Middlesex county. This is one of the many beautiful towns which environ the capitol of New England. It is 10 miles W. by N. from Boston and 9 S.E. from Concord. It was incorporated in 1737. Population, 1830, 1,859; 1837, 2,287.
The surface is moderately level, with some elevations. "Prospect Hill," 470 feet above the level of the sea, presents a delightful view of Boston, its harbor, and the adjacent towns and country. The soil is generally not very fertile, but is rendered productive by industry. "Waltham Plain" is a beautiful tract of land, under a high state of cultivation. It is about two and a half miles in length, and a mile in width. On the road over this plain is a continuous village, containing many handsome dwellings and beautiful gardens; among the number, that of the Hon. Theodore Lyman is pre-eminently beautiful. Mr. Lyman's garden, of many acres in extent, decorated with almost every variety of fruit tree, shrub and flower, both native and exotic, is probably unsurpassed, in costliness and splendor, by any private establishment of the kind in the United States.
In this town the first cotton mill, on an extensive scale, was erected, in 1814. The capital of the company was $600,000. By extraordinary skill and good management, through all the various commercial changes, this establishment proved lucrative to the proprietors and highly beneficial to the public. The waters of Charles river, which glide through the town, being fully improved, the proprietors extended their manufacturing operations at Lowell.
There are in Waltham three cotton mills, a bleachery, a machine shop, a paper mill, and manufactures of boots, shoes, hats, carriages, wagons, chairs, cabinet and tin wares: total value, the year ending April 1, 1837, $348,067. The roads in this and the neighboring towns, are uncommonly excellent. Perhaps in no section of country in the world, are the roads better than within 10 miles of Boston.