1), Norfolk (27), Plymouth (27), Suffolk (4), and Worcester (59). There are 25 cities and 326 towns, all being classed as towns in the above distribution.

The cities in the order of population, are,— Boston (population, 390,406), Worcester (68,313), Lowell (64,051), Cambridge (59,660), Fall River (56,863), Lynn (45,861), Lawrence (38,845), Springfield (37,557), New Bedford (33,393), Somerville (29,992), Salem (28,084), Holyoke (27,894), Chelsea (25,709), Taunton (23,674), Haverhill (21,795), Gloucester (21,713), Brockton (20,783), Newton (19,759), Malden (16,407), Fitchburg (15,375), Waltham (16,409), Newburyport (13,716), Northampton (12,896), Quincy (12,145), Woburn (11,750).

The cities are governed by a mayor, a board of aldermen, and a common council, chosen by ballot, annually by the people. For convenience in public business, the cities are usually divided into wards.

The towns, also, choose annually their own officers, and. raise and appropriate money for schools, roads, and various other public uses. The principal officers are the "selectmen" and a "town clerk." There are also usually chosen various other officers, or committees, for the supervision of schools, roads, indigent people, and other purposes. For the convenience of schools, and the care of the roads the towns are usually divided into districts.

This municipal system allows, probably, more freedom to the citizen than any other form of government in existence, and appears. less liable to abuse than any other. The town is the unit in the civil system of all governments which can properly be called free; and in it are the springs of the political power of the State.

In 1630 there may have been in the Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies an aggregate of 800 white people; and, ten years later the number had arisen to about 9,000. From the most reliable data, it is probable that the population in 1650 was about 16,000; in 1670 about 35,000; and in 1700, according to the annals of Dr. Holmes, about 70,000. In 1750 the number of the inhabitants had arisen to about 220,000, Five years later, there were in the Commonwealth (including the District of Maine) 2,717 negroes. The first census taken officially was in 1783, when the population was 238,423. This had arrisen, in 1770, to 262,680; in 1780, to 316,900; in 1790, to. 378,787; in 1800, to 423,245; in 1810, to 472,040; in 1820, to 994,514; in 1830, to 610,408; in 1840, to 737,699; in 1850, to 994,514; in 1860, to 1,231,066; in 1770, to 1,448,055; in 1875, to 1,651,912, in 1880, to 1,783,085; in 1885, to 1,942,141.

The two following tables are from the Registration Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Dec. 1, 1888.

Massachusetts, distribution of the population by sex and age periods. State census of 1885, ratio per million inhabitants.

population distribution

* Births, Marriages and Deaths, with the Population and Rates, 1850-1887.






Excess of Births over Deaths.

Births to 1,000 Pesons.

Persons Married to 1,000.

Deaths to 1,000 persons.

Rate of Increase to 1,000 Persons.


994,514 1,132,364 1,331,067 1,267,031 1,467,451 1,651,913 1,783,085
1,942,141 1,976,264 2,010,388

27,664 32,845 36,051 30,249
38,259 43,996 44,217
48,790 50,788 53,174

10,345 12,329 12,404 13,051 14,721 13,663 15,538
17,052 18,018 19,533

16,606 20,798 23,068 36,152 27,329 34,978 35,292
38,094 37,244 40,763

11,058 12,047 13,983 4,097 10,930 9,018 8,925
10,696 13,544 12,411

27.52 29.01 26.28 23.87 26.25 26.63 24.80
25.12 25.69 26.45

20.80 21.77 20.15 20.60 20.20 16.54 17.42
17.56 18.33 19.63

16.70 18.37 18.74 20.64 18.75 21.17 19.79
19.61 18.85 20.28

11.12 10.64 10.54

* In other than census year the populations and rates have been estimated, in order that an approximate comparison may be made.






Boots and Shoes,........................................








Carriages and Wagons.....................








Cotton Goods .............................




Food Preparations .......................




Furniture ...................................




Leather .....................................




Machines and Machinery ...................




Metals and Metallic Goods .................




Paper and Paper Goods .....................




Printing, Publishing and Bookbinding ..




Rubber and Elastic Goods ....................




Stone .......................................



Straw and Palm-leaf Goods ................




Wooden Goods .........................




Woollen Goods ............................




Other Manufactures ..........................








The following table shows the distribution of the chief portion, of productive energy of the Commonwealth:—


Age Periods.







14 to 19







20 to 29







30 to 39







40 to 49







50 to 59







60 to 79







80 and over




























In 1879 there were reported 75,136 aliens; in 1885 they were 99,131 in number. As to the total aliens, of the 99,131, 51,824 are engaged in the manufacturing industries of the Commonwealth, and 10,716, or 10.81 per cent. are laborers. There are also 6,510 in trades, 778 in transportation, and 9,139 in agriculture.

A distribution of the total aliens according to place of birth shows that 34.05 per cent were born in British America, 17.44 per cent. being of French-Canadian extraction, while those born in Nova Scotia number 8,703, — 8.78 per cent. The aliens born in Europe number 14,578 and constitute 14.71 per cent of the whole number. The aliens of English birth are 10,502, 10.59 per cent; and those born in Ireland, 35,600, or 35.91 per cent.


This State has long been celebrated for the variety, extent and excellence of its manufactures. To the inventive genius, skill industry and sobriety of its artisans and mechanics, it is, to a large extent, indebted for its wealth and prosperity. From the introduction of the manufacture of iron in 1643, its furnaces have been kept in operation, and increasing in the amount of business done. The manufacture of shoes, early commenced in Lynn, has become a. very extensive and important branch of industry; and since the invention and introduction of machinery into this department of labor, the former small towns of Natick, Milford, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Abington, North Bridgewater, Spencer, and North Brookfield, have sprung up into populous and nourishing communities, while small cities, as Brockton and Haverhill, have since 1875 about doubled their population. To the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, the industrial cities of Lowell, Lawrence, Fall River, Holyoke, Waltham, the large towns of Webster, Clinton, Chicopee, Adams, and Blackstone, owe their advancement and prosperity; while by many and varied mechanical industries, Worcester, Springfield, Fitchburg, Taunton and other enterprising places, have attained the prominence which they now hold. Indeed there is hardly a village in the Commonwealth whose activities are not quickened, and whose well-being is not enhanced, by some establishment for the manufacture of some kind of goods calling forth the inventive energies, and improving the financial condition, of the people. By the last statistical report of the industry of the State, there were 165 cotton mills, turning out goods to the amount of $61,425,097 yearly; 189 Woollen mills, making cloth amounting to $31,748,278. The value of boots and shoes made was $114,729,533; of straw and palm-leaf goods, $6,265,387; metals and metallic goods, $41,332,005, of machines and machinery, $20,362,970; of paper, $21,223,628; of musical instruments, $6,145,008; of glass, $1,091,949; of furniture, $12,716,908; India rubber and elastic goods, $12,638,741; clothing, $32,659,837; food preparations, $80,488,329; leather, $28,008,851; printing, publishing and bookbinding, $16,552,475; print and dye works and bleacheries, $15,888,843; woollen goods, $11,198,148; the total for manufactures for 1885 being $674,634,269. The capital invested was $500,594,377. The total value of the products of the State were as follows :—







$ 47,756,033










Total for the State,





The exports from the ports of the Commonwealth, as shown by the Custom House returns for the same year, were $55,533,650; imports, $64,335,281. The capital invested in vessels engaged in our ocean and coastwise commerce was $27,910,604. Of this, $14,217,217 belong to foreign owners.*

[footnote: *This statement does not include the coastwise trade, nor that by land with other States of the Union, — no provisions existing by which accurate data of these could be obtained.]

By the last report of the comptroller of the currency, it appears that there were in the Commonwealth on the 31st of October, 1888, 253 national banks, having a paid in capital of $96,440,500. They had, beside, in the aggregate, a handsome surplus, and held a considerable amount of unpaid- dividends. [See, also State corporations, in article, "Government, Finances, and Military Organizations.]


With the increase of settlement, from the scattered cabins of the pioneers, to their slow aggregation into equally scattered villages, and the growth of the best situated of these to small cities, there went on the improvement in the lines of communication, from Indian trail to bridle path, from paths to the rude cart-roads, and from these to the broad smooth stage-roads, which for the vehicles known to our forefathers, seemed to them the grand climax of locomotive convenience. On the great lines of travel from Boston to Hartford, to Providence and to Newburyport, stage-coaches drawn by four or six horses, commenced running about the time of the Revolution. From 1800 to 1825, many turnpike roads were constructed; and toll was taken at frequent stations for passing over them. A canal for boats from the Merrimack River to Boston, built at an expense of $575,000, was opened in 1804. It was twenty-seven miles long, thirty feet wide and four feet deep.— having twenty locks and seven acqueduct [sic] bridges. In 1815 the tolls amounted to $24,926. A similar canal from Worcester to Providence, R.I., forty miles in length, was finished in 1825. But these with other shorter lines of canal, have long since been abandoned for a swifter and more capacious means of transportation.

The system of railways, now spreading its complicated network of iron over the surface of the State, was organized by the opening of the Granite Railway Company's railroad from the stone quarries in Quincy to Neponset river, in 1827. This road is nearly three miles in length of main line, and was operated by horse-power only. Its first use was to transport the granite for the monument on Bunker Hill.

The Boston and Lowell Railroad was chartered next, on June 5, 1830; the Boston and Providence road on June 22, and Boston and Worcester on June 23, of the ensuing year. It was generally supposed at that time, that these roads must be operated by horsepower; and that, by paying toll, anyone might run his own car over them, as a coach upon a turnpike road. The success of Mr. Stephenson in using steam on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, in September, 1830, led to the adoption of that agent as the motive-power upon these roads. The engines first used on these railways were built in England, and weighed no more than eight or ten tons each; and the trains of passenger cars much resembled several stage-coach bodies set on platforms and linked together. Of these three roads, the Boston and Worcester was opened to Newton, April 18, 1834; the Boston and Providence, to Readville, (now in Hyde Park) on the 4th of June, in the same year; and the Boston and Lowell was opened, June 25, 1835. The Taunton Branch Railroad was opened in August, 1836; the Nashua and Lowell, to Nashua, October 8,1838; the Western Railroad to Springfield, October 1, 1838, and to Albany December 1, 1841; The Eastern Railroad was opened to Salem August 28, 1838, and to Ipswich in 1839. At the close of 1840, 285 miles of railroad were in operation in the State. The Fitchburg railroad was opened to Fitchburg, March 5, 1845; the Hartford and Springfield to the latter place, in December, 1844; The Old Colony to Plymouth, November 10, 1845; the Connecticut River railroad, December 13, of the same year, to Northampton. The Providence and Worcester was completed October 20, 1847; the Worcester and Nashua, December 28, 1848; The Vermont and Massachusetts to Greenfield, in 1850. At the end of the year last mentioned, there were 1,037 miles of railroad operated in the State; and at the close of 1860, the number had risen to 1,221 miles. The Worcester and the Western railroads were consolidated December 1867, under the name of the Boston and Albany Railroad. The Lowell and Framingham Railroad was opened in 1872, and direct communication between Lowell and New Bedford was effected in 1873. The Cape Cod Railroad was extended to Provincetown in August, 1873.

By the report of the railroad commissioners, January, 1889, it appears that fifty-six railroad corporations made returns to the State for the previous railroad year; yet the roads of all these companies together with others which have lost their corporate existence, are now operated by only eighteen corporations. The names of these are as follows:— Boston and Albany, Boston and Maine, Fitchburg, New York and New England, Old Colony, Cheshire, Connecticut River, Grafton and Upton, New Haven and Northampton, New London and Northern, New York; New Haven and Hartford, Providence and Worcester, Housatonic of Connecticut, Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn, Martha's Vineyard, Nantasket, Worcester and Shrewsbury, and the Union Freight.

The total length of operated railways in Massachusetts of the reporting companies is as follows:—











Length of roads and branches in Massachusetts,

2,992,823 2,018,258

3,087,883 2,063,918



Length of double track in Massachusetts,

1,036,717 740,389

1,037,587 743,469



Length of sidings in Massachusetts,

1,300,009 964,330

1,443,310 1,010,026



Total length as single track in Massachusetts

5,389,549 3,722,977

5,558,780 3,817,413



The aggregate capital stock is $151,076,704.02; an increase, since the last report, of $607,290.00,— resulting in an increase of stock of ten of the corporations. Since the report was made, the General Court has authorized the Boston and Albany company to increase its capital stock to $30,000,000,—a possible increase of $10,000,000. The rates per mile on Massachusetts railroads are comparatively shown in the, following statement: —

Fares    {

Average on all roads in 1880-1, $0.0220
"     "     "     "     " 1887-8,


Freights    {

In 1865 on 5 chief roads, per ton. $0.04,396
" 1888     "  5  "     "     "
 "     "



The average earnings per mile of nine principal roads in the State for the business year of 1887-8, was $3,802.66.

The Meigs Elevated Railway Company, chartered in 1884, was formed to build and run the system, of road and cars invented by Joe V. Meigs. An experimental road was completed in Cambridge, and a train run successfully in 1885. This was the first elevated road in Massachusetts, The charter was amended to make it practicable in 1888; and the company was organized and the charter accepted in April, 1889.
On the 23d of March, 1856, the first horse-car for passengers ever run in New England, made a trip from Pearl street, Cambridgeport, to Charles street, in Boston, over the tracks of the Cambridge Railroad. There were in the State, at the date of the last report of the Railroad Commissioners, forty-six companies,— seven having been added during the year, while five companies have lost their registry from having been consolidated with, or purchased by some other company. The aggregate capital stock is given at $10,894,850.00, — being an increase, since the previous report of $798,050.00; while their gross debt has also increased $1,121,542.86, and now amounts to $7,569,250.76. The whole length of track, including branches and sidings and double track, amounts to 561.81 miles, being an increase of 54 miles during the year. The average cost was $16,920.79 per mile for permanent way, $7,317.25 for equipment, and $9,449.67 for land and buildings, making a total cost of $33,687.71 for each mile of road owned. The number of passengers carried was 134,478,319; which exceeds the number carried on the steam railroads by 44,791,907. The average amount received for each passenger was 5.10 cents. The whole number of horses was 11,391; and of cars, 2,588. The number of persons employed was 5,531.

Five lines of European steamers connect the Commonwealth with England, Scotland and France, from the port of Boston; while other lines run to German, Italian and Mediterranean ports, to Australia, and to distant China and Japan; so that there is an average of about one steamship a day sailing for some point on the eastern continents. Four lines run to foreign parts of the Western hemisphere; while we have ten lines, (some making daily trips) connecting Boston with other ports of our own country.

Massachusetts has an ocean cable terminus at Duxbury, Massachusetts, and another near at hand at Rye Beach in New Hampshire. Yet telegraph communications are so frequent, that our State offices have as ready communication with several other ocean lines, as with those mentioned. As to the land lines, they are so numerous in the State that it would be difficult to find a village that is without one. Every considerable section in North America is in easy communication with our chief towns by means of them; so that the son or daughter of Massachusetts, to whatever hamlet on the continent north of the Isthmus of Darien they may have wandered, need not be many hours without intelligence from the responsive family at home in the Old Bay State.


The original settlers of this State were Puritans, opposed to the forms and ceremonies of the Church of England. They held that the Bible was the only rule of faith and practice, and expressed their religious creed, and mode of church government, in a platform established by a convention assembled at Cambridge in 1648. The ministry was supported by assessment on the people of the towns where it was instituted. Though coming to this country to escape intolerance at home, our forefathers were not themselves well grounded in the principles of religious freedom, and manifested an illiberal spirit towards Antinomians, Quakers, Baptists and Episcopalians. The clergy exercised a powerful influence over the magistrates as well as over the people: civil, political, and even military questions were usually submitted to their consideration. In the crisis of the Revolution, most of the clergy inclined to the popular side; and, in the changes effected in public sentiment by that bold assertion of civil rights, a more tolerant religions spirit came to prevail; so that when the State Constitution was formed, in 1780, the right of every man to worship God "in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience," provided he does not disturb the public peace thereby, is acknowledged. Under this equitable rule, together with other safeguards and provisions,— as that of 1811, relieving persons belonging to religious societies, corporate or incorporate, from the support of the Congregational minister settled in the place,— various religious denominations have greatly flourished in the State, and are now, for the most part, laboring together in peace and amity for the advancement of Christianity and the public good.
The largest number of religious societies is found in the Trinitarian Congregational order, there, being of this faith at the beginning of 1889, 553 churches. The Baptists have 306, the Protestant Episcopal, 110, the Methodist Episcopal, 354, the Roman Catholics, 277, the Unitarians, 193, and the Universalists, 95. In addition to these there are societies of Presbyterians, Friends, Swedenborgians, (the Church of the New-Jerusalem), Free Baptists, Lutherans, German Reformed Church, Christians, Adventists, Spiritualists, Christian Scientists, Judaists, Shakers, Latter Day Saints, and several others of small membership.

The clergy are generally well-educated, but not so far above the people as in former times, neither are they so permanently settled over the churches.

