Leicester, MA: history, population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.

New England > Massachusetts > Leicester

Leicester, Massachusetts

Worcester county. This town is on the height of ground between Boston harbor and Connecticut river. It lies 46 miles W. from Boston, 6 W.S.W. from Worcester, 42 E.S.E. from Northampton, and 44 N.W. from Providence. It was first settled in 1713. Its Indian name was Towlaid. Population, 1837, 2,122. This town is well watered by French river, and branches of the Connecticut and Blackstone, which rise here, and afford mill sites for numerous manufactories.

Leicester Academy was founded in 1784. It has considerable funds, commodious buildings, and is highly respectable. It accommodates 100 pupils throughout the year.

The surface of the town is uneven with a strong, deep soil. There are 5 woolen mills in the town, and manufactures of machines, hand cards, machine cards, chairs, cabinet ware, scythes, leather, boots and shoes: total value the year ending April 1, 1837, $531,939.

A society of Jews built a synagogue and resided here from 1777 to 1783. They were much esteemed.

The families of Denny, Earle and Henshaw, have been numerous in Leicester, and highly respectable.

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