Princeton Massachusetts, 1890

Princeton is an agricultural town of high altitude in the northerly part of Worcester County, 60 miles west of Boston. The post-offices are Princeton (centre), East Princeton, Mount Wachusett, Princeton Depot and Brooks Station, which are also villages, the two last being stations on the Gardner and Worcester Division of the Fitchburg Railroad, which passes through the western part of the town. The other villages are Everettville and Slab City.

The boundaries are Hubbardston and Westminster on the north-west; the latter, Leominster and Sterling on the northeast; the last and Holden on the southeast, and Rutland on the southwest. The assessed land is 21,756 acres; the area of forest being upwards of 6,500 acres. The grand and prominent feature of the town is Wachusett Mountain, which occupies a large space at the northern angle, rising to the height of 2,018 feet above sea-level. The ascent is through a growth of timber which diminishes in size toward the summit. On the top of the mountain is a hotel (the Summit House) and an observatory, which commands on every side a most magnificent prospect, almost the whole of Massachusetts and a large area of New Hampshire, with their varied scenery of mountains, forests, villages, farms, lakes and rivers, spread out beneath the observer's eye. The place is visited by many thousand people annually. The best route to the summit is by way of the Mountain House on the southeast side. Near by, in this direction, lies Pine Hill; and in the southern section of the town is Calamint Hill. The surface is diversified by low hills and the winding valleys of numerous streamlets. On the north of the mountain is Wachusett Pond, whose outlet, with Keyes' Brook, flows down past the east side and forms Still River, the principal branch of Nashua River which empties into the Merrimack. East and South Wachusett brooks are also affluents of the same stream; while Wachusett Brook, flowing from the west side of the mountain, goes to form Ware River, whose waters mingle with the Chicopee goes find the sea through the Connecticut. In the southern part of the town is the charming Quinepoxet Pond. The underlying rock in this town is Merrimack schist in the east, and ferruginous gneiss in the west. A goodly number of apple orchards appear, and blueberries abound on the uncultivated uplands.

There are 268 farms in the town; whose aggregate product in 1885 was valued at $170,473. The manufactures consisted of lumber, chairs, carriages, metallic goods, and toys and games. Their total value in the year mentioned was reported in the census as $9,300. The population was 1,038, including 297 legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $799,715, with a tax-rate of $11.50 on $1,000. There were 265 taxed dwelling-houses. The town has primary and grammar schools, which are provided with nine school-houses, valued at upwards of $14,000. The public library has some 2,000 volumes; the building being valued at $17,000. The "Princeton Word" is a weekly newspaper of good circulation. The churches are a Congregationalist and a Methodist.

This town was formerly " Rutland East Wing," and together with certain common lands adjacent was established as a district October 20, 1759; and as a town April 24, 1771. It has since had additions from Hubbardston, No-Town, and Westminster. The name was in honor of Rev. Thomas Prince, the annalist.

On the margin of Wachusett Pond is a flat rock on which, in former times, the Indians lighted their council fires; and it was here that Mrs. Rowlandson, taken captive at Lancaster, was at last ransomed from her tormentors.

Princeton furnished 80 men to the Union forces in the late war, of whom 27 died or were killed in battle.


pp. 550-551 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer