Northbridge Masachusetts, 1890
Northbridge lies in the southeasterly section of Worcester County, 46 miles southeast from Boston. The Providence and Worcester Railroad follows the Blackstone River through the eastern section of the town; the course of the latter being somewhat east of south. Grafton bounds this town on the north, Upton and Mendon on the east, Uxbridge on the south, and Sutton on the west.
The assessed area is 9,663 acres, of which 4,393 are forest. Maple, elm, pine and chestnut abound. Nearly the entire border of the town east of the Blackstone River is occupied by a long ridge extending north into Grafton. The central part is somewhat elevated, and the western part hilly, except the valley of the Whitinsville Pond and Mumford's River. Good's Hill, on the southern border, is a noted eminence. The principal rock is calcareous gneiss, which— under the name of granite— is much used for building purposes. In one locality the gneiss crops out, forming an immense ledge called "Shining Rocks," and in another forms a beautiful grotto.
The value of the aggregate products of the 77 farms, in 1885, was $65,504. The chief manufactures are at Northbridge village on the Blackstone, where 3 cotton mills employed upwards of 500 persons, and produced goods, in 1885, to the value of $481,864; and the Whitin Machine Works, on Mumford's River at Whitinsville, in the western part of the town, employed some 350 persons, —making cotton and other machinery to the value of several hundred thousand dollars annually. Other manufactures are boots and shoes, wrought stone, lumber, carriages and leather. The value of the aggregate product in 1885 was $978,286. The population was 3,786, including 702 legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $2,089,191, — with a tax-rate of $5.70 on $1,000. The taxed dwelling-houses numbered 493.
The public schools occupy nine buildings, valued at some $45,000. The Whitinsville Social Library has nearly 5,000 volumes. There are three Congregational churches, one Friends' church, one Methodist, one United Presbyterian and one Roman Catholic. The post-offices are Northbridge (village), Northbridge Centre, and Whitinsville. The other villages are Adam's Corners, Linwood, Prentice Corner, Quaker District, Riverdale, Rockdale and Stone District.
This town was taken from Uxbridge and established as a district, July 14, 1772; and was made a town by the general act of August 23, 1775. The Rev. John Crane, the first minister of the town, was ordained in 1783. Samuel Spring, D.D. (1746-1819), an eminent divine and a good writer, was a native of this town. Northbridge furnished 311 men for the Union armies in the late war.
Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890, pp. 513-514