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by Half Moon Pond; all of which communicate with each other The communication of the waters on the southwesterly part of the Island, between Half Moon and Flint's pond has been stopped by means of a gravel causeway having been constructed there. The outlet from Long Pond, is into Round Pond, and is at the northeast corner of the Island; it is very narrow, and by means of a short bridge, the Island and the main land are connected. A dam was erected here about four years ago, at a trifling expense with a small fume and gate ; by means of which, the water was raised in the pond several feet; yet, on account of its steep banks, it did not overflow so much land as might naturally have been expected. It is now in contemplation by means of a dam at this place, to raise the water still higher, (from four to nine feet,) for the purpose of procuring and retaining a head of water sufficient for the use of mills &c. situated below, and manufacturing establishments about to be erected there.
There is but one other pond in Shrewsbury, and that is called Jordan Pond, lying about midway of the length of Long Pond and about half a mile east of it. Its waters, at some seasons in the year, empty into Long Pond. On the stream that runs from Sewall's Pond into Long Pond, there is a grist mill and a saw mill: there is also a stream on wbich are two saw mills and a grist mill, that rises in the north west part of the town, and, running southerly, crosses the old post road about a mile east of the head of Long Pond and empties into it about ten rods north of where the Worcester Turnpike crosses the Pond.
Some small brooks, rising in the southerly part of Boylston, and northerly part of Shrewsbury, and running southerly and easterly, form a stream on wbich there is a saw mill and grist mill; thence running northeasterly passes through the south east corner of Boylston; then it turns southerly, and runs into Northborough and through cold harbour meadows into the river Assabet. A small stream, rising principally from springs a little south of the Congregational Meeting House, and running easterly and then northeasterly, has two grist mills thereon and comes to the side of the post road in the east part of the town, furnishing a convenient watering place for travellers and teamsters: here it is joined by two small rivulets, that come in from the north, when it takes a southeast direction and falls into the Assabet in the southwesterly part of Northborough. Still farther south are springs, that give rise to a stream,
that runs southerly and has a grist mill and saw mill thereon, and continuing in the same direction, takes, with other waters, the pame of Bummet Brook, and passes into' Grafton; thence by the way of the Blackstone to the sea below Rhode Island.
Most of the waters of this town go that way to the sea, while a small portion, those that fall into the Assabet, go into the Merri. mac.
There are in this town six grist mills, and five saw mills; yet, in dry seasons, some of the inhabitants are under the necessity of resorting to the mills in the neighboring towns, principally Boylston and Grafton, for grinding.
HIGHLANDS.— The greater part of this town is highland : it consists rather of gradual and large extensive swells, than steep and bigh bills. There are none of them inaccessible to teams, or in an uncultivated state. Sewall's hill, however, in the northwest part of the town is the most so, and is considerable rocky. The land falls but very little to the north, wbile to the south, the descent is long and gradual. To the east, there is a descent of more than two miles, extending into Northborough ; on the west, the descent is moderate for about half a mile over Rocky Plain, so called, when it becomes more steep, till it reaches the flat land, that extends nearly to the head of Long Pond; beyond which the land immediately rises to a considerable height; from the top of which it is about thirty rods to Worcester line.
One of these swells received from the proprietors, at the first settlement of the town, by way of distinction, the name of Meeting House Hill, and is about half a mile north of where the Congregatiopal Meeting House now stands. About half a mile east of porth of this swell is another, called Rawson Hill; while to the southeast, something more than a mile, is another, called Sounding Hill; over the south part of which passes the Worcester Turnpike; from this, a short distance northerly, is another, called Goulding Hill. Besides these, there are several others. The soil of them is excellent and most of them are in a high state of cultivation. Rawson Hill is the highest land in town; being about thirty feet bigber than Meeting House Hill, and sixty bigher than Mill Stone Hill în Worcester, and as high as the ground on which Princeton Meeting House stands.
