Page images
PDF
EPUB

survived the gale. The loss of one or two persons only in this place, in timber trees, was then estimated at $10,000.* Forest trees, have in some instances become an article of nurture ; one lot of oak, now of size to be felled as fuel, was, in 1780, in part a tilled field.

Uplands produce the best timber trees, those of the swamps not being in equal estimation.

Fuel is now valued, as it may be more or less remote from Weymouth Landing, being from five to four dollars the cord. The remaining wood lands are chiefly in the northwest section, while the northeast also, near Accord Pond, is in woods, and unsettled.

The inhabitants of Abington, an emigration chiefly from Weymouth, have hitherto pursued, in some respects, similar modes in the improvement of lands; an attention generally to the breed and subsistence of cows, with the productions of the dairy, being the prime object. It also takes the lead in the county, in supplies for the flesh market of beef and mutton ; many are professed butchers, who are constant in their attendance at the markets of Boston, Plymouth, Duxbury, and intermediate shore towns. The cattle are purchased at the Brighton fairs, and the sheep chiefly at Scituate, Marshfield, and other places, not depending on itself for either, although some sheep are reared for their wool, yet not in great numbers. There may be 1500 sheep or more kept in Abington.

The arable lands are productive. Indian corn, winter rye, and oats, yield, on an average, corn twenty five, rye fifteen, and oats forty bushels the acre.

From the prevalent moisture of the soil, the crops of upland hay are abundant, while the fresh meadow, of which there is some near the brooks, is not of the best quality One of its brooks, after passing into Pembroke, and then into Bridgewater, took the name “Poor Meadow Brook,” in the last named town, before the

year 1680.

In a tract of 500 acres, owned by the Mr. Reeds, the gale of Sept. 23, 1815, caused imilar and more extensive destruction of timber trees.

Attention is given to orchards, and some cider is sent to market, yet not in great quantity.

The “Bicknell apple,” so termed, is here cultivated. It yields a great proportion of juice, but as to quality is rather watery. Some other kinds, better adapted to the purposes of cider, should be introduced, for the soil and situation is generally propitious to fruit, we should suppose, in the northwest section of the town.

With respect to cider, as to quality as well as abundance, Middleborough has ever been unrivalled, as producing the best in the country ; the soil and aspect, and it may be the species of fruit, having peculiarities of adaptation.

It were to be wished, therefore, that an attention to the planting of new orchards should be excited and encouraged in that extensive township, as combining both private and publick utility, for even in case of emigration, the value of the alienated farms would be enhanced. The price of cider, as well as its scarcity, at the present period, compared with ten or twenty years since, shows à remarkable deficiency.

A gentleman, who dwelt on a farm in the north section of the town of Plymouth, made these remarks, under the year 1742—3.

A failing fruit year, canker worms, drought, a failure of herbs, roots and grain. My farm yielded but fifteen barrels of cider, which produced forty eight the year before.” At that period, more cider was made, even in the town of Plymouth, in a year, than at the present period in some interior towns ; but the annals of agriculture and orcharding will doubtless ever present unequal comparative results, attributable to a variety of causes.

Ponds and Brooks. Accord Pond, an half mile in diameter, and intersected in early annals by the colony line,* N. E. and S. W., is common to Hingham, Scituate, and Abington, the town first named taking near half of it, while the remainder is again bisected by the corner bounds of the other two. The water is deep. An outlet, which admits alewives from the sea, after traversing the whole length of Hingham, mingles with tide waters at Gen. Lincoln's mills.

* 1640. The commissioners, who ran the colony line, thus describe it. “From the mouth of the brook that rupneth into Conohasset marshes (which we call by the name of the Bound Brook) with a strait and direct line to the middle of a great pond that lyeth on the right hand of the upper path, or common way, that leadeth between Weymouth and Plymouth ; close to the path as we go along; which was formerly named (and still we desire may be called) Accord Pond ; lying about 5 or 6 miles from Weymouth southerly, and from thence with a strait line to the southernmost part of Charles River, and 3 miles southerly inward into the country, according as it is expressed in the Patent.”

The name of this pieasant pond, which is situated near the post road from Boston to Plymouth, was probably first given by the planters of Hingham and Scituate, when adjusting their town lines. It affords to anglers a place of agreeable pastime, being almost within view of two taverns.*

This is the only permanent natural pond in which Abington has

any

claim. On the northern confines of the town is the source of several brooks, running through the Town, S. E, indicating a general elevation on the north border, being a part of the ridge which separates the waters of Neponset and Weymouth from those of North River and Taunton River. All these brooks are in dry seasons in a degree intermittent.

