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The rural town of Heath, Massachusetts, in 1871 shares very similar characteristics to the Heath of the 21st century. Dwellings are widely dispersed and the town center is a small village. Heath had even less manufacturing than many of the rural towns of western Massachusetts. What was there was limited to the scattered grist and saw mills along Mill Brook and the tributaries of the West Branch Brook. The "scales" noted in Heath Center were used to weigh grain and farm animals.