Historical Sketch of Ashburnham, MA
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THIS town was granted by the general court to Thomas Tileston and others, for and in consideration of services done by officers and soldiers of the ancient town of Dorchester in the expedition to Canada, in 1690, under Capt. John Withrington. This grant was formerly known by the name of “Dorchester Canada,” but at its incorporation, in 1765, it was named Ashburnham. The Congregational church was gathered here in 1760, and Rev. Jonathan Winchester was ordained their pastor. He died in 1767, and was succeeded Rev. John Cushing, D. D., in 1768. Dr. Cushing died in 1823, and was succeeded by Rev. George Perkins, in 1824. Rev. George Goodyear was installed the next pastor, in 1832. About the year 1782, the Shakers made a commencement in this town, but they have long since become extinct.

This town lies upon the highlands between Connecticut and Merrimac rivers, so that part of its waters pass through Miller’s river into the Connecticut, and part through Nashua river into the Merrimac. It is uneven in its surface, and contains several large ponds. Here are excellent farms and grazing lands, and the inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture. Leather has been extensively manufactured here, and a soap-stone company carry on their works in this town. In 1837, there were in this town 11 manufactories of chairs and cabinet ware; value of chairs and cabinet ware, $37,390 12; hands employed, 115; six tanneries; value of leather tanned and curried, $23,509.03, there were 122,864 palm-leaf hats manufactured, valued at $19,944. There was also 1 cotton mill. There are three churches, 1 Congregationalist, 1 Methodist, and 1 Baptist. Distance, 30 miles N. of Worcester, and 50 N. W. of Boston. Population, 1,758.

Historical Collections Relateing 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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