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Hales descripton of Dorchester 1821
 From: John G. Hales? A Survey of Boston and Its Vicinity, 1821

The north-east half of Dorchester is altogether settled, and generally composed of a rich soil and highly cultivated. The old roads are crooked, are but little troubled with acclivities, formed of hard materials and kept in good repair, with country seats, farm houses, &c. thickly arranged on their sides. There are but few hills in this part of the town and those of easy ascent, (not exceeding 175 feet in height) with their sides generally covered with fruit or other trees, which gives a very picturesque appearance to the face of the country. There is about 250 acres of salt marsh on the north bank of Neponset River and 350 on the Bay. The upper or south-west part of the town is more neglected, notwithstanding there are thick settlements and the lands cultivated on the north bank of Neponset River for about half a mile in width throughout the town. There is about 1,500 acres of woodland on the north-west part of the town against Roxbury, which is more hilly, the summit whereof being 385 feet above the sea. There are five dams erected across Neponset river, the first or uppermost at William Sumner?s paper and grist mills, the second near Milton Upper Bridge, where there are grist, paper and other mills, the third about half a mile below for a cotton factory, paper mills, &c. the fourth at Boice?s factory and the last near Milton Bridge, at the falls, to supply several paper, grist and other mills. The tide flows up to the foot of these falls.

The town is bounded northerly by a straight line on South Boston, easterly on the Bay, south-easterly on Neponset river, the channel whereof divides it from the towns of Quincy and Milton to the junction with Mother Brook then by the channel of Mother Brook about half a mile to the Dedham line, south-westerly by a straight line on Dedham, north-westerly by a line with one angle therein on Roxbury, to a brook at the road at Mrs. M?Gee?s house, then by said brook and by South Boston Bay to the South Boston line. The town in 7 2/3 miles in length, averaging about 1 ? mile in breadth.

There is an island in the bay, called Thompson?s Island, about 1 ? mile long, and a quarter of a mile wide, belonging to this town.

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Created: November 30, 2008   Modified: November 30, 2008