Beaver Brook, the most permanent, arises near the limits of Randolph, traverses the west part of this town and the east of Bridgewater, where it becomes a tributary to the great river.

Another brook, a longer stream,t passes, as has been noticed, into Pembroke, and then into Bridgewater, yet more easterly.

There are two others, one of which is a tributary to North River in Hanover. It is very rare that any fish other than eels, are taken in the brooks. The mill ponds

Signed, William Bradford,

Israel Stoughton,
John Endicott,

Edward Winslow.
This line was completed in 1664, and is now the north bound of Scituate, Abington,
Bridgewater, Easton, Marshfield, Aitleborough and Cumberland, to Patucket River.

* Leonard's in Scituate, and Whiton's in Hingham.
+ The longest tributary, in this quarter, to Taunton River.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

afford pickerel and perch. This town is an exception to any alewife fishery privileges within its boundaries. All these brooks run from Abington and none into it. In very wet seasons, when the ponds are full, some of the water of the great pond in Weymouth, will flow southerly, which shews that the colony line is, in this part of it, on the height of land. This pond in Weymouth is one hundred and three feet above tide water level.

The description of mill erections on the several brooks is as follows: Grist mills five; saw mills seven; woollen factories two.

Roads. The turnpike road from New Bedford to Boston, passes through this town, and the common road from the upper part of Pembroke to Boston, with several cross roads to the sea coast towns, and those of the interior. The quality of the soil affords firm and pleasant roads, occasionally wet however in the eastern section, in the vernal and autumnal seasons.

Schools. There may be ten school districts conveniently dispersed. The annual average of such indigent persons as are supported by the town is generally fifteen persons.

In military affairs this place is an integral part of the third regiment, fifth division, furnishing nearly five companies, viz. one of artillery, one uniformed light infantry, two without uniform, and lately a company of riflemen.

Manufactures. An air furnace, now extinct, was erected many years since, by the late Aaron Hobart, Esq. who, during the revolution, furnished the publick with cannon and shot, made here. Bells have also been cast at this furnace, one of which 900]b. the largest in the county, still continues on the meeting house in the first precinct.

Men's Shoes, the making of which may employ a hundred persons, are made in quantity for the Boston market, where the leather is mostly purchased. This business is more peculiar to the north section of the town.

Bricks are made in sufficient quantity for the use of the inhabitants, and some for distant sale, from clay, which is found not far from the old meeting house. The clay

of inferior quality.

1

[ocr errors]

Cold Tacks, so termed from the manner in which they are made, have become an article of important manufacture in this town. Their history is as follows. About the year 1786 Mr. Ezekiel Reed, who lived in the north part of Bridgewater, invented a machine to cut tacks and nails,* which was immediately introduced at Abington, where it in a short period received great improvements, which progressed from that date to the present time. In the year 1815 not less than 150 millions of tacks were made here, and sold in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, while some were sent to a greater distance.

Capt. Jesse Reed, son to Ezekiel, has lately invented a machine to make tacks by one operation, by which means one hand has made sixty thousand in a day. He has already six machines in operation, and six others nearly completed, which, together with the patent right, he has sold to Mr. Elihu Hobart of this town for 11,000 dollars. These machines were built in Pembroke, where they are now in operation. Their use will probably soon supersede the manual operation, so that an hundred and fifty persons in this vicinity, accustomed to the latter, must seek other employments. These tacks are chiefly used by saddlers, chaise-makers, trunk-makers, card-makers, upholsterers, cabinet-makers, and also for wafer-boxes, &c. &c. By examining a pair of wool cards, we shall notice four dozen, at the least, in each pair. One pound of iron will make six thousand, and of the smallest size, ten thousand. Packed in papers, they are afforded at from one shilling to two shillings and three pence the thousand. The flat rolled plates are procured at slitting mills ; the rest of the process, cut with shears and headed cold, is a manual operation; hence their name.

Publick Buildings. There are three Congregational meeting houses, two of which have bells. The second was erected at an expense of $8000, and has two cupolas ; the others spires. All are constructed of wood and painted.

* It is condently asserted in Abington, that this was the first invention to cut nails in this or any other country."

а

« PreviousContinue »