Many of the church-edifices, especially in the larger towns and cities, are elegant in structure, and well furnished with bells, organs, and vestries. In most of the churches there is congregational singing, together with the music of choirs for the more elaborate pieces, Sabbath schools, commenced in the State about the year 1817, engross much attention, and embrace within their fostering care almost all the children, and many of the adults of the Commonwealth.

Connected with the churches and religious societies are numerous benevolent Organizations,— as for the dissemination of the Billet the work of missions, the publication of religious tracts and larger devotional treatises, the erection of church-edifices, and the education of young men for the ministry,— which are visibly pursuing the laudable ends for which they were formed.


Alive to the interest, welfare and comfort of the unfortunate, and. to the reformation of the criminal, the State has established, and liberally sustains several large and well-related benevolent institutions.

It has asylums for the insane at Taunton, Westborough, Bridgewater, Baldwinville, and very spacious ones at Worcester, Northampton, and Danvers. McLean Asylum at Somerville, opened in 1818, is a corporate institution, and though not supported by the State, is to a large extent public.

There are also ten or more private asylums in different parts of the Commonwealth where patients are treated for nervous disorders and insanity. The city of Boston has three asylums, intended for the milder forms of insanity, and for chronic cases.
A reform school for boys was established at Westborough in 1847, and an industrial school for girls, at Lancaster, in 1855. There are also incipient or temporary institutions of a similar kind at Lawrence, Salem, Baldwinville, Boston, and Dover.
The State has an eye and ear infirmary at Boston; also a School for Idiotic and Feeble-minded Youth; and at South Boston is an Asylum for the blind. It has a School for the Education of Deaf-Mutes, founded by gifts and bequests of Mr. John Clarke, amounting to $273,250, at Round Hill, Northampton, There is also an industrial School for Deaf-Mutes at Beverly, for New England, to the support of which Massachusetts contributes her proportion.

The State Almshouse located in Tewksbury, is practically a hospital, though it has a department for paupers. The State has also a work-house and farm at Bridgewater, a Primary School at Monson, and an Infant Asylum at Brookline.

The State Prison was established at Charlestown in 1805, and has since been much enlarged. A Reformatory was established in Concord in 1884, and has been of great use for cases of lesser enormity. In 1877, a Reformatory for women was established at Sherborn, and has supplied the very important need of an entirely separate place of confinement for female offenders.


The government of the State consists of three departments,— the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. The executive department embraces a governor and a lieutenant-governor, eight councillors, a secretary, treasurer, attorney-general, an auditor, chosen annually, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, by the people.

The legislative department consists of a Senate of forty members, and a house of Representatives of two hundred and forty members, which together constitute the General Court. They are chosen annually by the people at the time appointed for the choice of the executive department, and convene, for the purposes of legislation, at the State House on the first Wednesday in January of each year. The session usually continues till May or June. In order to become a law, a bill or resolve must pass both houses, and receive the signature of the governor; or, in the event of his veto, must be approved by two-thirds of the members of both branches of the legislature. The two United States senators to whom the State is entitled are chosen by this body.

The judicial department consists of a supreme judicial court having a chief justice and six associates. Each county has a probate court and a court of insolvency; and the cities and large towns have police and municipal courts. There are also twenty-nine district courts, each holding jurisdiction over several towns adjacent to each other. All the judges of the Commonwealth are appointed by the governor, and hold office during good behavior.

The State has twelve congressional districts, each of which sends a representative to the National congress; and it has fourteen electoral votes for the President of the United States.

The capitol was erected at Boston in 1795-6, and was remodeled in 1867, at an expense of $170,000. The building fronts on Beacon. street and the Common. It is 173 feet in length, and including the dome, 110 feet in height. Statues of Daniel Webster and Horace Mann have been erected in the grounds in front of the building, while within, are many important mementoes in State and National history, with busts and statues of eminent Americans; chief among them being the statue of Washington by Chantrey. This stands in a deep recess of the rotunda opposite the front entrance. About it, on sides and rear, are suspended 269 battle-flags belonging to the several regiments and batteries, which served in the war of the slave-holders' rebellion.

The total assessed value of the State, May 1, 1888, was $1,992, 804,101; the number of voters was 442,616; of taxed dwelling houses, 330,541; of acres of land on which taxes were levied, 4,497,523.

The number of Savings Banks on October 31; 1888, was 176, — having deposits amounting to $315,185,070.57. There were also 66 co-operative banks, with assets of $5,505,072.19; 13 trust companies with assets of $62,981,635.82; two Mortgaged Loan Companies, with assets of $1,083,730.23; and two collateral loan companies, with assets of $350,712.19.

The aggregate amount of the State debt, funded and unfunded, on January 1,1889, was $28,851,619.65, The total payments for revenues during the year ending January 1, 1889, were $14,173,108.14. The cash in the treasury on that date was $4,419,611.53, including the amounts in Sinking, Trust, and Miscellaneous Funds, and Trust Deposits.

The entire number of enrolled militia for 1888 was 312,438. Several new companies were accepted during the year for the uniformed militia, completing the authorized number. The strength of the militia, now allowed by law is 390 officers, and 5,468 enlisted men, — a total of 5,858.

Annual tours of duty of several days are required of these, held at the State Camp Ground at Framingham, or at other points; also, annual drills of a shorter period, usually held in the autumn.

1620 John Carver.
1621 William Bradford.
1633 Edward Winslow.
1634 Thomas Prence.
1635 William Bradford.
1636 Edward Winslow.
1637 William Bradford.
1638 Thomas Prence.
1639 William Bradford.
1644 Edward Winslow.
1645 William Bradford.
1657 Thomas Prence.
1673 Josias Winslow.
1681 Thomas Hinckley, who held his place, except during the interruption by Andros, till the union with Massachusetts in 1692.


1629 John Endicott.
1630 John Winthrop.
1634 Thomas Dudley.
1635 John Haynes.
1636 Henry Vane.
1637 John Winthrop.
1640 Thomas Dudley.
1641 Richard Bellingham.
1642 John Winthrop.
1644 John Endicott.
1645 Thomas Dudley.
1646 John Winthrop.
1649 John Endicott.
1650 Thomas Dudley.
1651 John Endicott.
1654 Richard Bellingham.
1655 John Endicott.
1665 Richard Bellingham.
1673 John Leverett.
1679 Simon Bradstreet, who, with the exception of the administration of Sir Edmund Andros, continued in office till 1692.

1692 May, Sir William Phips.
1694 Nov., Wm. Stoughton, Act. Gov.
1699 May, Earl of Bellomont.
1500 July, William Stoughton, A. G.
1701 July, The Council.
1702 June, Joseph Dudley.
1714-15 Feb., The Council.
1714-15 March, Joseph Dudley.
1715 Nov., William Taller, A. G.
1716 Oct., Samuel Shute.
1722-23 Jan., William Dummer, A. G
1728 July, William Burnet.
1729 Sept., William Dummer, A. G.
1730 June, William Tailor, A. G.
1730 Aug., Jonathan Belcher.
1741 Aug., William Shirley.
1749 Sept., Spencer Phips, A. G.
1753 Aug., William Shirley.
1756 Sept., Spencer Phips, A. G.
1757 April, The Council.
1757 Aug., Thomas Pownal.
1760 June, Thomas Hutchinson, A.G.
1760 Aug., Francis Bernard.
1769 Aug., Thomas Hutchinson, A.G.
1771 March Thomas Hutchinson.
1774 May, Thomas Gage.

 1774 Oct., A Provincial Congress.
1775 July, The Council.

1780 John Hancock, to 1785
1785 James Bowdoin, " 1787
1787 John Hancock, Oct. 8 " 1793
1794 Samuel Adams, " 1797
1797 Increase Sumner, June 7, " 1799
1800 Caleb Strong, " 1807
1807 James Sullivan, Dec. 10, " 1808
1809 Christopher Gore, " 1810
1810 Elbridge Gerry, " 1812
1812 Caleb Strong, " 1816
1816 John Brooks, " 1823
1823 William Eustis, Feb. 6, " 1825
1825 Levi Lincoln, " 1835
1834 John Davis, March 1, " 1856
1836 Edward Everett, " 1840
1840 Marcus Morton, " 1841
1841 John Davis, " 1843
1843 Marcus Morton, " 1844
1844 George N. Briggs, " 1851
1851 George S. Boutwell, " 1853
1853 John H. Clifford, " 1854
1854 Emory Washburn, " 1855
1855 Henry J. Gardner, " 1858
1858 Nathaniel P. Banks, " 1861
1861 John A. Andrew, " 1865
1865 Alexander H. Bullock, " 1869
1869 William Claflin, " 1872
1872 Wm. B. Washburn, May 1, 1874
1875 William Gaston, " 1876
1876 Alexander H. Rice, " 1879
1879 Thomas Talbot, " 1880
1880 John Davis Long, " 1883
1883 Benjamin F. Butler, " 1884
1884 George D. Robinson, " 1887
1887 Oliver Ames, " 1898
1890 John Q. A. Brackett.

Massachusetts was settled by men of wisdom, who at once determined to lay the foundation of an intelligent as well as a religious commonwealth. Hardly had they fixed upon the territory for their habitations, ere they began to plant a college for the education of their sons. Harvard College, the oldest and best endowed institution in the country was incorporated in 1638; and in 1647 a bill was passed in the general court for the taxing of the people of the towns for the support of free public schools, to which every child might have access. This is supposed to be the first legislative act in the world affording free public instruction through a general taxation of all the people, to the children of all the people. The system of common school education then inaugurated has continued, with various modifications and improvements, to the present time; and to it the State is largely indebted for the general intelligence and intellectual vigor of its citizens. In 1744 it was made imperative that every town of fifty families should employ a schoolmaster capable of teaching all the English branches, and that every town of one hundred families or more should support a teacher having a competent knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages. The towns were divided into school districts, buildings erected, male teachers employed; and, during several months in the year, the schools were kept in operation. Through the efficient labors of the late Rev. Charles Brooks, Horace Mann, and others, a State Board of Education was established April, 20,1837; and under its direction, teacher's institutes, normal schools, a system of graded schools,— embracing primary intermediate, grammar, and high schools, all of which are free, — have been inaugurated. The Annual Reports of the Board of Education indicate steady im-provement in the educational system, and in the condition of the schools.

By the report made January 1,1889, it appears that the whole number of State common schools was 6,788, and of high schools, 230. The number of teachers was 9,897, — of whom 1,010 were males, and 8,887 were females. The number of pupils between 5 and 15 years was 359,504; the number in the public schools, 358,000. The total amount of taxes paid for the maintenance of the schools for the year of the report was $5,114,402.41. The aggregate for maintenance, new school houses, repairs, supervision, state superintendence, reports, books, and other necessaries, was $7,087,206.42, — being an average of $19.11 to each child of school age in the State.

Normal schools were established by law in 1838; and the State now has six, conveniently situated for the attendence of those intending to become teachers. They are located at Framingham, Bridgewater, Westfield, Salem, and Boston, — the latter being the location also of the State Normal Art School.

"Though many of her sister States," says a late writer, "are now rivalling Massachusetts in the excellence of their common schools and other educational institutions, yet to her belongs the undoubted honor of having first extended her care to the intellectual culture of her humblest citizens, the rich reward of which is seen, not only in the number of splendid names that adorn her literature, but in the distinguished sons she has sent out to form the legislators, professors, authors, and teachers of other States.''

The desire for a better education in the first two centuries of our country manifested itself chiefly in the establishment of academies, which served the double purpose of fitting schools for college, and of supplying an essential amount of learning for the higher grades of business. Between the years of 1785 and 1873, 114 of these had been incorporated in Massachusetts; of which some have since been merged in public high schools, and others have long since become extinct; while in the last State School report, 76 is the number mentioned as still having an independent existence. Several whose names are yet familiar were established earlier, — as Dummer Academy, Newbury, 1756; — Phillips Academy, Andover, 1778; — Leicester, 1784; while the latest reported is Thayer Academy, South Braintree, incorporated in 1873.

Following Harvard, Williams College, in Williamstown was founded in 1793 : Amherst College, in Amherst, in 1821; the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, burned in 1852, since re-established; Tufts College, in Medford, instituted in 1852; Boston College, 1873; Smith College, Northampton, 1875; Wellesley College, in Wellesley, in 1875; Boston University, in 1869; and Clarke University, in Worcester, 1888. The Institute of Technology, in Boston, was incorporated in 1861, for the "purpose of instituting and maintaining a society of arts, a museum of arts, and a school of industrial science. In 1865, a school for a similar purpose, was established in Worcester principally for the use of Worcester county,— and now bears the name, "Worcester Polytechnic Institute."

The Congregationalist Theological Seminary, at Andover, was established in 1807; the Baptist Theological Institution, at Newton, in 1825; and the Methodist Theological Seminary, in Boston, in 1847,— transferred to Boston University in 1871, and now known as the "Boston University School of Theology."

Including the colleges, seminaries, and academies, there are in the State, 348 private schools,— comprising kinder-garten, commercial art, music, oratory, and the languages, together with those for deaf-mutes, the blind, and the feeble minded.
A further account of these institutions may be found under the head of the cities and towns in which they are located.

As further aids in education, most of our cities and larger towns have established one or more lyceums, or literary institutes, in which lectures on science, art, literature, or history are annually given; while numerous others have taken the form of debating societies, with essays on practical topics, and other literary exercises.

As a means of entertainment, intelligence and diffused refinement, not even the public schools are more useful than the public libraries and reading-rooms, as far as they are made use of. Massachusetts has 2,371 of these, containing 4,542,072 bound books, — an average of over six libraries to each town.

The newspapers, journals, and magazines form a perpetual circulating library, and their influence (for good nearly always) is not surpassed, except by the public school — which qualifies people to read them. The printing press set up by Stephen Day in Cambridge, in 1639, was the first in America, though it is not known to have issued any periodical sheet. The first newspaper printed in this country was a small quarto sheet issued by Benjamin Harris, in Boston, September 25, 1690. The first number of "The Boston News-Letter," edited by John Campbell, was published April 24, 1704; and the first number of "The Boston Gazette," appeared December 21,1719. James Franklin started "The New England Courant," August 17,1721. In editing and printing this paper he was assisted by his younger brother, Benjamin. The first number of "The New England Weekly Journal," by S. Kneeland, was issued March 20, 1727. "The Weekly Rehearsal," by J. Draper, made its appearance September 27, 1721,— and was changed to "The Boston Evening Post," in August, 1735. These were the earliest papers of the State. The first daily paper established in the State was "The Boston Daily Advertiser," commenced in 1813, by Horatio Bigelow and W. W. Clapp. Among the earliest of the magazines and quarterlies are "The North American Review," established in Boston in May, 1815: "The Atlantic Monthly," "The Living Age," "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register," "The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," "Dwight's Journal of Music," "The Universalists Quarterly," "The Andover Review;" "Education," "Lend a Hand," "The Cottage Hearth," "Donahoe's Magazine," "The New Jerusalem Magazine," "The New England Magazine," with "Wide-Awake," and the still more juvenile magazines, are later comers.

The total number of periodicals published in Massachusetts at the commencement of 1889 was 650. Of these, 54 were dailies, 9 semi-weekly, 424 weekly, 9 bi-weekly, 8 semi-monthly, 137 monthly, 1 bi-monthly, and 8 quarterly.


The number of the Indians had been greatly diminished by a fatal disease some time anterior to the arrival of the Pilgrims; and there are no certain data for determining how many were then dwelling within the limits of the State. The four principal tribes, beginning at the north, were the Pawtuckets, living on the Merrimack River; the Massachusetts, on the bay of the same name; the Pokanokets, in the south-west section of the State; and the Narragansetts, in the vicinity of the Narragansett Bay.
In these four tribes, perhaps, there might have been an aggregate of 40,000 people. They usually selected the most beautiful ponds, waterfalls, and valleys for their villages, and supported themselves by hunting, fishing, by raising a little Indian corn, a few beans and squashes, and by the nuts and berries which the wilderness spontaneously produced. Their implements were made of hard wood, stone, or bone, or sea-shells. They dwelt in wigwams rudely made, and used for money wampum, which consisted of shell-beads strung upon a belt. When kindly treated by the English, they, for the most part, exhibited a friendly spirit in return. In 1674, Daniel Gookin estimates the Narragansetts at 4,000 people, the Massachusetts at 1,200, and the Pawtuckets at 1,000. The Pokanokets were then nearly extinct. During the war of King Philip (1675-76), most of the hostile Indians were exterminated, and but few, except the Christian Indians remained. The number of these at the close of 1678 was 567 in the Massachusetts, and 1,919 in the Plymouth Colony. By the census of 1765, the number of Indians in the State was l,569. In 1828 the number in the State was about 1,000, of whom about 600 were living at Mashpee, Gay Head, Christian-town, and Chippaquiddick. The present number is 410; but few of them are of pure Indian blood.


