Tewksbury Massachusetts, 1890

Tewksbury is situated in the northeast part of Middlesex County, 21 miles from Boston. Dracut, separated by the Merrimack River, bounds it on the north; Andover on the northeast; Wilmington on the southeast; Billerica on the. southwest; and Lowell lies on the west of the northern end. The assessed area is 13,400 acres of which 4,549 are woodland. The Salem and Lowell Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad runs through the midst of the town, having a junction with the Lawrence line near the middle of the eastern side. Tewksbury (centre) and Wamesit are the post-offices; the other villages being Atherton, Burtt's, Mace's, Phoenix, North Tewksbury, South Tewksbury, West; Tewksbury and Tewksbury Junction.

The leading rock is Merrimack schist and calcareous guciss; and the timber-growth is maple, oak, pine, birch and alder. The Scottish heather is found in one locality near the centre. The soil is light and. sandy, and well adapted to the cultivation of early garden vegetables, for which the city of Lowell offers a ready market. Prospect Hill, and the high lands at North Tewksbury, command a splendid view of the Merrimack River and the distant mountains; and Snake Hill, near the line of Wilmington, overlooks the charming valley of Shawsheen River, which winds through the southerly section of the town. The land is drained by several small affluents of the Merrimack and the Shawsheen; and Long Pond and Round Pond furnish perch and pickerel, and serve to beautify the landscape.

The product of the 151 farms in 1885 was valued at $197,738. The Atherton Machine Company, employing some 20 men, is the largest manufacturing establishment. There are two or three saw and grist mills, and three carriage factories. Much parched corn has been prepared for market in the town. Many of the residents are employed in Lowell. The value of the manufactured product ill 1885 was $41,088. The population was 2,333; the number of legal voters, 363; and of dwelling-houses, 370. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $1,380,142, with a tax of $9 on $1,000. There are seven public school-houses, valued at nearly $12,000. The public library contains about 3,000 volumes, and the State Almshouse Library some 1,300. The three churches are Baptist, Congregationalist and Roman Catholic.

The commodious almshouse of the State, situated near the centre of this town, has become more of a hospital than almshouse. The average number of inmates during the year ending September 30, 1888, was 814. The number admitted during the year was 2,006; of whom 1,815 were hospital patients. The buildings occupy a commanding site, and have a large farm attached on which are employed such inmates as are able to perform manual labor. The buildings are valued at $333,722; the farm, $26,040; and the personal property, $162,547.

This town was formerly a part of Billerica, from which it was detached and incorporated, December 23, 1734. Its Indian name was Wamesit; and its present name was probably given in remembrance of Tewksbury, in Gloucestershire, England. The first church was organized here November 23, 1735; and the Rev. Sampson Spaulding, ordained in 1737, was the first pastor.

Pp. 638-639 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890