was formerly a part of Pembroke, MA (which was incorporated in 1711).
Hanson was incorporated in 1820.
"Hanson is a very pleasant and industrious
farming and manufacturing town, situated in the northern part of
Plymouth County, about 25 miles south by southeast of Boston. The
Plymouth Branch of the Old Colony Railroad runs diagonally
through the town, having stations at two postal villages, Hanson
(centre) and South Hanson. The other villages are North Hanson
and Gurney's Corners, The Hanover Branch of the Old Colony
Railroad has a station within a few rods of the northeast angle
of the town.
The boundaries of Hanson are Rockland and
Hanover on the north, Pembroke on the east, Halifax on the south,
and East Bridgewater and Whitman on the west. The assessed area is
9,030 acres, of which 6,014 are devoted to forest. The trees are almost
exclusively pine and oak. There are low hills at the north, three on
the eastern side, and an extended elevation at the centre; but
with these slight exceptions the surface is nearly a level plain. It
embraces several extensive ponds and cedar swamps,— Oldham Pond
on the eastern line; and further south, Indian-Head Pond, a
beautiful sheet of water covering 156 acres. Its outlet, on which are
several mill sites, flows north to North River. Poor Meadow
Brook, a very crooked stream, flowing southward to Satucket River,
drains the western section of the town.
Beds of iron ore are found in these ponds;
and there is also a valuable stone quarry in the town.
Cranberries and strawberries are largely cultivated. There are
127 farms, whose aggregate product in 1885 was $67,193. The
manufactures are boots and shoes, tacks, and shoe nails, carriages,
straw goods, wooden boxes and leather. There are several mills
for sawing house lumber, box-boards and small articles, and for
grinding grain. Some 50 persons are employed in making tacks, and
nails, and about 150 in shoemaking. The valuation in 1888 was $578,905,
with a tax-rate of $14.30 on $1,000. The population was 1,227,
and there were 318 houses. The legal voters numbered 368.
The town-hall cost, for building and
furnishing, about $8,000; the seven school buildings, valued at
upwards of $5,000, accommodate two grammar and five primary
schools. There are a small association library and two
Sunday-school libraries. The churches are two — Congregational
Hanson — previously the West Parish of
Pembroke — was incorporated a town February 22, 1820. Its name was
chosen, without any regard of significance, out of many that were
suggested; and it seems to be a very good one,— brief,
good-looking and euphonious. Nearly all the territory was embraced in a
purchase made by Major Josiah Winslow of the Indian sachem,
Josiah Wampatuck, on the 9th of July. 1692. Many Indian relics have
been discovered in the neighborhood of the ponds, and the line of
an Indian trail through Great Cedar Swamp is shown. Among the early
settlers were Josiah Browne, who lived in the southern, and
Edward Thomas, in the northern, parts of the town.
A church was organized here August 31, 1748;
and the Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D., was then ordained pastor;
remaining in this ministry until his death, August 8, 1803. The
Baptist church was organized in 1812, and the Rev. Joseph Torrey
was the first pastor. This town furnished the sum of $19,502 and 131
men for the late war, 21 of whom lost their lives there from,
either in or after leaving the service."
-Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer (1890).
History of the Congregational Church in Hanson:
"Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D., was ordained the
first minister of the
place, in 1748, and continued in the office of pastor for fifty-five
years, and lived to the age of 83. "He was sociable, friendly, and
hospitable; esteemed as a man of talents, and many in his old age
profited by his instructions." Rev. George Barstow was sucessor and
colleague with Dr. Hitchcock, and continued the pastoral relation
eighteen years, and died in 1821, aged 51 years. He was succeeded by
the Rev. Mr. Howland."
- John Barber (1839) Historical Collections. p. 503.
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