Middleborough walking map

Middleborough walking map

Middleborough was a well-established Native American settlement abandoned due to disease before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth in 1620. The Pilgrims were attracted to the water power on the Nemasket River and the spring fish spawn in Lake Assawompsett. Nearly 50 years of peace followed before the Pilgrims began persecuting Native American tribes. The whole town was burned down in King Philip’s War and the Pilgrims retreated to Plymouth, leaving little trace of the settlement.

In 1679 the Pilgrims rebuilt the town, recognizing its important location as the intersection of colonial roads between Plymouth and New Bedford, and between Taunton and Wareham on Buzzard’s Bay. They started damming the river to power new local industries. The first grist mill ground grain that otherwise had to be carried to Plymouth and back on horseback. Over the next decades they added saw mills, cotton mills, forges and furnaces for iron and shovel works, and factories for straw hats.

Middleborough dominated the New England cranberry industry. In 1816 a Cape Cod grower discovered that blowing sand in and around cranberry bogs increased the size and taste of the berry. Southeastern Massachusetts growers soon had 675 acres of bogs in place. They spent decades figuring out how to harvest and sell the berries without spoilage. In 1907, growers in Wisconsin, New Jersey and Massachusetts established nationwide standards for growing and selling berries, including canning berries. The headquarters for Ocean Spray Cranberries was established in Middleborough and is still there.

This map includes  Historic Residential Walk / South Main St. & Historic Commercial District / Centre Street.

Click for “WalkBoston’s Middleborough Walking Map” PDF
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