Old Bridgewater Historical Society

Old Bridgewater Historical Society Old Bridgewater Historical Society was founded in 1894 and is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and publication of the history of Old Bridgewater, which today includes Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, and Brockton.
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Stop in today! Although our museum building is located in West Bridgewater, our focus encompasses all the Bridgewaters -- including East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Brockton (originally North Bridgewater), and Bridgewater itself.

Operating as usual

Did you know.......that the second most important industry in Bridgewater (after shoes) was iron.  After the Old Colony ...
04/16/2021

Did you know.......that the second most important industry in Bridgewater (after shoes) was iron. After the Old Colony Railroad came through in 1845, Bridgewater became known as an "Iron Town". The first fi****ms and solid cannons in America were made there. (Source: Hockomock: Place Where the Spirits Dwell, by Tower.)

Did you know.......that the second most important industry in Bridgewater (after shoes) was iron. After the Old Colony Railroad came through in 1845, Bridgewater became known as an "Iron Town". The first fi****ms and solid cannons in America were made there. (Source: Hockomock: Place Where the Spirits Dwell, by Tower.)

Did you know.....that exactly 109 years ago, on April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean.  The de...
04/15/2021

Did you know.....that exactly 109 years ago, on April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean. The dead included Francis Davis Millet of East Bridgewater, an internationally celebrated painter. Millet was 65. His body was recovered and his ashes were buried in Central Cemetery in East Bridgewater.

Did you know.....that exactly 109 years ago, on April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean. The dead included Francis Davis Millet of East Bridgewater, an internationally celebrated painter. Millet was 65. His body was recovered and his ashes were buried in Central Cemetery in East Bridgewater.

It was great to meet Deborah and Russell who stopped in at the Memorial Building to take a quick look at our Francis Dav...
04/14/2021

It was great to meet Deborah and Russell who stopped in at the Memorial Building to take a quick look at our Francis Davis Millet painting: Portrait of a Lady in Costume of 1740.

It was great to meet Deborah and Russell who stopped in at the Memorial Building to take a quick look at our Francis Davis Millet painting: Portrait of a Lady in Costume of 1740.

Did you know......that James Keith, the first minister of Bridgewater, was hand-picked for the position by Increase Math...
04/14/2021

Did you know......that James Keith, the first minister of Bridgewater, was hand-picked for the position by Increase Mather, Cotton Mather's father, and adhered to the same strict Puritan views. "It is hard to conceive of a greater religious divide between two groups than the one between the devout Christian settlers and Massasoit's Pagan Wampanoags (Native American Tribe)". (source: Hockomock: Place Where the Spirits Dwell, by Tower)

Did you know......that James Keith, the first minister of Bridgewater, was hand-picked for the position by Increase Mather, Cotton Mather's father, and adhered to the same strict Puritan views. "It is hard to conceive of a greater religious divide between two groups than the one between the devout Christian settlers and Massasoit's Pagan Wampanoags (Native American Tribe)". (source: Hockomock: Place Where the Spirits Dwell, by Tower)

Limited edition blue Cup Plate featuring a REV. JAMES KEITH HOUSE design.  3&1/2 inch diameter.  Bids starting at $10.  ...
04/13/2021

Limited edition blue Cup Plate featuring a REV. JAMES KEITH HOUSE design. 3&1/2 inch diameter. Bids starting at $10. This is a fund-raiser for the Old Bridgewater Historical Society. Local only. We will not ship. If you are interested, please contact [email protected].

“Cousin” Carlton from Virginia stopped by at the Memorial Building on Wednesday to say hello.  Carlton is a KEITH, as is...
04/09/2021

“Cousin” Carlton from Virginia stopped by at the Memorial Building on Wednesday to say hello. Carlton is a KEITH, as is Jeannie, our OBHS V-P.

“Cousin” Carlton from Virginia stopped by at the Memorial Building on Wednesday to say hello. Carlton is a KEITH, as is Jeannie, our OBHS V-P.

Did you know.......that in June of 1819 the Plymouth County Agricultural Society was organized.  Until the Brockton Agri...
04/09/2021

Did you know.......that in June of 1819 the Plymouth County Agricultural Society was organized. Until the Brockton Agricultural Society was started in 1874 it was the largest agricultural organization and carried on the largest and most important outdoor fair in this part of the country. (Source: History Highlights: Bridgewater, MA)

Did you know.......that in June of 1819 the Plymouth County Agricultural Society was organized. Until the Brockton Agricultural Society was started in 1874 it was the largest agricultural organization and carried on the largest and most important outdoor fair in this part of the country. (Source: History Highlights: Bridgewater, MA)

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at  the OBHS Memorial Building.
04/07/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building in West Bridgewater.
03/31/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building in West Bridgewater.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building in West Bridgewater.

