Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

temperature of Boston is 48° F. In the interior it is slightly lower. The mean summer temperature generally over the state is about 70° F. Changes are often sudden, and the passage from winter to summer is through a rapid spring. The ocean tempers the climate considerably on the seaboard. Boston Harbor has been frozen over in the past, but steam tugs plying constantly now prevent the occurrence of such obstruction. In the elevated region in the west the winters are decidedly severe, and the springs and summers often late and cold. Williamstown has a winter mean of about 23° F. The yearly precipitation is about 39 to 45 in., decreasing inland, and is evenly distributed throughout the year. F ogs are common on the coast, and east wind drizzles; the north-east winds being the weather bane of spring and late autumn. In the summer and the autumn the weather is commonly fine, and often most beautiful; and especially in the Berkshires a cool, pure and elastic atmosphere prevails, relatively dry, and altogether delightful. Agriculture.-The soil, except in some of the valleys, is not naturally fertile; and sandy wastes are common in the south-east parts. High cultivation, however, has produced valuable market gardens about Boston and the larger towns; and industry has made tillage remunerative in most other parts. The gross value of agricultural products is not great compared with that of other industries, but they are of great importance in the economy of the state. The total value of farm property in 1900 was $182,646,704, including livestock valued at $15,798,464 Of the increase in the total value of farm property between 1850 and 1900 more than half was in the decade 1890-1900; this increase being due partly to the rising value of suburban realty, but also to a development of intensive farming that has been very marked since 1880. The total value of farm products in 1899 was $42,298,274 (expenditure for fertilizers $I,320,600); crops representing 54-7 and animal products 45'3%, of this total. The leading crops and their percentages of the total crop value were hay and forage (39-1%), vegetables (23-9%), fruits and nuts (II-7%), forest products (8-4 %), and flowers and plants (7-1 %). Of the animal products 67-3 % were dairy products, and 20-8 % poultry and eggs. Cereals* have been for many years declining, although Indian corn is a valuable subsidiary to the dair interest, which is the most thriving farm industry. The value of, farms on which dairying was the chief source of income in 1900 was 46% of the total farm value of the state; the corresponding percentages for livestock, vegetables, hay and grain, flowers and plants, fruit and tobacco, being respectively I4'6, 10-2, 8-0, 4-2, 3-2, and I-8 %. The shrinkage of cereal crops has been mainly responsible for the idea that Massachusetts is agriculturally decadent. Parallel to this shrinkage was the decrease in ranging sheep (82-0% from 1850-1900; 34-2% from 1890-1900), and cattle, once numerous in the hill counties of the west, and in the Connecticut Valley; Boston, then ranking after London as the second wool market of the world, and being at one time the chief packing centre of the country. Dairy cows increased, however, from 1850 to IQOG by 41-9% (1890-1900, 7-3 %). The amount of improved farmland decreased in the same period 39-4 %, decreasing even more since 1880 than earlier, and amounting in 1900 to no more than 25-1 % of the area of the state; but this decrease has been compensated by increased value of products, especially since the beginning of intensive agriculture. An unusual density of urban settlement, furnishing excellent home markets and transportation facilities, are the main props of this new interest. Worcester and Middlesex counties are agriculturally foremost. Tobacco, which has been cultivated since colonial times, especially since the Civil War, is grown exclusively in the Connecticut Valley or on its borders. In the swamps and bogs of the south-east coast cranberry culture is practised, this district producin in 1900 three-fifths of the entire yield of the United States. “ libandoned farms ” (aggregating, in 1890, 3-4% of the total farm area, and 6-85 % in Hampshire county) are common, especially in the west and south-east.

Mines and Mining.-Granite is the chief mineral, and granite quarrying is the principal mineral industry of the state. In 1900 the value of manufactures based primarily upon the products of mines and quarries was $196,930,979, or 19% of the state's total manufactured product. In 1906 Massachusetts led all states in the value of its granite output, but in 1907 and 1908 it was second to Vermont. The value of the product (including a small output of igneous rocks) was in 1903, $2,351,027; 1904, $2,554,748; 1905, $2,251, ;I9: 1906, $3,327,416; 1907, $2,323,772 1998, $2,027,463-Granite boulders were used for construction in Massachusetts as early as 1650. Systematic quarrying of siliceous crystalline rocks in New England began at Quincy in about 1820. The Gloucester quarries, opened in 1824, were probably the next to be worked regularly. The principal granite quarries are in Milford, 1 The yield of cereals and of such other crops in 1907 as are recorded in the Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture was as follows: Indian corn, 1,584,000 bushels; oats, 245,000 bushels; barley, 64,000 bushels; buckwheat, 42,000 bushels; otatoes, 3,600,000 bushels; hay, 760,000 tons; tobacco, 7,167,500 gn. In the same year, according to the same authority, there were in the state 196,000 milch cows, 92,000 other neat cattle, 45,000 sheep and 70,000 swine.