Although Bartholomew Gosnold built a fort and storehouse on one of the Elizabeth Islands (Cuttyhunk) as early as 1602, and the enterprising Capt. John Smith visited and described the coast of Massachusetts in 1614, no permanent settlement was made here by Englishmen until the a[r]rival of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth in December, 1620. These people were Puritans, and zealous advocates or civil and religious liberty. They believed in a church without a bishop, if not a state without a king; and in order to escape the persecution of James the First (who said, that, unless they conformed, he would harry them out of the kingdom) sought refuge in Holland, where they resided—first at Amsterdam, and then at Leyden—from 1607 until their emigration to America. Their design in coming to this Western World was to relieve themselves from the immoralities of the Dutch, to plant Christianity in the distant wilderness, "better provide for their posterity, and live to be more refreshed by their labors." Obtaining consent of the Plymouth Company to settle in North Virginia, they entered into partnership with some London merchants; and two ships—"The Speedwell" of sixty tons, and "The Mayflower" of a hundred and eighty tons— being furnished, they left, with many tears, their excellent pastor, the Rev. John Robinson, and their other friends, at Delfthaven, July 12,1620; and, embarking in "The Speedwell," they sailed for Southampton, where "The Mayflower," which, had been hired in London, soon united with them for the voyage across the Atlantic. On the 5th of August the two vessels sailed from Southampton but "The Speedwell," being unseaworthy, soon returned to Plymouth, while "The Mayflower," with 102 persons on board, proceeded on her way alone. After a perilous voyage, during which one person died and one was born, the vessel, on the 11th of November, came to anchorage in Provincetown Harbor, in Cape-Cod Bay.

The original intention of the Pilgrims was to settle at or near Manhattan: but the perilous shoals and breakers, and the lateness of the season, induced them to make the nearest port, and here commence their colony; and, inasmuch as they were then outside of any local government, it was deemed advisable to institute some rules and regulations for the guidance and good order of the company. Prior to disembarking, they therefore, in the cabin of "The Mayflower," Nov. 11,1620, entered into a solemn compact and agreement, to which they set their several names. It is in these remarkable words, and is the "first written constitution of government ever subscribed by a whole people:" —

 "In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland, King, defender of ye faith, etc. haveing undertaken for ye glorie of God, and advancements of ye Christian faith, and honour of our King and countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
"In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Codd ye 11. of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our soyeraigne Lord, King James, of England, Franc, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth, Ano. Dom, 1620."

The names of the subscribers are as follows: Mr. John Carver, Mr. William Bradford, Mr. Edward Winslow, Mr. William Brewster, Mr. Isaac Allerton, Capt. Miles Standish, John Alden, Mr. Samuel Fuller, Mr. Christopher Martin, Mr. William Mullins, Mr. William White, Mr. Richard Warren, John Howland, Mr. Stephen Hopkins, Edward Tilly, John Tilly, Francis Cook, Thomas Rogers, Thomas Tinker, John Ridgdale, Edward Fuller, John Turner, Francis Eaton, James Chilton, John Crackston, John Billington, Moses Fletcher, John Goodman, Degory Priest, Thomas Williams, Gilbert Winslow, Edward Margeson, Peter Brown, Richard Britterige, George Soule, Richard Clarke, Richard Gardiner, John Allerton, Thomas English, Edward Dotey, and Edward Leister.

From this brief instrument, which embodies the principle that the will of the majority shall govern, has been derived the idea of our State and National constitutions; and well has it been said, that the cabin of "The Mayflower" was the cradle of American civil liberty. After signing the compact, they chose JOHN CARVER, a man of good judgment and of sterling integrity, governor for one year, and soon after sent out Miles Standish with sixteen armed men to make explorations on the shore. This party, on the 16th instant, went as far as Pamet River, and found Indian graves, a kettle, also some Indian corn, which was very serviceable to them for food and for planting the next season. On the 6th of December, a third exploring-party, consisting of Gov. Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, Miles Standish, and others, started in the shallop to sail around the bay in search of a convenient place for settlement. The next day, several of them went on shore at Eastham; and, early in the morning following, they had only time to cry out "Indians!" when a shower of arrows came flying in amongst them. The English immediately discharged their muskets, and the Indians fled. They called this meeting with the aborigines, who proved to be of the Nauset tribe, the "First Encounter." Rejoining their companions in the boat, they coasted along westerly, passing Barnstable in a heavy snow-storm, and, turning northerly, came in after dark, with mast and rudder broken, under the lee of Clark's Island, in Plymouth Harbor. Here they spent Saturday, the 9th, in refitting their boat, and the sabbath following in solemn worship. On Monday morning, Dec. 11 (which corresponds with Dec. 21, New Style), they landed on a rock upon the margin of the shore, and made an exploration into the interior. Finding clear springs, a running brook, and some land where corn had been planted, they judged it a place suitable for a settlement, and, the next day, returned with a favorable report to Provincetown. On the 16th of December (N. S. 26th) "The Mayflower" anchored in Plymouth Bay, and four days afterwards the Pilgrims decided to settle near what is now denominated the Town Brook. They soon began to build cabins underneath the cliff, on the left bank of the Town Brook; a common house for storage, worship, and defence; and on the 28th of January, 1620, the whole company was divided into nineteen families, to each of which a lot of land was given. On the 21st of the same month, they spent the day, it being the sabbath, in worshiping on shore; and called the name of the place PLYMOUTH, in memory of the English town from which they last set sail. Here, then, was the first town permanently founded by Europeans, not only in this State, but in New England.

[Standish House, Duxbury.]

The sufferings of the Pilgrims, from exposures by sea and land, were such, that one-half the number died before the full opening of the spring. Not unfrequently the hands and feet of the men, while fishing in the bay or hunting in the woods, were frozen; and it is said that the whole company was once reduced to a single pint of corn. Of this each person had five kernels, which were parched and eaten. The ruling elder, William Brewster, lived for months together without bread. "Of so great labor it was to found New England." It was fortunate for the colony that the natives of that region had, a few years previous, been mostly swept away by a fatal disease, and thus the land was left open for possession. Yet they by no means neglected to hold themselves in readiness for defence. They chose the heroic Miles Standish, on the 17th of February, captain of their military force, and soon after mounted the great guns from "The Mayflower" on Burial Hill. On the 16th of March (O. S.) they were surprised by the sudden appearance of Samoset, a friendly Indian, who, stalking in amongst them, cried out, "Welcome, Englishmen!" which was the first word coming to them from a native since arriving on the coast. Through the influence of this Indian, and Squanto, who had learned a little of our language while a captive in England, the colony, on the 22d of March, entered into a treaty of peace with Massasoit, the father of King Philip, which remained in force for half a century. On the 5th of April "The Mayflower" left for England. Gov. Carver died, William Bradford was chosen governor in his place, and Isaac Allerton assistant; and on the 12th of May following, Edward Winslow and Mrs. Susanna White were married, which was the first marriage in the colony. "The spring," says Gov. Bradford, "now approaching, it pleased God the mortalitie begane to cease amongst them, and ye sick and lame recovered apace, which put, as it were, new life into them, though they had borne their sadd afflictions with as much patience & contentedness as I thinke any people could doe."

[fireplace, Standish House.]

Purchasing the interests of the London merchants in 1627, the Plymouth colonists became the sole proprietors of the land, and continued a distinct government until 1691, when, by the charter of William and Mary, it was united with the Colony of Massachusetts and Maine.

The civil basis of the other settlements of the State was a patent, signed by King James, Nov. 3, 1620, incorporating the Duke of Lenox and others as the Council of Plymouth, and granting to it that part of America which lies between the fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of north latitude. Two years afterwards a settlement was commenced, through the efforts of Mr. Thomas Weston, at Weymouth; and another, by the influence of the Rev. John White, at Gloucester, 1624. This colony, under the direction of Roger Conant, removed the next year to Naumkeag, which was subsequently called Salem. At the same time a plantation was begun by Capt. Wollaston at Merrymount, in Braintree.

On the 19th of March, 1628, the Council of Plymouth gave to Sir Henry Rosewell and others a patent of an immense tract of land included by two lines,— the one three miles north of the Merrimack, and the other three miles south of the Charles River, — and extending from the Atlantic westerly as far as the South Sea, or Pacific Ocean. By the royal charter, which passed the seals March 4, 1629, granting this land, a corporation was created under the name of "the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England."

In the year following, seventeen ships, with more than fifteen hundred people, mostly Puritans or Nonconformists, and some of them persons of distinction, arrived at Salem, with Mr. John Winthrop as governor of the colony. They settled at Dorchester, Roxbury, Watertown, and Cambridge; and during the summer of that year, attracted by a fine spring of water at Shawmut, Mr. Winthrop and some other leading men erected there a few cottages, and thus laid the foundation of the metropolis of New England.

The ensuing winter was one of great severity. The houses of the colonists were uncomfortable, and their clothing and provisions scanty. Many perished by the cold, and others subsisted by shellfish, and the roots and acorns which the wilderness provided. As many as two hundred died before the closing of the year, among whom were the Rev. Francis Higginson of Salem, his colleague, Mr. Skelton, and, soon after their arrival, Mr. Isaac Johnson and his excellent lady Arbella, who, as one has said, "left an earthly paradise in the family of an earldom to encounter the sorrows of the wilderness, for the entertainments of a pure worship in the house of God, and then immediately left that wilderness for the heavenly paradise."

On the 19th of October, 1630, the first General Court was held, in which it was enacted that those only should be made freemen who belonged to some church in the colony, and that freemen alone should have power to elect the governor and his assistants. The former law was repealed in 1665. As emigration steadily increased, and as it was soon found that the freemen could not easily assemble to transact business in person, it was ordered, in 1634, that these should meet only for the election of magistrates, who, with the representatives chosen by the several towns, should have the power of enacting laws. And thus began the system of democratic representation in the colony. Ten years later the magistrates, or assistants, and the deputies, after much discussion, were organized into separate branches in the government.

Though escaping from intolerance in the mother-country, the colonists themselves, with all their virtues, had not learned from the gospel to be tolerant; and, near the close of 1635, the Rev. Roger Williams, Minister at Salem, and, two years later, Anne Hutchinson and the Rev. John Wheelwright, were, for heretical opinions, banished from the State.

In 1643 the Colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven, entered into a confederation, which continued till 1686, for mutual defence against the Indians and the Dutch, but under the provision that each colony was to retain its own distinct and separate government.

The laws of the colony were, in 1648, collected, ratified and printed; and, in the same year, Margaret Jones of Charlestown was tried and executed as a witch. In 1652 a mint was established for coining money; and the Province of Maine was made a county of Massachusetts, under the name of Yorkshire.

By the year 1665 Massachusetts had settled many towns,— as Lynn, Marblehead, Ipswich, Newbury, on the seaboard; Andover, Haverhill then a (frontier settlement) Sudbury, Lancaster, Brookfield, in the interior; and Deerfield, Northampton, Hadley and Springfield, in the rich valley of the Connecticut River. The militia amounted to 4,000 foot-soldiers and 400 cavalry; and the shipping, to 132 vessels. By the labors of Thomas Mayhew, John Eliot, and others, ten Indian towns had been converted to Christianity.

The year 1675 is memorable for the breaking-out of King Philip's War, during which the united colonies lost as many as 600 men, and had as many as 600 dwelling-houses reduced to ashes. Philip, an able warrior, whose Indian name was Metacomet, ruled the Wampanoags and resided at Mount Hope, near Bristol, in Rhode Island. Observing the encroachments of the English on the hunting-grounds, and instigated by the execution of three of his tribe for the murder of John Sassamon, he artfully secured the aid of other tribes, and commenced hostilities by an attack June 24, on the people of Swansey while returning from church, during which eight or nine of them were slain. In September, seventy young men, the flower of Essex County were massacred and buried in one grave at Bloody Brook, in Deerfield; and Northfield and Hadley were attacked. In an encounter with the Narragansetts in a swamp in Kingstown, R.I., in December, Gov. Winslow, with an army of 1,800 troops, killed and wounded about 1,000 Indians, burned 600 wigwams, and thus seriously weakened Philip's power who, nevertheless, continued during the winter his savage work, burning the towns of Lancaster, Medfield, Marlborough, Groton, Sudbury, and murdering or carrying many of the people into merciless captivity. But, tribe after tribe deserting Philip, he returned to Mount Hope; and, his wife and son being soon after captured, he said, "Now my heart breaks: I am ready to die." On the 12th of August, 1676, Capt. Benjamin Church with a small body of men came upon him. An Indian of the party shot him through the heart; and thus fell the last king of the Wampanoags, and with him the power of the Indians in New England.
The towns in New Hampshire which in 1641 had been annexed to the State were in 1677 formed into a separate government; yet the divisional line was not settled until 1743.

By a decision in chancery, June 28, 1684, the charter of Massachusetts was abrogated; and, two years subsequent thereto, Sir Edmund Andros was sent over as governor of New England. His arbitrary administration gave great offence to the people; and, on the news of the accession of Prince William to the throne in 1689, the citizens of Boston threw the governor and fifty of his associates into prison, and restored the former magistrates. In 1692 King William, granted a new charter by which the Plymouth Colony was united with that of Massachusetts, and under it Sir William Phips, a native of Woolwich, Me., was appointed governor. He arrived in Boston May 14, 1692; and among the earlier acts of his administration was the institution of a court for the trial of certain persons accused of witchcraft.
This strange delusion, threw the colony into as much excitement as the war with King Philip had done in 1675; and the apology of the clergy who fell into it must be, that such men as Sir Matthew Hale, of the King's Bench, regarded witches as in league with evil spirits, and amenable to the supreme penalty of the law. It commenced in February 1692, in the family of the Rev. Samuel Parris of Danvers. His daughter Elizabeth, and his niece Abigail Williams, began to act in a peculiar way, and accused his servant Tituba of bewitching them; while John, her husband, accused others, that he might save his wife. Commencing thus, the delusion spread from family to family, through Beverly Andover, Ipswich, Gloucester, and other places. Prosecutions were instituted, unreliable testimony against the accused accepted; and, before the end of September, nineteen persons were hung, and Giles Corey, who refused to be tried by jury, was pressed to death.

At first the accusations were brought only against those of humble rank; but when Mr. John Bradstreet, the lady of Sir William Phips, and others in high standing began to be mentioned as in fellowship with Satan, the opinion of the rulers changed: a special court was held, and nearly a hundred and fifty persons then in prison for witchcraft were set free.

At the commencement of the seventeenth century, most of the learned men who colonized the State had passed away; and, on account of the labor the reduction of the wilderness demanded, but very few had risen to fill their places. The style and spirit of the pulpit had declined, and the people had almost lost the art of psalm-singing in the churches; yet the love of liberty, as evinced by the steady opposition to the tyranny of the royal governors, was year by year becoming stronger.

In what was called Queen Anne's War, a party of French and Indians, under Heptel de Rouville, attacked, in the spring of 1704, the town of Deerfield, reduced it to ashes, killed forty-seven of the inhabitants, and led one hundred, among whom was the Rev. John Williams and his family, into captivity. Port Royal was captured in 1610 by a force mostly from this State. The name of the place was changed to Annapolis, and Acadia was annexed to the British realm. This war, closed by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, was followed by a peace of nearly thirty years. During this period many new settlements were made in the interior of the State, and towns incorporated.

King George's War commenced in 1744; and, early in the following year, an army under the command of William Pepperell, to which this State contributed more than 3,250 men, laid siege to Louisburg, a French fortress of great strength on the Island of Cape Breton and, aided by an English fleet, under Sir Peter Warren, on the 16th of June effected a capture of the garrison. The expense of the expedition was met by the British Government; and the money ($612, 330.41 in silver and copper) arrived in 1749 at Boston, where it was deposited in the State treasury. The war was terminated by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, and the acquisitions of territory made in the contest were mutually restored. The boundaries between the French and English colonies were, however, still undefined; and the struggles for territorial dominion along the frontiers broke out into open hostilities in 1754, and resulted in the capture of Quebec, Sept. 13, 1739, and the establishment of the Saxon domination in America. During this war, about a thousand of the Acadians were, through the agency of Gen. John Winslow, transported to this State, but many of them subsequently returned to France.

In order to meet the expenses incurred in this war, it was proposed by the British ministry to lay a tax upon the colonies; and this was attempted by the Stamp Act, passed in 1765, requiring stamps to be put on bonds, deeds, and other printed matter.

This act of tyranny was denounced by the patriotic leaders of the State and country, who declared that taxation without representation was unconstitutional and iniquitious. The obnoxious act was repealed the following year: but in 1767 another bill for levying duties on paper, tea, and glass, became a law; to which and other measures the opposition was so strong, that several men-of-war and about four thousand British troops were sent the ensuing year to Boston to protect the authorities, and enforce the execution of obnoxious acts of Parliament. On the 5th of March, 1770, a collision occurred between the troops and some citizens, in which three of the latter were killed, and several wounded; and in December, 1773, a party of men disguised as Indians boarded some British ships laden with tea in Boston Harbor, and threw the contents into the sea.

On receiving an account of this. Parliament passed, March 31, 1774, the Boston Port Bill, which prohibited intercourse by water with the town, and removed the custom-house to Salem.

Gen. Thomas Gage the newly appointed governor, arrived in Boston, May 13, 1774, and occupied the town with four regiments of British soldiers. On the nineteenth of April, 1775, he sent a detachment to destroy some military stores at Concord; and on their way occurred the battle of Lexington, from which the opening of the drama of the Revolution may be dated.

