Town of Bridgewater

Australian Gum Tree

Chartered in 1656, the Town of Bridgewater historically flourished as an industrial and agricultural center within Southeastern Massachusetts. The raising of livestock and crop cultivation on farms comprising several hundred acres were common in the outlying areas of the community. As early as the 18th century, foundries were operating along the northern periphery of the downtown where iron forgings for the Revolutionary and Civil Wars were produced. A century later, shoe, nail and brick manufacturing emerged in the area, employing hundreds of former agricultural workers from nearby farms or immigrants from distant lands. The historic character of the community is largely preserved in the Federal, Italianate and Greek revival commercial and civic structures surrounding the central common. Landscaping on the common and elsewhere in the downtown is meticulously maintained by the Bridgewater Improvement Association, a non-profit organization devoted to the beautification of the community. The downtown remains a vital center of community life where such activities as autumn and Christmas holiday festivals are conducted each year. Bridgewater today is a growing community of over 20,000. (Seal and narrative supplied by community)
History of the early settlement of Bridgewater in Plymouth County, Massachusetts including an extensive family register

Original Proprietors of Bridgewater, MA, 1645

Granted by Gov. Bradford,  1645

William Bradford John Pybody John Irish
William Merrick William Paybody Philip Delano
John Bradford Francis Sprague *Arthur Harris
Abraham Pierce *William Basset Mr. John Alden
John Rogers *John Washburn *John Fobes
George Partridge *John Washburn, Jr. Samuel Nash
John Starr *John Ames Abraham Sampson
Mr. William Collier *Thomas Gannet George Soule
Christopher Wadsworth *William Brett *Experience Mitchell
Edward Hall Edmund Hunt Henry Howland
Nicholas Robbins William Clark Henry Sampson
*Thomas Hayward William Ford John Brown
*Nathaniel Willis Mr. Const. Southworth *John Haward
*John Willis *John Cary Francis West
Thomas Bonney Edmund Weston William Tubbs
Mr Miles Standish *Samuel Tompkins James Lindall
Love Brewster Edmund Chandler Samuel Eaton
Mr Ralph Partridge Moses Simmons Solomon Leonard

* Moved to Bridgewater

Added were Samuel Edson, the first miller, who came from Salem, and Rev James Keith, the first minister and Edson's son-in-law, educated at Aberdeen, and installed at Bridgewater 1664 at the age of 21.