Stow Massachusetts, 1890

Stow is a pleasant town of 976 inhabitants, situated in the westerly section of Middlesex County, about 25 miles west of Boston by the Massachusetts Central Railroad, and 30 miles by the Marlboro Branch of the Fitchburg Railroad, both having stations at Rockbottom, in the southern part of the town. This and Stow (centre) are the post-offices; and Lower Village occupies a projecting angle on the southern side of the town.

The boundary on the north is Boxborough; on the northeast, Acton; on the east, Maynard; on the southeast, Sudbury; on the south, Hudson; on the west, Hudson and Harvard. The assessed area is 11,021 acres; the forests embracing 3,698. It is agreeably diversified by hill and valley. Spindle and Marble hills, near the centre, are prominent objects in the landscape. The principal stone is calcareous gneiss. Assabet River, flowing northeastward through the eastern section of the town, and its affluents, Assabet Brook and Heathen-meadow Brook, form its drainage system. Apples, pears, peaches, cranberries and strawberries are a considerable crop; and a large quantity of milk is sold. The value of the aggregate product of the 117 farms, in 1885 was $144,3332. Some 20 men were engaged in shoemaking, and a woollen mill employed, of both sexes, 72. There were also a carriage factory, a saw mill, and two blacksmith shops. The number of legal voters was 258. The valuation in 1888 was $884,062, with a tax-rate of $6.30 on $1,000. There were 282 taxed dwelling-houses. The town has a good building containing a hall and town offices, and six school-houses, valued at about $6,000. There are a high school and those of lower grade. The Rockbottom Library Association has nearly 1,000 volumes. The local weekly paper is the "Sentinel." The churches are one each of the Methodists and the Unitarians.

Two men named Kettle and Boon, with their families, settled here about 1650. When King Philip's War broke out (l675) they left the place; but Boon, returning for his goods, was murdered by the Indians. A pond in the south part of the town perpetuates his name. The Indian name of the place was Pompositticut, now borne by a hill (Pomposeticut) in Maynard. It was incorporated as a town May 16, 1683; taking its name, probably, from Stow in England. From its territory were formed in part Harvard (l732), Boxborough (1783), Hudson (1866) and Maynard (1871). Rev. John Eveleth, settled in 1700, was the first minister. As many as 174 men (being a surplus of 22 over its quota) went into the Union armies in the late war from this town.

pp. 622-623 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer