Historical Sketch of Malden, MA
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MALDEN was originally a part of Charlestown. It was probably incorporated a distinct town about 1649. Some uncertainty exists respecting the exact time of the incorporation of some of the ancient towns in the state, from the fact that such acts cannot be found in print. The records which remain are oftentimes quite laconic. The record respecting Maiden is thus expressed: “The Mistic north side men are incorporated into a town called Malden.” From this it appears that the bounds of the town were made to include all that part of Charlestown lying north of Mystic river. The precise period of erecting the first meeting house is not known. it appears, however, that one existed in 1682, from the town order of that date, which provides “that the meeting house be repaired, to keep out the weather, and to save the sills from rotting.” At this time, the town was in possession of a bell, which for many years was placed upon an elevated rock, termed Bell Rock. This custom of locating the town’s bell upon an elevation near the meeting-house was quite a common usage among the early settlers.

The first church gathered in the town was in 1648. In 1651, they called a minister to the pastoral office, without the consent of the neighboring churches, and without permission from the legal authority; for this they were fined by the general court. Mr. Blackman and Mr. Thomas Cheever appear to have been the first ministers; after these, Rev. Michael Wigglesworth was pastor, and was a popular minister in the times in which he lived, being cotemporary with the famous Cotton Mather. Mr. Wigglesworth, "when the weakness of his lungs disqualified him from preaching, would strive, with his pen, to render truth attractive, by investing her with the garb of poetry." His "Day of Doom" went through six editions in this country, and was republished in London. It comprises a version, after the manner of Sternhold and Hopkins, of all the scripture texts relative to the final judgment of man, and contains 224 stanzas of 8 lines each. He died in 1705, aged 74.

The above is a view of the central part of Maiden, four and a half miles from Boston, taken at the southern entrance of the village on the Boston road. The village consists of about 40 dwelling houses, 4 churches, 1 Universalist, 1 Congregationalist, 1 Methodist, and 1 Baptist. The church appearing on the right is the Congregational; the Universalist church, the largest in the village, is seen in the distance on the left. Population of the town, 2,303. In 1837, there were manufactured in this town 250 pairs of boots, 155,800 pairs of shoes, valued at $118,410.36; males employed, 214; females, 110. There were 5 establishments for currying leather; 28,500 sides of leather were curried, valued at $99,750. The value of tin ware manufactured was $31,000; hands employed, 20. One rolling and slitting mill, which manufactured 550 tons of iron, valued at $78,000. There was also a last, dye wood, twine and block tin manufactory.

The following are extracted from the ancient records:

1689. "Voted at a publick towne meeting, that no young trees under a foot over are to be felled for fire wood under a penalty of paying five shillings for every such tree."

"The mark which Capt. John line doe put upon ye ears of those his cretures which he usuly eare markes That is, ye top of ye near eare cut square of and a slit down in the same eare. Also a half peney cut out of ye under side of ye furder care."

1684. "At a meeting of ye selectmen for ye regulation of Disorder in ye meeting house on ye Lord's day, by boys and youths playing, it is ordered by ye selectmen that all householders and masters of families in this town shall take their turns successively, every Lord's day, below and in the galleries."

In 1702, "John Sprague was appointed school master for the year insuing, to learn children and youth to Read and Wright; and to Refmetick, according to his best skill; And he is to have £10 paid him by the town for his pains. The school is to be kept for all ye inhabitants of ye town, and to be kept at four severall places, at four severall times, one quarter of a year in a place."

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