New Salem — Industries
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
According to the State census reports, issued in 1875, the value of the manufactured products of New Salem for that year was $40,550, and that of agricultural and domestic products, $89,516. The manufactures are those of lumber—there being nine saw-mills in the town—and palm-leaf hats. Bacon & Day started a pail-factory at Thompson's Pond in 1848, but the mill was soon after destroyed by fire, and was succeeded by Thompson's saw-mill, now operated by Kilburn & Co.
There were tanneries in the town some years ago, and the manufacture of boots was also carried on to some extent, but these industries are now no more. New Salem used to be a great lumber region, and made annually heavy shipments of that material to other points, but this interest has also declined.
There are excellent farming-lands in the west, where the soil is black loam and gravel, and where the surface is undulating, while the centre is less fertile, and the eastern section fairly productive. The total assessed valuation of the town is $322,500, of which $257,800 is on real estate. The total tax (State, county, and town) is $6012.50, on a rate of about $18.50 per $1000. The debt of the town, March 20, 1878, was $7732.23.
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