Royalston Massachusetts, 1890

Royalston forms the northwestern corner of Worcester County. The Fitchburg Railroad runs through the southeast corner, whose station of "Royalston" at South Royalston village is 77 miles from Boston in a northwest direction. Winchendon bounds it on the cast; Phillipston, Templeton, Athol and Orange on the south; the latter and Warwick on the west; and Richmond and Fitzwilliam, in N H., on the north. The assessed area is 25,669 acres; there being about 12,000 acres of forest.

The geological structure is calcareous gneiss, in which occur crystals of beryl, mica, felspar, ilmenite, and allanite, occasionally of large size. The soil is strong and moist. Two north and south ranges of hills, and their valleys, occupy the middle of the town. A wild and romantic spot, called the "Royal Glen," attracts many visitors. The most conspicuous elevation is Jacob's Hill, near the central village. The principal water-courses are Priest's Brook in the northeast, Lawrence Brook and the east branch of Tully River, flowing through the central part, and Miller's River through the southeast corner.

These streams furnish the power carrying half a dozen saw mills, a woollen mill, two or more chair factories, and some others. Additional articles of manufacture here are straw goods, carriages, scientific appliances, metallic articles, beverages and other food preparations. The aggregate value of goods made in 1885 was $295,388. The 197 farms yielded products to the value of $133,144. The population was 1,153; of whom 862 were legal voters*. The valuation in 1888 was $635,305, with a tax-rate of $12 on $1,000. The number of assessed dwelling-houses was 269.

The post-offices are Royalston (centre) and South Royalston At the former village are two fine ponds, one of which lies about 150 feet higher than the other. Royalston has a good town-hall; ten school-houses, valued at some $15,000; and the Raymond Public Library, which contains about 1,000 volumes. The churches are the Baptist in West Royalston; a Congregationalist at the centre, and a second at South Royalston, where there is also a Methodist church.

This township was granted in 1752 to Col. Isaac Royal, of Medford, and Messrs. Erving, Hubbard and Otis; and when incorporated, February 19, 1765, was named for the proprietor first mentioned. The Rev. Joseph Lee, settled in 1768, was the first minister, and continued in that office more than forty years. Royalston furnished 122 soldiers for the late war; and the names of the 40 lost are inscribed on tablets in the town-hall. Alexander H Bullock, LL.D. (1816-1882), governor of the Commonwealth from 1866 to 1869, was a native of this town.

pp. 570-571 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

*highly disproportionate, so probably wrong. Perhaps 362 is correct.


Gazetteer