Historical Sketch of Braintree, MA
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THIS town formerly included Quincy and Randolph, and was at first called Mount Wollaston, and is one of the most ancient places in the state, the first settlement being made in the town as early as 1625. The ancient history of Braintree now properly comes under the head of Quincy, as Mount Wollaston, the place where the first settlement was made, is within the limits of that town. Braintree was incorporated in 1640, Quincy in 1792.

The soil of this township, though not very fertile, is strong, and well repays cultivation. The Maniquot river, after passing through this town and affording many mill sites, meets the tide-waters of Weymouth Fore river at Braintree landing. In the town are manufactories of cotton, satinet, shovels, paper, nails, and chocolate; large quantities of shoes are made here. There is excellent granite found here, and large quantities are exported; ship-building is also carried on to some extent. There are 3 churches, one of which is Unitarian. On the eastern line of the town is situated the flourishing settlement of Weymouth village; about one third of it lies within the limits of this town. A view of this village is given in the account of Weymouth. (See Weymouth.) Population1 2,237. Distance, 12 miles S. E. of Dedham, and 10 southerly from Boston. In 1S37, there were 65,604 pairs of boots, 71,117 pairs of shoes, manufactured in this town, the value of which waS $202,363 03; males employed, 357; females, 265. There were two paper-mills; stock manufactured, 1S2 tons; value of paper, $25,000; one nail factory; nails manufactured, 215 tons; value of nails manufactured, $33,460; hands employed, 19; value of cotton gins manufactured, $15,000; hands employed, 30.

“A survey between the tide waters of this town and those of Taunton river, to unite Massachusetts and Narragansett bays by a ship canal, was commenced by the United States government in 1827. From the tide lock at Somerset, 13 miles below Taunton, the distance is 36 miles. The summit level between the bays is at Howard’s meadow, in Randolph, 134 feet above high-water mark at Braintree or Weymouth landing. A ship canal in this direction, or one across Cape Cod at Sandwich, would save many lives and a vast amount of property.”—Hayward’s Massachusetts Directory.

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


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