1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Winchester (Massachusetts)

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WINCHESTER, a township of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 8 m. W. of Boston at the head of Upper Mystic Pond, one of the sources of the Mystic river. Pop, (1900) 7248,of whom 1968 were foreign-bom and 140 were negroes, (1910) 9309. Area, 6 sq. m. Winchester is served by the southern division of the Boston & Maine railway, and is connected with Boston, Arhngton, Medford, Stoneham and Woburn by electric lines. It is chiefly a residential suburb of Boston. Through the centre of the township winds the Aberjona river, which empties into Mystic Pond, in Winchester township, both favourite resorts for canoeing, &c. Wedge Pond and Winter Pond, in the centre of the township, are clear and beautiful sheets of water. The streets of Winchester are heavily shaded, the view as presented from the neighbouring hills being that of a continuous forest stretching from the beautiful Mystic Valley parkway (of the Metropolitan park system), of which more than one-half (50.2 acres) is in the southern part of the, township, to the Middlesex Fells Reservation (another Metropolitan park) of which 261.9 acres are in the eastern part; and there are a large public playground and a common. Horn Pond Mountain and Indian Hill are about 320 ft. above sea-level. One of the pleasantest residential districts is Rangely, a restricted private park. The town-hall and library building is a fine structure; the library contains about 20,000 volumes, and the museum and collections of the Winchester Historical and Genealogical Society. The principal manufactures are leather and felt goods.

Winchester was originally within the limits of Charlestown. In 1638 allotments of land between the Mystic Pond and the present Woburn were made to various Charlestown settlers, including John Harvard and Increase Nowell (1590–1655), secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1644–1649, and the new settlement was called Waterfield. Most of this territory in 1642 was incorporated in Woburn and was called South Woburn. In 1850 Winchester was separately incorporated, parts of Arlington (then West Cambridge) and Medford going to make up its area, and was named in honour of Colonel W. P. Winchester of Watertown, who left to the township a legacy for municipal works.