"On the 10th of June," says Mr. Lossing, "Gage issued a proclamation declaring all Americans in arms to be rebels and traitors, and offering a free pardon to all who should return to their allegiance, except those arch-offenders, John Hancock and Samuel Adams. These he intended to seize, and send to England to be hanged. The vigilant patriots, aware of Gage's hostile intentions, strengthened their intrenchments on Boston Neck: and, on the evening of the 16th of June, Gen. Ward sent Col. Prescott, with a detachment of one thousand men, to take possession of and fortify Bunker's Hill, within cannon-shot of the city; and, laboring with pick and spade all that night, they had cast up a strong redoubt of earth on the summit of that eminence before the British were aware of their presence. Gage and his officers were greatly astonished at the apparition of this military work at the dawn of the 17th.

"The British, generals perceived the necessity for driving the Americans from this commanding position before they should plant a heavy battery there; for, in that event, Boston must be evacuated. Before sunrise (June 17, 1775) a heavy cannonade was opened on the redoubt from a battery on Copp's Hill in Boston and from shipping in the Harbor, but with very little effect. Hour after hour, the patroits [sic] worked on in the erection of their fort; and at noonday their toil was finished, and they laid aside their implements of labor for knapsack and muskets. Gen. Howe, with Gen. Pigot and three thousand men, crossed the Charles River at the same time to Morton's Point, at the foot of the eastern slopes of Breed's Hill, formed his troops into two columns, and marched slowly to attack the redoubt. Although the British commenced firing cannons soon after they had begun to ascend the hill, and the great guns of the ships and the battery on Copp's Hill poured out an incessant storm upon the redoubt, the Americans kept perfect silence until they had approached within close musket-shot. Hardly an American could be seen by the slowly approaching enemy; yet behind those mounds of earth lay fifteen hundred determined men.

"When the British column was within ten rods of the redoubt, Prescott shouted "Fire'' and instantly whole platoons of the assailants were prostrated by well-aimed bullets. The survivors fell back in great confusion, but were soon rallied for a second attack. They were again repulsed, with heavy loss; and, while scattering in all directions, Gen. Clinton arrived with a few follower's, and joining Howe as a volunteer. The fugitives were rallied, and they rushed to the redoubt in the face of a galling fire. For ten minutes the battle raged, fearfully; and, in the meanwhile, Charlestown, at the foot of the eminence, having been fired by a carcass from Copp's Hill, sent up dense columns of smoke, which completely enveloped the belligerents. The firing in the redoubt grew weaker; for the ammunition of the Americans became exhausted. It ceased; and then the British scaled the bank, and compelled the Americans to retreat, while they fought fiercely with clubbed muskets. They fled across Charlestown Neck, gallantly covered by Putnam and a few brave men; and, under that commander, took position on Prospect Hill, and fortified it. The British took possession of Bunker's Hill, and erected a fortification there. There was absolutely no victory in the case. The Americans had lost, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, about four hundred and fifty men. The loss of the British, from like causes, was almost eleven hundred. This was the first real battle of the Revolution, and lasted almost two hours."

On the second day following, Gen. Washington assumed the command of the American army then lying at Cambridge; and erecting a line of batteries from Winter Hill, near the Mystic river, through Cambridge, Brookline, and Roxbury, as far as Dorchester Heights, he held the British forces beseiged in Boston until Mar. 17, 1776, when they set sail for Halifax, and the war was transferred from our soil to that of other States. From the beginning of this grand struggle for civil freedom until its close by a definitive treaty of peace signed at Paris, Sept. 3, 1783, Massachusetts continued. by her voice, in council, by her efforts in raising men and money, as well as by the valor of her sons upon the battle-field, to sustain the cause of liberty. Of the forty thousand soldiers in the American army in 1776, ten thousand were her sons; and, by her steady arm, one-fourth of the burden of the entire war was borne.
In 1780 the State framed and adopted a constitution, declaring that "all men are born equal;" and under this provision it was decided by the Supreme Court of the State that slavery was abolished. John Hancock was elected the first governor under the Constitution in 1780, and held his office until 1785, when he was succeeded by James Bowdoin.

In the ensuing year occurred an insurrection called "Shay's Rebellion," which agitated the people, and alarmed the government. It grew out of the scarcity of money, caused by the interruption in trade and the drain upon the finances of the country, by the war.

A convention of the disaffected met at Hatfield on the 22nd of August, 1786, and made known their grievances. Soon afterwards a body of about 1,500 insurgents, led by Daniel Shays, who had been a captain in the Revolution, assembled at Northampton, and prevented the sitting of the courts; they also, in December, took possession of the court-house in Springfield, and interrupted the proceedings. In January, 1787, an army of 4,000 men was raised by the State, to suppress the insurrection. Gen. William Shepard, with one part of this force, repelled the advance of the insurgents upon the arsenal at Springfield, Jan. 25; and Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, with another part of the army, followed the retreating rebels to Petersham, where 150 were made prisoners, and the remainder fled. Fourteen of those taken were tried, and condemned to death, but afterwards set at liberty.

In convention, Feb. 6, 1789, by a vote of 187 to 168, the State ratified and adopted the Federal Constitution of the United States, and warmly sustained the administration of George Washington, the first president.

To the embargo laid upon the vessels of the country in 1808, to the policy of President Madison and the war of 1812, the State was generally opposed. The loss of commerce, revenue, and the expenses of the war, were seriously felt: and the news of the treaty of peace, signed at Ghent, Feb. 18, 1815, was received with acclamations and joy by all classes of the people. In 1820 a convention was held for the revision of the Constitution; and this year Maine, from 1692 till then a province of Massachusetts, became an independent State.

At the opening of the rebellion in 1861, the State responded promptly to the demand for men, during the continuance of that ensanguined contest, sent forth, under the lead of John Andrew, governor from 1861 to 1865, regiment after regiment, store after store, ship after ship, to meet the exigency. Wherever there was fighting to be done, — at Bull Bun, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Winchester, Chattanooga, Gettysburg, Coal Harbor,— there was the old Bay State most nobly represented. The whole number of men furnished by the State during the war (being a surplus of 13,492 over every call) was 159,254. The whole number of colored troops was 6,039. Since the closing of the war of the Rebellion, which resulted in the liberation of the slave from bondage,— a long-cherished aspiration of the State,— it has enjoyed unexampled prosperity; and in its varied mechanical industries directed by intelligence, in its liberal appropriations for its well-conducted institutions of learning and benevolence, in its multiplied facilities for intercommunication, in its regard to health, temperance, and integrity, in its civil and social order, and in its steady aim for the good, the grand, the beautiful and the true, it gives assurance that it will still maintain its position as one of the leading States of the Federal Union.

Since the war, legislation has, in general, been more strenously directed to securing closer conformity with ethical standards in politics, business and social relations. In this period there was much fluctation in the treatment of the liquor traffic until 1875, when the prohibitory law was repealed and a license law substituted, with local option in regard to issuing licenses. In 1869, the district school system was abolished, and town management by a school committee substituted,— by which more uniformly good instruction is secured, with a more economical expenditure of the public money. The notable event of the year was the "Peace Jubilee," in Boston, in June. In 1873 occurred the world's "Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival," also held in Boston. In October of the same year a great fire consumed the buildings from a tract of about sixty-five acres, in the chief business section of Boston. The Mill River disaster, in which there was such destruction of property and life by the bursting of a dam, occurred in the same year. In 1874 came the death of Senator Sumner. In 1875 were celebrated the centennials of Lexington and Concord, of Bunker Hill, and of Washington's taking command of the army at Cambridge. In the autumn died Vice-President Wilson. In 1879 a law was enacted admitting women to vote for members of school committees,— the first decided triumph of the women suffragists in Massachusetts.


[history of] COUNTIES.

THE reasons for the division of the territory of a State and the grouping of towns into counties are found in conditions which, on the one hand, render necessary a more extended authority and greater power than resides in a town; and, on the other hand, in those conditions which render necessary smaller divisions than the State. In the case of counties, the divisions serve to facilitate the administration of justice in civil and criminal matters, by assigning to officers in the various departments such an extent of territory as they can effectively serve, and whereby conflicts, regarding their territorial jurisdiction may be prevented.

In Massachusetts each county has a Probate Court and a Court of Insolvency, distinct in their jurisdiction, powers, proceedings and practice, but having the same judge and register. The county officers are a Judge of Probate and Insolvency, a Register of Probate and Insolvency, a Sheriff (and deputies), Clerk of Courts, County Treasurer, Register of Deeds, County Commissioners, Special Commissioners, Commissioners of Insolvency, and Trial Justices.

Over all these courts and officers, and over the documents and. records of which they have charge, as a portion of its field, extends the jurisdiction of the Supreme Judicial Court of the State; this court either initiating actions or court proceedings relating to them, or hearing appeals from the County Courts; holding one or more sessions annually at an appointed place within the county for this and other business.
The first counties in Massachusetts were Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk, — formed May 10, 1643. The next was Hampshire, formed in 1662; and it included all the territory of the State west of those previously formed. Then followed Dukes (1683), Barnstable, Bristol and Plymouth (1685), Nantucket (1695), Worcester (1731), Berkshire (1761), Norfolk (1793), Franklin (1811), and Hampden (1812), — fourteen in all.

In England this division was originally the territory belonging to an earl or count,— whence the term "county." The lord-proprietor's representative officer was the shire-reeve (a corruption of the Saxon term corresponding to county, scyre, and gerefa, the deputy who assisted in its government) — whence our word "Sheriff." The earlier term for the division in England was shire, and it has remained in some use to the present day. The town where the courts for the shire or county are held are called "shire towns," as they are generally here,— designating the county capitals.

[with their towns, a county map, and some comments.]

cock-eyed county map from the US Census

Barnstable County (Cape Cod) overview
There are 15 towns — Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth.
The first of the list is the shire town.

Berkshire County overview
The county embraces 32 towns, which are Adams, Alford, Becket, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown and Windsor.
Pittsfield is the seat of justice for the county.

Bristol County overview
Bristol County contains three cities, — New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton, — and seventeen towns; these being Acushnet, Attleborough, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Easton, Fairhaven, Freetown, Mansfield, North Attleborough, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea (Swansey) and Westport.
The courts are held at New Bedford and Taunton.

Dukes County (Martha's Vineyard and Elizabeth Islands) overview
The towns embraced in this county — six in number — are Chilmark, Cottage City, Edgartown, Gay Head, and Tisbury, on Martha's Vineyard, and Gosnold, comprising the Elizabeth Islands.
Edgartown is the county seat.

[West Tisbury was divided from Tisbury in 1892. Cottage City became Oak Bluffs in 1907. Gay Head became Aquinnah in 1998.]

Essex County overview
The county has six cities and twenty-nine towns; the first being Gloucester, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lynn, Newburyport and Salem; and the towns, Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Bradford, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Merrimac (Merrimack), Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, North Andover, Peabody, Rockport, Rowley, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham and West Newbury.
Salem, Lawrence and Newburyport are the shire towns.

[Manchester is now known as Manchester-by-the-Sea, though this seems to be unofficial.]

Franklin County overview
It embraces 26 towns, namely: Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain (Coleraine), Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell and Whately.
Greenfield is the capital town.

Hampden County overview
It contains two cities and twenty towns. The first are Springfield and Holyoke; and the latter Agawam, Blandford, Brimfield, Chester, Chicopee, Granville, Hampden, Holland, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Montgomery, Palmer, Russell, Southwick, Tolland, Wales, Westfield, West Springfield and Wilbraham.
Springfield is the county seat.
[East Longmeadow split from Longmeadow in 1894.]

Hampshire County overview
It now embraces one city (Northampton — also the county seat) and 22 towns. The latter are as follows: Amherst, Belchertown, Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Enfield, Goshen, Granby, Greenwich, Hadley, Hatfield, Huntington, Middlefield, Pelham, Plainfield, Prescott, Southampton, South Hadley, Ware, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Worthington.

[Dana (in Worcester County), Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott are extinct towns. They were drowned to make the Quabbin reservoir.]

Middlesex County overview
The county contains seven cities — Cambridge, Lowell, Malden, Newton, Somerville, Waltham and Woburn. There are forty-seven towns, viz.: Acton, Arlington, Ashby, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, North Reading, Pepperell, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Stoneham, Stowe (Stow), Sudbury, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Watertown, Wayland, Westford, Weston, Wilmington, and Winchester.
The shire towns are Cambridge and Lowell.

Nantucket County overview
One town: Nantucket.

Norfolk County overview
The county contains one city — Quincy, and twenty-six towns — whose names are as follows: Avon, Bellingham, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Franklin, Holbrook, Hyde Park, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milton, Needham, Norfolk, Norwood, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, Wellesley, Weymouth and Wrentham.
Dedham is the shire town.

[Hyde Park was annexed to Boston on January 1, 1912.]

Plymouth County overview
There are now 26 towns and one city, — Brockton. The towns are Abington, Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.
The shire town is Plymouth.

Suffolk County overview
The county consists of the cities of Boston and Chelsea, and the towns of Revere and Winthrop — the first mentioned city being the capital of the county and of the State.

Worcester County overview
Division after division has been made in the original towns, until there are now 57, and two cities, — Worcester and Fitchburg; the first being the capital. The towns are Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Dana, Douglas, Dudley, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, New Braintree, Northborough, Northbridge, North Brookfield, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, Westborough, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westminster and Winchendon.

[Millville was incorporated in 1916, splitting from Blackstone. East Brookfield is the State's newest town, splitting from Brookfield in 1920. Dana was flooded over to make the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1930s.]

Massachusetts in 1890







* For a list of the cities, see article on Civil Divisions, etc., on page 26.

alphabetical section anchors:
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

The towns and cities each have a separate linked page.


Abbot Village
, in Andover, — which consult.
Acoaxet, a village in Westport. 
Acre, a village in Clinton.
Adam's Corners, in Northbridge.
Adamsdale, in Attleborough. 
Adamsville, a village in Colrain.
Ætna Mills, a village in Watertown.
Albeeville, a village in Mendon
Allendale, a village in Pittsfield.
Allerton Point, the northeastern extremity of Hull.
Allston, a railroad station and village in the Brighton District, Boston.
Angier's Corner, a village in Newton.
Annisquam, a harbor and a village in Gloucester.
Annursnack Hill, in Concord, 370 feet in height.
Apponegansett, a village in Dartmouth. 
Aquashenet, a village in Mashpee.
Argilla, a village in Ipswich.
Arlington District, a village in Lawrence,
Arnoldsville, in Adams.
Arrowhead, a village in Pittsfield. 
Arsenal Village, in Watertown.
Artichoke, a village in Newburyport 
Asbury Grove, a village in Hamilton. 
Ashdod, a village in Duxbury.
Ashley Falls, a village in Sheffield.
Ashley Falls, a village in Sheffield.
Ashleyville, a village in West Springfield.
Asnybumsket Hill, in Paxton, 1407 feet in height.
Asnyconic Pond, in Hubbardston.
Assabet River, in the western part of Middlesex County, joins the Concord River in the town of Concord.
Assinippi Village in Hanover; also one in South Scituate.
Assonet, a village in Freetown.
Assonet River, in Freetown.
Assowampset Pond, in Lakeville and Middleborough.
Asylum Station, a village in Danvers.
Atherton, a village in Tewksbury.
Atlantic, a village in Quincy.
Atwood's Corner, a village in Newburyport.
Auburndale, a village in Newton.
Auburnville, a village in Whitman.
Ayer's Village, in Haverhill.

