Place:Bellingham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States

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NameBellingham
TypeTown
Coordinates42.083°N 71.467°W
Located inNorfolk, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Center Cemetery
Scott Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Bellingham is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 16,332 at the 2010 census.[1] The town sits on the southwestern fringe of Metropolitan Boston, along the rapidly growing "outer belt" that is Route 495. It is formally a part of the Boston–Cambridge–Quincy metropolitan statistical area, as well as the Providence metropolitan area.

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Bellingham, please see the article Bellingham (CDP), Massachusetts.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The area of the town south of the Charles River constituted the southwestern corner of the Dedham Grant, which sprouted much of what has become Norfolk County. The land was swampy, and the town of Dedham did not believe it worthy of settlement. The area north of the river would be purchased by Edward Rawson, and due to the settlement of borders with the surrounding communities, these two areas would eventually merge. By 1713, there were enough citizens to warrant village meetings in the area. By 1718, the village petitioned for separation, and the town officially incorporated on November 27, 1719. The village was originally named "Westham" (short for "West Dedham"), but at the time of incorporation, its name was changed to Bellingham without record of the benefactor. The town is named for Richard Bellingham, an early governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The town was founded with a Pilgrim (Congregationalist) meeting house, like all the towns in the colony at the time. However, this church would dissolve before the middle of the century, replaced with a Baptist church. John Leland, a Baptist minister, who was a major supporter of James Madison and the First Amendment to the Constitution, was baptized in Bellingham's Baptist church in 1775. The town grew slowly, given the terrain and the limited resources. During the Industrial Revolution, several man-made ponds were constructed to support industry in land that had been swamp. Today the northern part of the town is part of the economic boom along I-495, with the southern being mostly suburban. Deborah Sampson enlisted as "Robert Shurtlieff" at Bellingham, near the end of the Revolutionary War, and disguised herself as a man, to become America's first woman soldier.

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