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, Massachusetts and before East Bridgewater, Massachusetts) 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 oldest standing parsonage in the US (the Keith House, 1662). The town is also believed to be the site of the first industrial park in the US, now the site of the Town Park. The original Ames shovel works were located in the park. Today the town is mostly residential.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.8 square miles (41 km2), of which, 15.7 square miles (41 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.57%) is water. 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 four miles south of the center of Brockton and is twenty-five miles south of Boston.
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. The town is patrolled by the Fourth (Middleborough) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.
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 Southeastern Area Internet Library Service (SAILS) 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.
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