Millbury Massachusetts, 1890
Millbury is situated near the middle of the southern half of Worcester County, 39 miles from Boston by the Boston and Albany Railroad, which crosses the northeastern corner, and sends a branch to the centre. The Providence and Worcester Railroad runs across the town at the middle.
The greatest length of the territory is northeast and southwest, and is about twice its width. The assessed area is 9,303 acres, including 2,915 acres of forest consisting of pine, chestnut, maple and elm. Auburn and Worcester lie on the northwest, and the northeast angle rests on Lake Quinsigamond. Grafton bounds it on the east, Sutton on the south, and Oxford on the southwest. Bond Hill, at the centre, affords a fine view of the busy villages and of the line of the Blackstone River as it winds through the town. Dorothy Hill rises in the northeast, and near it is Dorothy Pond; in the southwest is Grass Hill, with Ram's-horn Pond at its base. East of this is Singletary Pond, lying on the southern line, and containing about 600 acres; the others being about 100 acres each. The outlets of these ponds, emptying into the Blackstone, afford with that river extensive hydraulic power. Other names of hills are Mount Ararat, Burbank and Wigwam. The basal rook is calcareous gneiss or blue granite; in which are found vermiculite and steatite. The soil is a clay loam and very fertile.
The value of the aggregate product of the 95 farms in 1885 was $136,401. Apples and pears are largely raised. The water-powers being numerous, there are many factories, though not of great size. The three cotton mills employ 364 persons; the hosiery mill, 134; the five woollen mills, with their dye-house, 224; one boot and shoe factory employs 31; the two edge-tool factories employ 41, and the wire-works, 14. Most of the mills are of brick, and some are of wood. The Printing Machinery Company's mill is mentioned as a fine structure. There are 5 establishments making machinery, 7 producing metallic goods; 3 carriages; and there are a brick and tile factory, a furniture factory, 2 lumber mills, a tannery, and an establishment for various food preparations. The last State census shows that the aggregate value of the goods made in 1885 was $1,560,173. The national bank has a capital of $200,000, and the savings bank, at the beginning of the present year, held deposits to the amount of $712,277. The population was 4,555, including 829 legal voters. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $1,945,847; with a tax-rate of $17.70 on $1,000. The dwelling-houses numbered 664.
The post-offices are Millbury and West Millbury. The villages are these and Bramanville, Bucksville, Old Common, Simpsonville, Wheelersville and Burlingville. Many of the streets are excellent driveways, and some of them are numerously shaded by elms and maples, quite a number of the trees being a hundred years old. There are a good brick town-hall and a public library of about 6,000 volumes. The Congregationalists have two church edifices, the Baptists and Methodists, Irish Catholics and French Catholics, each one. There is a public high school; and this and other schools occupy 17 buildings, valued at upwards of $30,000.
This town was taken from the north part of Sutton, and incorporated, June 11, 1813. The mills already erected were numerous enough to give it the name of Millbury. The first minister, the Rev. James Wellman, was ordained in 1747. There are shown here, as objects of interest, the sites of the first paper-mill and of the first armory and of the first powder-mill in the country; also the site of Thomas Blanchard's shop, which was the birth-place of the eccentric lathe, known now to all machinists.
pp.466-467 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890