West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

West Bridgewater is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,916 at the 2010 census.[1]

West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
West Bridgewater Town Hall
West Bridgewater Town Hall
Official seal of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°01′08″N 71°00′30″W / 42.01889°N 71.00833°WCoordinates: 42°01′08″N 71°00′30″W / 42.01889°N 71.00833°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total15.7 sq mi (40.6 km2)
 • Land15.3 sq mi (39.7 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)
65 ft (20 m)
 • Total6,916
 • Density440/sq mi (170/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)508 / 774
FIPS code25-75260
GNIS feature ID0618354


West Bridgewater was first settled in 1651 as a part of Olde Bridgewater. The town separated from Bridgewater, Massachusetts and was officially incorporated in 1822, the second of the three communities to separate from Bridgewater (after North Bridgewater, now Brockton, and before East Bridgewater) over the span of three years. The town, like many in the area, had both agrarian and industrial roots; the Town River provided water power for milling and irrigation for farming. The town is home to the Keith House (1662), the oldest standing parsonage in the U.S. The town is also believed to be the site of the first industrial park in the U.S., now the site of the Town Park. The original Ames Shovel Works was located in the Town Park. Today, the town is mostly residential.


A field on the Town River, West Bridgewater MA
A field on the Town River

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.7 square miles (40.6 km2), of which 15.3 square miles (39.7 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.25%, is water.[2] The town ranks 238th of 351 communities in the Commonwealth in terms of land area, and ranks nineteenth out of the twenty-seven towns in Plymouth County. West Bridgewater is bordered by Brockton to the north, East Bridgewater to the east, Bridgewater to the south, and Easton to the west, as well as a small section (less than a quarter of a mile long) of the southwestern corner that borders the town of Raynham. West Bridgewater's town center is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the center of Brockton, and is 25 miles (40 km) south of Boston.

West Bridgewater lies along the northeast edge of the Hockomock Swamp, with a large section of the southwestern corner of town being covered by the swamp and its wildlife management area. There are also several other protected areas throughout the town, as well as several parks and a large pond surrounded by a state forest. The Town River also passes through the southern portion of town, branching off into several brooks throughout the town, as does the Salisbury River in the northeast corner of town.


Massachusetts Route 24 passes through the western half of town, with an exit at Route 106. Route 106 passes from east to west in the town, and meets at the center of town with Route 28. The Middleborough/Lakeville Line of the MBTA's commuter rail service passes through town, between the towns of Middleborough and Lakeville and South Station in Boston. There are no stops in West Bridgewater, but there are stops in Bridgewater and the Campello section of Brockton. There are no airports in the town; there are small strips in nearby Taunton and Mansfield, but the nearest national air service is at Logan International Airport in Boston. The town used to have rail service at Matfield Junction, Cochesett station. Matfield Junction was on the Middleborough branch of the Old Colony line, and Cochsett was on the Easton railroad branch; both were abandoned in the 1930s.


Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 6,634 people, 2,444 households, and 1,796 families residing in the town. The population density was 421.5 people per square mile (162.7/km²). There were 2,510 housing units at an average density of 159.5 per square mile (61.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.40% White, 0.95% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.45% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.

There were 2,444 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.11. In the town, the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $55,958, and the median income for a family was $64,815. Males had a median income of $41,863 versus $31,835 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,701. About 2.0% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.5% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.


On the national level, West Bridgewater is a part of Massachusetts's 8th congressional district, and has been represented since 2001 by Stephen Lynch.

On the state level, West Bridgewater is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Tenth Plymouth district, which includes portions of Brockton and Easton. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth district, which includes all or parts of Avon, Braintree, Canton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Milton, Randolph, Sharon and Stoughton.[14] The town is patrolled by the Fourth (Middleborough) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[15]

West Bridgewater is governed on the local level by the open town meeting form of government, led by an administrative assistant and a board of selectmen. The town operates its own police and fire departments, both of which are headquartered together on Route 106 just west of Route 28. The fire department also has an ambulance service, bringing emergency room patients to either Brockton Hospital or Caritas Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton. The town has its own post office, located on Route 28 across the street from the town hall. West Bridgewater Public Library is located around the corner from the post office, and is a member of the SAILS Library Network.


West Bridgewater operates its own school system for its approximately 1,220 students. The Spring Street School, not far from the town center, serves pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. The Rose L. MacDonald School, located closer to the geographic center of the town, serves first, second and third grade students. The Howard School, between the post office and the library, serves fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. The West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School, located along Route 106, serves students from grades 7-12. West Bridgewater's athletics teams are known as the Wildcats, and their colors are maroon and white. The football team plays Holbrook-Avon for its Thanksgiving Day football game, having recently ended its tradition of playing Freetown-Lakeville's Apponequet high school. Before that East Bridgewater had been the original rival.