Babbatasset Village, in Pepperell.
Back River Harbor, in Bourne.
Back Row, a village in North Reading.
Barry's Corner, a village in Boston.
Bass Point Rocks, a village in Gloucester.
Basset's Island, southeast of Bourne.
Baker's Island, off Beverly shore, bearing two lights.
Bakerville, a village in Dartmouth.
Bald Hill, in Douglass, 711 feet in height.
Bald Pate Hill, in Newton, 312 feet in height.
Baldwinsville, a village in Templeton.
Ballardvale, a village in Andover.
Bancroft, a village in Middlefield.
Bardwell's Ferry, a village in Shelburne.
Bare Hill, in Stoneham, 820 feet in height.
Bare Hill Pond, in Harvard.
Barleyneck, a village in Orleans. [sic]
Barnard'sville, a village in Worcester. [sic]
Barney's Joy Point, south of Dartmouth.
Barrett's Junction, a village in Belchertown.
Barrowsville, a village in Norton.
Barry's Corner, a village in Boston.
Bass Point Rocks, a village in Gloucester.
Bassett's Island, southeast of Bourne.
Bay State Village, in Northampton.
Bay View, a village in Boston; also one in Gloucester.
Beach Bluff, a village in Swampscott.
Beachmont, a village in Revere.
Bearcroft, a village in Attleborough.
Bear Mountain, in Wendell, 1,281 feet in height.
Beaver, a village in East Bridgewater; also, one in North Adams.
Beaver Brook, a village in Danvers.
Beechdale, a village in Williamstown.
Beech Plain, a village in Sandisfield.
Beechwood, a village in Cohasset.
Bel Air, a village in Pittsfield.
Belcher's Corner, a village in Stoughton.
Bellerica Heights, a village in Tisbury.
Belleville, a village in Acushnet; also, one in Newburyport.
Bellevue Hill, in West Roxbury district, Boston, 334 feet in height.
Belvidere, a village in Lowell.
Berkshire, a village in Lanesborough.
Bethlehem was incorporated as a district, June 24, 1789; and united with Loudon to form the town of Otis, on June 19, 1809.
Billingsgate, a village in Wellfleet.
Billingsgate Island, at entrance of Wellfleet Harbor.
Billington Sea, a pond in Plymouth.
Birchdale, a village in Merrimack.
Blackinton, a village in North Adams; also one in Williamstown.
Blanchardville, a village in Palmer.
Blaneyville, a village in Attleborough.
Bleachery, a village in Lowell; also one in Waltham.
Blissville, a village in Orange.
Blithewood, a village in Worcester.
Bloomingdale, a village in Worcester.
Blue Hill, a village in the south part of Milton; also a range of hills, viz. : Great Blue Hill, in the north part of Canton (655 feet in height); Little Blue Hill, also in Canton (335 feet); Hancock Hill, in Milton (507 feet); and the following in Quincy: Bugbee Hill (439 feet), Bear Hill (495 feet), Glover's Hill (430 feet), Chickataubut Hill (518 feet), Wampatuck Hill (357 feet), Rattlesnake Hill (314 feet).
Bobtown, a village in Pittsfield.
Boston Corner was incorporated as a district, April 14, 1838. It then occupied the extreme southwest corner of the State; but being separated from the town of Mount Washington, which was the extreme southwestern town, by a lofty ridge, was physically inconvenient for jurisdiction by the State; and it consequently became the theatre of prize-fighting and other illegal practices. In order to bring it under proper restraint, it was ceded to the State of New York, to which it naturally belonged, May 14, 1853. It contained about 940 acres of land and 75 inhabitants. It was first settled by Daniel Porter, in 1763, or earlier.

Boston Harbor has its outer limits marked on the south by Point Allerton, the northeast extremity of the peninsular town of Hull, and on the north by Point Shirley, the southeastern extremity of the town of Winthrop, the two points being about four miles apart. The intermediate space is largely occupied by islands, which afford additional protection to the waters within. The harbor embraces an area of about 75 square miles. The main ship entrance is by Point Allerton and Fort Warren to the inner harbor, which is deep, and sufficiently capacious to hold 500 ships at anchor between Forts Winthrop and Independence.

The first of these defences is situated nearly in the centre of the inner expanse of the harbor, with the latter on the south, equally distant from it and from the outer point of South Boston on its westward side. The other and stronger fortification, Fort Warren is on Georges Island, directly facing Lighthouse Channel, which is the main entrance of the harbor, before mentioned. About one and a half miles distant, a few points north of east, is Boston Light, with. the Brewsters (islands) on the north and Point Allerton on the south. The tower of this light is 80 feet high, and is connected by a covered way 80 feet long with the keeper's dwelling. There are also two fog-signal buildings. The lantern gives a flashing white light, visible 16½ miles. About one half mile northeast from Fort Warren, in the direction of Great Brewster, is The Narrows Light Station, popularly known as the "Bug Light," being a low structure set upon seven iron pillars, or piles. Between this and Fort Warren is the main ship channel; which passes, further in, between Lovell's and Gallop's islands.

[Boston Light.]

[Castle island and Fort Independence.]

South of Fort Warren are Nantasket Roads. About one and a half miles west of this fort is Long Island, about whose southern extremity are the waters of Back or Western Bay. Directly west of this, behind Thompson's Island, is Dorchester Bay; and north of the latter is Old Harbor Bay, washing the southern shore of South Boston. West of this place, and separating it from Roxbury district, is South Bay with its bridge-locked entrance from the north.

Close on the southeast of Point Shirley is Deer Island; and between this and Long Island, directly south, is Broad Sound, the main northern entrance of the harbor, marked by a light on the northern end of the latter island. Directly west of Broad Sound, and on a line with South Boston, is the clear expanse of water known as President's Roads. At the northwest is the entrance to Mystic River and Charles River basins, both crossed by one or more bridges.

In the extreme south of Boston Harbor are the smaller ones of Hingham and Quincy; while on the southeast is Hingham Landing; and north of the last, in Hull, are, successively, Sagamore Bay, Nantasket Landing and Hull Landing.

For further mention of the islands in this harbor, see the article on Boston, and that on each island.

Bostonville, a village in Wellesley.
Bourne's Hill, in Sandwich, 297 feet high.
Bourne's Neck, the southeastern extremity of Wareham.
Bowenville, a village in Fall River. Bourne's Hill, in Sandwich, 297 feet high.
Bowkerville, in Saugus.
Boxborough, a village in Rockland.
Braggville, a village in Holliston.
Braley's, a village in Freetown.
Bramanville, a village in Millbury.
Brandt Rock, village in Marshfield.
Brattle Station, a village in Arlington.
Braytonville, a village in North Adams.
Breed's Island, a part of the city of Boston, lying near on the northeast of East Boston.
Brewsters, The (Great, Middle and Outer), islands near the middle of the outer line of Boston Harbor.
Brick City, a village in Leicester.
Brigg's Corner, a village in Attleborough.
Briggsville, a village in Clarksburgh.
Brighton, the western section of Boston. incorporated as a town February 21, 1807; annexed to Boston by Act of May 1, 1873, and by vote of the city and town.
Brightwood, a village in Springfield.
Brittaniaville, a village in Taunton.
Broad Sound, the northern entrance to Boston Harbor.
Brookdale, a village in Peabody.
Brookside, a village in Westford.
Brook Station, a village in Princeton.
Brook's Village, in Templeton.
Brookville, a village in Holbrook.
Brownell's Corner, a village in Westborough.
Brush Hill, a village in Milton.
Bryantsville, in Pembroke.
Bucksville, in Millbury.
Buffum Village, in Oxford.
Bullardvale, a village in Winchendon.
Burgess Island, midway of the shore line of Bourne.
Burgess Point, in southern projection of Wareham.
Burkville, in Conway.
Burlingville, in Millbury.
Burncoat Pond, in Leicester.
Burrageville, in Ashburnham.
Burtt's, a village in Tewksbury.
Buttermilk Bay, the northeastern waters of Buzzard's Bay, between Wareham and Bourne.
Buzzard's Bay, a body of water in the southern part of the state; also a village in Bourne.
Byfield, a village in Georgetown; also one in Newbury.

Calf Island and Little Calf Island are on the north side in the outer group of islands marking Boston Harbor.
California, a village in Clinton.
Cambridge Avenue, a village in Gloucester
Campello, a village in Brockton.
Camp Ground, a village in Cottage City.
Canals. See Blackstone and Middlesex canals.[Blackstone Canal history is in Worcester County.]
Candlewood, a village in Ipswich.
Cannonville, a village in Mattapoisett; also one in New Bedford.
Canoza Lake, a beautiful sheet of water in Haverhill.
Cape Ann, the extreme eastern portion of Massachusetts north of Cape Cod. It is in Essex County, and in a general way embraces the town of Rockport and adjacent islands.
Cape Cod, in a general way, signifies the whole of Barnstable County (which see), which embraces the southeastern extremity of Massachusetts; more specifically, the extremity of that projection, in Provincetown,— which see.
Cape Cod Bay is that large body of water enclosed by the arm-like projection of Cape Cod, at the southeast of Massachusetts.
Carltonville, in Salem.
Carsonville, in Dalton.
Carterville, in Berlin; also in Chelsea.
Carysville, in Bellingham; also in Chelsea.
Castle Hill, in Saugus, is 288 feet in height.
Castle Island, in Boston Harbor, contains Fort Independence.
Castle Village, in Truro
Cataumet, a village, also a harbor, in Bourne.
Cedar Swamp Pond, in Milford.
Cedarville, in Plymouth.
Central Square, a village in Woburn.
Central Village, in Seekonk; also in Westport, and in West Boylston.
Centralville, in Lowell.
Centreville, in Barnstable; also in Grafton, in Uxbridge, and in Winchendon.
Chace's, a village in Taunton.
Chaffinsville, in Holden.
Chamberlain's Corner, a village in Westford.
Chandler's Hill, in Worcester, is 748 feet in height.
Channel Island, in Fort Point Channel, Boston Harbor.
Chapel Station, a village in Brookline.
Chapinsville, in Lawrence.
Chappaquansett, a village in Tisbury.
Chappaquoddie, a village in Edgartown.
Charles River, according to New England's first geographer, Morse, was the Quinobequin of the Indians; but, in the early period of settlements here, called the "Massachusetts River." It forms in the region where Worcester and Norfolk counties meet; first issuing, under its own name, from Cedar Swamp Pond, in the central part of the town of Milford. Flowing southward, its slender stream enters a smaller pond in the southern part of the town; thence flowing eastward, it receives, near Bellingham centre, the waters of its chief branch, flowing from Beaver Pond in the northern part of the town. Then, making an abrupt turn, it leaves Bellingham at the northeast corner. Receiving other streams from every direction along its course, it meanders through or beside the towns of Franklin, Medway, Norfolk, Medfield, Sherborn, Dover, Natick, Needham. Dedham, West Roxbury (Boston), Newton, Weston, Waltham, Watertown, Brighton (Boston) and Cambridge, sweeps in a broad stream by Charlestown (Boston), and, uniting with the Mystic, mingles with the sea in Boston Harbor. It is navigable by small vessels to Watertown, seven miles from its mouth, where its meets the tide. Little marshy land is found along its borders, though some small tracts at its mouth might give a contrary impression. It flows through a hilly region in a very devious course, furnishing many small powers at its numerous descents. Its source is scarcely more than twenty-five miles from Boston in a direct line; but its actual length is probably more than twice that distance. It frequently doubles upon itself; sometimes for several miles, and thus finds a comparatively quiet way, earning its terse characterization by the poet Longfellow, as it passed before his dwelling, as the "placid Charles : " — see the poems, "To the River Charles," and "The Bridge," by Henry W. Longfellow. 
Charles River Village, in Dover; also in Needham.
Charlestown, the northwestern section of Boston, a peninsula. Incorporated as a town, June 24, 1629; incorporated as a city, February 22, 1847; annexed to Boston by Act of May 14, 1873, and by the votes of the two cities.
Chartley, a village in Norton.
Chase, a village in Dudley.
Chattanooga, a village in Ashland.
Chaubunagungamaug Lake (or Gumgamaug Lake), in the town of Webster.
Cheapside, a village in Deerfield.
Chebacco, a village, also a pond, in the town of Essex.
Chemistry, a village in Waltham.
Cherry Valley,
a village in Leicester.
Chestnut Hill, a village in Blackstone; also one in Newton.
Chickataubut Hill, in Quincy, of the Blue Hill group, is 518 feet in height.
Chicopee River rises in Spencer, Leicester and Paxton, in Worcester County, where it bears the name of Seven-mile Brook. It receives the waters of Furnace Pond in North Brookfield, and of Quaboag Pond in Brookfield and of Wickaboag Pond in West Brookfield; then flows westward through Warren, and, turning southward forms a portion of the west line of Brimfield and a large portion of the south line of Palmer, separating that town from Monson. At Three Rivers, in the northwestern part of Palmer, it is enlarged by the commingled waters of Ware and Swift rivers, coming from the northeast and the north; and, leaving Palmer, it forms the divisional line between Ludlow and Wilbraham, then separates the eastern parts of Springfield and Chicopee, and enters the Connecticut in the southern part of the latter town, seven miles south of the falls at South Hadley and Holyoke. At the Falls in Chicopee it furnishes an important power, and smaller powers at various points in its course.
Chiltonville, in Plymouth.
Chimquist, a village in Mashpee.
Christiantown, a village in Tisbury.
Church Hill, a village in South Scituate.
City Mills, a village in Norfolk.
Clapboardtrees, a village in Dedham
Clarendon Hills, a village in Hyde Park.
Clark's Cove, on the west side of Clark's Point.
Clark's Island, celebrated as the landing-place of the Pilgrims, 1620, is a beautiful knoll in the southern part of Duxbury Bay.
Clark's Point, on the southwest side of the entrance of New Bedford harbor, bearing a lighthouse.
Clayton, a village in New Marlborough.
Clifton, a village in Marblehead.
Cliftondale, a village in Saugus.
Coatue, a village in Nantucket.
Cochesett, a village in West Bridgewater.
Cochituate a village in Wayland; also a lake situated on the boundary of Wayland and Framingham, — the original source of the water-supply for the Boston Water-works, and still a part of the system.
Coddon's Hill, in Marblehead; height, 118 feet.
Cohasset Narrows station, on the Old Colony Railroad, in Wareham.
Cold Brook Springs, a village in Oakham.
Cold Spring, a village in Otis.
Coles' Meadow,
a village in Northampton.
Coleville, in Williamstown.
College Hill, a village in Medford.
Collinsville, in Dracut.
Colonel's Mountain, in Palmer, 1,172 feet in height.
Coltsville, in Pittsfield.
Commercial Point, a locality in the southeast part of Boston.
Concord River is formed by the union of Assabet and Sudbury rivers at Concord. It leaves this town on the northeast, forming, for a mile or two, the boundary line with Bedford, on the east; then the entire line between the latter town and Carlisle, on its western side; thence it flows through Billerica from south to north, forming for about one mile its divisional line from Chelmsford, on the west; when it enters Lowell and discharges into the Merrimack River. It is for nearly its entire length a sluggish stream; but at North Billerica it furnishes power for several mills; after which its descent is slight until its near approach to the Merrimack. It supplied most of the water for the old Middlesex Canal, which entered it in Billerica, and had connection with the Merrimack above the falls by means of the Pawtucket Canal.
Congamuck, a village in Southwick.
Connecticut Corner, a village in Dedham
Connecticut River, the Quon-ek-ti-cut of the Indians, has its principal source at the highlands which form the water-shed and the boundary line between New Hampshire and Lower Canada. In northern New Hampshire, a few miles south on its course, is Connecticut Lake, from which it issues in the full dignity of its name. Its Indian designation, according to some authorities, signifies "Long River;" according to others, "River of Pines;" while still later authorities render it as "the long tidal river," which is a description rather than a name. Its general course is slightly west of south. After forming the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont, it crosses the western part of Massachusetts, dividing near the middle the counties of Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden; then passes through the midst of Connecticut, the State; and after a journey of 400 miles from its head, north of the 45° of latitude, it enters Long Island Sound, latitude 41° 16'; having drained a valley of about 12,000 square miles. Through its whole course it separates two broad belts of highland, while a series of terraces break the level of its bed. In the first quarter of its course down the mountain slope, between its source and the mouth of the Pa-sam-sic River, opposite the White Mountains, its descent is 1200 feet. At this point its bed is 400 feet above the sea. In 80 miles farther, to Bellows Falls, Vermont, it descends 100 feet. From thence to Deerfield it sinks 160 feet; from Deerfield to Springfield it falls 100 feet more, leaving its bed at Springfield but 40 feet above the level of the sea. Its entire fall from source to mouth is 1600 feet. The breadth of this river, at its first contact with Vermont soil, is about 150 feet; and in its course of 60 miles it increases to about 390 feet. Its average breadth between Mount Tom and the Connecticut line is not far from 1200 feet, and with a depth of water below Holyoke sufficient to float vessels of considerable tonnage. Its channel is remarkably clear of islands in its course through the State, and presents a broad and majestic appearance, sweeping in magnificent curves between its lofty banks. The extreme head of its tide-waters is just below the village of Warehouse Point (East Windsor, Conn.), about 64 miles from the mouth of the river at Saybrook bar.
It is navigable to Hartford, 45 miles, for vessels of considerable burden, and to Middletown, 30 miles from the sea, for vessels drawing twelve feet of water. By means of canals and other improvements it has been made navigable for boats to Fifteen Mile Falls, nearly 250 miles above Hartford. The most considerable rapids in this river are Bellows Falls; the falls of Queechy, just below the mouth of the Waterqueechy River; the White River Falls, below Hanover; and the Fifteen Mile Falls, in New Hampshire and Vermont; the falls at Montague and South Hadley, in Massachusetts; and the falls at Enfield, Connecticut, where it meets the tide-water. The perpendicular height of the falls which have been overcome by canals and locks, between Springfield, in Massachusetts, and Hanover, in New Hampshire, a distance of 130 miles, is 240 feet. Bars of sand and gravel extend across this river in various places, over which boats pass with difficulty in low water. In certain localities, as at Holyoke, its waters flow directly over the red sandstone of the valley, but for the greater part of the distance through the country, the bed of the river is composed of alluvial deposits, - sand, gravel and bowlders. In seasons of annual flood it overflows its banks and covers the lowest bottom lands, sometimes for miles. In length, utility and beauty this river forms a distinguished feature of New England.
The most important tributaries of the Connecticut River are Upper and Lower Amonoosuck, Israel's, John's, Mascomy, Sugar and Ashuelot rivers, in New Hampshire; Nulhegan, Passumpsic, Wells, Waits, Ompomponoosuck, White, Waterqueechy, Black, Williams, Sexton's and West rivers, in Vermont; and in Massachusetts, Miller's, Deerfield, Agawam, Chicopee and Westfield rivers; and in Connecticut, the Farmington River.
Consue, a village in Chilmark.
Cooleyville, in New Salem.
Coolidgeville, in Hudson.
Copecut Hill, in Fall River, 355 feet in height.
Cordaville, in Southborough.
Cork City, a village in Newton.
Cottage City
Cottage Farm, a village in Brookline.
Cotuit, a village in Barnstable
Cove Harbor, a village in Beverly.
Craigville, in Barnstable.
Craneville, in Dalton.
Crescent Beach, a village in Manchester; also, one in Revere.
Crockerville, in Fitchburg.
Crooked Lane, a village in Duxbury
in Chicopee.
Cummingsville, in Woburn.
Curtisville, in East Bridgewater also, in Stockbridge.
Cutham, a village in Dedham
Cutter Valley,
in Winchester.
Cuttyhunk, an island, a cape and a village in Gosnold.