(Worcester county), Quincy and Milton (Norfolk countY), Rockport (Essex county) and Becket (Berkshire county). Of the fourteen quarries of “ Milford granite, ” twelve are in the township of that name, and two in Hopkinton township, Middlesex county. B. K. Emerson and J. H. Perry classify this granite as post-Cambrian. They describe it” as “ a compact, massive rock, somewhat above medium grain, and of light colour. The light flesh colour of the feldspar, and the blue of the quartz give it in some places a slight pinkish tint, and it is now much used as a building-stone under the name of ' pink granitef "

The Quincy granite district lies around the north-east end of the Blue Hill region, about II m. south of Boston. For monumental purposes this granite is classified as “ medium, ” "dark, " and “ extra dark.” Quincy granite takes a very high polish, owing to the absence of mica and to the coarser cleavage of its hornblende and augite. The lightest of the monumental stone quarried at Quincy is called gold-leaf; it is bluish-green gray, speckled with black and light yellow brown. Another variety has small, rather widely separated cherry-red dots.

The Rockport granite is found along or near the seashore, between Rockport and Bay View, and within about three-quarters of a mile of Cape Ann. The granite is of two kinds, known commercially as “ grey gra nite ” and “ green granite.” Both varieties .are hard and take a very high polish.

The Becker granite (known as “Chester dark” and “Chester light ”) is a Muscovite-biotite granite varying from medium grey to medium bluish grey colour, and fine in texture. It is used principally for monuments.

In 1907 Massachusetts ranked sixth among the states in the value of its trap rock product ($432,604), and eighth in sandstone ($243,328). The value of the marble produced in the same year was $212,438, the state ranking fifth in the value of the total product and fourth in building-marble. Other minerals are emery, limestone and quartz. The state ranked fifth in 1906 in the total value of stone quarried ($4,333,616), and eighth in 1908 ($2,955,195). The output of lime in 1908 was 107,813 tons, valued at $566,022. Second in value to the various stones were the clay products of the state, which were valued in 1906 at $2,172,733 (of which $1,415,864 was the value of common brick) and in 1908 at $1,647,362 (of which $950,921 was the value of common brick). There are many mineral springs in the state, more than half being in Essex and Middlesex counties. The total amount of mineral waters sold in 1908 was valued at $227,907. In that year the total value of the minerals and mining products of the state was $5,925,949. Gold has been found in small quantities in Middlesex, Norfolk and Plymouth counties.

Manufactures.-Though only four states of the Union are smaller, only three exceeded Massachusetts in 1905 in the value of manufactured products (six exceeding it in population); and this despite very scant native resources of raw materials and a very limited home market. Historical priority of development, exceptionally extensive and well utilized water-power, and good transportation facilities are largely responsible for the exceptional rank of Massachusetts as a manufacturing state. Vast water-power is developed on the Merrimac at Lawrence and Lowell, and on the Connecticut at South Hadley, and to a less extent at scores of other cities on many streams and artificial ponds; many of the machines that have revolutionized industrial conditions since the beginning of the factory system have been invented by Massachusetts men; and the state contains various technical schools of great importance. In 1900 the value of manufactures was $I,035,198,989, an increase from 1890 of 16-6%; that from 1880 to 189O having been 40-7 %. In textiles-cottons, worsteds, woollens and carpets-in boots and shoes, in rubber foot-wear, in fine writing paper, and in other minor products, it is the leading state of the country. The textile industries (the making of carpets and rugs, cotton goods, cotton small wares, dyeing and finishing textiles, felt goods, felt hats, hosiery and knit goods, shoddy, silk and silk goods, woollen goods, and worsted goods), employed 32-5% of all manufacturing wage earners in 1905, and their product ($27I,369,816) was 24-1 % of the total, and of this nearly one-half ($I2Q, I7I,449) was in cotton goods, being 28-9 % of the total output of the country, as compared with II% for South Carolina, the nearest competitor of Massachusetts. There is a steadily increasing roduct of fine grade fabrics. The output of worsted goods in 1905 (§ 5I,973,944) was more than three-tenths that of the entire country, Rhode Island being second with $44,477,596; in Massachusetts the increase in the value of this product was 28-2% between 1900 and 1905. The value of woollen goods in 1905 ($44,653, Q40) was more than thasee-tenths of the entire product for the country; and it was 446% more than that of 1900. The value of boots and shoes and cut stock in 1905 was $173,612,660, being 23% greater than in 1900; the value of boots and shoes in 1905 ($$144,291,426) was 45-1 % of the cour1try's output, that of New York, the second state, being only 10-7 %. In this industry, as in the manufacture of cotton goods, Massachusetts has long been without serious rivalry; Brockton, Lynn, 2 The Green Schists and Associated Granite.: and Porphyriesi of Rhode Island, Bulletin, U.S. Geological Survey, No. 311, 1907,