Historical Sketch of Coleraine, MA
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COLERAINE was incorporated in 1761. It was previously called Boston Township. It was partly settled by emigrants from Ireland, who were Presbyterians in religious sentiment. The church in this place was Presbyterian till 1819, when it became Congregational. The first minister, Rev. Alexander McDowel, it is believed, was from Ireland. Rev. Daniel McClallen was born in Pennsylvania, but educated in Ireland. Very little is known of the early state of the religious affairs of the people, as either no church records were kept, or if kept have been lost. Mr. McDowel, the first minister, was settled in 1753; Mr. McCallen in 1769. The third minister, Rev. Samuel Taggart, was settled in 1777, and died in 1825; he retained his connection with his church and society till the close of life. He was a member of the house of representatives of the United States, from 1804, for 14 years. He is said to have remarked to a christian friend, that he had read the Bible through at Washington every year during the time he had served as a member of congress. Rev. Aretas Loomis succeeded Mr. Taggart in 1829.

Coleraine has a larger population than any other town in Franklin county. It is finely watered by two branches of North river, a tributary stream of Deerfield river, affording water-power for a number of factories in various parts of the town, which are now in successful operation. After the union of the two branches of the North river in this town, in its course towards Deerfield river, it passes through a very narrow defile, with lofty elevations on each side, particularly on the north bank; the road, in some places, passes at a great elevation from the bed of the river, and to a lover of natural scenery in its varied forms this place possesses uncommon attractions. The engraving is a western view of part of the village in the central part of the town. rrhe Methodist church appears on the right, and the Congregational on the left. This place is surrounded by lofty elevations on almost every side. It is 9 miles from Greenfield, 30 from Adams, 30 from Northampton, 70 from Albany, N. Y., and 100 from Boston. Population, 1,998. In 1837 there were 3 cotton mills, 5,000 cotton spindles; 125,000 lbs. of cotton were consumed; 930,000 yards of cotton goods manufactured, valued at $59,500; 40 males and 120 females were employed. There were 4,340 merino and 1,414 other kinds of sheep in the town; value of wooi produced, $9,133 11; capital invested, $14,385. There were two air and cupola furnaces; 150 tons of iron castings were made, valued at $17,500. Various other articles were also manufactured in the town.

One of the first settlers in this town was Deacon Thomas McGee, a Protestant, from Ireland; he located himself about two miles south from the center of the town. James Steward, who officiated as town-clerk for a number of years, lived a little east from Mr. McGee. Hugh MeClallen located himself in the south-western part of the town; he filled various public offices, and was the first acting magistrate. John Cochren, from Peiham, Hampshire county, located himself in the center. He built the whole or part of the Barber House, so called, near the Congregational church: this house is now standing. John Clark, of Irish descent, had a house about half a mile north of the meeting-house, on land which was given to his father by the proprietors of Coleraine. Mr. Clark's father was killed in the last French war. Hugh Morrison located himself about one and a half miles north of the center. He was a captain, and commander of the north or Morrison's fort. Deacon George Clark settled about a mile easterly from the center. Capt. John Wood, from South Hadley, kept the first tavern, a building now standing. The first meeting-house built by the proprietors stood about 80 rods north of Capt. Wood's tavern; it was two stories in height, and was never completed on account of its loca. tion. Rev. Mr. McDole, or Dowel, the first minister, lived about 80 rods north, in a building used as a fort. Besides the two forts mentioned, there were two others: one, called the east fort, was situated about two miles eastward of the meeting-house the south fort was near Deacon McGee's. Hezekiah Smith, from Woodstock, in Connecticut, settled about two miles south-west down the North river. Thomas Fox and Deacon Moses Johnson were early settlers. Deacon Elliot Harroun and Joseph Thompson settled near Hugh McClallen, in the north-western part of the town.

In May, 1746, Matthew Clark, with his wife and daughter, and two soldiers, were fired upon by the Indians. Clark was killed, and his wife and daughter wounded. One of the soldiers returned the fire and killed one of the enemy, which gave them a check, and the wounded were brought into the fort and saved. In July, David Morrison was captured by the Indians. In 1756, John Morrison and John Henry were wounded near Morrison's fort, but getting on to a horse, made their escape. The enemy burned a house and killed some cattle on North river. In 1759, John McCown and his wife were captured, and their son was killed.


FROM:
Historical Collections Relating to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
Geographical Descriptions.
By John Warner Barber.
Worcester
Published by Warren Lazell.
1848

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