Shutesbury — Natural Features
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The surface of the town is rocky and mountainous, and of its many prominent elevations, Morse Hill, which overlooks Lock's village in the northwest, is the greatest. Near here a species of mineral called molybdenite is found, and here also may be seen in profusion immense rocky bowlders, of which it is the popular belief that they were conveyed to their present resting-places, by a vast but remote upheaval of nature, from some distant quarter.* East of Lock's Pond and near the northern boundary of the town is Mount Mineral Spring, famous in days gone by as a place of resort for invalids, and believed to possess remarkable curative properties. Its chief ingredient is muriate of lime, with which it is strongly impregnated.
A fine large hotel was kept at this point for several years, up to 1876, when it was destroyed by fire, and since that time the property has been abandoned, although measures were afoot in the winter of 1878 looking to its restoration. The company owning the property, known as the Mount Mineral Spring Company, was incorporated in 1867.
A mineral spring possessing similar properties was discovered about the year 1808, in the village of Shutesbury Centre, and a hotel built upon the spot, and still known as the Pool Tavern, was for years much visited by invalids from far and near. An earth-cave filled the well some time ago, and since then the Pool Tavern has been used as a private dwelling.
Shutesbury has long been noted for the healthfulness of its climate, and instances of extreme longevity among its inhabitants are plentiful, one of its citizens, Ephraim Pratt, having reached the remarkable age of upward of one hundred and sixteen years.
Swift River, furnishing good water-power, fringes the eastern border of the town, and Roaring Brook performs similar but less important service, while in the northwest Lock's Pond is a noticeable natural feature. Gravel and sand are the characteristics of the soil, and of woodland there is a great abundance. Soapstone has been found, but not in quantity sufficient to warrant the business of quarrying it.
The hills of Shutesbury offer charming displays of wildly picturesque scenery, and the region is much visited in summer and autumn by tourists as well as by those who seek the beneficial effects of a salubrious climate.
*They are simply relics of the great drift period. See geological chapter, in the general history [of Franklin County].