Monroe Massachusetts, 1890

is an elevated town forming the northwestern corner of Franklin County. Its boundaries are Rome [Rowe] on the east, Florida on the south and west, and Readsborough, in Vermont, on the north. The town has an area of about 12 square miles; there being 6,794 acres of assessed land. There are 3,908 acres of forest. The Deerfield River, flowing southwest, forms the eastern line. An affluent, Mill Brook, enters at the southern line, having gathered in its branches from all parts of the town. There is a central valley where most of the farms are located, but the surface is generally rough, resting on a basis of calcareous gneiss and rocks of the Quebec group. The 34 farms in 1885 yielded an aggregate product valued at $25,018. Considerable quantities of maple sugar are made. Two small saw mills were in operation a part of the time, the value of all wooden products sold being $1,566. The number of dwellings was 40, and of inhabitants 176, including 51 legal voters, The valuation of the town in 1888 was $73,231, with a tax-rate of $15 on $1,000. There are three school-houses, valued at $1,200, one Sunday-school library of some 250 volumes, and one Baptist church. The post-offices are Monroe and Monroe Bridge. Hoosac Tunnel and North Adams are the nearest railroad stations.

This town was formed of the "gore" north of Florida, incorporated February 21, 1822, and named in honor of President James Monroe. The settlement was commenced about the beginning of this century by Daniel Caneday, of Coleraine, who was soon joined by Ebenezer Howard, Samuel Gore, the Rev. David Ballou and others. The Revs. Moses Ballou, Hosea F. Ballou and J. Hix, Universalist ministers, were born in this town.

pp. 470-471 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890