Mattapoisett Massachusetts, 1890
Mattapoisett is a pleasant seaboard town forming the corner of Plymouth County, on the Fairhaven Branch of the Old Colony Railroad, 55 miles from Boston. It is bounded on the north by Rochester, also in part by Marion; east by the latter and Buzzard's Bay; south by the last, and west by Fairhaven and Acushnet, in Bristol County. Its assessed area is 9,655; and of this 4,480 acres are woodland, consisting of oak, maple and pine.
There are large cedar swamps in the northern section, one in the western part, and a salt-marsh at the southwestern side of Mattapoisett Neck, — the latter forming the southwestern side of the harbor of the same name. A lighthouse marks the northern side of the entrance. Into this harbor flows Mattapoisett River, coming from Rochester on the north through the western section of the town. Well situated on the north side of the harbor is the pretty village of Mattapoisett, the streets shaded by many elm, horse-chestnut, maple and linden trees. It is the post-office and railroad station of the town. A little east of it is Cannonville, the other village.
The soil is generally fertile, and the product of the 83 farms in 1885 was valued at $68,444. There are several small saw mills, a chair factory, a box factory, and a ship-yard. The aggregate value of all goods made in the last State census year was $50,760. The fisheries amounted to $2,027; the catch consisting of alewives, blue-fish, squeteague, tautog and flounders. The number of dwelling-houses was 339, of which several were elegant residences. The population was 1,215, and the legal voters 360. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $1,496,905, with a tax-rate of $7.50 on $1,000.
There is a high school with two lower grades, occupying six school buildings valued at some $10,000. The town library contains nearly 1,500 volumes There is one church edifice each of the Congregationalists, Universalists, Episcopalians, Christian Baptists, Adventists, Friends,— together with one union church. The special attractions of the town are good roads, pleasant drives, good fishing, boating and bathing.
This town was formerly the south part of Rochester; and was set off and incorporated May 20, 1857. The name applied to the town, river, bay and western neck is the Indian name for a spring a mile or two north of the village, where, in coming down to the shore to fish, they were accustomed to rest; and the name is said to signify "a place of rest." It is now called "King Philip's Crystal Spring." The first church in the town was organized July 28, 1736, and the Rev. Ivory Hovey was the first pastor. A later one was the Rev. Thomas Robbins, D.D., a fine scholar and a good historical writer, settled in 1832. Of the soldiers furnished by this town for the Union cause, 18 were killed in battle or died in the service.
pp. 447-448 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890