ROADS, &c.—This town is proverbial for its good roads. Great attention is paid to them. There are two large roads passing
through the town east and west: the north one is the old post road from Boston to Worcester; which, passing through the thickest settled part of the town and over the head of Long Pond, forms a junction with the other, which is the Worcester Turnpike, near the Gaol in Worcester. This road was laid out as a county road, at, or before the settlement of the town, and while it formed a part of the county of Middlesex. It is on the records of that county, but not on the town record, or that of the county of Worcester. It was laid out four rods wide, without any particular bounds or courses, and is 1510 rods in length, in Shrewsbury. The act, chartering the Worcester Turnpike Corporation, was passed June 10th, 1808 ; and that road soon after made ; its length in Shrewsbury is 1350 rods. It runs nearly parallel with the post road, varying from one and an half to two miles from it. It is four rods wide and rather billy through most of the town. It crosses Long Pond, about two miles south of the head of it, by means of a floating bridge, being the third bridge, that has been thrown over the pond at this place, for the purpose of crossing it. The first was a floating bridge, and cost about $9000. It consisted of two or three tiers of round timbers laid lengthways and then crossways, and then overlaid with a course of hewn timber, covered with plank, and fastened to large abutinents at the shores. This bridge soon proved to be weak and unsafe, and after a few years was succeeded by another of the same materials, and cost $13,000. It was constructed by sinking nine piers; the centre one of these was sixty feet by sixty; the others sixty by thirty, placed in a line about thirty feet apart. The piers were constructed separately, and designed to rest on the bottom of the pond : this was done, by laying the course, then lapping and building after the manner of a cob house, and pinning where the timbers lapped and crossed; by building in this manner, as the weight increased, the frames settled and the work continued, till the frame of each pier found a resting place at the bottom, reaching and remaining considerably above the water ; towards the top, the piers were connected to each other by timbers, and upon the top even overlaid with them; over the whole was laid a quantity of gravel. But on account of the mud in some places, and gravel in others, at the bottom of the pond, some of the piers continued to settle and others remained stationary. The four eastern piers, as they settled, leaned to the south. It was endeavored to keep the surface level by putting on gravel, whicb probably hastened its destruction; for, by increasing the incumbent weigbt, the piers (ma
ny of their timbers having started from their fastenings) so far lost their perpendicularity, that in the morning of the 19th Sept. 1817, near the time of its completion, and while the workmen were most of them near by, at breakfast, the bridge separated near the center, and the east half turned over into the pond to the south, and the other half, breaking up, tumbled in, pier after pier, in broken masses, towards the middle of the pond. Fortunately, no lives were lost, though some were in imminent danger. As the pond varied from fifty to seventy feet in depth at this place, (and in others was more than one hundred) it had taken no less than fifty four thousand feet of timber to construct this bridge; most of which, upon turning over, separated, and came to the surface in single sticks and large blocks pinned together, presenting such a wreck of materials as perhaps was never seen before on any inland waters in this country. The next winter, the present bridge was built upon the ice at the west side of the Pond, mostly of hewn white pine timber, at an expense of $6,000, and in the spring following swung round to its place; and to this day well answers the purpose for which it was designed; it is five hundred and twenty five feet long and thirty wide.
The Holden and Rutland Turnpike, four rods wide, is 400 rods in length in Shrewsbury, and ends upon entering the old Post road about half a mile east of the head of Long Pond. There is a small piece of County road, three rods wide, and 200 in length, passing in a northeasterly direction from Worcester line, near the Poor house of that town, to Boylston. In the south part of the town, there is a County road three rods wide, and two hundred and fifty in length, leading from the Gore near Worcester, in an easterly direction, and crossing the town road leading to Grafton; on the south of which commences, and runs south, another County road, leading to the middle of the town of Grafton, three rods wide, and one hundred and eighteen in length in Shrewsbury. All the other roads in this town are town roads, and are thirty-seven in number. They were surveyed, their courses taken, and bounds established, the roads numbered and accepted by the town, and recorded at full length on the town records in the year 1805; except the seven last, which have since been laid out, numbered, accepted and recorded in like manner as the first. There are also a few bridle ways. With some triling alterations, the courses of the roads remain as in 1805.
The width and length of each road and quantity of land occupied by each, is as follows, viz.
Rods rods of wide. long. land.
wide. long land. Post Road,
4 1510 6040 Town Road, No. 15 2 92 184 Worcester Turnpike, 4 1350 5400
2 151 302 Holden Turnpike, 4 400 1600
2 400 800 County road to
2 35 70 3 200 600 Boylston,
No. 19 2 791 1582
No. 20 2 222 444
250 750 Gore, leading east, S
21 621 1552 County road leading
No. 22 2 408 816 3 118
354 south to Grafton,
No. 23 2 132
264 Town road, No. 1 2 747 1494
2 38 76 No. 2 2 1165 2330
2 503 1006 No. 3 88 176
No. 26 2 520 1040 No. 4 322 644
No. 27 2 311 622 No. 5 68 136
2 63 126 No. 6 2 605 1210
No. 29 2 356 712 No. 2 952 1904
No. 30 2 545 1090 No. 8 2 70 140
No. 31 2 185 370 No. 9 2 653 1306
No. 32 2 42, 85 No. 10 2 244 488
No. 33 1 131 15 22 No. 11 2 80 160
No. 34. 2 42 84
No. 35 dis'd
No. 36 2 1614 323
No. 37 2 62 124
Making fifty three miles of road, occupying two hundred and sixty two acres of land.
The whole contents of the town amount to fourteen thousand and sixty acres, of which seven hundred and pinety eight are water. The burying ground contains two acres and sixty one rods, and the common around the Congregational Meeting House, four acres and one hundred and twenty seven rods of land.
The town is divided into eleven highway districts, and the usual grant for the repair of its roads $300, anoually, which is paid in labor by those on whom it is assessed.
The amount of the travel on the old post road and Worcester Tyropike, is very great. The Post Office is kept on the first in the middle of the town, where the mail from Boston is opened every day (except Sundays) as is also the mail from the west. Stages pass on the old road every day, (Sundays excepted) and five each day on the Turnpike. The great southern mail from Boston to New York, is carried in the stage on the Turnpike, and passes every day, as does the return mail from the soutb, to Boston. They generally pass each other about 6 P. M. within the limits of this town.
There is considerable and increasing travel from the northward, directly through the middle of the town to Providence.