Winchester Massachusetts, 1890

Winchester is a delightful suburban town in the easterly section of Middlesex County, eight miles west-by-northwest of Boston, on the Boston and Lowell Railroad, which here sends off a branch to Woburn. The stations are Mystic, Winchester (centre) and Cross Street. Winchester is the post-office; and the small villages are North Winchester, Symme's Corner and Cutler's Village.

The form of the township is irregularly triangular, with the base line running northeast and the apex southeast. The adjoining towns are Woburn on the northwest, Stoneham and Medford on the east, the latter and Arlington on the south, and Lexington breaking off the angle on the southwest. The assessed area is 3,390 acres; of which 641 are forest. The underlying rock is sienite and dolerite, in which occurs a bed of copper ore. Several wooded eminences impart a charming variety to the scenery in the eastern and western sections of the town. Through the midst flows, in a devious course, the beautiful Mystic River; which, on the southern border, spreads out into the celebrated Mystic Pond. A charming sheet of water called "Wedge Pond," in the centre, is noted for the lilies which numerously bespangle its waters in the summer. It is said that the swallow makes its earliest annual appearance swiftly flitting over this lake. Fruits and berries, greenhouse products and vegetables, especially the last two, are furnished to the Boston markets in great quantity from this town. There were 13 establishments devoted to flowers. The number of farms is 66; and their aggregate product in 1885 was $151,388. In manufactures, there are a machine shop, a saw mill for ornamental woods, factories for piano cases, keys and actions, for clocks, watch-parts and jewelry, for artisans' tools, for cotton batting, cotton and wool wadding and felting, food preparations, and furniture, the last employing 80 men. There are seven tanneries and currying shops, employing in the aggregate 314 men. The number of establishments was 41; and their product in 1885 was $2,410,942. The Winchester Savings Bank, at the close of last year, carried $380,000 in deposits. The population was 4,390; of whom 1,019 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $4,407,851, with a tax-rate of $16.70 on $1,000 There were 782 assesses dwelling-houses. The ten public school houses were values at $47,600. The schools are graded, and include a good high school. The public library contains about 7,000 volumes. The Winchester Historical and Genealogical Society also has a library of some 300 volumes suited to its objects. The weekly newspaper of the place is the "Star." There is one church each of the Congregationalists, the Baptists, Methodists, Protestant Episcopalians, Unitarians and Roman Catholics.

Many of the citizens are engaged in business in Boston, and others upon various transportation lines. Many of the private residences, situated on beautiful swells, or occupying commanding positions upon the hillsides, present a beautiful appearance. The streets are kept in fine order, and ornamented by numerous shade-trees, and the whole town has an air of comfort, thrift and independence.

Winchester was formed from parts of Woburn, Medford and West Cambridge (Arlington), and incorporated, April 30, 1850. The town furnished 224 men for the Union armies in the late war, of whom ten were lost in the service.


pp. 707-708 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

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