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Ponds and STREAMS. Though there are no considerable streams in this town, it suffers very little in a dry season. It is supplied with a sufficiency of water, in small rivulets, to answer the common purposes of the inhabitants.
The largest stream is that which comes from Sewall's Pond, in the south west part of Boylston, and running southerly about a mile and an balf falls into Long Pond, where, and at the head of which, passes the old Post road to Worcester. This pond was called by the natives Quinsigamond Pond, but is now better known by the name of Long Pond; it lies partly in Shrewsbury and whether the residue is in Shrewsbury or Wor. cester, will probably be a subject of future investigation. Worcester was laid out in 1668, to be bounded Easterly on Quinsigamond Pond, and when Shrewsbury was laid out in 1717, it was bounded by Worcester on the west.
As Keyes' survey does not include all of the Pond in this town (why he departed from the line as originally established between Shrewsbury and Worcester is not known) it would seem, if he is correct, that a part of it belongs (and there are no islands in that part) to neither town. Long Pond extends north and south; and is a very large body of water, nearly in the form of a crescent, and is about four miles in length on the western shore; yet, on a straight line, as measured on the ice, it is but a little more than three miles ; its width varies from one hundred rods to three fourths of a mile ; it is the largest body of water in the county and deserves rather the name of a Lake, than a Pond. Much of the wood, which formerly grew on either shore, has been cut off, and the view of its waters become more extensive. It is well supplied with the usual kinds of fish, that are to be found in the interior Ponds-; and, from the depth, as well as extent of its waters, is a suitable place to try the experiments, said to have been successfully made in England, of propagating in fresh water those noble fish, the cod, mackerel, haddock, and perhaps the halibut! for which, we, as yet, have to depend wholly on the ocean. That such an undertaking would not succeed, we ought not to believe, merely because no one has yet been liberal and patriotic enough to exile some of the finny tribes from their great and bring domain in a living state to this interior sea, this water house of correction, if you please, there to be confined to hard labor for life ! And which, if it did not improve their morals, would at least without the means of doing harm, give them a fresh opportunity of improving those talents, which nature has given them; and result beyond all doubt in the multiplication
of their numbers to the great comfort and well being of those of the human family, who live in the vicinity! There is no doubt it would succeed; and if he, who makes two blades of grass grow, where but one grew before, is worth more to mankind, than the whole race of politicians put together, the man, who should effect this, would be held in estimation far exceeding the united regard entertained for all the grass growers in the country. He would, in all probability, live to see the time, when the consequences of his benevolent undertaking would be in every man's mouth, and every man's mouth full of the consequences : while thousands, enjoying the sport of taking and feasting on the luxuries of the Pond, would hand down his name to posterity, as that of a public benefactor. Then there would be also the satisfaction, and it would be Do small one, of knowing, that while gormandizing, some, even while under the greatest excitement, should they have a disposition to find fault with the times, censure their neighbors, speak evil of their rulers, slander their best friends, or curse their enemies, would have their mouths stopped for a while by the bountiful productions of the pond : and even the Legislature have some occasional respites from the anathemas, so generally and plentifully bestowed upon them, for their over much legislation.on the subject of the preservation of small fish, and th ereby fishing money from the pockets of their constituents. Instead of so much legislation for the preservation of small fish in small streams, it would better accord with the spirit of the times, in this age of internal improvement, to encourage by Statute, the large fish of the ocean to emigrate to our large inland ponds : should they decline emigrating, compulsory process, authorized and encouraged by law, would effect it. The immense advantages that would arise from it, cannot be foreseen, if it were only, as farmers say, from the benefit, that might be derived from crossing the breed !
There are several brooks, which empty their waters into this pond. It is clustered with no less than twelve islands of various sizes. The first is Ram Island, at the west end of the Floating Bridge; it contains about two acres, and is mostly covered with wood. Little Pine Island, the second, is one and an half mile down the pond, and is about 40 rods from the western shore; it contains half an acre, principally covered with small pines. The third is three rods south of the last, of one fourth of an acre, covered with fruitful grape vines, and called Grape Island. The fourth is VOL. II.
Grass Island, of one eighth of an acre, mowed sometimes, and is
Some of the other Islands are more or less cultivated, and are
Some idea of the boldness of the shores, the depth of the water and unevedness of the bottom of the pond, may be formed by viewing the land on its borders and adjacent to it. So large a body of water was not destined to lie always dormant and unimproved. This pond, and the others connected with it, at its south end, unite in one outlet, which, passing in a southeasterly direction, enters the town of Grafton, and becomes a principal tributary to Blackstone River, upon which a Canal is now constructing to Providence. This pond rises and falls, according as there are heavy rains and sudden thaws in the spring, or dry seasons, about two feet; though it has been known to vary considerably more. It was in contemplation many years ago, to construct a Canal from Providence to unite with the waters of this pond, but the death of its principal projector caused it to be abandoned. The subject has been again called up, and the work is progressing and excavations making to carry it into effect; and the time is not far distant, when tbis body of water will contribute wonderfully to the growth and prosperity of the neighboring villages and towns, and even to the more remote settlements.
Stratton Island is bounded on the west and north by Long Pond, on the east by Round Pond, south by Flint's Pond, and south west
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 flume 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 which 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 Pood.
Some small brooks, rising in the southerly part of Boylston, and Bortherly part of Shrewsbury, and running southerly and easterly, form a stream on which 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 Merrimac.
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, while 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 Congregational Meeting House now stands. About half a mile east of north 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;
e; 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 bighest land in town; being about thirty feet higher than Meeting House Hill, and sixty higher 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