Place:Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States


Alt namesTaunton Greensource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25006056
Coordinates41.901°N 71.094°W
Located inBristol, Massachusetts, United States     (1638 - )
Contained Places
Neck O Land Cemetery ( 1687 - )
Oakland Cemetery
Plain Cemetery
Richmond Cemetery ( 1659 - 1683 )
Saint Joseph's Cemetery
Tisdale Burying Ground ( 1659 - 1683 )
Walker-Blake Graveyard
Inhabited place
Easton ( 1694 - 1710 )
Norton ( 1669 - 1710 )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Taunton is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the seat of Bristol County. Taunton is situated on the Taunton River which winds its way through the city on its way to Mount Hope Bay, to the south. At the 2020 census, the city had a population of 59,408. Shaunna O'Connell is the mayor of Taunton.

Founded in 1637 by members of the Plymouth Colony, Taunton is one of the oldest towns in the United States. The Native Americans called the region Cohannet, Tetiquet and Titicut before the arrival of the Europeans. Taunton is also known as the "Silver City", as it was a historic center of the silver industry beginning in the 19th century when companies such as Reed & Barton, F. B. Rogers, Poole Silver, and others produced fine-quality silver goods in the city.

Since December 1914, the city of Taunton has provided a large annual light display each December on Taunton Green, giving it the additional nickname of "Christmas City". Taunton is home of MSP Boxing Champion Joseph J. Gregg.

The original boundaries of Taunton included the land now occupied by many surrounding towns, including Norton, Easton, Mansfield, Dighton, Raynham, Berkley, and Lakeville. Possession of the latter is still noted by the naming of Taunton Hill in Assonet.



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


Before European settlement, the area which is now Taunton was inhabited by the Wampanoag, Massachusett, and Pokanoket peoples. Taunton was founded by settlers from England and officially incorporated as a town on September 3, 1639. Most of the town's settlers were originally from Taunton in Somerset, England, which led early settlers to name the settlement after that town. At the time of Taunton's incorporation, they explained their choice of name as being "in honor and love to our dear native country." Prior to 1640, the Taunton area was called Cohannet, Tetiquet or Titiquet.

The English founders of Taunton purchased the land from the Nemasket Natives in 1637 as part of the Tetiquet Purchase and the remaining native families were relocated to the praying town of Ponkapoag in present-day Canton, Massachusetts. Elizabeth Poole contrary to local folklore, did not take part in the town purchase but was among its greatest beneficiaries and played a significant role in the founding of its church.[1] Described as "the foundress of Taunton" and its matriarch, Poole "was accorded equality of rights, whether in the purchase of lands, [or] in the sharing of iron works holdings," having been a financier of the settlement's first dam and mill built for the manufacture of bar iron.[1] Plymouth Colony was formally divided into counties on June 2, 1685, with Taunton becoming the shire town of Bristol County. The counties of Plymouth Colony were transferred to the Province of Massachusetts Bay on the arrival of its charter and governor on May 14, 1692. The Taunton area has been the site of skirmishes and battles during various conflicts, including King Philip's War and the American Revolution. Taunton was re-incorporated as a city on May 11, 1864.

Industrial legacy

In 1656, the first successful iron works in Plymouth Colony was established on the Two Mile River, in what is now part of Raynham. The Taunton Iron Works operated for over 200 years until 1876. It was the first of many iron industries in Taunton.

During the 19th century, Taunton became known as the "Silver City", as it was home to many silversmithing operations, including Reed & Barton, F.B. Rogers, the Poole Silver Company, and the Taunton Silverplate Company.

In the 19th century, Taunton was also the center of an important iron-making industry, utilizing much bog iron from the numerous swamps in the surrounding area. The iron industry in Taunton produced a variety of goods including stoves (Weir Stove Company/Glenwood), tacks (Field Tack Company) and machinery. One of the more successful companies during this period was the Mason Machine Works, founded by William Mason, which produced machinery for the textile industry, as well as steam locomotives. The Taunton Locomotive Works (begun in 1846) also operated in the city during this time.

Taunton was also home to several textile mills (Whittenton Mills) and other industries, such as felt (Bacon Felt) and brick making.

During the 19th century, Taunton was a major shipping point for grain from the inland rural farm areas of Massachusetts to the rest of the nation via Weir Village and the Taunton River. With the advent of the railroad, Taunton would also become an important transportation hub due to its central location.

The city formed the Taunton Municipal Light Plant (TMLP) in 1897, when it decided to purchase the floundering Taunton Electric Lighting Company, making it a publicly owned electric utility. Today, TMLP provides electric service to 34,000 customers in Taunton, Berkley, Raynham, and sections of Dighton, Lakeville and Bridgewater. TMLP is governed by a three-member Board of Commissioners, which is elected by the citizens of Taunton.

In the late 19th century, Taunton was a stop on the national bicycle racing circuit. In 1897, the open event made news when third-place finisher W. E. Becker brutally attacked second-place winner Major Taylor, knocking him unconscious for fifteen minutes.

Twentieth century

Built in 1942, U.S. Army Camp Myles Standish was a departure point for over a million U.S. and allied military personnel bound for Europe during World War II. It also functioned as a prisoner of war camp housing German and Italian soldiers. While Camp Myles Standish was later closed in 1946, it was re-purposed as the Paul A Dever School which was a facility that housed mentally disabled persons. The school site of was shut down in 1982. This portion was turned into an expansion scheme for the existing the Myles Standish Industrial Park, Taunton's north end, which is currently one of the largest in New England, covering an area over . It services manufacturing, offices, high tech, and distribution centers.

The National Weather Service operates a regional weather forecast office that serves much of Massachusetts, all of Rhode Island, and most of northern Connecticut there. The National Weather Service also operates the Northeast River Forecast Center on the site, serving New England and most of New York state. Several major companies operate within the industrial park and in other parts of the city.

Twenty-first century

In October 2005, the Whittenton Pond Dam north of the downtown area threatened to fail following a week that brought of rain to the city. Over 2,000 city residents were evacuated, all downtown businesses were ordered closed and Mayor Robert Nunes issued a state of emergency. It is estimated that if the dam had failed, the Mill River would have inundated the downtown area with up to of water. In response, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ordered an immediate inspection of high-risk dams throughout the Commonwealth.

In 2010, the historic Taunton City Hall was severely damaged in an arson fire. City government operated out of the former Lowell M. Maxham School on Oak Street for ten years, until the building was renovated and re-opened in September 2020.

In 2012 Taunton became the target location for a Wampanoag casino complex which was embroiled in conflict by competing regional bands of the Wampanoag over territory claims. The proposed casino resort complex location is adjacent to a local elementary school and the regional technical high school, generating protests by parent and teacher groups.

On June 10, 2012, the City of Taunton dedicated the Taunton Global War on Terrorism War Memorial on Church Green.

Taunton is home to a General Dynamics Mission Systems facility, which develops military communications equipment.

Historical photo gallery

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