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Church, with a lofty spire of 120 feet, and a bell weighing 1100 lbs.: A Town House, the upper room of which is occupied for a School room, an Engine house, Hearse bouse and Powder house. There are also in the village about 50 dwelling houses and 60 families.* The place has had a rapid growth, considering it is entirely destitute of water privileges. It is placed in a vale and the hills on three sides are lofty. The steeple of the Meeting House exhibits a singular appearance when first discovered by the traveller from the north or west, rearing a few feet of its gilded summit among the bleak hills. It reminds one of the interesting adventure of Baron Munchauson, who, mistaking such an object, in a deep snow, for a post, after waking from the slumbers of a rainy night, unfore tunately discovered his horse suspended high in the air. There are eight School houses in the several wards of the town, all painted red, which were erected about the year 1798.
EDUCATION.—The number educated at the public colleges from this place is not great, but our Scholars will not suffer by a comparison with those of many towns, who present a larger catalogue. The following is a list of all the graduates from Sterling.f 1770. John Mellen. 1
1805. *Amos W. Rugg. 11 1777. *Joseph Kilburn. 2 1811. Martin Moore, B. U. 12 1781. *Isaac Bailey. 3
1814. Mark Moore, B. U. 13, 1784. Prentiss Mellen, L. L. D. 4 1808. Nahum H. Groce. 14 1784. *Henry Mellen. 5 1812. Peirson T.Kendall,M.D.15 1787. Thornas Moore, D.C. 6 1814. Ezekiel Hildreth. 16 1787. * Peirson Thurston, D.C.7 1818. Abel T. Hildreth. 17 1796. James Kendall, D. D. 8 1821. Oliver H. Blood. 18 1799. Bartholomew Brown. 9 1825. Moses G. Thomas, B. U. 19 1805. Hosea Hildreth. 10
Now at Harvard University.
Josiah K. Waite, * Dr. Dwight travelled through this place in 1797. He describes the village as containing thirty or forty decent houses around the church. Vol. 2 Dwight's travels, 261. The whole number of such houses did not then ex. ceed ten, and those of every description would fall short of 20. Many persons are now living, who distinctly recollect when it was a dark and almost impenetrable swamp, interspersed with gravel knolls, crowned with rugged oaks. The first house was built by Jabez Brooks in 1759 or 60. It is still standing at the south west end of the common, and has been for many years occupied as a tavern. The meeting house, school house and pound, alone had possession of this busy spot for 16 years after the Parish was established. The nearest dwelling houses were those of Dea. Osgood at the west, Rev. Mr. Mellen at the south, and Roger Robins at the east, each at the distance of half a mile.
+ Those in Italics were ordained Ministers—those marked with -D. C. is for Dartmouth College-B. V. Brown University-and those without any mark were graduated at Harvard University.
NOTES OR TAE POR EGOING LIST.
1. This venerable man, the first born of the Chocksett literati, now resides at Cambridge. He was for many years the minister at Barnstable, which place he left on account of the health of his family.
2. The minister at Wendell, Mass.-died a few years since. 3. The minister at Ward, Mass.-died 1814, aged 60. 4. The learned Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Maine. 5. Attorney at Law at Dover, N. H.—died young. 6. Settled in the ministry in Pennsylvania. 7. Minister at Somersworth, N. H.-died a few years since. 8. The minister of the ancient Church at Plymouth, Mass. 9. Counsellor at Law, Bridgewater, Mass. 10. Minister at Gloucester, Mass. 11. Died soon after he left College, greatly lamented. 12. Minister at Natick, Mass. 13. Counsellor at Law in Connecticut. 14. Preceptor of an Academy. 15. Now practicing Physic in Sterling. 16. 17. Instructors of youth in the Southern States. 18. Practicing Physician at Worcester, Mass. 19. Theological student at Harvard University.
Besides these, there have been 10 or 12 who have received their education at various Colleges, but did not continue a sufficient length of time to receive their degrees. There is scarcely a year but some of our young men enjoy the benefits of instruction at some one of the various Academies in this or the neighboring States.
Private Schools are occasionally established in town, sometimes for males, and often for females. After the public money is expended, the parents generally prolong the schools by a small weekly subscription. Many parents often send their sons and daughters to the neighboring towns for education for short periods. But the wbole amount paid for private instruction is very limited. In 1798, the town was divided into nine School wards, according to the nomber of dwelling houses in each district. The whole number of houses was then 200, and it was agreed that 20 houses should form a district. The centre ward containing 40 houses, was allowed to be a double district, and has always drawn the amount of the school money in that proportion. The sum annually voted is 800 dollars. Three fourths of wbich is usually expended in the winter schools, and the residue in the summer.
