Vol 3, No.9- 1 March 2002. Circulation: 100 and growing!
(C) 1999 Boylston Historical Society and Museum
7 Central St., PO Box 459, Boylston, MA 01505
boyhisoc@ma.ultranet.com 508-869-2720
Editors: Betty L. Thomas and Judith Haynes
Boylston Historical Society and Museum Web Page:
To subscribe or unsubscribe to the PotpourrEmail, or
to submit information to be included in the PotpourrEmail,
e-mail info to: boyhisoc@ma.ultranet.com
CONTENTS. Welcome; What's in a name?; Tidbits;
Book of the Month; BHS News; On The Web; Humor
Welcome to our email newsletter! For those of you who are not
members of BHS and don't receive the snailmail newsletter, it is called
The Potpourri. Sooooo, we thought the appropriate name for this version
would be PotpourrEMAIL. This email version is not meant to repeat or
copy the snailmail version, but to complement it, with the addition of
topics of interest to those with computer and web capabilities. If you
have a story to tell, information to impart, a good joke, computer
or web genealogy info, a Boylston genealogy query, or anything that would
be of interest to our readers--please email us at:
What's In a Name??

The following is from Vol.III of the Historical Series.
The book is no longer available for sale, but there are
copies in the Boylston Public library, the Boylston Museum
research library and the Allen County Public Library
[Fort Wayne, IN.] You might want to take a look at
Volume I, as there are drawings, sketches and photos
in the book that I cannot include in this email.

"Boylston Before the Construction of the Wachusett Reservoir"
By Norman H. French, A. Sc

At the time of Lieut. Aaron Sawyer's death on April 30, 1817,
at the age of 62, the property at Sawyers Mills consisted of a saw
mill, a grist mill, a clothiers mill, and a fulling mill for the manufacture
of homespun cloth, an oil mill, a blacksmith shop, a country store,
the dwelling house and farm, and farm buildings. After the death of
the Lieutenant, the various branches of industry carried out by him
were managed by several members of his family until the property
finally passed out of the Sawyer family and name.

In a city newspaper of August 14, 18?2 appeared the following
advertisement signed by Joseph Sawyer and Colonel Hezikiah Gibbs
[Col. Gibb's wife was Joseph's sister, Elizabeth] offering for sale:
" The noted mill and estate long known by the name 'Sawyers Mills,"
in Boylston, consisting of grist mill, saw mill, fulling mill, clothiers work,
two houses, etc. From peculiar natural advantages the dam is supported
at a small expense and is not liable to be destroyed by freshets,
these mill seats were taken up by some of the first settlers of
Lancaster and they have never before been offered for sale.
They are situated five miles from Lancaster, and thirty-eight
miles form Boston."

Lieutenant Aaron Sawyer is buried in the Old Burial Ground in
Boylston Center.
The mills were sold in 1822, and James Lees and William Lees,
of West Boylston, operated them until about 1830, when they
passed into the hands of the Clinton Company. In July 1862,
the Clinton Company sold the complex to the Lancaster Mills
for $55,000. The sale included the Gingham Looms.

By 1899 the properties consisted of one main building of brick - one
story high, and 100 feet long by 40 feet wide, several auxiliary
buildings, and company houses. Power was derived partially
from the Nashua River with two turbines furnishing 200 HP,
except in exceptionally dry seasons. Steam was used to
provide 150 HP. The machinery in the mill included 56 card, 22
speeders of various grades, and 90 spinning frames. The entire
product of about 20,000 pounds of cotton yarn per week was sent
in its entirety to the Lancaster Mills. Lancaster Mills owned nearly
all of the buildings in the village, with most employees living in
Company houses, which consisted of one large brick block
containing ten tenements, and nine wooden buildings with about
fourteen tenements.

From 1893 until the closing of the mills in 1899, J. Nelson Ball,
a descendant of the Sawyer family, was Mill Superintendent.
His first job was in 1870-1871, when he wheeled sand for the
masons who were laying brick for an addition to the Mill, which
was the whole north side of the building and a new roof, which
doubled the plant size. The brick was obtained from the Boylston
Brick Yards.