Daltonville, in Newburyport.
Davistown, a village in Tisbury.
Davisville, in Falmouth.
Dawsonville, in Holden
Dayville, in Chester.
Deantown, a village in Attleborough.
Deerfield River, a beautiful and important stream which enters the Connecticut River between Greenfield and Deerfield. It rises in the high grounds of Windham County, near Stratton, Dover and Somerset, Vermont; and, proceeding in a southeast course, it passes into Massachusetts between Monroe and Rowe, and the latter and Florida; then flows more eastward through Charlemont and Buckland, and between Conway and Greenfield, and lastly through Deerfield. Its whole length is about 50 miles. In some places it is rapid, and its banks very precipitous. Its passage through the mountains is very curious and romantic. This stream affords valuable motive power, which is made use of at several points in the towns mentioned. Its most important tributaries are Pelham Brook and North and Green rivers, from the north, and Cold, Chickley's, Clesson's, Bear and South rivers on the southern side.
Deer Island, in the north part of Boston Harbor, contains the House of Industry and the House of Reformation, institutions of the city of Boston.
Depot Village, in West Boylston.
Devereaux, a village in Marblehead.
Dodgeville, in Attleborough.
Dogtown, a village in Wellfleet.
Donkeyville, in Foxborough.
Dorchester the Indian name of which was Mattapan, was named in honor of the Rev. John White, of Dorchester, the capital of Dorset County, England. It was incorporated as a town September 7, 1630; annexed to Boston June 4,1869.
Dorchester Bay, a part of Boston Harbor lying between South Boston and the Dorchester District of Boston.
Dorchester Point is an old name for the southeastern extremity of South Boston — the locality now called City Point.
Downer's Landing, a village and a landing place for harbor steamers in Hingham
Dragon's Corner, a village in Reading.
Dresser Hill, a village in Charlton.
Dry Pond, a village in Stoughton.
Dublin, a village in Peabody.
Duck Harbor, a village in Clinton.
Duckville, in Palmer.
Dudleyville, in Leverett.
Durensville, in Woburn.
Duxbury Bay. See Duxbury
Dwight, a village in Belchertown.

Eagleville, in Athol; also one in Holden
East Bridgewater
Eastern Point, the southwest extremity of East Gloucester, forming the southern shore of Gloucester Harbor.
East Farms, a village in Westfield.
East Hollow, a village in Pelham.
East Longwood, a locality in Boston adjoining the town of Brookline.
East New Boston, a village in Sandisfield.
East Parish, a village in Haverhill.
Eastville in Cottage City; also one in Bridgewater, and one in Edgartown.
Eddyville, in Middleborough.
Edgeworth, a village in Malden.
Egg Rock, east of Lynn and north of Nahant.
Egypt, a village in Scituate; also one in Somerset.
Elizabeth Islands, constituting the town of Gosnold, Dukes County, lie off the southwestern angle of Barnstable County, Cape Cod.
Ellis Furnace, a village in Carver.
Ellisville, a village in Plymouth.
Ellsworth, a village in Acton.
Elm Dale, a village in Uxbridge.
Elm Grove, a village in Colrain.
Elmwood, a village in Dedham; also one in East Bridgewater and one in Holyoke.
Essex River. See town of Essex.
Everettville, in Princeton.
Evergreens, a village in Newburyport.
Ewingville, in Holyoke.

Factory Village, in Brockton; also one in Easthampton and in Greenfield and in Middlefield.
Fairmount, a village in Holyoke; also one in Hyde Park.
Fair View, a village in Newton.
Fall River
Fall River, a stream forming the line between Greenfield and Gill, and discharging into the Connecticut River.
Falls Village, in North Attleborough.
Faneuil, a locality in the Brighton district of Boston.
Farleyville, in Wendell.
Farmersville, in Attleborough; also in Sandwich.
Farm Pond, in Framingham, connected with Boston Water Works.
Farms, a village in Cheshire; also one in Newbury.
Farnam's, a village in Cheshire.
Farnumsville, in Grafton.
Faulkner, a village in Malden.
Fay's Mountain, in Westborough, 707 feet in height.
Fayville, in Southborough.
Federal Hill, a village in Dedham.
Federal Street Village, in Belchertown.
Feeding Hills, a village in Agawam.
Felchville, in Natick.
Felton's Corner, a village in Peabody.
Fenner Hill, a village in Webster.
Fernside, a village in Tyringham.
Fernwood, a village in Gloucester.
Field's Corner, a locality in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Fisherville, in Attleborough; also in Grafton.
Fiskdale, a village in Sturbridge.
Five Pound Island, in Gloucester inner harbor.
Flat Point, southwest extremity of land on southeast side of Gloucester harbor.
Flint Village, in Fall River.
Florence, a village in Northampton.
Folly Cove Village, in Gloucester.
Forest Hills, a locality and cemetery in the West Roxbury district of Boston.
Forge Village, in Westford.
Fort Point Channel, the entrance to South Bay, which divides South Boston from the city proper.
Fort River, a village in Hadley; also a stream rising in Pelham, and running southwest through Amherst and Hadley to the Connecticut River.
Foundry Village, in Colrain.
Four Corners, a village in Middleborough; also one in Stockbridge, and one in Worthington.
Foxhill, a village in Dedham.
Free Quarter, a village in Sandisfield.
French River rises in Spencer, Leicester and Paxton, and, flowing south, enters the Quinnebaug River in Thompsonville, Connecticut. The river derives its name from the circumstance that in 1685 some French Protestants settled upon its shores.
French Village, in Quincy.
Fresh Brook Village, in Wellfleet.
Fresh Pond, in Belmont.
Fresh Water Cove Village, in Gloucester.
Frye, a village in Andover.
Fryeville, in Orange; also in Bolton.
Fullerville, in Clinton.
Furnace, a village in Easton; also one in Hardwick, and one in Orange.
Furnace Pond, in Brookfield and North Brookfield.

Gallop's Island
, in Boston Harbor.
Gannett's Corner, a village in Scituate.
Gate's Crossing, a village in Leominster.
Gay Head
Georges Island, in Boston Harbor, is occupied by Fort Warren.
Germantown, a village in Clinton; also one in Dedham and one in Quincy.
Gerry was incorporated as a town October 26, 1786; and the name changed to Phillipston February 5, 1814.
Gilbertville, in Hardwick.
Glendale, a village in Stockbridge; also one in Wilbraham.
Glenmere, a village in Lynn.
Glenwood, a village in Medford.
Globe Village, in Fall River; also in Stockbridge.
Glover's Corner, a locality in the Dorchester district.
Goodman Hill, in Sudbury, 415 feet in height.
Gooseberry Neck, the southern extremity of Westport and of Bristol County.
Gore District, a village in Webster.
Goulding Village, in Phillipstown.
Governor's Island, in Boston Harbor.
Grab Village,
a locality of Jamaica Plain, in the West Roxbury district of Boston.
Grace, Mount,
in Warwick, 1,628 feet in height.
Granite Bridge, a locality in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Graniteville, in Westford.
Grape Island, in the southern part of Boston Harbor.
Grasshopper Plain, a village in Newburyport.
Gravesville, in Hudson.
Great Barrington
Great Herring Pond, in Plymouth.
Great Hill Point, the southeast extremity of Marion.
Great Neck, the southern extremity of Wareham.
Great Quittacus Pond, in Lakeville and Rochester.
Great River, a village in Deerfield; also a river rising in Alford, Berkshire County; and one flowing southward between Leyden and Colrain, and through Greenfield into the Deerfield River.
Greenbush, a village in Scituate.
Greendale, a village in Needham; also one in Worcester.
Green Harbor Village, in Marshfield.
Green Island
is the northern island of the outer group marking Boston Harbor.
Green Lodge,
a village in Dedham
Green River, a village in Deerfield; also a river rising Hancock, and running north through Williamstown into the Hoosac River; also one rising in Alford, and running through Egremont and Great Barrington to the Housatonic. The last is the stream which the poet Bryant describes in his poem entitled "Green River."
Greenville, in Leicester; also, in Sandwich.
Greenwood, a village in Wakefield.
Greylock, a mountain in Adams; also a village in North Adams.
Griswoldville, in Colrain.
Grout's Corner, a village in Montague.
Guinea, a village in Newburyport.
Gurnet, The, the outermost point of Duxbury Neck, bearing a light and marking the outer entrance of Duxbury Bay and Plymouth Harbor.
Gurney's Corners, a village in Hanson.

Half-Moon Island, in the southwest part of Boston Harbor.
Halfway Pond, a pond and a village in Plymouth.
Hallsville, in Lawrence.
Hardware, a village in Canton.
Harris, a village in Rehoboth. 
Harrison Square, a locality in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Harrisville, in Clinton; also in West Boylston, and in Winchendon.
Hartsbrook, a village in Hadley.
Hartsville, in New Marlborough.
Hastingsville, in Framingham
Hatchfield, a village in Falmouth.
Havenville, in Burlington.
Haverhill Bridge, a village in Bradford.
Hawes Hill, in Barre, 1,285 feet in height.
Hayden Row, a village in Hopkinton.
Haydenville, in Williamsburg.
Haywardville, in Stoneham.
Hazelwood, a village in Hyde Park.
Hazen, Mount, in Clarksburg, 2,272 feet in height
Head, Pamet, a village in Truro.
Heald Village, in Barre.
Heath, a locality in the Roxbury district of Boston.
Hebronville, in Attleborough.
Herdsdale, a village in Northampton.
Highfield, a village in Falmouth.
High Head, a village in Truro.
Highland, a village in Truro; also a locality in the West Roxbury district of Boston.
Highland Lake, a pond, and also a village in Norfolk.
Highlands, a village in Holyoke; also one in Lowell, one in Lynn, and one in Woburn.
Highlandville, in Needham.
Hilliard's Knob, a peak in the Mount Holyoke range, at the south line of Amherst. It is 1,120 feet in height.
Hillsville, in Spencer.
Hitchcock's Mountain, in Wales, 1,190 feet in height.
Hixville, in Dartmouth.
Hockanum, a village in Hadley; also one in South Hadley.
Hog Island, a portion of the town of Essex.
Hog Island Harbor, east of Essex.
Hogsback, a village in Truro.
Holmesdale, a village in Pittsfield.
Holmes Hole, a village in Tisbury. 
Holmes Holl, a village in Falmouth.
Holyoke, Mount, on the mutual boundaries of Hadley, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, — which see for further account.
Hoosac, a village in Deerfield.
Hoosac River, — variously spelled as Hoosuc, Hoosack, Hoosick, and Hoosic. One of its branches rises in the middle region of the northern half of Bershire County, and unites at North Adams with another branch from Vermont; whence it flows northwest, passing along the southwest angle of Vermont, and reaching the Hudson River at Schagthicoke, fifteen miles above Troy, New York. The stream in many places is exceedingly rapid, affording much motive power, which has been made serviceable for mills and factories at several points.
Hoosac Tunnel, the passage of the Fitchburg Railroad through Hoosac Mountain in the towns of Florida and North Adams, — which see.
Hopbrook, a village in Tyringham.
Hopewell, a village in Taunton.
Horn Pond, a pond and also a village in Woburn.
Horse Neck, a village in Westport.
Horse Neck Beach, south of Westport.
Hospital Hill, a village in Northampton.
Hough's Neck, the eastern extremity of Quincy.
Houghtonville, a village in North Adams.
Housatonic, a village in Great Barrington.
Housatonic River has its source in the towns of Lanesborough and Windsor, in Berkshire County, the two main branches meeting at Pittsfield, where the river forms. It thence takes a winding course southward, through the towns of Lenox, Lee, and, by a westward bend, through Stockbridge and West Stockbridge, then southward again, through Great Barrington and Sheffield, into Connecticut; through which it follows a meandering course to Long Island Sound. The source of this lovely stream is more than 1,000 feet above the ocean; and in its course of nearly 150 miles, the river affords numerous mill sites, and receives tributary streams from many pleasant and fruitful towns. Its volume of water is not large, except in seasons of freshet, when the rains and melting snows from the mountains that environ its course, swell its flow until the valley meadows are inundated; by which means their fertility is largely increased. The scenery on the Housatonic in both States is in many passages exceedingly beautiful, and at some points almost enchanting. One of its cataracts — at Canaan, Connecticut — is sixty feet perpendicular. The name of this river is an Indian term signifying "over the mountain."
Howarth Village, in Oxford.
Howe's Station, a village in Middleton. 
Howland, a village in Adams. 
Howland's, a village in Lakeville. 
Hutchinson embraced the " Rutland District," and was incorporated as a town, June, 1774. It was named in honor of Governor Thomas Hutchinson; but, for political reasons, the name was changed to Barre in November, 1776.
Hyannis is a village in Barnstable.
Hyannisport is a village and seaport in Barnstable.
Hyde Park
Hydeville, in Winchendon.

Indian Orchard, a village in Springfield.
Indian Pond, a sheet of water, and also a village, in Kingston.
Indian Town, a village in Westport.
Ipswich River is formed in the eastern part of Wilmington, principally by the confluence of Maple-Meadow Brook, rising in Burlington, and Lubber Brook, rising in the northern part of Wilmington. It flows by Reading, through North Reading, by Lynnfield and Danvers, through Middleton and Topsfield, by Hamilton, and through Ipswich to the sea between Plum Island and Castle Neck. Its general course is northeasterly. It is navigable for small vessels about two miles; and above this it has good but not large water-powers at several points.
Ironstone, a village in Uxbridge.
Iron Works, a village in Bridgewater.
Island Creek, a village in Duxbury.
Islington, a village in Dedham.

Jamaica Plain, a locality in the West Roxbury district of Boston.
Jamaica Pond, a sheet of water in the West Roxbury district of Boston.
Jamesville, in Worcester.
Jeffersonville, in Holden
Jericho, a village in Dudley; also one in Scituate.
Jerusalem, a village in Dedham; also one in Tyringham, and one in West Bridgewater.
Jesseville, in New Bedford.
Johnsonville, in Newton.
Jones River Pond, is on the adjacent corners of Kingston, Plympton, Halifax and Pembroke.
Joppa, a village in Gloucester; also one in Newburyport

Katama, a village in Edgartown.
Kempville, in North Adams.
Kennersonville, in New Bedford.
Kenoza Lake, in Haverhill.
Kettle Island, off the eastern end of Manchester.
Kimball's Pond, in Amesbury.
Kittle Cove Village, in Manchester.
Kittredgeville, in Dalton.
Knightville, in Huntington.

Lagoon Heights, a village in the town of Cottage City.
Lake Pleasant, in Montague
Lake Street, a village in Arlington.
Lake Village, in Topsfield.
Lamb City, a village in Phillipston. 
Lambert's Cove, a village in Tisbury.
Lanesville, in Gloucester.
Lane Village, in Ashburnham.
Larnedsville, in Auburn.
Laurels, The, a village in Newburyport
Leach's Pond, in Easton.
Lead Mine Pond, in Sturbridge.
Lebanon, a village in Seekonk.
Leeds, a village in Northampton.
Leesville, in Worcester.
Leet Ore Bed, a village in West Stockbridge.
Leland's Village, in Charlton.
Lewis Bay, south of Yarmouth and Barnstable
Liberty Plain, a village in Hingham
Lincoln, Mount, in Pelham, 1,246 feet in height.
Linden, a village in Malden; also one in Revere.
Line Brook, a village in Ipswich.
Linwood, a village in Lynn; also one in Northbridge.
Little Bay, in the southeast part of Fairhaven.
Little Rest, a village in Brimfield.
Little River, a village in Westfield.
Littleville, a village in Chester.
Lock's Village, in Shutesbury; also in Wendell.
Long Island, in Boston Harbor.
Longnook, a village in Truro.
Long Plain, a village in Acushnet.
Long Pond, in Lakeville and Freetown.
Longwood, a village in Brookline.
Loudon, the "Tyringham Equivalent," was incorporated February 27, 1773. The town Loudon and the district of Bethlehem were united as the town of Loudon, June 19, 1809; and the name was changed to "Otis," June 13, 1810. See Otis, and Becket.
Loudville, a village in Northampton; also one in Westhampton.
Lovell's Corner,
a village in Weymouth.
Lovell's Island,
one of the outer islands of Boston Harbor.
Lovellville, in Holden 
Lower Factory,
a village in West Boylston.
Lower Mills,
a locality on the Neponset River, in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Luther's Corner, a village in Swansea.
in Attleborough.
Lyon's Village, in Monson.
Lyonsville, in Colrain.