Did you know..... (Old) Bridgewater was incorporated in 1656 and included the South Parish, East Parish, West Parish, No...
03/28/2021

Did you know..... (Old) Bridgewater was incorporated in 1656 and included the South Parish, East Parish, West Parish, North Parish and Titicut Parish. North Parish became North Bridgewater in 1821, Brockton (as a town) in 1874, and Brockton (as a city) in 1881. West Parish broke off and became West Bridgewater in 1822. East Bridgewater followed in 1823.

Did you know..... (Old) Bridgewater was incorporated in 1656 and included the South Parish, East Parish, West Parish, North Parish and Titicut Parish. North Parish became North Bridgewater in 1821, Brockton (as a town) in 1874, and Brockton (as a city) in 1881. West Parish broke off and became West Bridgewater in 1822. East Bridgewater followed in 1823.

Spring has sprung!  Wouldn’t this make a great vase for a bouquet of spring flowers?  Solimene Vietri Italian Art Potter...
03/26/2021

Spring has sprung! Wouldn’t this make a great vase for a bouquet of spring flowers? Solimene Vietri Italian Art Pottery. 8&1/2 “ tall. Asking $15 or best offer. A fundraiser for the Old Bridgewater Historical Society. Local only. Will not ship. If interested, email: [email protected].

Spring has sprung! Wouldn’t this make a great vase for a bouquet of spring flowers? Solimene Vietri Italian Art Pottery. 8&1/2 “ tall. Asking $15 or best offer. A fundraiser for the Old Bridgewater Historical Society. Local only. Will not ship. If interested, email: [email protected].

Did you know......that in the early 1900's there was a tuberculosis sanatorium in East Bridgewater.  It was the Millet S...
03/26/2021

Did you know......that in the early 1900's there was a tuberculosis sanatorium in East Bridgewater. It was the Millet Sanatorium, operated by Dr. Charles S. Millet. The patients lived in open-air buildings.

Did you know......that in the early 1900's there was a tuberculosis sanatorium in East Bridgewater. It was the Millet Sanatorium, operated by Dr. Charles S. Millet. The patients lived in open-air buildings.

Chewie welcomed Lisa to the Old Bridgewater Historical Society!
03/24/2021

Chewie welcomed Lisa to the Old Bridgewater Historical Society!

Chewie welcomed Lisa to the Old Bridgewater Historical Society!

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society.
03/24/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure (or woman’s for that matter).  Are you a history teacher?  These are primary s...
03/22/2021

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure (or woman’s for that matter). Are you a history teacher? These are primary sources from the World War 2 era. Your students might be interested is seeing these authentic newspapers from 1945. Include coverage of the impending surrender of Norway, a revolt in Prague, N***s ready to accept terms, sniper fire on U.S. troops in Copenhagen, secret talks in Italy, yada yada... $15 or best offer. THIS IS A FUNDRAISER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE OLD BRIDGEWATER HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Local only. We will not ship. Contact [email protected] with your bid.

Treasure for Sale!  This hand-crafted dollhouse is looking for a new home.  It was displayed on a shelf in the home of a...
03/18/2021

Treasure for Sale! This hand-crafted dollhouse is looking for a new home. It was displayed on a shelf in the home of a senior citizen for many years. Has never been played with by a child. Dimensions are approximately 19” top to bottom, 15.5” front to back, and 27” side to side.

Would you like to make a realistic offer? Realistic would start at $50. This is a fund-raiser for The Old Bridgewater Historical Society. Local pickup only. We will not ship.

Interested parties may contact [email protected].

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society’s Memorial Building.
03/17/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society’s Memorial Building.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society’s Memorial Building.

Did you know.....that the L. Q. White Shoe Company in Bridgewater began manufacturing shoes prior to WWI.  At one point ...
03/13/2021

Did you know.....that the L. Q. White Shoe Company in Bridgewater began manufacturing shoes prior to WWI. At one point they employed over 4,000 people and produced 24,000 pairs of shoes daily. They ceased operations in 1933. (Source: History Highlights)

Did you know.....that the L. Q. White Shoe Company in Bridgewater began manufacturing shoes prior to WWI. At one point they employed over 4,000 people and produced 24,000 pairs of shoes daily. They ceased operations in 1933. (Source: History Highlights)

Check out these treasures from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building.  Miniatures!
03/10/2021

Check out these treasures from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building. Miniatures!

