Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 637

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Worcester, Ms. City, and seat of justice of
Worcester co. 44 miles by railroad W. from
Boston, 54 E. from Springfield, 43 N. W. from
Providence, R. I., and 59 N. W. from Norwich,
Ct. Population in 1790. 2095 ; 1800, 2411 ; 1810,
2577; 1820, 2906; 1830, 4173; 1840, 7497;
1850, 17,059.

An attempt was made to settle this part of the
country as early as 1675, but the hostility of the
Indians was such as to prevent a permanent set-
tlement until 1713. The Indians, who were
very numerous, had towns on Tatnuck and Bog-
gachoag Hills. They called the neighboring
Quinsigamond, the name of a lake, or
Long Pond, which skirts the eastern border of
the town.

It is stated that “in 1718 there were in the
town 58 humble dwelling houses; some were fur-
nished with windows of diamond glass,'' while
others obtained the light “ through the dim
transparency of oiled paper.''

The surface of the town is pleasantly varied by
hills and valleys. The greatest elevation is thatf
of Chandler's Hill, 748 feet above the sea, from
which a fine view of the beautiful country sur-
rounding it is presented. The soil is various, and
suited to the cultivation of all the grains, grasses,
vegetables, fruits, and flowers common to a New
England climate, and the uncommon enterprise
and skill displayed in the cultivation of the soil
have covered the face of this section of the state
with beauty and abundance.

Worcester was originally very large, including
the territory of some of the surrounding towns.
Its present boundaries are N. by Holden and
West Boylston, E. by Shrewsbury, S. by Mill-
bury anil Auburn, and W. by Leicester and
Paxton. A number of the streams which form
the head waters of the Blackstone meet in this
town, and furnish a considerable water power.

The central situation of Worcester, both in re-
gard to the county and the state, the fertility of
its soil, and that of the surrounding country, the
salubrity of its climate, and the industry, intelli-
gence, and wealth of its people, have long since
entitled it to the honor of being called the chief
town in the “heart of the commonwealth.''

The city of Worcester is delightfully situated,
in a valley, surrounded by hills of gentle acclivity.
It has long been one of the most flourishing
places in the interior of New England, and by the
enterprise and wealth of its inhabitants, without
the natural advantage of any navigable stream, it
early became the mart of a large and prosperous
business, giving it very much the appearance of a
commercial town. It has taken an enlightened
and timely interest in every form of internal im-
provement which has arisen, for the purpose of
overcoming the natural disadvantage of its in-
terior location, and facilitating its communication
with the seaboard, and every part of the country.
The greatest of these enterprises, before railroads
were introduced, was that of the Blackstone Ca-
nal, opening the navigation for boats to the tide
waters at Providence, R. I. But all other means
of communication and business, even the great
navigable rivers themselves, are now in a measure
superseded by that which the railroad supplies.
Of these Worcester has become a great central
point. We have given above the direction and
distance to the important seaports of Boston,
Providence, and Norwich, with each of which
Worcester is connected by railroads ; and also to

Springfield, which is on the Western Railroad
from Worcester to Albany, at the point of its in-
tersection with the great chain of railroads run-
ning through the Connecticut valley from Canada
to New York. On the N. from Worcester there
are two railroads, one connecting at Fitchburg
with the roads E., W., and N. from that place, and
the other extending to meet the great Northern
Railroad at Nashua, N. H., and connecting at an
intermediate point with roads running through
Lowell and Lawrence, and thence to Portland,
Me. Worcester is thus made one of the greatest
thoroughfares of travel in New England, and an
eligible seat of manufacturing and other business

There are many handsome streets in Worcester,
but the most elegant, as well as the most impor-
tant, is Main Street, which is about a mile and a
half in length, straight, broad, and shaded with
many beautiful trees. On this street are the prin-
cipal retail stores, the banks, the largest hotels,
the court house, the city hall, and three or four
handsome houses of public worship. There are
likewise, on both sides of this street, some of the
most splendid private mansions in New England.
The ground rises rapidly immediately \*. of
Main Street, and affords a beautifully-elevated site
for all that portion of the city which extends in
that direction. E. of Main Street the ground falls
away more gradually to the small stream which
winds its way through the bottom of the valley,
and rises again on the opposite side, swelling in
the northern part into the beautiful hill on which
the State Lunatic Asylum is situated. Towards
the S. part of the city there is a spacious green,
opening E. from Main Street, on which stands the
large and venerable meeting house of the first
church, which is now known as the Old South in
Worcester. Fronting upon the N. side of the green
another handsome church edifice, and a third,
beautifully situated, opposite the eastern end.
Nearly all the leading denominations of Christians
are provided with good houses of public worship.

The hall of the American Antiquarian Society
is a handsome edifice, on Main Street, erected in
1820, at a cost of about $10,000, to contain the
unique and interesting library and antiquities of
the society. It consists of a central edifice. 50
feet by 40, and two stories high, with wings each 20
by 2S feet, also two stories high This important
society, and its valuable library, owe their origin
to the sagacious foresight, generosity, and public
spirit of Isaiah Thomas, LL. D. Mr. Thomas
was the father of New England printers. He pub-
lished, in 1775, the first newspaper in Worcester,
and, a few years later, the first English Bible in
America. He was a gentleman of great patriot-
ism and liberality. His donation to this library
consisted of 3000 volumes, of his own careful
selection. This institution is open freely to the
public, and is visited by great numbers from every
part of the country.

The State Lunatic Asylum has very extensive
buildings, beautifully situated on an eminence
eastward of the city, and surrounded by extensive
and highly-ornamented grounds. The W. front
consists of a spacious centre building, 4 stories
high, with wings of 3-stories. The other sides of
the square are completely enclosed by the build-
ings of the establishment. Those on the N. and
S. sides correspond in size and structure with the
wings in front, and are 134 feet in length. The
plan and arrangements of this noble institution

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