In addition to the high school, students may choose to attend Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in South Easton free of charge. The town is also home to the New England Baptist Academy, a private Christian school serving all grades. There are also other private schools in neighboring Bridgewater and Brockton. The nearest colleges are Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Stonehill College in Easton, and Bridgewater State University.

Notable people

  • Cyrus Alger (1781–1856), inventor, owner of the shop which produced the first rifled gun[16][17]
  • Spike Feresten, talk show host on Fox, writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, writer for Seinfeld, who wrote the infamous Soup Nazi episode.
  • Jack Gallagher, Nationally known comedian, TV Host (MoneyTrack on PBS) and Playwright. Author of five critically acclaimed one-man shows. "Letters To Declan", "Just The Guy", "What He Left", "A Different Kind Of Cool" and "Complete and Unfinished."

See also


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): West Bridgewater town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): West Bridgewater town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  3. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  4. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  5. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from Mass.gov
  15. ^ Station D-4, SP Middleborough
  16. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  17. ^ "Article: Cyrus Alger", Encyclopedia Americana, v.1

External links

Albert Edward Winship

Albert Edward Winship (24 February 1845 - 17 February 1933) was a pioneering American educator and educational journalist, born at West Bridgewater, Mass. He attended Andover Theological Seminary in 1875. He was a pastor from 1876 to 1883. He had transferred himself over to the field of education by 1886 when he became editor of the Journal of Education, Boston, which grew to become one of the most influential educational magazines in the country. From 1903 to 1909, A. E. Winship was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. His published works include: Life of Horace Mann (1896) and Great American Educators (1900). He was the father of George Parker Winship.

Cyrus Alger

Cyrus Alger (born in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 11 November 1781; died in Boston, 4 February 1856) was a United States arms manufacturer and inventor.

Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange is a for-profit Fairtrade worker-owned, cooperative headquartered in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Equal Exchange distributes organic, gourmet coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, and chocolate bars produced by farmer cooperatives in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Founded in 1986, it is the oldest and largest Fair Trade coffee company in the United States. The highest paid employee of Equal Exchange may not make more than four times what the lowest paid employee receives.Equal Exchange is currently collaborating with almond farmers in the United States.

Hockomock River

The Hockomock River is a 3.6-mile-long (5.8 km) stream in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Town River.

Hockomock is said to mean "Place where Spirits Dwell" in the Wampanoag language. The river arises in the Hockomock Swamp, and flows south to its confluence with the Town River which eventually joins the Taunton River to empty into Mount Hope Bay.

John Reed Jr.

John Reed Jr. (September 2, 1781 – November 25, 1860) was a Representative from Massachusetts.

Reed was born in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He graduated from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island in 1803, and was a tutor of languages in that institution for two years, and principal of the Bridgewater, Massachusetts Academy in 1806 and 1807. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Yarmouth, Massachusetts.

Reed was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1814, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1830.He was elected as a Federalist to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses (March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1817); elected to the Seventeenth through Twenty-third Congresses; elected as an Anti-Masonic candidate to the Twenty-fourth Congress, and elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1841). He was chairman of the Committee on Revisal and Unfinished Business (Twenty-second Congress). He declined to be candidate for reelection in 1840.

He was the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (1845–1851).

Reed died in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Interment was in Mount Prospect Cemetery, Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Reed was the son of John Reed Sr.

John Reed Sr.

John Reed Sr. (November 11, 1751 – February 17, 1831) was a Representative from Massachusetts.

Born in Framingham, Massachusetts, Reed moved with his parents to Titicut Parish, in the northwestern part of Middleboro, Massachusetts in 1756. He graduated from Yale College in 1772, studied theology, and was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1780. He served as a chaplain in the United States Navy for two years, then moved to West Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1780, where he became pastor of the First Congregational Society, which position he retained until his death. He was elected as a Federalist to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Congresses (March 4, 1795 – March 3, 1801). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1800. He again resumed his ministerial duties, and died in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Interment was in the Old Graveyard.

He was the father of John Reed Jr. (1781–1860), a Representative from Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Route 106

Route 106 is a west–east highway in southeastern Massachusetts, United States.

Old Bridgewater Historical Society

The Old Bridgewater Historical Society was founded in 1894 in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The society operates from two buildings and has a library of genealogical and historical texts, manuscripts, documents, and photographs, as well as historical artifacts.

Oliver Ames Sr.

Oliver Ames Sr., or "Old Oliver", (April 11, 1779 – September 11, 1863) was the family patriarch of the Ames family of Easton, Massachusetts. He established the family shovel business, which over generations grew to become one of the largest family fortunes in New England.

Reverend James Keith Parsonage

The Reverend James Keith Parsonage, sometimes simply called the Keith House, is a 17th-century parsonage owned and maintained by the Old Bridgewater Historical Society (OBHS) in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is located at 199 River Street, and is thought to be the oldest remaining parsonage in the United States.

