East Bridgewater Massachusetts, 1890

East Bridgewater
is a flourishing farming and manufacturing town in the northwesterly part of Plymouth County, 25 miles south by southeast of Boston by the Old Colony Railroad, which passes directly through it. It is bounded on the north by Whitman, east by Hanson and Halifax, south by Bridgewater, and west by West Bridgewater and Brockton. The assessed area is 9,930 acres, of which 2,328 is woodland.

The geological structure is carboniferous. There are valuable beds of clay suitable for brickmaking, which is carried on extensively. Near the centre is a deposit about thirty feet deep and of excellent quality. The material is dug and ground by steam-power, and dried in extensive sheds, so constructed as to be opened or closed at once for the admission of the sun or the exclusion of rain.

Satucket River, formed by Black Brook and Poor-meadow Brook, drains the southerly part of the town; while Beaver Brook and Snell-meadow Brook unite in the westerly part of the town and form Matfield River. This joins the Satucket River at Elmwood; and the resulting stream, joining the Wenatuxet River in Halifax, forms the Taunton River. Robbin's Pond is a fine sheet of water of about 140 acres, in the southern angle of the town. The streams, in general, flow southerly, diversifying the scenery and furnishing valuable motive power. There is a mineral spring of some note in the northerly section of the town.

The farms number 77, and furnish the usual products, which in 1885 amounted to $65,956. There are one or more lumber and box mills, several shoe factories, a nail and a cotton-gin factory, one or more bloomeries and founderies and one rolling-mill. The Standard Chain Works here have sometimes done a very large business. The first machines for carding, roping and spinning cotton, and the first nails by machinery, were made here. The iron goods product in 1885 had a value of $221,804; while the boots and shoes amounted to $164,286. The aggregate value of the manufactures was $446,183. The East Bridgewater Savings Bank, at the close of last year, had deposits amounting to $534,968. The valuation of the town in 1888 was $1,488,646; and the tax-rate was $11.50 on $1,000. There are 742 voters in a population of 2,812; and the dwelling-houses number 624. The villages are East Bridgewater, Elmwood, Beaver, Curtisville, Eastville, Northville and Satucket, the first two being the post offices for the town.

The public schools are completely graded, and occupy ten buildings, which are valued at about $13,000. The East Bridgewater Public Library has about 1,000 volumes; the high school has upwards of 200; and the Sunday schools are well supplied. The "East Bridge-water Star," the weekly journal, does good service for its patronage. The churches are the Union (Trinitarian Congregationalist), the New Jerusalem, the Methodist Episcopal, the Roman Catholic, and the First Parish (Unitarian), founded in 1724. The town sent 302 soldiers to the war of the Rebellion, of whom 46 were lost.

The settlement of this town (called by the Indians Satucket) was begun in 1660 by Samuel Allen, Thomas Whitman, Robert Latham, Nicholas Byram, and others. In 1676, the dwellings, with the exception of Mr. Byram's house, were burned by the Indians. The first church was organized, and the Rev. John Angier ordained as minister, October 28, 1724. The territory was included in Bridge water until 1823, when it was set apart and incorporated under its present name. It received some territory from the parent town again in 1846; and in 1857 had an accession from Halifax; in 1875 part of its land was taken to form South Abington, now Whitman; and in the same year a part was annexed to Brockton.

Hon. Nahum Mitchell, an able lawyer, and a musician of excellence, joint author with B. Brown, Esq., of the "Bridgewater Collection of Church Music," was horn here. Ezekiel Whitman, a member of Congress and a judge of the Supreme Court, was also a native.

pp. 283-285 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890