Billerica, Massachusetts

The early history of this township had its beginnings when the Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop and the Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley travelled along the Concord River to investigate the interior portions of the ever-growing Massachusetts Bay Colony. Upon viewing an area for possible plantation, which was known as the wilderness of the "Shawshin," a line of demarcation was erected, between the claimed property of these two men. This division relied upon the natural marking of two great stones; eventually known as the "Two Brothers Rocks," due to the fact that these men were related by marriage. Governor John Winthrop received what is today known as Bedford, Massachusetts, while Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley became, in essence, the original white settler of this new fledged area, now known as Billerica. The complete story can be found in the recently re-published History of Billerica: 1653-1883, by The Rev. Henry A. Hazen.

This town is watered by the Concord and Shawsheen rivers, and has a pleasant village, on high ground, near the centre. Its soil is good and well improved. The Middlesex canal and the Boston and Lowell rail road pass through the easterly part of the town. First settled, 1653. Incorporated, 1655. Population, 1837, 1,498. Here are some manufactures of woollen cloth, boots, leather, wooden ware, straw bonnets, shaving and splitting knives, bed binding, soft soap, and spirits. Billerica lies 18 miles N.W. from Boston, 7 S.S.E. from Lowell, and 7 N.E. by N. from Concord. John Hayward, The New England Gazetteer, 1839.