Dedham - Encyclopedia




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DEDHAM, a township and the county seat of Norfolk county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., with an area of 2 3 sq. m. of comparatively level country. Pop. (1890) 7123; (r goo) 7457, of whom 2186 were foreign-born; (1905, state census) 7774. The township is traversed by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, and by interurban electric lines. It contains three villages, Dedham, East Dedham and Oakdale. Dedham has a public library (1854; incorporated 1871). The Dedham historical society was organized in 1859 and was incorporated in 1862. The Fairbanks house was erected in part as early as 1654. Carpets, handkerchiefs and woollen goods are manufactured, and a pottery here is reputed to make the only true crackleware outside the East. Dedham was "planted" in 1635 and was incorporated in 1636. It was one of the first two inland settlements of the colony, being coeval with Concord. The original plantation, about 20 m. long and 10 m. wide, extended from Roxbury and Dorchester to the present state line of Rhode Island: from this territory several townships were created, including Westwood (pop. in 1905, 1136), in 1897. A free public school, one of the first in America to be supported by direct taxation, was established in Dedham in 1645. In the Woodward tavern, the birthplace of Fisher Ames, a convention met in September 1774 and adjourned to Milton, where it passed the Suffolk Resolves.

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