Check out these treasures from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building. Miniatures!

The time for elections is almost upon us!  We are looking for individuals that are interested in serving a one-year term...
03/10/2021

The time for elections is almost upon us!

We are looking for individuals that are interested in serving a one-year term and working with us to keeping Old Bridgewater's history alive. Several positions on the Board are open.

If you are interested, please email the Nominating Committee at [email protected].

Come make a difference with us! We need you!

The time for elections is almost upon us!

We are looking for individuals that are interested in serving a one-year term and working with us to keeping Old Bridgewater's history alive. Several positions on the Board are open.

If you are interested, please email the Nominating Committee at [email protected].

Come make a difference with us! We need you!

Election time is almost here! Join our Board of Directors. If you would like more information please email mlinde61@gmai...
03/10/2021

Election time is almost here!
Join our Board of Directors.
If you would like more information please email [email protected].

Election time is almost here!
Join our Board of Directors.
If you would like more information please email [email protected].

Did you know.......that during the Revolutionary War years, Bridgewater manufactured small arms, perhaps the first settl...
03/04/2021

Did you know.......that during the Revolutionary War years, Bridgewater manufactured small arms, perhaps the first settlement in the colonies to do so. The first cannon to be cast in solid form and bored out was made in Hugh Orr's foundry on the Matfield River. They made bayonets, muskets, and cannons for the Continental Army.

Did you know.......that during the Revolutionary War years, Bridgewater manufactured small arms, perhaps the first settlement in the colonies to do so. The first cannon to be cast in solid form and bored out was made in Hugh Orr's foundry on the Matfield River. They made bayonets, muskets, and cannons for the Continental Army.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at OBHS.  It’s a matchbox.
03/03/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at OBHS. It’s a matchbox.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at OBHS. It’s a matchbox.

Did you know.....that during the flu epidemic of 1918, two houses in Bridgewater were selected to be used as hospitals f...
02/28/2021

Did you know.....that during the flu epidemic of 1918, two houses in Bridgewater were selected to be used as hospitals for the patients. - one on High Street and one on Bedford Street. Dr. William Hunt and Dr. Arthur Carr were chosen to care for them. That left Dr. Dr. Albert Hunt and Dr. Franklin Warren to care for everybody else.

Did you know.....that during the flu epidemic of 1918, two houses in Bridgewater were selected to be used as hospitals for the patients. - one on High Street and one on Bedford Street. Dr. William Hunt and Dr. Arthur Carr were chosen to care for them. That left Dr. Dr. Albert Hunt and Dr. Franklin Warren to care for everybody else.

Eliakim Howard, the builder of this house in Warrensburg, NY, was the son of Eliakim Howard Jr. and Anna Williams.  The ...
02/24/2021

Eliakim Howard, the builder of this house in Warrensburg, NY, was the son of Eliakim Howard Jr. and Anna Williams. The elder, Eliakim Howard Jr., was born in Bridgewater, MA on 18 Apr 1763, and died in Fort Ann, NY in 1830. The Howards were original settlers of Plymouth County, MA. Descendants of several early Bridgewater families, including Washburns, Pratts, and Keiths, ended up in this very small upstate NY town.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building.  It’s a Stereoscope -  3D picture im...
02/24/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building. It’s a Stereoscope - 3D picture image reproduction viewer.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the OBHS Memorial Building. It’s a Stereoscope - 3D picture image reproduction viewer.

It’s kind of fun to read through the Class History of Bridgewater High School’s 1936 yearbook.  Those were the days!
02/18/2021

It’s kind of fun to read through the Class History of Bridgewater High School’s 1936 yearbook. Those were the days!

It’s kind of fun to read through the Class History of Bridgewater High School’s 1936 yearbook. Those were the days!

Did you know.......that  in 1773, Captain John Ames began the manufacturer of shovels at his forge in Bridgewater.  This...
02/18/2021

Did you know.......that in 1773, Captain John Ames began the manufacturer of shovels at his forge in Bridgewater. This firm later moved to the town of Easton.

Did you know.......that in 1773, Captain John Ames began the manufacturer of shovels at his forge in Bridgewater. This firm later moved to the town of Easton.

Nice to meet you Jack!  Thanks for stopping in to pursue your Snell family history.
02/17/2021

Nice to meet you Jack! Thanks for stopping in to pursue your Snell family history.