Besides things in the village directly connected with the Mill, there
was a school, a store, and a Catholic Church. The school was of
ordinary country design with about 25 pupils. The store, which
also housed the Post Office, was built in 1890 for $7, 741.
This structure was built by the Lancaster Mills Company for
use as a store, a Post Office, and it contained a hall to be used
for socials and meetings. The hall was also used every Sunday
for a Protestant Sunday School. The Catholic Church, a branch
of St. Anthony's in West Boylston, was named Sacred Heart Church,
and served many people from the area.

Over the fireplace of the Sawyer Memorial Library in Boylston Center,
is a granite stone from the Aaron Sawyer, Sr. house, with "A.S. 1757"
chiselled into it. The money for this library was donated by Salome
White, a descendant of the Sawyer family. A notice in the Worcester
newspaper, dated October 22, 1899, states:
" The pretty village of Sawyers Mills has nearly been wiped out of
existence, the Mill Dam, pond, and everything that made it picturesque
and prosperous have gone, while Engineers, Surveyors, and their
assistants, with the laborers employed in making ready for the
inundation of water in the future, are all that give life to the once
prosperous village. The trees as far as the eye can see at Sawyers
Mills have completely vanished, showing the hills and valley in all
their varied forms, bare of verdure, with myriads of laborers busily
engaged in stripping of earth's cuticle and taking it by means of
dump carts to the cars which, drawn by small dummy engines,
convey it to the North Dike."

You read how it was with the men stripping the land, and maybe
you try to picture how the valley looked before all of this happened
but there is no way that you can visualize what it looked like.
Then an old man talks for an afternoon, his voice fast and hard,
and it helps to understand as he relives a boyhood in Boylston,
at this home near Sawyers Mills, now under about 100 feet of water.
His only claim to fame was that his family was the first to sell out to the M. D. C.

Charlie Zinc, who lived in Bolton, MA, and who turned 90 years
old in May of 1972, was interviewed and taped by John Peterson
and Norman French of the Boylston Historical Commission
in the fall of 1971.

At one time, the M.D.C. had considered building a bridge across
the Reservoir where Sawyers Mills had been, making it a shorter
route to West Boylston. this idea was turned down because of
cost and Route 140 was built.

Of the 5,163 acres required for the Wachusett Reservoir, 2,000
acres were cleared land, 1,801 acres were woods, 81 acres were
stump-land, 313 acres were of water surface, and 968 acres
were around the edge of the reservoir, including islands. Of this
total, Clinton contributed 1,125 acres; Boylston contributed 2,761
acres; West Boylston contributed 870 acres; and Sterling
contributed 407 acres. Boylston lost about 302, or 39% of its
population at the time the Wachusett Reservoir was built.

Next month: Bay Path Road in Boylston
from the BHS scrapbooks -
Friday September 10, 1943
by Miss Lydia P. Warner
Dial - 2276
Howard B. Chase, chairman of the Boylston Rationing Board
from the outset, has resigned and the new board has been
increased by three, including Carl A. Remington, William
Emery, Ralph V. White, Louis L. Chapin, Erland O. Ekblom
and Ernest M. Fuller. At present all information on rationing
will be received by mail at the Central Street Town House, hours
for telephoning there will be announced later.
Mrs. J. Lawrence Brigham and son Jackie returned Monday
from a four weeks' vacation at York Beach, ME.
Mrs. Douglas E. Williams and children Marilyn, Dorothy,
and Carole Jean have returned from a weeks' vacation in
Athol, where they were guests of Mrs. Williams' sister, Mrs.
Thomas J. Glynn and family.
Mr. and Mrs. James Gooch of Islington, were supper guests
of Mr. and Mrs. Myron C. Garfield, Sunday.
Charles William Avery, son of Mrs. Clara B. Avery of Main
Street who will leave Friday for active duty at Fort Devens, was
given a purse of money Monday night at a gathering at his
home by friends and relatives from Worcester, Shrewsbury,
and Sutton. Mr. Avery, for the past three years, has attended
the Worcester Boys' Trade School, where he was president
of the student council and an active member of the Car-Ney
Debating Society.
Miss Jean L. Fuller, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Loring G.
Fuller, entered Memorial Hospital Worcester, Monday, for
a three years nurses' training course.
Miss Barbara E. Stark is visiting Miss Sylvia Thompson,
of Clinton.
Guests of Mrs. Mary M. Casey and daughter, Miss Alice
M. Casey, until Labor Day, were Mr. and Mrs. Eugene F.
Casey and son, Robert, of Hartford, Conn.
Corporal Edgar Nichols was given a surprise party last
Friday night at the home of MR. and Mrs. Raymond
Shankle, in honor of his 21st birthday anniversary,
before he left for Fort Bliss, Tex.
Mrs. Peter Stewart, of Cook St., announces the marriage
of her daughter, Miss Jean E. Stewart and Charles R.
Erickson, of the Army Engineer Corps, son of Mr. and
Mrs. Charles A. Erickson of 19 Heath Street, June 13, 1943,
in Alexandria, Va. Mrs Erickson is employed by the
State Mutual Life Assurance Co. and will reside with
her mother for the duration. Her husband is on active
duty in New Guinea.

