Quincy Massachusetts, 1890
QUINCY is a handsome city in the northeastern part of Norfolk County, eight miles southeast of Boston by the Old Colony Railroad. The stations are at Quincy, Atlantic, Wollaston, West Quincy and Quincy Adams, which are also post-offices and villages. The other villages are North Quincy, French Village, Germantown, East Quincy, Squantum, Hough's Neck, Wollaston Heights, Quincy Point and South Quincy. The last two also are post-offices. The assessed area of the city is 8,630 acres. The number of dwelling-houses is about 2,500, and the population, 12,145.
The city is bounded on the northwest by the Dorchester district of Boston, on the northeast by Boston Harbor, south by Braintree and Randolph, and west by Milton. The form is very irregular, having Squantum Neck at the northeast, and Hough's Neck at the southeast, with a long southwesterly projection. The territory is remarkable for its eminences, situated mostly in the southwest part; though Mount Wollaston is near the shore on the eastern side, and Great Hill is at the extremity of Hough's Neck, at the southeast. The chief hills are Chickataubut (518 feet in height), Bear (495), Bugbee (439), Glover's (430), Wampatuck (357), and Rattlesnake (314). The highest point in town is Lookout Rock, where the standpipe of the water-works is situated. The town has long been celebrated for its vast and numerous quarries of granite and sienite, which has entered into some of the most notable structures all over the country. Bunker Hill Monument is constructed of "Quincy granite." A railroad for transporting the stone from the quarries to navigable water on Neponset River — a distance of three miles — was built in 1826, and was the first in America. It was operated by horse-power. Its use was abandoned many years ago, and the Granite Branch of the Old Colony Railroad does its work. The principal streams are Neponset River, which separates the city from Boston; Blue Hill River, which forms the southern line; Wollaston Brook, in the northern section; and Town River, which drains the southeast section and discharges into Town River Bay. The soil is a sandy loam, and yields fairly under cultivation. There are some 800 acres of woodland containing the usual variety of trees.
According to the last State census there were 48 farms, the value of whose product in 1885 was $85,726. The principal industries are boot and shoe making, for which there were 11 factories, employing 227 persons, and making goods to the amount of $796,372; and granite quarrying and cutting, in which there were 66 operators, employing 1,368 men. Other manufactures were vessels and other water-craft, carriages and wheels, furniture, leather, machinery, nails and other metallic goods, agricultural implements, clothing, chemicals, soap, fancy articles and food preparations. The aggregate value of the goods produced was $3,098,649. The Granite National Bank has a capital stock of $150,000, and the savings bank at the close of last year held deposits to the amount of $1,385,534. The valuation in 1888 was $9,757,960, with a tax-rate of $16.70 on $1,000. A large number of the residents are engaged in business in Boston.
Quincy has an excellent granite town-house, and seven school-houses; the latter, with appurtenances, valued in 1885 at $147,000[?]. The " John Hancock School," one of the latest, is regarded as the best of the school-houses. The proposed "Willard School" building is to cost about $80,000. The public schools are completely graded, and have been regarded as models. What is known as the "Quincy school system" originated here. There are, besides, the Greenlief Street School, established in 1872, and the flourishing Adams Academy for boys, endowed by President Adams, and long presided over by Dr. William Everett. Provision was made in the will of the late Dr. Ebenezer Woodward, for establishing in this city a school for girls also, to be called "Woodward Academy." The Crane Public Library has about 15,000 volumes. The building is of stone, excellently finished without and within, and cost $50,000. The newspapers are the "Quincy Patriot," founded in 1837, and the "Advertiser," founded in 1884, — both weeklies. The "Monitor" is a monthly publication of the Roman Catholics. In the city the Congregationalists have three churches; the Baptists, two; the Methodists, two; the Protestant Episcopalians, the Unitarians and the Universalists, each one; and the Roman Catholics, three.
[the home of John Quincy Adams, Quincy.]
The Unitarian church — the First of Quincy — has a striking edifice of granite, fronted by a pediment sustained by four massive stone pillars. The main portion was erected in the year 1828; and the cost of the entire structure was nearly $60,000. The church contains memorial tablets to President John Adams and to President John Quincy Adams and their wives. The edifice is often called "The Adams Temple." Other notable buildings of a public nature are the National Home for Soldiers at Wollaston Shore, and the Sailors' Snug Harbor at Germantown; though the latter is carried on by private gifts and legacies. The village is quiet and picturesque. It received its name from a colony of German glass-blowers who settled there. It is situated on a smaller peninsula of Hough's Neck, and partly encloses Town River Bay. Many vessels were formerly built here, among which was the noted ship "Massachusetts," built in 1789, then the largest of the country. Other buildings of interest to the public are the venerable house in which John Hancock was born, and the two houses in which the two Quincy presidents were born, — all standing near Payne's (or Penn's) Hill, a little south of the central village, at the left of the railroad, going south.
Captain Wollaston and some thirty other men came from England, and commenced a settlement near and upon the eminence which bears his name, in 1625. Among this company was Thomas Morton; who, after the departure of the leader, raised a May-pole, changed the name of the place to Mare, or Merry Mount, and held upon it bacchanalian revels. By such conduct he incurred the detestation of the colonists, and was sent back to England. The sides and summits of this and several other of the eminences are now occupied by fine residences. The central village also is upon elevated ground, and has many handsome buildings. The Indian title to the land in this vicinity was extinguished by a deed from Wampatuck, son of Chief Chikataubut, to Samuel Bass, Thomas Faxon and others in 1665. The principal residence of the chief was the peninsula called by the Indians "Squantum," which name it still bears. "Merrymount Park," presented by the late Hon. Charles Francis Adams, a citizen of the town, is a beautiful place. "Faxon Park" and a fountain are gifts of Henry C. Faxon, a noted temperance advocate, also a citizen. The second school-house in town was erected on "Penn's Hill " in 1697; and the first Episcopal church was built about 1725.
Quincy furnished 847 men for the Union army and navy during the late war; 113 of whom lost their lives in consequence of the service. A monument has been erected in Wollaston Cemetery to their memory.
To the eminent persons mentioned as natives of this town should be added these names: John Quincy (b. 1689), member and speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and councillor 40 successive years; Edmund Quincy (1681-1738), an able jurist; Mrs. Catherine Augusta (Rhodes) Ware (l797-1843), a poet, and editor of "The Bower of Taste"' Freeman Hunt (1804-1858), author, editor, and the founder of "Hunt's Merchants' Magazine;" and Frederick Augustus Whitney (1812), author and divine.
pp. 555-557 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890