Wendell Massachusetts, 1890
Wendell is a pleasant town of 509 inhabitants, located in the easterly section of Franklin County, 89 miles from Boston on the Fitchburg Railroad, which has a station at Wendell (depot), at the northeast corner of the town. The station at Erving (centre), at the middle of the north line of the town, is also convenient. These, with Wendell Centre, and Look's Village at the southwestern border, are the post-offices used. Farleyville and South Wendell are the other villages.
Miller's River separates this town from Erving on the north; on the east it has Orange and New Salem; on the south, Shutesbury, and on the west, Montague. The assessed area is 21,311 acres; of which 10,155 acres are forest. The surface is uneven; and rises in the north into a commanding eminence called "Bear Mountain," whose summit is 1,281 feet above sea-level. A long north and south ridge in the middle of the town bears the village of Wendell Centre. From this vicinity flow Wickett Brook in the west and Whetstone Brook in the east to Miller's River; and Saw-mill River at the southwest, and Swift River from the eastern section, to the Chicopee and Connecticut.
The rock maple flourishes here, and considerable quantities of sugar and molasses are made from its sap. Blueberries also are a source of some profit. Charcoal, fire-wood and lumber are large products. The town in 1885 had four saw mills. The largest manufactory was a paper-mill, employing 19 persons. The value of all goods made in 1885 was reported as $73,396. The products of the 108 farms amounted to $49,707. The valuation in 1888 was $200,713, with a tax-rate of $20 on $1,000. The number of legal voters was 122; and there were 139 taxed dwelling-houses. The eight public school-houses were valued at $2,000. There are a Baptist and a Congregational church.
This town was formed from parts of Shutesbury and Ervingshire, and incorporated May 8, 1781, being named in honor of Oliver Wendell, Esq., of Boston The first church was organized in 1774; and the Rev. Joseph Kilburn was ordained as pastor in 1783. John Metcalf had a printing-press here, by which, among other works, an edition of Baxter's "Call" was printed in 1814. Mrs. Anne T. (Wilbur) Wood, author of several useful works, was born here in 1817.
pp. 673-674 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890