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Oxford, Massachusetts (Hayward)

Gazetteer/Almanac

John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America... (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 510.

Oxford, Ms., Worcester co. This town was granted to Joseph Dudley and others, in 1683, for the accommodation of about 30 French Protestant families, who had escaped from France after the revocation of the edict of Nantz. They settled here about 1686, and built a fort on a hill in the eastern part of the town, now called Mayo's or Fort Hill, where its remains are still visible. The Indian name of the town was Mancharge. The surface is not very hilly ; in its centre is a fine plain, a mile and a half in length, and a mile in width. From this plain the lands gently rise on all sides. The soil is strong and fertile, and under good cultivation. About three quarters of a mile W. from the plain, on which is a large and handsome village, runs French River, from the N. to the S., and falls into the Quinebaug. This river (so named from the first settlers) and its tributaries give to Oxford a great hydraulic power. Woollen and Thread Villages, about a mile apart, on French River, are important manufacturing places. The Norwich and Worcester Railroad passes through the town. 11 miles S. from Worcester, and 58 S. W. by W. from Boston.

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