, a village in Tewksbury.
Machine-Shop Village, in North Andover.
Madaket, a village in Nantucket.
Maddequot Harbor, at the west end of Nantucket Island.
Magnolia, a village in Gloucester.
Magnolia Point, the southwestern extremity of Gloucester.
Malabar, Cape, an old name of Monomoy Point.
Manchaug, a village in Sutton.
Manhan River rises in the towns of Huntington and Westhampton, flows southeast through Southampton into Westfield, then northeast back through Southampton into Easthampton, where it supplies valuable and well-improved powers; thence enters the Connecticut River.
a village in Plymouth.
Manomet Hill,
in the eastern part of Plymouth, 391 feet in height.
Manomet Point,
east of the middle section of Plymouth.
Manville, in Leicester.
Maple Grove,
a village in Adams.
in Wenham.
a village in Malden.
a village in Andover.
Marlborough, a village in Georgetown.
Marston's Mills, a village in Barnstable.
Martha's Vineyard,
island, for a description and account of; see article on Dukes County.
Mashne Island,
south of Wareham.
Massachusetts Bay is that portion of the Atlantic lying between and within Cape Ann on the north and Cape Cod on the south, embracing almost the entire eastern side of the State of Massachusetts. Within this body of water are included Cape Cod Bay and several harbors; of which are Boston Harbor, large enough to be called a bay, and Provincetown, Wellfleet, Plymouth, Lynn, Salem, Beverly, Gloucester and several smaller.
Massapoag Pond,
in Sharon.
a village in West Bridgewater.
the Indian name of Dorchester, in Boston; also a village in that district, having a station of the New York and New England Railroad; and another in Milton adjoining, having a station of the Old Colony Railroad.
Mauchaug Pond lies in Douglas and Sutton.
Maugus Hill,
in Wellesley, is 325 feet in height.
Mechanicsville, in Attleborough; also in Fall River.
Menamshi, a village in Chilmark.
Mendal's Hill, in Fairhaven, 146 feet in height.
Merino Village, in Dudley.
Merrick, a village in West Springfield.
Merrimack River, one of the principal streams in New England, is formed of two nearly equal branches. The north branch, called Pemigewasset, rises near the Notch of the White Mountains, and passes southwardly through the corner of Franconia, through Lincoln, Peeling, Thornton and Campton, forming the boundary between Plymouth and Holderness, and also the boundary line between the counties of Belknap and Grafton, from the south corner of Holderness to near its junction with the Winnipesaukee. It receives several considerable branches in its course; Mad River, in Campton; Baker's, in Plymouth; and streams flowing from Squam and Newformed lakes, with numerous small tributaries. The east branch is the Winnipesaukee, through which pass the waters of the lake of that name. The descent of this branch, from the lake to its junction with the Pemigewasset, is 232 feet. The confluent stream bears the name of Merrimack, and pursues a south course, 78 miles, to Chelmsford, Massachusetts; thence an east course, 35 miles, to the sea at Newburyport. On the north line of Concord, the Contoocook discharges its waters into the Merrimack. The Soucook becomes a tributary in Pembroke, and the Suncook between Pembroke and Allenstown. The Piscataquog unites in Bedford; the Souhegan in Merrimack; and the beautiful Nashua River in the town of Nashua. A considerable stream called Stony Brook enters it from the southwest in Chelmsford, Massachusetts; and the sluggish Concord, from the midst of Middlesex County, wakes and leaps down upon it in Lowell. The beautiful Shawsheen, flowing northeast, enters it between Lawrence and North Andover. On the north side, the Merrimack receives Beaver River in Dracut; Little River in Haverhill; and Powow River between Amesbury and Salisbury. The principal tributaries before it enters Massachusetts are on the west side of the river, mostly rising in the highlands between it and the Connecticut. There are numerous falls in the Merrimack, the most noted of which are Garven's, in Concord, the falls in Hookset, and Amoskeag, in Goffstown and Manchester. These falls have all been rendered passable by looks, and boat navigation was many years ago extended as far as Concord. There are several fine bridges over the river, besides a number of ferries. The Merrimack, whose fountains are nearly on a level with those of the Connecticut, being much shorter in its course, has a far more rapid descent to the sea than the latter river, hence the intervales on its borders are less extensive, and the scenery less beautiful than on the longer river. It is, however, a majestic stream, and its waters are remarkably pure and wholesome; and on its borders are situated some of the most important towns in New England. Its width varies from 50 to 120 rods; and at its mouth it presents a beautiful sheet about a mile in width. The name of this river was originally written Merramacke and Monnomacke, Indian words signifying "a sturgeon."
a village in Holliston.
Mica Mill, a village in Chester.
Middle Farms, a village in Westfield.
Middlesex Canal connected Boston Harbor with the Merrimack River above the falls at Lowell; the design being to have a continuous navigable water-way to Lake Winnipesaukee. The construction of the canal was begun in or soon after 1792, and completed in 1808. At first, the boats reached the harbor through Medford River, but the canal was later extended to Charlestown. A dam from near Main Street to the flats near McLean Asylum formed the mill-pond, and the saw and grist mills were built and owned by the canal company. The pond, with a floating foot-bridge across it, formed a safe place for boats and rafts to lie before locking out into Charles River. The canal was 27 miles long, 30 feet wide and 4 feet deep. In leaving the mill-pond at Charlestown, the boats entered the canal, and in passing to Middlesex Village in Lowell they passed over 12 levels varying from 40 rods to 6 miles each. From the Concord River at Billerica Mills it descended three or four feet, according to the height of the water in the river; thence by one level of five miles to Middlesex Village, where, by three locks, it entered the Merrimack. The variation of level from the Concord River to tide-water was 107 feet; the descent from the Concord to the Merrimack being 27 feet. The cost of the canal was $528,000. The annual income from tolls was about $25,000. Boats of 24 tons usually occupied 12 hours in passing through the canal. It is recorded that once when a horse was giving a strong pull around a short curve, both the traces broke, and the tow-rope, 90 feet long and attached to the mast of the boat, contracted with such force that the whiffletree on its extremity flew back against the mast. The canal was crossed by 41 or more bridges.
Middlesex Fells
is a mountainous tract of about 4,000 acres, comprised within the limits of five towns at their adjoining borders, nearly as follows : Stoneham, 1,592 acres, together with about 400 acres of water surface; Medford, 1,342 acres; Winchester, about 400 acres; Melrose, about 200 acres; and Maiden, about 50 acres. In the Stoneham portion in 1880 there were about 20 buildings; in Medford, not over 12; and in the other towns not any that were known. An association has been formed to put this tract in the hands of the Commonwealth for public uses.
Middlesex Village,
in Lowell.
Middletown, a village in Tisbury.
Milk Row, a village in Somerville.
Mill and Bars Village,
in Deerfield.
Mill Brook,
a village in Duxbury.
Miller's Falls, a village in Erving; also one in Montague.
Miller's River
rises in ponds in New Ipswich, N.H., and Ashburnham and Winchendon, Massachusetts. It has many tributaries, and passes through Athol, Orange and Wendell, and falls into the Connecticut between Erving and Montague. It is regarded as an excellent mill-stream.
a village in New Salem.
Mill River rises in Goshen, and flows southeast through Williamsburg and Northampton to the Connecticut. This was the scene of a noted disaster from the bursting of a dam several years ago, — regarding which, consult the towns mentioned. A second of this name rises in Leverett and runs southwest through Hadley to the Connecticut. A third rises in Conway, flows southeast through the southwestern part of Deerfield, where it receives Bloody Brook, then south through Whately and Hatfield to the Connecticut. A fourth rises in Wilbraham, in North and South Branches which unite in Springfield; it then enters the Connecticut just south of the city proper. A fifth rises in Hopkinton, and flowing south, forces the boundary line between Milford and Upton, runs through Hopedale, Mendon and Blackstone, and enters the Blackstone River at Woonsocket, in R. I. A sixth rises in Wrentham, flows north through Norfolk, and enters the Charles River near Rockville. A seventh is found in Taunton (formerly Canoe River), and has its sources in the northeastern towns of Bristol County.
Mill River,
a village in Deerfield; also one in New Marlborough.
Mill Valley,
a village in Amherst.
Mill Village,
in Ashby: also in Bourne and in Dedham.
in Blackstone.
Milward, a village in Charlton.
a village in Framingham.
Misery Island, Great
and Little, lie south of the eastern extremity of Beverly.
Mishaum Point,
a southern extremity of Dartmouth, east of Pamanset River.
a village in West Springfield.
Monk's Hill,
in Kingston, 313 feet in height.
Monomoy Island and Point
extends southward from the "elbow" of Cape Cod. The point was formerly known as Cape Malabar, and earlier still as Sandy Point.
Monponsett Pond,
in Halifax and Hanson.
Montello, a railway station and village in the northern part of Brockton.
Montrose, a village in Wakefield.
a village in Woburn.
a village in Sandisfield.
Monument Beach,
a village in Bourne.
Monument Harbor,
in Bourne, northeast of Buzzard's Bay.
Monument Mountain,
in Great Barrington.
Moon Island,
in the southwestern part of Boston Harbor or Bay, off Squantum Neck. It contains the reservoir and pumping station of the Boston sewerage system. Half-Moon Island lies south of Moon Island.
Moose Hill,
in Sharon, 530 feet in height.
More's Hill,
in Goshen, 1,713 feet in height.
Morse Village,
in New Salem.
in Natick.
in Newburyport.
Mount Auburn,
a noted cemetery lying on the borders of Cambridge and Watertown, also a village in Watertown, and a railroad station at the border of the two towns.
Mount Bowdoin,
an elevated area in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Mount Daniel,
in Webster, 788 feet in height.
Mount Esther,
in Whately, 795 feet in height.
Mount Grace,
in Warwick, 1,628 feet.
Mount Hermon,
a village in Gill; and a post-office in Northfield, on the opposite side of the Connecticut River.
Mount Hope,
a locality and cemetery in the West Roxbury district of Boston.
Mount Hope Bay
is a nearly enclosed body of water on the east side of Narragansett Bay at the mouth of Taunton River. On a peninsula on its western side, in Rhode Island, is Mount Hope, famed as the home of Massasoit and King Philip, of the Wampanoags.
Mount Lincoln,
in Pelham, 1,246 feet in height.
Mount Pleasant,
an elevated locality in Roxbury.
Mount Tom,
a village in Easthampton; also a mountain 1,214 feet in height on the eastern border of the town and of the southern detached section of Northampton, forming the west bank of the Connecticut River.
Mount Wachusett,
in Princeton , 2,018 feet in height; also a village in the same town.
Mount Warren,
an elevated locality in the Roxbury district of Boston.
Mount Washington
Mount Washington, a village in Everett.
Mugget Hill,
in Charlton, 1,012 feet in height.
Mumford Ponds,
near the junction of Northbridge, Uxbridge and Sutton.
was "No. 9" of the ten townships sold at by order of the General Court, on the 2d of June, 1762. It was incorporated October 31, 1765; and the name changed to Chester February 21, 1783.
Muskegat Island
forms the western extremity of Nantucket County.
Musquahoc Pond,
in Rutland.
in Berkley. The Old Colony Railroad station near this village is "Myrick's."
a village in Medford; also a pond or series of ponds at the junction of the towns of Arlington, Medford and Winchester, and the source of a portion of the water supply of the city of Boston.
Mystic River,
the outlet of the Mystic ponds, flowing east, then southeast, through Medford to Boston Harbor.

Nagog Pond,
in Littleton.
Namasket, a village in Middleborough.
a village in Orleans. 
a village in Orleans.
a village in Marblehead.
a post-office office in North Cohasset, close upon the south line of Hull. Also, the section of Hull adjacent to Nantasket Beach.
Nantasket Roads,
the open body of water at the southwest of the main entrance of Boston Harbor.
Nashoba, a village in Westford.
a village in Fairhaven.
Nashawena Island,
in the town of Gosnold.
Nashua River,
a beautiful stream which has its original source in Ashburnham, in the northeastern part of Worcester County; and flowing through Westminster, Fitchburg and Leominster, receives in Lancaster its South Branch. This has its source in Wachusett Pond, in Princeton, whence it flows through Sterling, West Boylston, Royalston, Clinton. to the main stream in Lancaster. The latter then proceeds in a northeast course through Harvard, Shirley, Ayer, Groton and Pepperell, thence through Hollis and Nashua, N. H., where it falls into the Merrimack River.
Naukeag Ponds, in Ashburnham, — the source of the Nashua River. 
a long sand-bar on the east of Chatham and Orleans, the southeastern towns of Cape Cod. It is nearly on a line with the long island of Monomoy, with which It may in former times have been joined. The sea has made a breach through it opposite the centre of Eastham. It is sometimes called "Nauset Neck," but is practically two islands.
Nauset Harbor,
lying between Orleans and Eastham, and opening into the ocean at the north end of Nauset Neck.
Naushon Island,
the largest of the islands forming the town of Gosnold.
Needham Corners, a village in Peabody.
a village in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Neponset River
has its origin as the outlet of Neponset Reservoir in the northern section of Foxborough. Flowing north, it receives Walpole Mill branch, coming southward from Great Spring in the southeastern part of Dover. Near the conjoined angles of Sharon, Canton and Norwood it receives the overflow of Massapoag Pond in the first, and of Ponkapoag and Reservoir ponds in the second. It forms the line between the first two of these and Norwood, and between Canton and Dedham (where it receives Mother Brook) and between Milton and Hyde Park for a short distance; then makes a detour to the centre of the latter, but returns to the boundary, forming the line between the Dorchester district of Boston and Milton amid Quincy; where it enters Dorchester Bay at Commercial Point.
New Ashford
New Bedford
New Braintree
New Church, a village in Waltham.
New City,
a village in Easthampton.
New Dublin,
a village in Randolph.
Newhall's Crossing,
a village in Peabody.
New Marlborough
Newport, a village in Manchester.
New Salem
New State, a village in Holden; also one in Milton.
Newtown, a village in Barnstable.
Nine Acre Corner, a village in Concord.
Nobscot, a hill, and also a village, in Framingham.
Nobska Point, south of Wood's Holl, bearing Nobska Light.
No Man's Land, an island about 6 miles south of Gay Head.
Nonamesset, the eastern of the Elizabeth Islands, which constitute the town of Gosnold.
Nonantum, a village, also a hill, in Newton.
Nonquit, a village in Dartmouth.
Norman's Woe, a rocky island near Gloucester shore, west of the harbor.
North Adams
North Andover
North Attleborough
North Brookfield
North Chelsea was detached from Chelsea, and incorporated as a town, March 19, 1848. Its name was changed to Revere March 24, 1871.
North Farms, a village in Northampton.
North Reading
North River is formed by Indian Head River and other small streams gathering at the borders and forming the line between the towns of Hanover and Pembroke, and between the latter and Norwell. Turning north then east again, it divides the last and likewise Scituate from Marshfield; then turning southward near the sea, it receives South River. near the middle of the eastern side of Marshfield, and enters Massachusetts Bay. Many vessels were formerly built upon this river.
Northville, in East Bridgewater; also in Newton and in Worcester.
North Woods, a village in Holden.
Norwich, a village in Huntington.
Nutwood, a locality of Jamaica Plain, in the West Roxbury district of Boston.

Oak Bluffs,
a village in Cottage City.
a village in Dedham.
Oak Grove Village,
in Fall River.
Oak Hill, a village in Newton.
a village in Taunton.
in Saugus.
Ocean Spray,
a village in Winthrop.
a village in Tisbury.
Old Common,
a village in Millbury; also one in West Boylston.
Old Cotuit,
a village in Barnstable.
Old Landing,
a village in Marion.
Old Spain,
a village in Weymouth.
a village in Newbury.
a village in Wareham.
Onset Bay,
a harbor, also a village, in Wareham.
Oregon, a village in Ashland.
Orient Heights,
a locality in East Boston.
Osterville, in Barnstable.
Otter River, a village in Templeton.
Oxford, a village in Fairhaven.
Oyster Harbor,
in Chatham.

