Colonel Israel Stoughton's house was situated at the northeast corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Pleasant Street.
He had the distinction of building the first mill in New England to grind corn by water. It stood in the Neponset River at the Lower Mills. In the early years of the settlement, Massachusetts had to buy corn from Virginia and from the local Narragansetts. In 1631 Chief Chickatawbut donated a hogshead to the Governor. In 1634 food was still scarce, and Massachusetts bought 400 bushels of corn from the Narragansetts. Israel Stoughton set up a water mill at the Lower Mills to grind the grain.
Stoughton's mill is mentioned both in the town records and in those of the Massachusetts Bay colony. Said to be the first grist mill in the country, it was installed to grind corn purchased from native Americans due to the shortages in the colony.
Dorchester Town Records
Nov. 3, 1633 ... it is generally agreed that Mr. Israel Stoughton shall build a water mill, if he see cause.
Jan. 6, 1633/4 ...it is ordered that Mr. Israell Stoughton shall have the privaladge of a weare at Naponset adjoyning to his mill ...
Nov. 3, 1634 ... it also ordered that their shall be a sufficient cartway be made to the mill at Naponset ...
and from the 1859 History of the Town of Dorchester, p. 33:
The town granted leave to Mr. Israel Stoughton to build a water mill [in 1633], and in January following, the mill and a bridge over Neponset being completed ...
Stoughton gained his title from his command of the Massachusetts forces during the Pequot War. He served as representative in 1634 and was the Governor's Assistant for many years.
Orcutt, William Dana. Good Old Dorchester: A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893. Cambridge: University Press, 1908.
History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts. By a Committee of the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society. 1859.
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Created: August 15, 2003 Modified: August 3, 2008