Southwick Massachusetts, 1890

Southwick is situated in the southwesterly section of Hampden County, 16 miles southwest of Springfield, and 115 miles from Boston. It has 252 dwelling-houses and 982 inhabitants. By an error in the survey, a section of the town about 2 miles square projects into Connecticut. Prior to 1800 the jurisdiction was a subject of controversy between the two States. Suffield bounds this tract on the east and Granby on the south and west. The main portion of the town is bounded on the north by Westfield, on the east by Agawam, and on the west by Granville. The assessed area is 17,818 acres; the forests occupying 4,869 acres.

A beautiful sheet of water called "Congamuck Pond," containing nearly 600 acres, lies on the eastern line of the projection. The surface of this town is elevated and of varied aspect. A long hill occupies the entire eastern line with Agawam, with a depression at the middle allowing the passage of a road. On the western line also is a succession of hills, of which Sodom Mountain is the most conspicuous. Mun's Brook winds about its base, while Little River and its tributaries drain the central parts of the town; both these streams flowing northeastward to the Westfield River.

There are now two lumber mills operated in the town. Other manufactures are cigars, metallic articles, carriages, powder and food preparations. The value of all goods made in 1885 was $31,056. The tobacco crop was valued at $11,409. Apple orchards are quite numerous. The value of the aggregate product of the 170 farms was $134,431. The valuation in 1888 was $555,085, with a tax-rate of $13.50 on $1,000. The number of legal voters was 266. There are primary and grammar schools, and 10 school buildings, which are valued at about $8,000. Mr. Richard Dickinson, in 1824, left a bequest of about $17,000 to the town for the support of schools. The churches are one each of the Baptists, Congregationalists and Methodists. The first church edifice, which stood about a mile south of the central village, was burned in 1823. The Rev. Abel Forward, ordained in 1773, was the first minister. Samuel Fowler, who came here in 1734, was the first settler. His house stood in the northerly part of the town; a locality long known as "Poverty." This township was incorporated, as a district in 1770; and became a town by the act of March 23, 1786, declaring places incorporated as districts prior to January 1,1777, to be towns. Its early records are very imperfect. The New Haven and Northampton Railroad has a station at Southwick (centre); and this village is also the post-office for the town. The other village is Congamuck.

pp. 607-608
in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

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