Shaw's and Star Market

Shaw's and Star Market are two American grocery store chains under united management based in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, employing about 30,000 associates in 154 total stores. 133 stores are operated under the Shaw's banner in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; while Star Market operates 21 stores in Massachusetts, most of which are in or near the city of Boston. Until 2010, Shaw's operated stores in all six New England states and as of 2017 Shaw's remained the only supermarket chain with stores in five of the six after it sold its Connecticut operations. The chain's largest competitors are Hannaford, Market Basket, Price Chopper, Roche Bros., Wegmans, and Stop & Shop. Star Market is a companion store to Shaw's; Shaw's having purchased the competing chain in 1999.

Shaw's and Star Market are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Boise, Idaho–based Albertsons. The combined chain has the largest base of stores that operate in New England, but is the third-largest New England-based grocer behind Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop and Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford; Hannaford operates stores in upstate New York while Stop & Shop's operations extend through downstate New York and into New Jersey; only Shaw's does business solely in New England.

As of July 5, 2013, Shaw's and Star Market no longer use loyalty cards at their stores, as a way to compete with other local stores that do not have them.

Spike Feresten

Michael Donovan "Spike" Feresten Jr. (born September 3, 1964) is an American television writer, screenwriter, comedian and television personality, who is best known for his work on Seinfeld, writing for David Letterman, and hosting the late night Talkshow with Spike Feresten from 2006 to 2009 on Fox. He is currently the host of Esquire Network's series Car Matchmaker with Spike Feresten.

Stephen Charles Mott

Stephen Charles Mott (born April 9, 1940) is a teacher among Evangelical Christians in the U.S. in the teaching and academic study of social ethics since the early 1970s.He has a BD degree from Wheaton College, Illinois, and a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, where he studied under New Testament scholar Krister Stendahl and social ethicist James Luther Adams.

He is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and had been Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts for almost a quarter century. When he started teaching in the early 1970s, the courses he offered at Gordon-Conwell were unique across all evangelical theological schools in any English-speaking countries at the time. These courses included, most notably, The Social Stance of Jesus and Biblical Social Ethics, which involved discussions on issues that were virtually untouched in the western Evangelical world in those days.

On the one hand they exemplified Mott's scholarly orientation in the interdisciplinary integration of Biblical study and social ethics, while at the same time sharpened Gordon-Conwell's image of being a socially concerned institution in that period. Concomitantly, he also pioneered in offering a joint course between Gordon-Conwell and Harvard Divinity School, which he team-taught with Prof. Harvey Cox from the latter school.

In 1995 he left his teaching position and became pastor of Cochesett United Methodist Church in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, from which he retired in summer 2005. Since his retirement, he is serving part-time as a volunteer with the Essex County Community Organization and is on the Leadership Team of Christians Supporting Community Organizing, president of the James Luther Adams Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of North Shore Community Action Programs.

His most important books are Biblical Ethics and Social Change (Oxford University Press, rev. ed. 2011 [1982]) and A Christian Perspective on Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 1993). Both are widely read among scholars and students who are concerned with Christian engagement with the society, especially from a Biblical perspective.

Sybil Holmes

Sybil Henry Holmes (June 20, 1889 – July 22, 1979) was an American politician who was the first woman elected to the Massachusetts Senate.

Wally Snell

Walter Henry "Doc" Snell (May 19, 1889 – July 23, 1980) was a pinch-hitter/catcher in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Boston Red Sox during the 1913 season. Following this brief baseball career he became a successful mycologist who worked primarily at Brown University for the next 60 years.

War Memorial Park

There are several parks throughout the world called War Memorial Park.

War Memorial Park (West Bridgewater, Massachusetts)

War Memorial Park, Coventry, England

War Memorial Park, Singapore

Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Park, Kangaroo Ground, Victoria, Australia

Irish National War Memorial Gardens

War Memorial Park (Martinsburg, West Virginia)

War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, England

War Memorial Park (West Bridgewater, Massachusetts)

War Memorial Park is a public park in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is located south of the town center, bounded by River Street, Arch Street and the Town River. The park was established in the 1930s and was constructed in part with funding from the Works Progress Administration. The park is located at the site of West Bridgewater's earliest industrial activities, a mill site dating to the 17th century. This early use spawned a variety of other water-powered industrial uses in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was notably the site of Ames Shovel Company's first factory. The 1936 creation of the park resulted in the donation of a large number of historic industrial artifacts, which are displayed on its grounds.The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School

West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School is a junior-senior high school located at 155 West Center St. in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The school serves roughly 600 students in grades 7-12. The school's mascot is the wildcat, and the school's colors are maroon and white.

Western Schools

Western Schools is a company based in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, USA, that provides continuing education programs to health care professionals. The company was founded in 1979 and was a division of Specialty Commerce Corp. until August, 2018, when it was bought by Colibri Group.

Western Schools currently offers home study continuing education for the following health care professions: Nursing, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Care Therapy, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Counseling, Psychology, Pharmacy, Speech-Language Pathology, Dietetics.

Municipalities and communities of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States


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