Middleborough, Massachusetts

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Middleborough is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,117 as of 2008[1].

For geographic and demographic information on the village of Middleborough Center, please see the article Middleborough Center, Massachusetts.

Middleborough is frequently written as Middleboro.

In the summer of 2007, Middleborough became the proposed location for a future resort casino, sponsored by the Wampanoag Tribe of Mashpee, Massachusetts.[2]



The town was first settled by Europeans in 1661 as Nemasket, later changed to Middlebury, and officially incorporated as Middleborough in 1669. The name Nemasket came from a Native American settlement along the small river that now bears the same name. Nemasket may have meant "place of fish" due to the large amount of herring that migrate up the river each spring. The name Middlebury was taken from a place in England, and changed to the more modern Middleborough.

During King Philip's War (1675–76), the town's entire populace took shelter within the confines of a fort constructed along the Nemasket River. (The site is located behind the old junior high school (now a kindergarten), and is marked by a state historical commission marker along Route 105.) Before long, the fort was abandoned and the population withdrew to the greater shelter of Plymouth colony; in their absence, the entire village was burned to the ground, and it would be several years before the town would be refounded. Western Middleborough broke away in 1853 and formed the town of Lakeville, taking with it main access to the large fresh water lakes there, including Assawompset Pond.

Once the shoe capital of the world[citation needed], Middleborough has since become the cranberry capital of the world, hosting the corporate headquarters of Ocean Spray Cranberries. Middleborough is also the second-largest town in Massachusetts in terms of area. Notable sights include the 1870s Victorian-style town hall, the Greek revival-style town library (1903), and in the spring, the Nemasket River Alewife & Blueback herring run upstream to the Assawompset Ponds complex to spawn.

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