Historical Sketch of Woburn, MA
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WOBURN at the period of its first settlement was called “Charlestown Village;" it was incorporated as a town in 1642. In the same year the first church was gathered, and Rev. Thomas Carter ordained the first minister. In the year 1640 news was brought to Charlestown of the conveniency of land adjoining their north bounds. Upon this a petition was presented to the general court for two miles square of land to be added to their head line. This petition was granted, and the addition afterwards increased to four miles square. A committee was soon after chosen by Charlestown church to explore the land, and make arrangements for erectmg a new church and town. All was then a wilderness. The committee were obliged to spend nights without shelter, "whilst the rain and. snow did bedew their rocky beds." They have recorded one remarkable providence as "never to be forgotten." Some of the company sheltering themselves under the body of a large tree, which lay at a distance from the ground, no sooner was the last of them come from under it, at break of day, than, to their amazement, it fell; and they were obliged to dig out their provisions, their united strength being insufficient to remove it.

The place for house lots and a meeting house was originally laid out on the plain, at the east end of our bounds, but afterwards removed to this place. The first care was to procure a regular administration of the words and ordinances of Christ. Indeed, a settlement was hardly considered as fixed in those days before these were established. A meeting house and house for a minister were among the first erected; and to procure a minister appears from the records to have been the principal concern of the inhabitants. "It is a remarkable circumstance," (says Mr. Chickering, in his Historical Discourse, printed in 1809,) "that the people had been so oppressed by ecclesiastical tyranny, and were so jealous of their religious rights, that they undertook, in the presence and with the consent of a respectable council, to ordain their own minister. The ordination was conducted in the following manner. After the candidate had continued in preaching and prayer the greater part of the day, two persons, in the name of the church, laid their hands upon his head, and said, We ordain thee, Thomas Carter, to be pastor unto this church of Christ!' Then one of the elder ministers present, at the desire of the church, made an appropriate prayer for God's assistance to his young servant in performing the duties of his office. During his ministry, which was prolonged more than forty two years, there appears to have been the greatest harmony between him and the society."

Woburn is a village consisting of about 70 or 80 dwelling houses, a number of mechanic shops and mercantile stores, with 4 churches, 1 Congregational, 2 Baptist, and 1 Universalist, and an academy. The cut (p. 443) is a southern view of the Congregational and Baptist churches, with some of the buildings in the vicinity. Distance, 12 miles from Concord, 13 to Lynn, 15 to Salem, 5 to Reading, 15 to Lowell, and 10 to Boston. The Middlesex canal runs a little to the west of the village, and the Lowell railroad a little to the east. Population, 2,643. The manufacture of shoes is a very important branch of business in this place. In 1837, there were manufactured in this town 800 pairs of boots, 279,844 pairs of shoes, valued at $221,251; males employed, 383; females, 320. There were "Tanneries, 4; hides tanned, 12,400; value of leather tanned and curried, (including 7,000 hides curried but not tanned in said town,) $150,200; hands employed, 77; capital invested, $72,533." There were 3 door, sash, and blind manufactories; value of manufactures, $26,500; hands employed, 17. One India rubber manufactory; value of articles manufactured, $10,000.

Horn Pond, lying in the immediate vicinity of Woburn village, is a place of considerable resort during the warm season of the year. In the engraving, a small but beautiful island is seen on the left. On the extreme right, the house for the accommodation of visiters is partially seen, before which is a beautiful grove of pine and other trees. In this grove is erected a summer-house, with seats, &c., for the accommodation of visiters. An artificial fountain, jutting up its cooling waters, adds much to the beautiful and variegated scenery of this place. Between the house and the lake the Middlesex canal passes, having 6 locks at this place, which are built in a very superior manner.

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