The surface of the town is diversified by hills and valleys, which is rendered very beautiful by a high state of cultivation, and by the numerous villas, neat farm houses, cottages, and delightful gardens which meet the eye in every direction. A part of the beautiful sheet of water, called "Fresh Pond," and a part of the celebrated Mount Auburn Cemetery lie in this town.
On the north bank of the river, a short distance below the principal village, the United States Arsenal, containing a large amount of munitions of war, occupies a site of 40 acres of ground. At the commencement of the revolutionary war, this place was the chosen seat of the continental congress. That body of patriots was in session at Watertown on the day of the battle of "Bunker Hill."
There are two paper mills in the town, a cotton mill, print works, an establishment for finishing woolen goods, and manufactures of soap, candles, boots, shoes, boxes, &c. Large quantities of beef, pork, bacon, &c., are annually packed at this place for the Boston market, and for transportation. In 1837, three soap and candle manufactories used 300 tons of tallow, 350 tons of barilla, 50 tons of palm-oil, 1,750 barrels of rosin, 2,000 casks of lime, and 1,000 bushels of salt.
Watertown was first settled in 1630 by the sons of Sir Richard Saltonstall and others. It was incorporated the same year. Population, 1830, 1,641; 1837, 1,739. It is 7 miles W. from Boston. Its Indian name was Pigsgusset.