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Town of Berkley History and Resources
 
The notably stony soil of Berkley did not discourage the early settlers of the community who did some shipbuilding but essentially concentrated on agriculture. The town is still rural in character, and has retained much of its 18th century landscape. Berkley was a well known Indian settlement area because of the rich shellfish and water fowl resources to be found there. These and the woodlands in the town also drew the first European settlers. But the town was abandoned by residents because of its vulnerability to Indian or French attack at the outbreak of King Philip's war, when townspeople sought shelter and safety in Taunton. These wars delayed development of the community, as did the lack of water power to fuel the industrial mills of Colonial times. However, there were sufficient clay deposits to stimulate a small pottery industry for a time. Still a small, rural community, Berkley is well loved by its residents for its peacefulness and its reminders of the past, among which is the Berkley-Dighton Bridge, possibly the oldest swing span bridge in the state. 

Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

 

Berkley Public Library

Federal Census, 1790, Berkley

Historic Maps Covering Berkley

Federal Census, 1800, Berkley

Federal Census, 1850, Berkley

Federal Census, 1860, Berkley

Richard Burt House