About Middleborough

Middleborough is a town of approximately 20,000 (2000 Census) located in Plymouth County in Southeastern Massachusetts. The town has a total area of 72.3 square miles, of which 69.6 square miles is land (96.2%), giving Middleborough the second largest area of any municipality in Massachusetts.

Beginnings

"Middleborough was first settled by colonists from the Plymouth Colony, who, needing more land pushed westward taking up residence on the banks of the river called Nemasket after the tribe of Indians living in that locality. No authentic date for the first settlement can be established, but it is generally agreed that the area was first occupied by white settlers in 1654."

"Gradually the settlers purchased large tracts of land from the Indians and the price paid was always approved by the Plymouth Court. The first transaction was known as the Twenty-Six Men's Purchase, March 7, 1661. By an act of the Colonial Legislature June 1, 1663, the inhabitants of Nemasket were accounted to belong to the town of Plymouth and continued under that jurisdiction until 1669 when that portion of Plymouth was incorporated under the name of 'Town of Middleberry'. This name may have been given because of its location, midway between Plymouth and the residence of the Pokanoket chief at Mount Hope, or it may have come from the town of Middlesborough, in the North Riding of York, England."

"As an independent town, a board of three selectmen was appointed by the freemen of the area, taking on among their duties, that of settling differences between the Indians and the townspeople. This form of government continued until 1920 when a Town Manager charter was passed. With the exception of a few amendments, this charter remains in effect today."

The Business and Industrial Commission of Middleboro