The following is from the book History of North Bridgewater (Brockton) written in 1866 by B. Kingman

 

Natural History.

To the true votary of science, everything in nature presents lovely aspect. "To him, there are books in the running streams, sermons in the stones, good in everything."

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;

There is society where none intrudes."

Every town has its natural history, and every mile of its surface, with its hills and plains, its rivers, ponds, rocks, and trees, - all have a charm that clusters around the home of childhood. The forests of North Bridgewater consist of red, white, and sugar maple (although the latter is scarce, it is occasionally found) ; white, red, and black ash ; the tremulous poplar and verdant hemlock ; the tall spruce, much used in building ; white ash used for carriage-works, scythes, and rake handles, for hoops, sieve-rims, and boxes, and a superior wood for oars. Sassafras was in early times quite plenty, valuable for medicinal purposes.

The birds common in this locality are the quail, partridge, snipe, woodpecker, woodcock, sparrow, thrush, robin, bluebird, bobolink, wren, pewee, lark, king-bird, blue-jay, black-bird, chickadee, martin, barn, and bank swallow, cat-bird, cuckoo, humming-bird, kingfisher, whip-poor-will, owl, hawk, crow, bats. Wild Geese occasionally light on the small ponds in the outskirts of town.

           "What songs with those of birds can vie,

From the goldfinch that on high

                                 Swings its wee hammock in the sky?         Canning.

Among the different kinds of fish that abound in our streams may be found the trout, pickerel, sucker, shiner, minnow, hornpout, eels, perch. Herrings, in early days, used to run up the rivers, but of late, are seldom found.

The early forests in town had their share of vexatious animals that were common in this part of the country ; as wolves, wild-cat. Foxes have become shy of company. Skunk, musquosh, and mink have been severely hunted. Woodchucks, rabbits, and squirrels of different kinds. Raccoons, that damaged corn fields, have almost disappeared. Moles and meadow-mice are found in fields, and often do much damage, gnawing bark off of trees in winter.

But the worst enemy the early settlers had to contend with among the beast kind was the wolf, which troubled the infant settlements exceedingly ; so much, that shepherds were appointed over the flocks by day, and put in folds at night, and securely guarded ; and, even after the town became quite thickly settled, these pests would make night hideous by their howling around the farms. Rewards were offered by the town for their heads, and wolf-traps were common in all parts of town.

 

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