Westport, MA

Westport. - This was the fourteenth town formed in Bristol county. It was formerly a part of old Dartmouth and was set off and incorporated July 2, 1878. On February 25, 1793, a small tract of Dartmouth was annexed; a second tract was annexed on February 28, 1795, and a third on March 4, 1805. The change made in 1862 in the boundary between the States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island added certain lands to this town. The boundary between Fall River and Westport was finally fixed June 14, 1894. West port is the southeast corner town in the county and is bounded on the north by Fall River, on the east by dartmouth, on the south by Buzzard's Bay, and on the west by Little Compton and Tiverton, R. I. The town contains a population of 2,678 by the census of 1895, and 511 registered voters by the census of 1897. It forms a part of the Thirteenth Congressional District, and with the First and Second wards of Fall River forms the Ninth Representative District, with 5,402 legal voters, entitling the district to two representatives.

In earlier years Westport had a considerable whaling industry, its fleet comprising eight vessels, which sailed from Westport Point about the year 1849. The town now has five post-offices, namely Head of-Westport, Westport Point, North Westport, South Westport, and Central Village. Westport Point is a hamlet at the extreme end of the point of land extending south between the east and west branches of Westport River. It has a population of 172, and contains a Methodist church, a school, two stores, and the Hotel Westport, built in 1888, and has always had an important fishing industry. This is an important summer resort and many cottages have been built.

Central Village, as its name would indicate, is situated in the central part of the town and has a population of 91. It contains the town hall, one store, Christian church, and a Frieds' meeting-house.

Westport Factory (Westport P. O.) is a considerable hamlet on the line between this town and Dartmouth, and on the electric railroad between Fall River and New Bedford; its population is 1,922. It takes its name from the fact that there has been a cotton factory there many years, which is now used for the extensive manufacture of carpet warp, wrapping twine, bats and lamp wicking. The business, as now conducted, was established in 1854 by William B. Trafford, E. R. Lewis and G. W. Lewis. It is now conducted by G. W. Lewis, William C. Trafford, Andrew K. Trafford and the estate of William B. Trafford and the estate of E. R. Lewis, who died in July, 1897. A second mill, manufacturing the same product, is situated a little farther down the stream, which was started by the same firm in 1872. About two hundred hands are employed in both. The company also conducts the only store in the place. There is a union grammar school here for this town and Dartmouth, with two departments; one church of the Christian denomination.

At the head of the Westport River is a hamlet, the post-office bearing the name, Head of-Westport, where there are a number of dwellings, three school houses, two blacksmiths shops, two general stores and a Congregational church. There is a grist mill at the head of the river.

South Westport is a small settlement and post-office in the southwest part of the town; its business interests have never been important. North Westport is a small settlement in the extreme north end of the town, with population of 392. It contains two stores, a church and a few shops.

There was formerly a post-office at Westport Harbor, a settlement at the mouth of the harbor in the southwest part. As thus indicated, Westport is largely an agricultural district in which mixed farming and a little dairying is carried on. Many acres are overgrown with trees and brush and a few farms have been abandoned. Some of these have in recent years been taken up by Portuguese settlers. A public library is maintained at the Head-of-Westport and one at Central Village.

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