Norwood Massachusetts, 1890

is a beautiful and thrifty town lying in the centre of Norfolk County, about 14 miles south of Boston. The New York and New England Railroad runs through its midst; the stations being Ellis, Norwood, Norwood Central and Winslow's. Norwood is the post-office. The town is bounded on the northwest and northeast by Dedham, on the southeast by Canton, on the southern corner by Sharon, and on the southwest by Walpole.

The assessed area is 6,202 acres, of which 879 are forest, composed of elm, maple, beech and chestnut. The elevation of the surface varies little, and the hills are neither large nor numerous. The soil in hard and stony, but strong and productive when well cultivated. Bubbling Brook and Hawes Brook, unite and mark the southwest line of the town, and at the southern angle, with others, form the Neponset River, which flowing northeast, marks the boundary line on the southeast side. Purgatory Brook, coming across the northern section of the town from the west, enters the Neponset near Purgatory Swamp, in the northeast angle of the town.

The principal manufactories are two tanneries, employing 300 men; an "ink-mill," some 35; an iron foundery, about the same number as the last; and the New York and New England Railroad Company's car shops, employing 400 to 500. Other manufactures are oilcloths, paper, carriages, furniture and food preparations. The value of the goods made in 1885 was $1,038,318. The aggregate value of the farm product was $70,146, The population was 2,921, including 747 legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $2,329,102. The number of dwelling-houses taxed was 626.

The public schools consist of the primary, intermediate and grammar schools and a high school. They occupy 4 buildings valued at some $22,000. There is a public library of upwards of 3,500 volumes. The "Advertiser and Review" is the weekly journal published here. The Methodists have a chapel, and the Congregationalists, Baptists, Universalists and Roman Catholics each have a church edifice.

There are many attractive and elegant residences, and several handsome streets set with maple and elm. Some of the latter are very large, having been set 130 years ago. The place is noted as having been the home of the Everett family, of Deacon Nathaniel Sumner, General William Guild (commissioned by Governor John Hancock), of Hon. Joseph Day, Deacon Willard Gay and Dr. William Cogswell.

This town was formed from parts of Dedham and Walpole, and incorporated February 23, 1872.

pp.521-522 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890