Whitman, Massachusetts

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Whitman is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,882 at the 2000 census.

The village of Auburnville is located at the southwest edge of Whitman.

Contents

History

Whitman was first settled by Europeans in 1670 and was officially incorporated in 1875. Prior to becoming Whitman, it was formally the southern parish of the town of Abington. The new name, Whitman, was taken from Augustus Whitman[1], whose family who grew up in South Abington, and was adopted in 1886. Though before adopting the name Whitman, the small town was known as Little Comfort.

Whitman has a rich history that is deeply rooted in the shoemaking industry. Regal Shoe and Bostonian Shoe are perhaps the most notable. At one time there were over 20 shoe factories and related factories making metal shanks in town. There are a few abandoned factories left, and some have been turned into condominiums.

In the late 1930s, Ruth Graves Wakefield invented chocolate chip cookies in Whitman at the Toll House Inn on Bedford Street. The Toll House burned completely on New Year's Eve 1984, in a fire that originated in the kitchen. The inn was not rebuilt. The site is marked with a historical marker, and that land is now home to a Wendy's restaurant and Walgreens Pharmacy. The former Whitman Savings Bank was also the first in the country to offer Savings Bank Life Insurance (SBLI). Home of the famous Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream house. In 1964 The Venus Cafe was founded by former professional Wrestler Peter Drosos, who fought under the name Pete "The Golden Greek". Also home of Saftler's Inc, one of the oldest and largest independently owned fabric stores in the country.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.0 square miles (18.1 km²), of which, 7.0 square miles (18.0 km²) of it is land and 0.14% is water. Statistically, the town is the 327th of 351 communities in the Commonwealth by land area, and is the second smallest (above only Hull) in Plymouth County. Whitman is bordered by Abington to the north, Rockland to the northeast, Hanson to the southeast, East Bridgewater to the south, and the city of Brockton to the west. Whitman's town center is approximately 4-1/2 miles east of the center of Brockton, and is approximately twenty-four miles south of Boston.

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