Return of the Schools in the town of Sterling, April 1, 1826.
| Number tupilo in the Town Schools.
The above is an actual return of the Winter Schools the numbers added for the Summer Schools is conjectural. Whole number of Males, 396-Females, 348—whole number attending the public schools annually 744.
88 $800 Addition for the summer Schools, 30
public instruction. 3
History. This place having been incorporated as a town since the American revolution, its local history is blended with that of the other towns from which it was taken. Shrewsbury leg cootained but few families when it was annexed to Lancaster. The town of Shrewsbury granted leave for the separation as early as 1752; but such was the repugnance of the inhabitants to leaving their old town that it did not take place until 1768. About that period Dr. Zachariah Harvey* was an influential inhabitant of that part of the town. He gave a lot of land, by deed, for the purpose of a burying field and a school house lot to "the Inhabitants of Shrewsbury leg.” That part not occupied for a burying yard, is annually leased, and the rents are applied to the support of the school. Those inhabitants who have been annexed to West Boylston draw their proportion. This is a singular instance, in our state, of a Corporation by prescription.
The Leg forms an entire School ward in Sterling, and a part of one in West Boylston.
The Mile was probably settled nearly as soon as the other parts of Lancaster; it included a portion of the east Washacum pond.
The new grant was the property of the Indians previous to Philip's war. Here was the royal residence of the chiefs of the Nashawoggs. At the time of the grant of Nashua plantation, in 1643, to the English, Sholan, the proprietor, resided on a small eminence between the two great ponds. This interesting spot presents a commanding view of both of those beautiful sheets of water, including many miles of the adjacent country, from the Wachusett range of bills to the Highlands of Boylston and Berlin. The palace probably formed a part of an extensive village. There is a tradition that here formerly were visible, the ruins of an Indian fort; but the vestiges of this rude structure have long since disappeared. Matthew, the nephew and successor of Sholan, resided upon the same spot. Near the base of the hillock runs a small stream through which the waters of the east pond are discharged into those of the west. At the upper end of this rivulet was a weir for the purpose of taking fish, styled in the ancient records, Matthews' weir. It is called the weir to this day, without connecting with it the name of the Sachem, who probably erected it, and ranked it among his most valued possessions. Thus transient is the fame of the family of Princes, when stripped of their people and deprived of their dominions.
* The Harvey apple, so famous, was introduced by him.
The Indians were fond of English names, although they generally adopted them in addition to their own native appellations, What Matthew's Indian name was, we have not yet ascertained, nor the dates of the commencement and close of his reign.
He was succeeded by another nephew of King Sholan, called Sagamore Sam ; but his real name was Shoshanim. Under his administration his subjects, probably from their increased intercourse with the white's, departed from the purity and simplicity of their former character. Their numbers diminished to fifteen or sixteen families living in the lowest state of savage debasement and degradation.
In the autumn of 1674, the venerable Apostle Eliot accompanied by that unwearied friend of the natives, Gen. Gookin, made a missionary visit to the several Indian villages scattered through the Nipmuc country. When at Boggachoag, they held a court at the house of Harrowanionit, the principal Sagamore.* They here agreed to send a pious lodian to the backsliding people at Weshakimt alias Nashaway. Mr. Gookin addressed an epistle in a truly apostolic style to the Sagamore and his subjects, exhorting them to abstain from their vices, to receive the instructions of the teacher, whom they were about. sending among them, and to observe the Sabbath. The same night one of the tribe appeared at the court, where he made a speech with • much affection and great gravity." He expressed a willingness to receive Christianity for himself and others of the tribe, but many of the people were very wicked and disorderly, and he earnestly importuned Mr. Gookin, that he would help them, particularly to suppress the vice of drunkenness. It was proposed to him to accept the office of constable to enable him to suppress the disorders, but he answered that he must first consult the people, and if they would choose him, he would willingly take the trust. The disposition discovered by this little remnant of a tribe, in the war with Philip that broke out the next summer, manifests that these benevolent exertions were not of much avail.
TO BE CONTINUED.
This is Gen. Gookin's method of spelling this word. He is not followed by any of his cotemporaries. They invariably terminate the word in um om or omb, always retaining the sound of u to the vowel. Gookin it is said was a Hebrew scholar, and he probably adopted the termination im in analogy to the idioms of that language. Wechekum signified sea or the larg. est collection of water, and Washacum is probably a modification of that word W'.with an aspirate is sometimes placed in the Indian dialects to signify greal or large in the superlative degree. It is difficult to establish an orthography for an unwritten language. Our fathers endeavored to retain the sounds of the pronunciation in the spelling,