Not long after the Pilgrims came ashore, Bridgewater became the first inland settlement to branch out from the Plymouth Colony, incorporating in 1656. Its fertile soil and bountiful rivers provided for a rich agricultural community. As the Industrial Revolution forced farmers into factories, Bridgewater experienced rapid social and economic growth and change. Iron, shoe, and paper manufacturing flourished, and the railroad brought European immigrants in search of the American Dream. In Bridgewater, vintage images tell the stories of the Bridgewater Academy, the normal school, the changes in and around the common, the business pursuits of local proprietors, and the spiritual and civic life of Bridgewater residents.
About the Author
David R. Moore is chairman of the Bridgewater Historical Commission and a member of the Bridgewater Historical Collectors. The son of past town historian Ken Moore, he has lectured to various school and civic groups on local history for more than two decades and spearheaded the Bridgewater Ironworks Park preservation project.