Phillipston Massachusetts, 1890


Phillipston
is a good farming town lying in the northwesterly section of Worcester County, 58 miles from Boston. The Ware River Railroad crosses the southern extremity, and the Fitchburg touches the northern angle. The general form of the township is triangular, with a very irregular base-line running northwest and southeast; the town of Templeton, on the east, covering this entire side. Hubbardston and Barre lie at the southeastern angle; Petersham lies on the southwest, and Athol on the west, with Royalston at the north.


The assessed area is 14,756 acres. The soil is principally a light loam. The forests consist chiefly of pine, and cover 3,245 acres. The central part of the town consists of broad hills. Prospect Hill, about two miles west of the central village, is the highest, and a beautiful elevation. Echo Pond, a mile south of the centre, 1¼ miles long and one third wide, is the source of Burntshirt River. The latter also enters and drains Factory Pond, on the eastern line, and furnishes valuable motive power. Beaver and Mill brooks drain the northerly sections of the town; while Bigelow Brook, Swift River and Mocassin Brook flow southwesterly into Petersham. Wine Brook, rising in the southwestern angle, runs northeasterly through a beautiful valley to Factory Pond.


There were in 1885 three chair factories, employing 24 persons. Other manufactures of the town are carriages, house lumber, metallic articles, boots and shoes and food preparations. The value of all goods made in the year mentioned was $17,042. The value of the aggregate product of the 91 farms was $79,094. The population was 530; of whom 159 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $275,880, with a tax-rate of $13.30 on $1,000. There were 139 taxed dwelling-houses.


The six public school-houses were valued at upwards of $4,000. There is a free public library of nearly 5,000 volumes. The churches are Congregationalist and Methodist. The post-office is Phillipston (centre). The other villages are Lamb City, East Phillipston and Goulding Village. This township was originally parts of Templeton and Athol. It was incorporated; October 20, 1786, and named in honor of Elbridge Gerry; but dissatisfied with his measures after he became governor, the citizens, in 1812, procured a change of name to Phillipston. The first church was organized in 1785, and in 1788 the Rev. Ebenezer Tucker was ordained pastor.


Phillipston furnished 76 soldiers for the armies of the Union in the late war, of whom 13 were lost. A handsome monument has been erected to their memory.

pp. 538-539 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer