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poration, and one or more private bridges, complete the number. Great expenses, as will readily be supposed, have been hitherto incurred in maintaining so many bridges-greater, indeed, than were necessary. It has, till lately, been usual to build them with piers resting upon mud sills, inviting ruin in their very construction; for the ice freezing closely round the piers, the water upon the breaking up of the river in spring, works its way underneath the ice, which forms a compact body under the bridge, raises the whole fabric, which thus loosened from its foundations, is swept away by the accumulative force of the large cakes of ice that become irresistible by the power of a very rapid current. A better and by far more secure style of building has lately been adopted, and from its great superiority, will doubtless gain general favor and supercede the old method. Two bridges on the improved plan, each consisting of a single arch, have been constructed; one in June, 1823, near 6 the meeting of the waters," and the other in June, 1826, just above, on the south branch of the river.* They are entirely out of the reach of the spring tide fury, and though more expensive at first, their durability will prove their true economy.
Mills, TRADES, MANUFACTURES, &c.--Lancaster contains five saw mills, three grist mills, two fulling and dressing mills, one carding machine, one nailfactory, two lathes, turned by water, and two brick yards. There are also four wheelwrights, two tanners, ten shoemakers, one saddle and harness maker, two cabinet makers, one clock and watch maker, six blacksmiths, three wbite smiths, one gunsmith, one baker, one bookseller, one apothecary, one stone cutter, ope cooper and one hatter. The business of printing maps, is very extensively carried on by Messrs. Horatio and George Carter. About 250,000 are annually struck off, and supply a great number of the schools in every part of the United States. In the various departments of this business, viz. printing, coloring, binding &c. fifteen persons are usually employed. There are fifteen or sixteen estatlishments for making combs, in which fifty persons, at least, are employed. The annual sales of this article are from fifteen to twenty thousand dollars. In consequence of the great im
The bridges vary in length from seventy to one hundred feet. The arched bridges were constructed on a plan furnished by Mr. Farnham Plummer, an ingenious mechanic of this town. The chords of the arches are ninety eight feet six inches and seventy feet respectively,
provement in machinery,* within a few years, double the quantity of this article is now manufactured, with a considerable deduction in price.
The foundation of the Lancaster Cotton Factory, was begun in the fall of 1809, on a small stream, which empties into the south branch of the Nashaway. There are two large buildings, one for carding and spinning, with eight hundred and ninety six spindles ; the other for weaving, with thirty two looms, which are equal to delivering two hundred thousand yards of four fourths sheeting of two qualities, viz. No. 18 and 25, in a year. The stream on wbich the buildings are erected, is fed from swamps and powerful and perer failing springs, which are supposed to have their sources in Mossy and Sandy ponds. From the situation of the factories the fall in the bed of the stream is secured, upwards of a mile. This fall in the whole is about sixty two feet. The present improved mode of spinning, by means of circular spindle boxes, was first put in operation in this establishment: and one of the managers was the inventor of the picker for cleaning cotton, with two beaters, now in general use in all well conducted establishments of the kind. The resident managers are Messrs. Poignand and Plant, who are assiduous in their business. Probably do establishment of the same kind and extent, is under better regulations, or is managed to greater advantage.
POT AND PEARLASH.-The manufacture of pot and pearlashes was undertaken in Lancaster, at an earlier period than in any other part of America. I cannot state the precise time; but as early as 1755, these works were in operation.
In that year, Joseph Wilder, Jr. Esq. and Col. Caleb Wilder, sent in a petition to the General Court, that they “ have acquired the art of making pot and pearlashes, and that they cannot ship them, because no assay master has been appointed." The business was carried on quite extensively, for many years. Col. Wilder was chiefly interested, and the quality of the article made by him was so good, that after other similar works were established, his manufacture, was the most valued.
* The improved machine was an invention of Mr. Farnham Plummer of this town. It will cut one hundred and twenty dozen side combs, in a day. It cuts out two combs, from a square piece of horn, at the same time. The circular saw which was previously used, cuts but one tooth at a time. Capt. Asahel Harris, an intelligent man, who deals largely in this business, assures me that the new machine, is a saving of nearly one half in point of time, that it saves also a third part of the stock, besides much hard labor. It can be so constructed as to cat combs of any size.
At one time the quantity sold annually, was as high as one hundred and fifty tons of pearlasb, and eighty of potash. After his death his son Levi Wilder conducted the business, nearly to the time of his own decease, in 1793. Other individuals,* have at various times paid attention to this business, subsequent to Col. Wilder; but now it is only a matter of history in this place.
Stores, &c.—There are in Lancaster five public houses, six stores, containing English and fancy goods, &c. and in five of them the usual supply of West India goods. LIBRARIES.--The private libraries in this town are not very nu
There are, in all of them, about three thousand volumes. The books in general, are well selected, there being but little trashy matter.
A social library now containing nearly four hundred volumes, most of them valuable, was established in the year 1790.
To supply a want that was felt by many, a number of subscribers joined together in the autumn of 1821, and established a Reading Room. The principal and primary object was, to procure the most valuable periodical publications, and such miscellaneous works of the day, as possessed a good reputation. It was supposed that in this way, a taste for reading might increase, and that whatever should be done to extend and elevate the love of letters, would equally tend to raise the tone of society. The original plan has of late been somewhat enlarged, as the establishment gained favor and began to promise to be permanent. Besides the class of works contemplated at first, books are now admitted from time to time, whose fame survives the day, books that have already a standard character. The success of the undertaking has probably surpassed general expectation. The annual increase of the library of the Reading Room is not far from one hundred volumes. The whole number, at present, is about three hundred: and the increase has been greater during the last and present year, than at any earlier period, during the same length of time.
Schools AND ACADEMY.–For a few years subsequent to the Revolutionary war and occasionally, before, the Grammar School was kept the whole year, in the centre of the town. This arrange
* Dr. Wm. Dunsmoor, Dr. James Carter, Mr. Oliver Carter and others.
+ It consists of Reviews, works of fiction, poetry, histoty, voyages, travels, biography, &c.
| A few historical data, relating to schools, may not be without interest. In 1729, there were three schools, viz. on the Neck, (near the present town
ment did not last long : it was supposed that the requisitions of the law could be answered in a way that would bring a fractional part of this school, almost to every man's door. It was therefore soon house) at Wattaquaduck, (now in Bolton,) and at Bear bill, (now in Harvard.) In 1731, these schools were kept as follows, viz. Bear bill 82 days, Waltaquaduck, 104, Neck, 177. 1736, on petition of Ebenezer Beman and others, it was voted, that the school should be kept at divers houses in the north part of the town: so also in the southwest part of the town. In 1742, three new school houses were built: this was after the incorporation of Harvard and Bolton. One of them was in Chocksett (Sterling) and the other two in Lancaster proper. The old school house on the Neck, above mention. ed, was given to Rev. Mr Prentice for a stable !! 1757, voted, that the grammar school be kept in each precinct, (Lancaster and Sterling) "accord. ing to what they pay." The reading and writing schools to be kept in the extreme parts of the town, five months in the winter. 1762, voted to give leave to Col. Abijah Willard and others, to build a school house on the town land, below the Meeting house in the first parish. 1764, on petition of Levi WiHard, Esq. and others, voted, that the grammar school for the year ensaing be kept in the middle of the town, provided they build a school house, and support the schooi for the year, after the amount of their taxes has been appropriated for that purpose.
In 1767, the grammar school was kept seven months in the first, and five months, in the second precinct : in 1771–72-73–78, one half of the year in each. In '1789, the grammar school was kept on nearly the same plan as in 1764 ; so in 1789. In 1790 voted, to build a school house opposite to Gen. Greenleaf's. Wm. Stedman, Esq. now occupies the Greenleaf house.
The following are some of the school masters. 1724, Edward Broughton, 1725, do. 1726 Mr. Flagg, afterwards Rev. Ebenezer Flags, of Chester, N. H. graduated 1725 ; 1727, Henry Houghton, Jonathan Moore, Samuel Carter; 1729, Samuel Willard, Esq. (Judge C. C. Pleas,) Thomas Prentice, (who graduated 1726, afterwards minister in Charlestown,) Mr. Bryant and Jabez Fox. Josiab swan was a veteran schoolmaster: 1 find him as early as 1733, and through many intermediate years, beginning with 1751, to 1767 inclusive. Mr. Swan was of Lancaster, and graduated at Cambridge, in 1733. In May 1755, he was admitted a member of Rev. Mr. Prentice's church, and it may be, pursued his theological studies under the direction of Mr. P. He was set. tled in Dunstable, N. H. 1739, dismissed in 1746, in consequence of a division of the town, by running the line between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He remained there a few years, then returned to this town; afterwards went to Walpole, N. 11. where he died. 2 Mass. Hist. Col. 55. 1736, Josiah Brown and Thomas Prentice.
Mr. Brown was probably a graduate at Harvard University that year or 1735. He kept school for a number of subsequent years, and as late as 1765. 1744, Brown and Stephen Frost. There was a Stephen Frost, of the class of 1739, at Cambridge. 1746, Edward Bass of the class of 1744: afterwards the first bishop of Massachusetts. 1747, Bass and Joseph Palmer, who was afterwards a clergyman, graduated at Cambridge, 1747. 1749-50, Edvard Phelps. 1752, Abel Willard, Esq. of the class of 1752, at Cambridge. Samuel Locke, Jr. afterwards Rev. Samuel Locke, S. T. D. &c. President of Harvard University. He graduated at Cambridge, in 1755. The late President Adams graduated the same year. 1756, Hezekiah Gates, an inhabitant of Lan. caster and a useful citizen. 1757-8-9 Moses Hemenway, afterwards Rer. Moses Hemenway, S. T. D. class of 1755, and minister of Wells, in Maine. 1758, Mr. Warren, the celebrated General, who was killed at Bunker's Hill. He graduated in 1759. 1762, Mr. Parker, a graduate at Cambridge. 1762, Israel Atherton, of the class of that year, M. M S. Soc. for many years after a distinguished physician in Lancaster, and the first physician of liberal
voted that it should be kept in different parts of the town, in the course of each year, for the convenience of those who lived in remote places. Both the spirit and the letter of the law, were misunderstood, and the most important advantages intended to be secured by it, were lost. The Latin Grammar School, after lingering some years in a doubtful state of existence, was discontinued a few years previous to the modification of the law. As much attention, however, it is believed, is paid here to education as in most other places, and we have caught something of the excitement, that is becoming prevalent on this subject. The school law of the last winter, of such manifest importance and usefulness, has already been productive of benefit, and has increased the interest, which every good citizen should take in education. There are twelve school districts in town. The following, is taken from the return of the school committee, to the General Court, in May last. Amount paid for public instruction,
$1005 Amount paid for private instruction,
50 Tuition fees at the Academy,
600 Time of keeping school in the year, six months in each district.
Males of the various ages specified in the law, 351
Number prevented by expenses of school books, None. education in the County of Worcester. 1762, Joseph Willard, afterwards Rev. Joseph Willard, S. T. D. L. L. D. &c. and late President of Harvard University ; graduated at Cambridge, 1765. 1764-65-66, Ensign Mann, a graduate at Cambridge, in 1764. 1765, Brown, probably a graduate at Cambridge, Joseph Bullard, Frederick Albert, Mr. Hutchinson, probably of the class of 1762, and Peter Green, now living in Concord, N. H. aged 91, and still active in his profession as a physician, class of 1766, M. M. S. Hon. 1766, John Warner, Robert Fletcher. 1767, Josiah Wilder, probably Dr. Wilder of Lancaster.
It seems that a large proportion of the instructors I have mentioned, received a public education. At the present day, it is far otherwise in this place.
I will close this long note, with the mention of the amount of money raised for schools for a number of years. 1726 to 30, £50. 1739, (after Harvard and Bolton were incorporated) to 1742, £80., 1755, £50 lawful money. 1764, and to 1769, £100. 1769, £104. 1778, and 9, £200 depreciated currency. 1781, £8000, old emission. 1782 and 3, £80. 1784, £100. 1804 and 1805, $400, for Latin and Grammar school the year through, in the centre of the town, $600, for English. 1810, $1056 in all. 1815, $1000, and for a number of years past, $1005. Regular school committees have been chosen annually since 1794.