Tolland Massachusetts, 1890

Tolland forms the southwest extremity of Hampden County, and is bounded on the north by Otis and Blandford, on the east by Granville, by Sandisfield on the west, and by Colebrook and Hartland, in Connecticut, on the south. Its assessed area is 18,186 acres; and there are 5,614 acres of beech, birch and maple. The whole town is on elevated land, and has few hills of much altitude. In the north is Messenger Pond; in the south, Cranberry; and north of Tolland Centre (the village and post-office) is the larger Noyes Pond, the source of Hubbard's River, which with its affluents drains the eastern section of the town. The rock is of granitic appearance, and the soil is clayey.

The product of the 112 farms in 1885 was valued at $61,752. Maple sugar was made to amount of 49,530 pounds; and of maple molasses, 564 gallons; valued altogether at $4,482. There were two saw mills and a wood-turning mill, employing about 25 men. Some leather and metallic goods were made also. The value of the total manufactured product was $39,775. The population was 422; of whom 117 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $162,692, with a tax-rate of $16 on $1,000. There were 96 taxed dwelling-houses. There are five public school-houses, valued at nearly $2,000. The Congregationalists have a church edifice at the village, occupying what is supposed to be the highest ground in its latitude between the Connecticut and the Housatonic rivers.

This town was formerly a part of Granville, and was set off and incorporated, June 14, 1810. It was settled in 1750; and among its first inhabitants were James Barlow, Samuel Hubbard, Moses Gough, Titus Fowler and Robert Hamilton. The church was organized in 1797; and the Rev. Roger Harrison, the first pastor, served also in the capacity of postmaster, town-clerk, and representative to the General Court. The Rev. Gordon Hall (1784-1826), first American missionary to Bombay, and also an author of some note, was a native of this town. Tolland furnished 25 men for the Union cause in the late war, of whom 12 perished in the service.

pp. 641-642 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

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