Incorporated on February 16, 1822, West Bridgewater was once the geographic center of Old Bridgewater, an area consisting of what is today Brockton, East Bridgewater, and Bridgewater. The West Parish, as West Bridgewater was called at the time, became the political, religious, and industrial center of the region. In 1774, Capt. John Ames established his shovel works in the town and manufactured the first steel shovels in America. The site of his manufactory is today War Memorial Park, considered the first industrial park in America. The town is also home to the Reverend James Keith Parsonage, the oldest existing parsonage in the United States. Through a collection of vintage images from the late 19th through the mid-20th century, West Bridgewater depicts the town’s simple agrarian lifestyle that can still be seen today in its open spaces, family farms, and Colonial historic prominence.
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