Turning Back Time #1: Millbury, Established 1913
Our Turning Back Time series takes a look back at numerous turning points, milestones, and important moments in Millbury Savings Bank’s 160-year history. Sure, we may be waxing nostalgic, but we also think it’s important to acknowledge the role the bank has played in our community all the way back to the mid-19th century.
Of course, without Millbury, there’d be no Millbury Savings Bank. So, our series begins with the establishment of this important industrial community in 1813.
The history of Millbury, as it’s been well-documented, actually begins one town over in Sutton. Incorporated in 1715, for several years Sutton was home to just three families. But over the next few decades, the population grew significantly in all directions, including northward along the Blackstone River.
Sutton’s Second or North Parish, as Millbury was then known, grew so rapidly that the town’s single meetinghouse could not accommodate the growing resident population. In the mid-1700s, a new meetinghouse was established in the northern part of town, setting off a chain of events that ultimately led to Millbury’s establishment as a separate town.
Why such tremendous growth? One needs to look only as far as the waterways Millbury offers, especially the Blackstone. Supplying waterpower for the numerous mills that were built on its banks or near the ponds that feed it, as well as a means to move goods to markets before railroads became predominant, the mighty Blackstone River was a critical natural resource that helped give Millbury a pivotal role in the industrial revolution.
Over the years, residents of Sutton’s North Parish petitioned numerous times for the right to incorporate independently. In 1813, they were ultimately successful. On June 11, 1813, Millbury was incorporated.