Norfolk county. This was the second settlement made by white men in New England. Mr. Thomas Weston, a respectable merchant of London, who had been active in promoting the interests of the Plymouth colonists, sent two ships and 50 or 60 men to plant a colony at this place in the year 1622. The fate of the colony was as unfortunate as the designs of Mr. Weston were philanthropic. By the unjust and wanton conduct of his agents toward the natives, the colony would have been totally destroyed, were it not for the timely assistance afforded it by a band of men from the Plymouth Colony, commanded by the gallant Standish. The colony was broken up and Mr. Weston lost his life on the coast in attempting to reach it. This place, the Indian Wessagusset, named Weymouth from a town in England, was however permanently settled by the Rev. William Morrill, Capt. Robert Georges and others, in the year 1624.
The surface of the town is pleasantly diversified by hills and valleys. Some of the elevations are commanding and present delightful views of Boston harbor, Massachusetts bay and the adjacent country. The soil is a strong gravelly loam, with a granitic superstructure.
This town was formerly noted for its excellent dairies, particularly for its cheese of a superior richness and flavor; but little of which is now made in consequence of the increased value of the lands.
Weymouth is finely watered by large and beautiful ponds, and by two important arms of Boston harbor, called Fore and Back rivers. These rivers are navigable for large vessels, and at their head are valuable mill privileges. Between these rivers, and between the towns of Braintree and Hingham is a large tract of gently swelling land of good soil, extending to Quincy, and is united to "Quincy Point" by a bridge across Fore river. Over this ground the turnpike road between Quincy and Hingham passes.
There are several pleasant villages in Weymouth, but the principal place of business in the town is at "Weymouth Landing," so called, or Washington Square, at the head of Fore river, on the line of Braintree. This place, being at the head of navigation for a large and flourishing section of country, has long enjoyed, and must ever possess superior privileges as a place of trade. About 1,000 tons of shipping is owned here, employed in the fishery and domestic trade. At this place are a number of wharves, ware houses, a steam saw mill, and manufactures of various kinds. Ship building is carried on to some extent, and large quantities of lumber, flour, grain, lime, coal, wood, &c., are annually sold.
The village at the south part of the town is pleasantly situated on elevated ground, about 3 miles S. from Washington Square. The people here are extensively engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes.
Stages pass between these villages and Boston, daily; and packets, for the transportation of merchandize, navigate the rivers about nine months in the year.
The roads in this section of the country are remarkably fine, and many citizens of Boston make Weymouth their summer residence.
The manufacturs of the town are various, but those of leather, boots, and shoes, are the most considerable. The annual amount of these manufactures varies from $500,000 to $800,000.
Weymouth was incorporated in 1635. Population, 1820, 2,404; 1830, 2,839; 1837, 3,387.
This ancient town has been the birth place and residence of many men of great usefulness in society. Among the number, the name of Cotton Tufts, M.D., M.M.S.S.A.A.S., will long be remembered as a revolutionary patriarch and skillful physician.