Brockton, MA History
Brockton is the 7th largest city in Massachusetts, United States, with a population of around 95,000. It is located in Plymouth county and spreads over an area of 21.6 square miles (56 km2). In addition, it is one of the windiest cities in the United States, with an average speed of wind at 14.3 mph.
City Founding in Brockton, MA
At first, this Massachusetts city was a part of the area known as Bridgewater, until it became a town of North Bridgewater in 1821.
Its name changed to Brockton in 1874, in honor of Isaac Brock, a British general that died in the Battle of Queenston Heights. On April 9, 1881, Brockton, MA became a city. It was known as America’s largest producer of shoes and other leather products up until later parts of the 20th century.
Electricity First in Brockton
On the 1st of October in 1883, the city became the first location in history to have a three-wire underground electrical system. On December 30, 1884, the United States’ first electrically run fire station was opened. When a City Theater opened to the public on October 24, 1894, it became the world’s first theater to be incorporated into the three-wire electrical system.
Brockton, MA has set two world records so far: on November 23, 2010, it had the largest number of Santa Hat wearers in one place at the same time (872). Then, on November 20, 2011, this record was doubled, as 1,792 people participated in the event.
The Brockton, MA Historical Society was established in 1969 to develop, encourage and promote the city’s historical legacy. It oversees a number of museums on Route 27, maintaining a large collection of artifacts and memorabilia that relates to every period of the city’s history.
The primary places at the regional Heritage Center include a fire museum, a museum of shoes, and one of the early residences in the city called “The Homestead.”
The original “Homestead” was built by Deacon Jeremiah Beals in 1767 and remained in the shoemaker's family for over 100 years. In the 19th century, it was named “The Solid Rock Inn” and served as a tavern for travelers to rest and refresh, until the Brockton Historical Society bought it in 1971 and made it a museum.
Its uniqueness and character come from the fact that it has never undergone a major restoration and it reflects a mix of 18th, 19th and early 20th century architecture and use.
It houses the Rocky Marciano, Thomas A. Edison and Shoe Museum exhibits. The Homestead’s library contains books, photographs and genealogical materials relating to every period of the city’s rich history.
The Brockton Historical Society is currently putting a lot of effort in upgrading this facility to make exhibitions available to a larger audience.
If you find yourself in Brockton, MA, be sure to listen to the wind whispering. It will tell you about the exciting history as it passes through the walls of the Brockton City Hall, Old Post Office and the Homestead; coloring the landscape with images of the times passed, but saved from oblivion for the generations to come.
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