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Saugus, MA (1873)

Saugus History, 1873 — "Saugus occupies the south-western extremity of Essex County, and has Lynnfield on the north, Lynn on the northeast, Revere (from which it is divided by Chelsea Creek) on the southeast, Revere and Melrose on the south-west, and Wakefield on the north-west. It lies 9 miles north of Boston by the Saugus Branch of the Eastern Railroad; and its three postal centers are Saugus, Saugus Center, and Cliftondale, a beautiful and thriving village in the southern section.

It was taken from Lynn, and incorporated Feb. 17, 1815; and a part of Chelsea was annexed to it Feb. 22, 1841. It contains 20 farms, 413 dwelling-houses, 588 voters, and a population of 2,247, with a valuation of $1,602,350, and a tax-rate of $1.25 per $100.

The geological basis is sienite and porphyry. The south-eastern part of the township consists of salt marshes, from which as many as 500 tons of salt hay are cut in a year. The remaining part of the town is wild and broken, and abounds in picturesque and romantic scenery.

Castle Hill, in the north-west angle, rises to the height of 288 feet, and was taken as a station in the trigonometrical survey of the State. Saugus River, which issues from Quanapowitt Lake in Wakefield, and receives from Suntaug Lake a fine affluent called “Hawke's Brook,” winds centrally through the town, and presents a very beautiful appearance from the hills above. It spreads out into a beautiful pond of about 75 acres near the middle of the town, and furnishes valuable motive-power.

It is said that on the left bank of this river, where iron-works were established as early as 1645, and where heaps of scoriae still remain, a horde of pirates concealed themselves in the year 1657. But they were finally discovered; and one of the king's cruisers succeeded in capturing three of them. The other (there being four in all) escaped to a cavern in what is now called 'The Dungeon Pasture,' in Lynn Woods, where he lived till the great earthquake of 1658, which [broke] the rock above, and closed the entrance of the cavern, [burying] him alive.

His name was Thomas Veal. The glen in which they lived was a secluded spot, flanked by almost insurmountable crags, and has since been much visited by the curious. The well which they dug is still perceptible, and traces of their garden may be seen. Within a few years, however, the trees have been felled, and it is [shed] of much of its romantic beauty. The Dungeon Hole, as Veal's retreat has since been called, was blown up on the 4th of July, 1834; but nothing was found except a few articles of iron manufacture.

The village at the old foundry was once called Hammersmith, from a place of that name in Middlesex County, Eng., whence some of the workmen came. 
By the last Industrial Report, there were 3,136-1/2 acres of woodland in this town, and 510 acres in English mowing. The number of gallons of milk sold in a year was 106,500, valued at $19,170.

The number of woolen-mills was three, with 14 sets of machinery, employing 141 persons. As many as 132 persons were employed in the manufacture of shoes, 8 in making brick, 15 in making adulterated coffee, and 100 in the manufacture of cigars, mostly at Cliftondale. Saugus has 9 public schools (for the support of which it expends about $4,000 per annum), a Post of the G. A. R., and other civic organizations. The pastor of the Congregational church at Saugus Center (organized Dec. 5, 1732) is the Rev. Francis V. Tenney, settled March 18, 1869. The pastor of the Methodist church at East Saugus is the Rev. M. B. Chapman; and of the Universalist church, the Rev. T. J. Greenwood. The Roman-Catholic church is attended by a minister from Lynn.

This town is in a flourishing state; and from its scenic beauty, its proximity to the metropolis, and the vigor of its people, will doubtless make rapid advancement in the future. In 1820, the population was only 748; in 1830, 960; in 1840, 1,202; in 1850, 1,505; in 1860, 2,024; and in 1870, as given above, 2,247."

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