Sudbury Massachusetts, 1890

Sudbury is an ancient town of varied scenery and much historical interest, in the southwesterly section of Middlesex County, 26 miles by highway from Boston, and containing 1,165 inhabitants, and three postal centres— Sudbury (centre), North Sudbury and South Sudbury, — which are also stations on the Lowell and Framingham Branch of the Old Colony Railroad. The Massachusetts Central Railroad also has stations at East Sudbury and South Sudbury (Mill Village). It has Maynard and Concord on the north, Wayland (from which it is divided by Sudbury River) on the east, Framingham on the south, and Marlborough and Hudson on the west.

The assessed area is 14,815 acres; and the forests embrace 4,976, and consist of pine, oak, chestnut and maple. The rock is calcareous gneiss and sienite. Nobscot Hill, in this town and Framingham, is a bold and prominent elevation, from whose summit Bunker Hill Monument and the State House are discernible. Goodnow's Hill was so called from an Indian, Cato Goodnow, who was the grantor of the first Indian deed. Pendleton, Willie's, Green and Fairbank's hills are all pleasing objects in the landscape. The town is drained by Cold, Pantry, Hop, Wash, and Landham brooks affluents of the Sudbury River, which has here a deep and sluggish current through extensive meadows on the eastern border. Blandford Pond and Willie's Pond are fair and valuable sheets of water stored with perch and other edible fish. The soil varies from sandy to strong loam in different localities. Apple orchards are frequent, and strawberries and cranberries are much cultivated. Blueberries grow freely upon the hills and bilberries in the swamps. Greenhouses are numerous, and are chiefly devoted to the production of flowers and cucumbers for city markets. The milk sold in 1885 amounted to $70,516. The value of the aggregate product of the 194 farms was $268,024.

There are in the town a machine shop, two grist mills and a saw mill. Other manufactures are boots and shoes, carriages, wooden and fancy articles. The value of all goods made in 1885 $27,082. The valuation in 1888 was $1,093,345, with a tax-rate of $9.50 on $1,000. The number of legal voters was 318; and of taxed dwelling-houses, 264. There are a good town-house and seven school buildings; the latter valued at some $12,000. The Goodnow Library contains about 10,000 volumes; and was the gift of the late John Goodnow, of Boston. The weekly newspaper of the place is the "Sun." The churches are one each of the Unitarians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians and Methodists.

[the Old Wayside Inn, Sudbury.]

Sudbury was incorporated September 4, 1639; adopting, as its name, that of a town in the county of Suffolk, England. In 1780, a part of its original territory was detached to form East Sudbury (now Wayland); and in 1871 another part was taken to form the eastern section of Maynard. This ancient town was for a long period of years exposed to the incursions of the savages. The State and town have erected a very fine granite monument over the remains of those killed in one of the conflicts. It is situated a little to the north of Mill Village (South Sudbury), on a point of land rising gradually from the highway, and near the spot where the action occurred. The inscription is : —

"This monument is erected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and by the town of Sudbury in grateful remembrance of the service and sufferings of the founders of the State, and especially in honor of Capt. S. Wadsworth of Milton, Capt. Brocklebank of Rowley, and Lieut. Sharp of Brookline, and 26 others, men of their command, who fell near this spot on the 18th of April [an error for the 21rst of April], 1676, while defending the frontier settlement against the allied Indian forces of Philip of Pokanoket. — 1852."

"The next day after the battle with Wadsworth, the Indians invested the Haynes garrison near the river, and tried various expedients to destroy it. At first they attempted to set it on fire with arrows of pitch-pine lighted at the end; but, in doing this, they were obliged to approach so near as to be annoyed by the arms of the besieged. They then loaded a cart with unbroken flax, which they took from a barn nearby, and trundled it down the hill toward the garrison; but the cart went but a little distance before it was upset by a stump, and consumed."- Holmes Annals.

The old Wayside Inn, or How Tavern, which has been immortalized by the poet Longfellow, is situated about three miles southwest of the centre, in a locality somewhat secluded since the railroads have absorbed the travel. It was first licensed in 1666, and continued to be a very popular hotel until some twenty-five years ago, when its sign of the prancing red horse was taken down, and it became a private residence.

Sudbury sent about 140 men into the Union service during the late war; and but one of its citizens was killed in battle; only one other was wounded; and but one died in a rebel prison. Captain Phineas Stevens (d. 1756), Jacob Bigelow, M.D. (b. 1787), and Col. Joseph Plympton (b. 1787), were natives of this town.

pp. 625-627 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

Gazetteer