Nice to meet you Jack! Thanks for stopping in to pursue your Snell family history.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at OBHS Memorial Building.
02/17/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at OBHS Memorial Building.

Did you know......that in 1887, the Unitarian Church was struck by lightning --- and badly damaged!
02/12/2021

Did you know......that in 1887, the Unitarian Church was struck by lightning --- and badly damaged!

Did you know......that in 1887, the Unitarian Church was struck by lightning --- and badly damaged!

Did you know.......that in 1886 the state of MA provided $50,000 for a building to house the chronically insane at "Brid...
02/08/2021

Did you know.......that in 1886 the state of MA provided $50,000 for a building to house the chronically insane at "Bridgewater State Workhouse" and shortly thereafter the name was changed to State Farm out of consideration for the patients who were housed there.

Did you know.......that in 1886 the state of MA provided $50,000 for a building to house the chronically insane at "Bridgewater State Workhouse" and shortly thereafter the name was changed to State Farm out of consideration for the patients who were housed there.

So nice to meet Corey and Remy, Fellows at Plymouth (Plantation) Patuxet, at the Memorial Building in West Bridgewater. ...
02/03/2021

So nice to meet Corey and Remy, Fellows at Plymouth (Plantation) Patuxet, at the Memorial Building in West Bridgewater. Thanks for stopping by.

So nice to meet Corey and Remy, Fellows at Plymouth (Plantation) Patuxet, at the Memorial Building in West Bridgewater. Thanks for stopping by.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society Memorial Building.
02/03/2021

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society Memorial Building.

Check out this treasure from our artifact collection at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society Memorial Building.

The new sign is up at the Keith House, and boy are we pleased!  It is the final touch on the exterior, and really makes ...
12/16/2020

The new sign is up at the Keith House, and boy are we pleased! It is the final touch on the exterior, and really makes the place pop! A huge shout out to B&C Wood Crafts for not only doing an AMAZING job, but doing it so quickly! The new sign is made of PVC and will uphold in the weather much better the old one. The sign was the generous gift of James Karol-Chik and Shellie Karol-Chik to the Society. The holidays are looking merry and bright indeed!

B&C Wood Crafts was honored to help the Old Bridgewater Historical Society with a new sign for the home of Rev. James Keith (aka the "Keith house"). We would like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to work on this project. Especially one so close to home!

Address

162 Howard St
West Bridgewater, MA
02379

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Comments

Is there a map of the original Bridgewater settlement? Before N Bridgewater left to become Brockton? If so, could you post it on here? Thanks for your time and keeping us aware of what times were like for our ancestors!
Does anyone know the history of this bag? The smaller print at the top says L.M.Edwards co. Bridgewater Mass.
My father served the Cochesett Methodist Episcopal Church in the mid-1930s. He took this footage of the charming "Old Home Week" parade on August 17, 1935. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope some of you recognize your grandparents in it!
This is a home movie shot by my father, Joyce Wesley Farr, in early 1936. He was serving the Cochesett Methodist Church at that time and attending Boston University School of Theology, so there is footage of Boston and Cochesett that I hope you will find interesting. The baby on my mother's lap was born in West Bridgewater in November of 1935. Enjoy!
I am interested in Heman Howard's book, The Howard Genealogy: Descendants of John Howard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts from 1643 to 1903. Like Heman Howard, I descend from this John Howard, and I would like to know more about the work that went into the publication of his book. Is anything known about the notes, manuscript, or any related materials from which the book was composed? Is it possible that any of Heman Howard's descendants are interested in the family history and might have special knowledge of the work that became the book? Does the Old Bridgewater Historical Society have any information about the book or its printers (Standard Printing Company of Brockton, MA?
I have the 1778 will of Ebenezer Keith if someone is needing such
Does anyone recognize this house. My ancestors rented it, I believe, in about 1910. Is it still standing? Or was it taken down?
I have class photos from Howard High School class of 1947 I would like to donate to a local West Bridgewater historical society or library in my mother's name. Could you please advise?
Will you post who won the raffle basket?
I enjoyed the lecture last night on he Spanish Influenza as I lost a great aunt to it. But I had an additional surprise. I recognized some names on the Society's newsletter . Double checked this morning and sure enough, Mary Hayward was my 8th great grandmother. Thank you, I got more information than I bargined for.
A BIG thank you to all of the volunteers that helped make 99 a success last night!
Two weeks from today. Please join us! https://www.facebook.com/events/1077095835774104/