Rutland Massachusetts, 1890

Rutland is a fine farming town of 963 inhabitants, in the central part of Worcester County, 55 miles west of Boston on the Massachusetts Central Railroad; and having for its boundaries Princeton on the northeast, Holden and Paxton on the southeast, Oakham on the southwest, and Barre and Hubbardston on the northwest. The area is about 23,000 acres; and there are upwards of 7,000 acres of forests.

The land is broken, but excellent for grazing. The most notable eminences are Turkey, Rice and Barrack hills; on the last of which General Burgoyne's army was encamped for some time. The highest point on its railroad is in this town. In the southern part are Long Pond of 160 acres, Demond Pond of 138 acres, Turkey-hill Pond of 83 acres; and in the eastern part is Musquapoag Pond, of 110 acres. Ware River winds through the northern part, receiving from the central section Mill and Long Pond brooks, on which are several good mill privileges. The waters of a copious spring, about half a mile east of the centre, are divided; and one part finds its way into the Connecticut, and the other part into the Merrimack River. Apples, blueberries and cranberries are considerable crops, and both wild and cultivated berries are numerous. The 173 farms in 1885 yielded a product valued at $151,997. There is a woollen mill employing upwards of 20 men and boys, and two saw mills. Other manufactures are boots and shoes and metallic goods. The aggregate value of these products was $24,859. The valuation in 1888 was $489,503, with a tax-rate of $15 on $1,000. There are a town-hall, ten public-school buildings (valued at $6,000), and a free public library of some 1,500 volumes. The church is Congregationalist. The post-offices are Rutland (centre), West Rutland and North Rutland. These are also the villages, and the first two are the railroad stations.

In 1686 certain Indians, who claimed to be lords of the soil, executed a deed to Henry Willard, J. Rowlandson, J. Foster, Benjamin Willard, and Cyprian Stevens, of a tract of land containing twelve miles square, the Indian name being Naquag. On the 23d of February, 1713, the General Court passed an order to the effect that the lands in the Indian deed be confined to the petitioners, or their legal representatives and associates; the town to be called "Rutland," and to lie in the county of Middlesex. This tract included what is now Rutland, Oakham, Barre, Hubbardston, the greater part of Princeton, and one half of Paxton. In 1715 the proprietors set off six miles square for the settlement of 62 families, who, in the ensuing year, began to occupy the place. The town was incorporated July 23, 1713, and named, perhaps, from Rutland, the smallest county in England.

Five Indians raided this town on August 14, 1723, killing a man and two boys, and carrying two other boys away captive. Rutland sent 102 men into the Union service during the late war; and of these 17 were lost.

pp. 572-573 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer