Stoughton (official name: Town of Stoughton) is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 26,962 at the 2010 census. The town is located approximately from Boston, from Providence, and from Cape Cod.
Stoughton was first settled in 1713 and was officially incorporated in 1726 from the southwestern portion of the large town of Dorchester. At its founding, the town included the current towns of Sharon (which separated in 1765), Canton (which separated in 1797) and Avon (which separated in 1888). It was named after William Stoughton, who was the first chief justice of Colonial Courts and the notorious chief justice of the Salem Witch Trials.
The Suffolk Resolves were written in Old Stoughton (current day Milton, Massachusetts) at Doty's Tavern. They are thought to be the basis for the Declaration of Independence. The meeting included the Reverend Samuel Dunbar and Paul Revere, while the site was chosen by Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren.
The oldest choral society in the United States is located in Stoughton. Founded in 1786 as The Stoughton Musical Society, it is now known as the Old Stoughton Musical Society. It also has the oldest constitution of any musical society in the United States, written in 1787, only a few weeks after the United States Constititution. In 1893, this musical society distinguished itself by performing several concerts at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, heard by an audience of several thousand people. In 1986, the musical society celebrated its bicentennial with a series of concerts and special events.
The citizens of Stoughton pride themselves on their social activism. The Save Our Stoughton campaign attracted national attention in the 1980s for their work picketing a local adult book store. Most recently, Stoughton became the first municipality in Massachusetts to declare itself a "No Place for Hate" town.
Stoughton's train station was built in 1888, and is the only one in Massachusetts to house a clock tower. The station is unique in many ways as it was built out of stones from a West Street quarry that belonged to Stoughton resident Myron Gilbert. In 1974 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over a million dollars was raised to restore the station to its original luster in time for the 100th anniversary. It is the only train station in the country that still has the look and charm of a 19th-century train station.. The station currently serves as the terminus of the Stoughton Branch of MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line.
On May 9, 2013, a weak, brief, and unexpected tornado touched down in Stoughton, with minor damage occurring. The tornado was ranked as an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale after the National Weather Service office in Taunton, Massachusetts confirmed this tornado in a damage survey on May 10.