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flag  History of Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

Visit Petersham, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Petersham, Massachusetts, USA - High School Building

Petersham, Worcester, MA

Petersham was first settled in 1733 and was officially incorporated on April 20, 1754. The town's lands were expanded greatly by the building of the Quabbin Reservoir in 1938. When the towns of the Swift River Valley were disincorporated, Petersham and neighboring New Salem benefited the most, with Petersham receiving all of the former town of Dana, much of the town of Greenwich, and a small portion of the former town of Prescott east of the Middle Branch of the Swift River. wikipedia

Petersham includes: Ledgeville and Nichewaug. mass_lookup.htm

There is MUCH more to discover about Petersham, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Petersham Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

High School Building
Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

High School Building
Main St., Petersham, Mass.
Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

Main St., Petersham, Mass.
Petersham, Mass., Petersham Common
Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

Petersham, Mass., Petersham Common

Discover Petersham: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1839 - Petersham
Petersham, Massachusetts
Worcester county. Petersham is a very pleasant town, elevated on a swell of fertile land, and presenting a fine prospect of many of the neighboring towns. It was first settled about the year 1732, and was called by the Indians Nashawang. Swift river waters a part of the town, and affords a water power. There is a woolen mill in the town; and manufactures of palm-leaf hats, leather, boots, shoes, chairs, and cabinet ware: total annual value, about $60,000. It lies 62 miles W. by N. from Boston and 27 N.W. from Worcester. Population, 1837, 1,731. Incorporated, 1754.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - PETERSHAM. [Pop. 1,775. Inc. 1754.]
This town was granted to certain persons as a reward for services in the Indian wars, and it was called by its Indian name Nichewaug, till its incorporation.

The land is elevated, and the inhabitants are principally farmers.

Swift River waters the town, and. affords sites for factories of iron and woollen articles.

Distance from Worcester, 29 miles ; from Boston, 62.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1848 - Petersham
This was an original grant made by the general court, in 1732, to John Bennet, Jeremiah Purley, and others, as a compensation for services done by them in the Indian wars, under Capt. John White, of Lancaster. Some time after the grant, the proprietors purchased the soil of the Indians, for a satisfactory consideration, and took of them a deed. It had been a residence of the Indians, and was called by them Nich-e-waug, which name it bore until it was incorporated a town, in 1754.

The chief seat of the Indians appears to have been in the south part of the town, near Nichewaug Hill, whereon, as in some other parts of the town, they had planted fields of Indian corn, the traces of which were remaining when the English began a settlement there. The first settlers experienced, many hardships and difficulties. In the infancy of the settlement in 1744, a French war broke out, and the Indians, being always in the interest of the French, became hostile, and began to commit, depredations in... Read MORE...

Petersham Massachusetts, 1890
Petersham is a beautiful town occupying high land in the northwest part of Worcester County, 75 miles west of Boston by the highways. The nearest railroad stations are those of the Fitchburg Railroad in Athol and of the Massachusetts Central Railroad in Barre. Phillipston bounds this town on the northeast; Barre, on the southeast; Dana, on the southwest; and New Salem and Athol, on the northwest.

The assessed area is 23,016 acres; of which 6,391 acres are forests of pine, hemlock, chestnut, oak and maple. The rocks are generally granite and felspar; and the soil is a clay loam. Petersham Centre occupies a high broad plateau, commanding extensive views. The east and west branches of Fever Brook and various branches of Swift River flow southwesterly through the town, furnishing valuable powers.

At South Petersham are a saw and a grist mill and a powder-keg mill, employing altogether about a dozen men. There are, beside, the usual manufactures of a farming town; the value of the... Read MORE...

1895 - Petersham
Pe'tersham, a post-village in Petersham township, Worcester co., Mass., 9 miles S. by E. of Athol, and about 28 miles N.W. of Worcester. It has 3 churches, the Highland Institute, and a manufactory of powder-kegs. Pop. of the township, 1203.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Petersham, a post-village in Petersham township (town), Worcester co., Mass., 28 miles NW. of Worcester. It has a manufactory of boxes. Pop. of the town in 1900, 853.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Petersham:
Harvard Forest:

Explore the Harvard Forest, a research forest owned and managed by Harvard University.

Hike the trails and enjoy the serene beauty of the New England landscape.

Learn about ongoing ecological research at the Fisher Museum.

Quabbin Reservoir:

Visit the nearby Quabbin Reservoir, a vast and scenic reservoir surrounded by forests and hiking trails.

Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, bird watching, and fishing.

Swift River Valley Historical Society:

Explore local history at the Swift River Valley Historical Society.

Visit the museum to learn about the history of Petersham and the surrounding region.

Nichewaug Inn:

Check out the historic Nichewaug Inn, a beautiful building with a rich history.

If available, consider having a meal or staying overnight to experience its charm.

Petersham Art Center:

Discover local art at the Petersham Art Center.
Attend art exhibitions or workshops if they are being held during your... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Petersham Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 33 ancestors who were born or died in Petersham.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Petersham, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Petersham.

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Genealogy Resources for Petersham

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Updated: 10/8/2023 10:10:21 AM