Mason Abbe was born in Windham, Connecticut in 1759 to Richard and Mary Huntington Abbe. He enlisted at the age of 18 in 1777, serving in the 7th Regiment of Connecticut under Col. Herman Swift. He survived Valley Forge and went on to fight in New Jersey. He returned home to Windham and married Sarah Frissell, though I have so far discovered no record of the marriage.
By 1790, he was living in Walpole, Cheshire, New Hampshire, with his wife, Sarah, and his younger brother, Richard. Another, unknown male over 16 was also living with him. (His older brother, Hezekiah, was living across the Connecticut River in Vermont.)
By 1800, he was living in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was a carpenter who began making carriages and wagons intended to be pulled by only one horse. His work was innovative enough that he is mentioned in this regard in the town histories of both Amherst and Hadley. Previous to his small carriages, people rode their horses to traverse the landscape, limiting their ability to carry supplies and belongings, or hired large wagons pulled by teams of horses to haul big loads.
By 1810, he was living in the nearby town of Belchertown, Massachusetts. He founded the "Belchertown Carriage Manufactory", the first of such operations in the town. Carriage-making eventually became the most prominent industry of Belchertown during the early 1800s. His son, Elisha, was a wheelwright. Presumably he worked in the carriage shop with his father.
Mason lived until age 90. He spent the rest of his long life in Belchertown, and is buried at Lake Vale Cemetery along with his wife, Sarah, who died in 1828.
by Abbe, Cleveland, 1838-1916; Nichols, Mary Josephine Genung, b. 1876, joint comp, Published 1916
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