Book of the Month

SALE Continues !!!!!
"Strangers and Pilgrims: Immigration in Boylston 1740-1930"
by William O. Dupuis

This is a two volume set, spiral bound, 8x11 size, almost
200 pages. The set includes histories of the immigrating
groups, family information, census information, family
photos, occupations, town offices held, excerpts form
the payrolls of the Lancaster Mills located at Sawyers
Mills, tenants in the mill owned buildings, Boylston
school lists, and more.

WAS $6 for the two volume set.
NOW ONLY $4 for the two volume set!!!! plus shipping

visit the on-line gift shop for more info:
BHS News

2001 - 2002 PROGRAMS and EVENTS
All Programs open to the public and
held at the Society (unless otherwise noted).
7 Central St., Boylston
Donations at the door are gratefully accepted!
"Be Our Valentine" Exhibit -
The exhibit will run through September 2002 and be
open during normal open hours and at regular
museum admission.
[Members - free     Non-Members - $3]
Program - Thursday, March 21, 2002 at 7:30 pm

"The Life and Times of John W. Partridge"
by William O. Dupuis - BHS Curator

A slide lecture on a Civil War soldier from Boylston
who left behind over 100 letters detailing his war experiences.
Members - $2     Non-Members - $3
Program - Thursday, April 18, 2002 at 7:30 pm

"Genealogy on the Internet"
by Betty Thomas - BHS Computer Services Dir.

Find out what you need to know about
doing genealogy on the Internet.
Members - $2     Non-Members - $3
Event - Monday, May 27, 2002, 10am to 2pm

"Memorial Day Open House" Come and visit!!!
Free Museum admission
Visit the gift shop
On The Web

Cotton Processing and Mill Occupations
explains terms like Mule Spinning!

The American Textile History Museum

Lowell National Historical Park

Factory Rules from the Handbook to Lowell, 1848

Boott Cotton Mills Museum

Hadley Company Spool-Cotton Manufactory

First American Cotton Mill

Harriet Robinson:Lowell Mill Girls

History of Clinton, MA
Humor -
The Puzzled Census Taker

"Got any boys?" the marshal said
To a lady from over the Rhine;
And the lady shook her flaxen head,
And civilly answered, "Nein!"

"Got any girls?" the marshal said
To a lady from over the Rhine;
And again the lady shook her head,
And civilly answered, "Nein!"

"But some are dead?" the marshal said
To a lady from over the Rhine;
And the lady shook her head,
And civilly answered, "Nein!"

"Husband of course?" the marshal said
To a lady from over the Rhine;
And the lady shook her flaxen head,
And civilly answered, "Nein!"

"The devil you have!?" the marshal said
To a lady from over the Rhine;
And the lady shook her flaxen head,
And civilly answered, "Nein!"

"Now what do you mean by shaking your head,
And always answering 'Nine'?"
"Ich kann nicht Englisch!" civilly said
The lady from over the Rhine.

by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)
PERMISSION TO REPRINT articles from PotpourrEMAIL is granted
unless specifically stated otherwise, PROVIDED: (1) the reprint
is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and (2) the
following notice appears at the end of the article:
Written by 
Previously published by PotpourrEMAIL,
PotpourrEmail, Vol. 3, No.9 - 1 March 2002. Please visit
Boylston Historical Society and Museum's main Web page at
This newsletter is distributed monthly, on the first day of the month,
to all Boylston Historical Society members (who have email!), genealogists,
and friends who have a special interest in the history of the town of
Boylston Historical Society
PO Box 459
Boylston, MA 01505
Web Page: http://www.ultranet.com/~boyhisoc/

Boylston Historical Society
PO Box 459
Boylston, MA  01505
Web Page:  http://www.ultranet.com/~boyhisoc/index.shtml