Rowe Massachusetts, 1890


Rowe
is an elevated and hilly town in the northwest part of Franklin County, having the Deerfield River as its western and southwestern line. Pelham Brook, with its affluents, drains the entire town, entering the river at the south. Heath forms the eastern boundary; Charlemont and Florida the southern; the latter and Monroe the western; and Whitingham, in Vermont, the northern boundary. The area is about 30 square miles; of which about two thirds are forest, consisting chiefly of maple and beech. The assessed land is 14,650 acres. Pulpit Rock in the west, and Streeter's Hill, eastward, afford fine views; but the greatest elevation is Jilson's Hill, on the northeast border, whose height is 2,109 feet.

Soapstone has been quarried in the town; and the Davis Mines, in the southeast, whose product is sulphate of iron, are now employing about 200 men as miners, teamsters and for other purposes; 30 teams being required to transport the mineral to the Fitchburg Railroad at Charlemont. Zoar is the nearest station to the central part of the town, and Hoosac Tunnel station is at the southwestern angle. Rowe has two saw mills, a tannery, a carriage shop, one or more blacksmith shops, etc.; the aggregate value of goods made in 1885 being $6,222. The value of the product of the 102 farms re ported in that year was $69,065. Apples, cider, maple sugar and syrup contribute a large proportion of this sum. The population was 582, including 149 legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $194,583, with a tax-rate of $14.10 on $1,000. There are 7 public school-houses, valued at some $2,000; and a public library of about 1,000 volumes. The Baptists, Unitarians and Methodists have each a church here. The post-offices are Rowe (centre) and Davis.

This town was originally a tract of common land, called Myrifield, including a large part of what is now Monroe. The incorporation under its present name occurred February 9, 1785. A part of the district of Zoar, containing six families, was annexed in 1838. The ruins of old Fort Pelham, which was one of the line of fortifications erected about 1744, are still to be seen on Pelham Brook. The Rev. Preserved Smith, the first minister, was settled in 1787. Rowe furnished 46 soldiers to the Union cause in the late war, and lost three. The atmosphere of this region is excellent and the views delightful.

p. 569 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer