History of the town of Sherborn
Sherborn’s Native American history is little known, but before English settlers moved inland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and acquired land grants here in the 1640s the area was probably home to members of both the Massachusett and Nipmuck tribes. Until 1674 when it was incorporated as a new town, Sherborn was part of a much larger stretch of land encompassing the Charles River valley between what are today South Natick and Medway. The settlers referred to that larger area by its Native American name, Boggestow.
In the late 1670s and early 1680s, after King Philip’s War, Sherborn’s settlers did what settlers do: they paid the natives for the land title, erected a sawmill, built a meeting house, and hired their first minister. Later they formed a militia, recruited a schoolmaster, and built a flour mill.
The Charles River yielding insufficient hydropower to support industry on a large scale, Sherborn maintained its character as a small but largely self-sufficient farming community through the 19th century. But by the late 1890s steam power, excellent growing conditions, and healthy thirsts contributed to significant cider production; before the turn of the century Sherborn produced a million and a quarter gallons of hard cider annually and shipped it as far away as Texas, Nebraska, England, and Belgium.
Peace and quiet, along with the remarkable beauty of the Charles River watershed, attracted several of Boston’s prominent families in the early years of the 20th century. Their lovely farms and estates, as well as their careful stewardship of Sherborn’s enviable open space, contribute much to the unspoiled nature of this small town.