Packard's Mountain,
in New Salem, 1278 feet in height.
in Pelham; also in Pittsfield.
a village in Dartmouth.
in Wellfleet. [Painesville]
Palmer's Island, in New Bedford harbor.
Pamanset River,
in Dartmouth.
Paper Mill Village,
in Bridgewater; also in Groton.
Parker River,
in Newbury.
in Westford.
Parks Corner,
a village in Framingham.
was incorporated July 4, 1771; and its name changed to Peru, June 19, 1806.
in Athol; also, in Templeton.
an island forming part of the town of Gosnold.
in Billerica.
a village in West Springfield.
was incorporated March 1, 1828; but by a change in State boundaries in 1861 it was, with the exception of a small part east of Seven-mile River, set off to Rhode Island. The first making of cotton cloth in this country by machinery driven by water-power was began in this place by Samuel Slater. The Blackstone River has a fall of about 50 feet at this point, and the power is used chiefly for driving cotton mills. "Pawtucket" is an Indian name. The town was until its incorporation a part of Seekonk.
in Lowell.
Peaked Mountain, in Monson, is 1,239 feet in height.
Peddock's Island lies in the middle section section of Boston Harbor or Bay.
Pegan Hill, in Natick, is 408 feet in height.
Pemberton, a village in Hull.
Penikese, or Pune, Island, is included in the town of Gosnold.
Perry's Peak, in Richmond, 2,089 feet in height.
Perryville, in Dudley; also in Rehoboth.
Phelp's Mill, a village in Peabody.
Phoenix, a village in Tewksbury.
Pierceville, in Rochester.
Pigeon Cove, a village in Rockport.
Pilfershire, a village in Newburyport.
Pine Grove, a village in Northampton.
Pine Nook, a village in Deerfield.
Plainville, in Hadley; also in Wrentham.
a village in Sutton.
Pleasant Lake,
a village in Harwich; also, a pond in Montague.
in Walpole.
Plum Island,
a long, narrow sandy island forming the eastern parts of Newbury, Rowley and Ipswich, and between the main body of these towns and the sea. It is named from a fruit growing upon it.
Plum Island River,
or Sound, is the narrow body of salt water enclosed between Plum Island and the mainland. It receives the waters of Parker, Rowley and Ipswich rivers.
Pocasset, a village in Bourne.
a village in Orleans.
Pocumtuck Mountain,
in Charlemont, has an altitude of 1,144 feet above Deerfield River.
Podunk, or Quaboag, Pond,
in the town of Brookfield.
Poge, Cape,
the northeastern angle of Martha's Vineyard Island, bearing a brilliant light.
Polpis Village,
in Nantucket.
Pond Plain,
a village in Dedham.
Pond Village,
in Truro.
in Norfolk.
a village in Lancaster.
a village in Canton; also, a pond in Canton and Randolph.
a village and a lake in Pittsfield.
Pope's Island,
in Acushnet River, New Bedford.
Popponesset Bay,
on the southeast side of Mashpee.
a village in Orleans.
Port Norfolk,
a locality in the Dorchester district of Boston.
Pottapaug Pond,
in Dana.
in Somerset.
Powder Mills,
a village in Clarksburg.
Pratt's Junction,
a village in Sterling.
in Raynham; also, a locality in Chelsea, and in the Brighton district of Boston.
a village in Lakeville.
Prentice Corner, a village in Northbridge.
President Roads, a large, clear expanse of water forming the outer section of Boston Harbor.
Proctor's Crossing, a village in Peabody.
Prospect Hill,
in Waltham, is 482 feet in height.
in Waltham.
Provin's Mountain, in Agawam, 665 feet high.
a village in Middleborough.
a village in Dedham
in Danvers.

or Podunk, Pond, in Brookfield.
a village in Nantucket.
Quaker District,
a village in Northbridge.
Quamquisset Harbor
on southwest side of Falmouth.
Quannapowitt Lake,
in Wakefield.
Queen Anne's Corner,
a village in Norwell.
a village in Chilmark. 
a village in Nantucket. 
a village in Holden.
Quinebaug River is a beautiful and useful stream rising in Mashapaug Pond, in Union, Connecticut; whence it flows northward through Holland into Brimfield, where it receives Mill Brook; then turning, flows southeastward in a tortuous course through Sturbridge, Southbridge and Dudley, into Thompson, Connecticut. where it receives French River; and further on, near Norwich, is itself merged in the Shetucket, until the waters of the Yantic are intermingled; when the stream becomes the Thames, and enters Long Island Sound between New London and Groton.
a pond lying on the adjacent borders of Worcester and Shrewsbury; also, a village in Worcester.
a village in Falmouth.
a village in Chilmark.

Race Point,
the extremity of Cape Cod, extending westward, and bearing a light.
Ragged Island,
at the entrance of Hingham Harbor.
Ragged Plain,
a village in Dedham.
Rail-Cut Hill,
in Gloucester, 205 feet in height.
Rainsford Island,
in Boston Harbor.
in Bellingham.
Ram Island,
southeast of Marblehead.
Readville, in Hyde Park.
Red Brook, a village in Plymouth.
Renfrew, a village in Adams; also, one in Dalton.
Reservoir Hill, in Lincoln, 395 feet in height.
Reservoir Station, a village in Brookline.
Rexham. See Marshfield.
Riceville, in Athol.
Ridge Hill, a village in Norwell.
Ring's Island, a village in Salisbury.
Ringville, in Worthington.
Riverdale, a village in Dedham; also, one in Gloucester, in Northbridge, and in West Springfield.
Riverside, a village in Gill; also one in Haverhill in Newton, and in Weston.
Robert's Crossing, a village in Waltham.
Robert's Meadow, a village in Northampton.
Robinsonville, in Attleborough
Rochdale, a village in Leicester.
Rock, a village in Leicester.
Rock Bottom, a village in Stow.
Rockdale, a village in New Bedford; also, one in North Rockfield , a locality in Dorchester.
Rockharbor, a village in Orleans.[sic]
Rocks Village, in Haverhill.
Rockville, in Fitchburg; also, in Millis.
Rocky Nook, a village in Kingston.
Rogersville, in Uxbridge
Roslindale, a locality and railway station in West Roxbury.
Roxbury was incorporated as a town September 28, 1630; as a city March 12, 1846; and was annexed to Boston June 1, 1867.
Russell's Mills, a village in Dartmouth.
Russellville, in Hadley; also, in Southampton.
Rutland, a village in Billerica.
Ryall's Side,
a village in Beverly.

a village in Bourne; and one in Hull, called also, "Sagamore Head."
Sailor's Island,
at the entrance of Hingham harbor.
Salmon Falls, a village in Russell.
Salt Island,
and Salt Island Ledge, lie off the eastern extremity of Gloucester.
the Little and the Dry, are large and dangerous rocks lying north of Thacher's Island and northeast of Rockport.
Sampson's Island,
in Orleans; also one in the mouth of Cotuit harbor.
a village in Southbridge.
Sandy Valley, a village in Dedham
a village in Plymouth.
a village in East Bridgewater.
Saundersville, in Grafton.
Savin Hill,
a locality in Dorchester.
Sawyer's Mills, a village in Boylston.
in Framingham.
Scaddings Pond,
in Taunton.
Sconticut Point, (or Neck), a village in Fairhaven.
a village in Sandwich.
a village in Bridgewater; also, in Newbury and Newburyport.
Scott's Woods,
a village in Milton.
in Danvers; also, in Dennis and in Williamsburg.
a village in Marshfield.
Seekonk, a village in Great Barrington.
Sesuet Harbor,
in Dennis — north shore.
Shaker Settlement,
a village in Hancock.
Shaker Village,
Harvard; also, in Pittsfield and in Tyringham.
Shattuckville, in Colrain.
a locality in Dorchester.
Shawsheen River,
rises in Lincoln and pursues a northeast course through Bedford, Billerica, Tewksbury and Andover, and unites with Merrimack at Lawrence. Its principal tributaries are Vine Brook from Lexington, and Content Brook, from Long Pond, in Tewksbury.
in Wales.
Sherburn was the name of Nantucket for a considerable period prior to June 8,1795.
Sherburne, the former name of "Sherborn."
Shewamet Neck (or Shawmut Neck), the southern extremity of Somerset.
Sheldonville, in Wrentham.
Shepardville, in Wrentham.
Shirley Point, at the southern extremity of Winthrop.
Siasconset, a village in Nantucket
Silver Lake,
a village in Kingston and Plympton, on he Old Colony Railroad; also, a railroad station and a pond in Wilmington.
in Millbury.
Singletary Pond,
in Sutton and Millbury.
a village and harbor in Marion.
Six-mile Pond,
on the borders of Monterey and New Marlborough.
Sixteen Acres,
a village in Springfield.
in Williamsburg.
Slab City,
a village in Leverett, also, in Princeton and Williamstown.
Smith's Ferry,
a village in Northampton.
Smith's Mills,
a village in Dartmouth.
Smith's Station,
a village in Enfield.
a village in Barre.
in Sturbridge.
Snipatuit Pond,
in Rochester.
a village in Scituate; also, one in Tyringham.
South Bay lies between South Boston and the northern part of the Roxbury district of Boston.
Southfield, a village in New Marlborough. Also, Southfield, incorporated as a district June 19, 1797, and annexed to Sandisfield, February 8, 1819.
South Hadley
South Reading. See Wakefield.
South Village,
in Ashby; also in Dennis.
a village in Southborough.
Spot Pond, in Stoneham.
a village in Canton; also, in Holden.
Spring Hill, a village in Sandwich.
Spring Village,
in Winchendon.
in Topsfield.
Spy Pond,
in Arlington.
Squam Point,
a small peninsula dividing Squam River from Annisquam harbor,— all in Gloucester.
a neck and a village in Quincy.
Squawbetty, a village in Taunton.
a village in Chilmark.
Stage Harbor,
at the southern extremity of Chatham.
State Line,
a village in West Stockbridge.
a village in Pittsfield.
Steep Brook,
a village in Fall River.
Stetsonville, in Lynn.
Stevens Village,
in North Andover.
in Dudley.
in Groveland.
Still River,
a village in Harvard.
Stillwater River,
in Sterling.
Stone District, a village in Northbridge.
Stone Haven, a village in Dedham.
in Auburn.
Stony Beach,
a village on the north shore of Hull.
Stony Brook, a village in Kingston; also, one in Norfolk and one in Weston.
Stony Point, between Monument and Back Bay rivers, in Bourne.
Stoughtonham. See Sharon.
Straitsmouth Island, off and near the northeast angle of Rockport.
Strawberry Hill,
in Hull, near Nantasket Beach.
Straw Hollow,
a village in Boylston.
Strong Island,
in Chatham.
Succoneset, a village in Falmouth.
Sudbury River rises in Hopkinton and its neighborhood, and after passing Framingham, Natick, Sudbury, Wayland and Lincoln, joins the Assabet at Concord,— the two forming Concord River.
Sugar Loaf,
a village in Deerfield.
Suntaug Lake, in Peabody and Lynnfield.
a locality in Nantucket and railroad station in Hull; also, one in Nantucket.
Sweet's Corner, a village in Williamstown.
Swift River
rises in towns near the junction of Worcester, Franklin and Hampshire counties; and flowing southward through Pelham, Prescott, Greenwich, Enfield, and between Belchertown and Ware, and Belchertown and Palmer, it enters Ware River near the union of that stream with the Chicopee. Also, a stream in Cummington.
Symme's Corner,
a village in Winchester.

Tack Factory,
a village in Middleborough.
Taconic Dome,
or Mount Everett, in the town of Mount Washington.
in Danvers.
a village in Douglas.
a village in West Springfield.
a village in Worcester.
Taunton River rises in the northwestern section of Plymouth County and adjacent towns in Norfolk County, and flows into Mount Hope Bay. It drains by its branches Stoughton, Avon, Holbrook, Whitman, Brockton, Abington, Hanson, Halifax, Plympton, the Bridgewaters, Raynham, Taunton, Berkley, Dighton, Freetown, Fall River, Somerset and Swansey. It is navigable to Taunton for small vessels. This river is celebrated for its great and widely distributed water-power, and for the multitude of alewives which formerly thronged its waters.
Teatickett, a village in Falmouth.
Telegraph Hill, in the northwestern part of Hull; also, a name some time applied to Mount Washington, in South Boston.
Titicut, a village in Middleborough.
Tom, Mount, 1,214 feet in height, forming a disconnected tract of Northampton on the south of the town, on the west bank of the Connecticut River.
Tonset, a village in Orleans.
Town Hill, a village in Randolph.
Town River Bay, in Quincy.
Traskville, in Fitchburg.
Tremont, a village in Wareham.
Trowbridgeville, in Worcester.
Troy. See Fall River.
Tuckernuck, an island, also a village, at the west end of Nantucket.
Tuft's Hill, in New Braintree.
Tuft's Pond, in Mendon.
Tuftsville, in Dudley.
Turkey Hill, a village in Newburyport.
Turkey Shore, a village in Ipswich.
Turner's Falls, a village in Montague.
Tylerville, a village in Belchertown.

an island in Gosnold.
Union Market,
a village in Watertown.
in Franklin; also, in Holden and in Wellesley.
Upham's Corner,
a locality in the Dorchester district of Boston.

Valley Village,
in West Boylston.
Van Deusenville,
in Great Barrington.
Vineyard Grove,
a village in Edgartown.
Vineyard Haven,
a village in Tisbury.
Vineyard Highlands,
a village in Cottage City.
Vineyard Sound,
the body of water between Gosnold and Martha's Vineyard.

Waban Hill,
in Newton, 306 feet in height.
Waban Lake,
in Wellesley.
Wachusett Mountain,
in Princeton, 2,018 feet in height.
Wachusett Pond,
lies on the borders of Westminster and Princeton.
Wachusett Village,
in Westminster.
a village in Franklin.
a village in Sandwich.
Walden Pond, in Concord.
Walker, a village in Taunton.
Walnut Hill,
a village in Dedham.
Wamesit, a village in Tewksbury.
a village in Deerfield; also, one in Kingston.
Wapua Point,
southeast of Martha's Vineyard.
a village and a bay at the southeastern extremity of Falmouth.
See Auburn.
Ward Hill,
a village in Bradford.
Ware River is formed of branches from Hubbardston Barre and Oakham. It flows through Hardwick, New Braintree and Ware, and joins the Chicopee in Palmer.
in Concord.
Washington Village, in the South Boston district of the City of Boston.
Watatic Mountain,
in Ashburnham, 1,847 feet in height.
a village in Blackstone.
Waterville, in Middleborough; also in Winchendon.
Watuppa Pond,
in Fall River.
Waushaccum Ponds,
in Sterling.
a village in Nantucket.
a village in Belmont.
Webster Village, in Scituate.
a village in Taunton.
Wellingsby, a village in Plymouth.
a village in Medford.
was a town formed from the north part of Dighton in June 9, 1814; the places were reunited under the old name, February 22, 1826, and the town of Wellington became extinct.
Wellington Hill,
in Belmont, 310 feet in height.
Wenaumet Neck,
in Bourne.
Wenham, a village, and also a pond, in Carver.
an island forming a part of Gosnold.
West Boylston
West Bridgewater
West Brookfield
West Cambridge. See Arlington.
West Island,
south of Acushnet, in Buzzard's Bay.
West Centre Village
, in Andover.
West Corners, a village in Randolph.
Western. See Warren.
West Farms, a village in Northampton, also, one in Westfield.
Westfield, a village in Dedham.
Westfield River (sometimes called the Agawam River) gathers its first waters in Savoy and Windsor, in the northeast section of Berkshire County; its main stream traversing Cummington, Chesterfield, Huntington, in Hampshire County, and Russell and Westfield in Hampden County; thence flowing between West Springfield and Agawam to the Connecticut. It has many branches and numerous falls.
West New Boston, a village in Sandisfield.
West Newbury
West Parish, a village in Haverhill; also, one in Westfield.
Westport Mills, or Westport Factory Village, in Dartmouth and Westport.
West Springfield
West Stockbridge
Westvale, a village in Concord.
in Sturbridge; also, in Taunton.
West Woods,
a village in Washington.
Weweantitt River,
in Wareham.
Wheelerville, in Millbury; also, in Athol.
Whitehall Pond, in Hopkinton, included in the Boston Water-works system.
White Island Pond, in Plymouth.
White's, a village in Easton.
Whiteville, in Mansfield.
Whitinsville, in Northbridge.
Whittenton, a village in Taunton.
Wickaboag Pond, in Brookfield.
Wild Harbor, in Bourne.
Wilkinsonville, in Sutton.
Wilkinsville, in Hudson.
Williamsville, in Hubbardston; also, in West Stockbridge.
Willimansett, a village in Chicopee.
Willow Bridge, a village in Somerville.
Willowdale, a village in Ipswich.
Winetuxet, a village in Plymouth.
a village in Norton.
Winter Hill,
a hill and village in Somerville.
Wire Village, in Spencer.
Wollaston Heights, a village in Quincy.
Woodbridge's Island,
at the east side of Newburyport harbor.
Wodbury's Village,
in Sutton.
Wood End,
the outermost part of the peninsula (now become a long island) guarding Provincetown harbor, bearing a light; also, a southeastern point of Rockport (formerly Emerson's Point), devoted to summer residences.
Wood's Holl,
a harbor and a village in Falmouth.
in Hopkinton; also, in Wakefield.
World's End
, a promontory at the end of a long peninsula forming the northern extremity of Hingham.
Wyoma, a village in Lynn.
Wyoming, a village in Melrose.


a rough and romantic tract of land on the left (north) bank of the Deerfield River, near the mouth of the Hoosac Tunnel, was, by an act of legislature, April 2, 1838, divided, and one part annexed to Rowe and the other to Charlemont. The name is now applied only to a village within the limits of the tract in the western extremity of Charlemont. It has a post-office, a station on the Fitchburg Railroad, a saw mill, and several dwelling-houses, nestled in between Deerfield River and the mountains.
a village in Adams.

alphabetical section anchors:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

INDEX to overview of Massachusetts, TOWNS arranged by county