Russell Massachusetts, 1890
Russell is a small farming town abounding in wild and romantic scenery, on the Green Mountain range, in the westerly part of Hampden County, and containing 76 farms, 145 dwelling-houses, and 847 inhabitants. It lies about 113 miles southwest of Boston by the Boston and Albany Railroad, and has Montgomery on the northeast, Westfield on the southeast, Granville, on the south, and Blandford on the west. The area is about 16 square miles, over one half of which is forest, principally chestnut.
The leading rocks are calciferous mica-schist and the Quebec group; and specimens of serpentine, schiller-spar, beryl, galena and copper pyrites, occur. The Westfield River runs rapidly and circuitously through the northeast, and Westfield Little River through the southern section, of the town. Shatterack, Black and Green brooks, all tributaries of the former river, afford valuable motive power. Hazzard's Lake, near the geographical centre, is a beautiful sheet of clear and sparkling water, imbosomed amid the mountains, and occasionally visited by the wild duck and loon.
The forests of this town are extensive, and furnish large quantities of railroad ties, small lumber and firewood for market. The land is good for grazing and the growth of fruit trees. The town has two paper mills, a saw mill, a grist mill, a tannery, and other small establishments. It has a good public hall; five school-houses; a Methodist and a Baptist church.
Russell was originally the west part of Westfield, and called "The New Addition." It was desired on account of the valuable stone it was supposed to contain. It was incorporated February 25, 1792. The valuation is $441,324; tax-rate $14.25 per $1,000. The post-offices are Russell and Fairfield. The other village, is Salmon Falls. Reuben Atwater Chapman, late chief justice of the State, was born here September 20, 1801; and died at Lake Lucerne, in Switzerland, June 28, 1873.
pp. 571-572 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890