Dighton, Massachusetts

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Dighton is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,175 at the 2000 census.



Dighton was originally part of Taunton's South Purchase and other surrounding towns. It was separated in 1672, officially incorporated in 1712. It was named for Frances Dighton Williams, wife of Richard Williams, a town elder. At the time of incorporation, the town included land on both sides of the Taunton River, including the land of Assonet Neck, which includes Dighton Rock, a rock found in the shallows of the river which includes cryptic carvings whose origins are debated to this day. However, in 1799, that land on the east bank of the river was annexed by Berkley, thus giving that town the claim of being the home of the rock.

As it was located at the beginning of the tidewater of the river, Dighton was a shipbuilding community, and even had status as a port of call. Because of this, and its centralized location, it became a shipping hub for Southeastern Massachusetts. There were also cotton mills, manufacturers and farming concerns in the town. With time, however, many of these industries left, leaving the town as a rural suburban community with some small farms.

In 2008, production began for a low-budget, independent documentary based on the history of the town. Filming began on May 24, 2008, on the first annual Dighton Day.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.9 square miles (59.2 km²), of which, 22.4 square miles (58.0 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (2.06%) is water.

Dighton is bordered by Rehoboth to the west, Swansea to the southwest, Somerset to the south, the Taunton River and the town of Berkley to the east, and the city of Taunton to the north. In addition to being bordered by the Taunton River, it also is bordered by the Three Mile River, a tributary which empties into the Taunton along the northeast border of town. The town is also the site of the Segregansett River, another tributary of the Taunton which flows through the center of town, as well as several smaller brooks.

It is the site of the Berkley-Dighton Bridge, a one-lane bridge built in the 1890s as a link between Center St. in Dighton and Elm St. Berkley. It is the only span crossing the Taunton River between the Brightman Street Bridge between Somerset and Fall River, and the Plain Street Bridge in Taunton, a drive of 12½ miles (and four miles (6 km) south of the Plain Street Bridge). As of August 2010, the one-lane Berkley-Dighton Bridge is closed, being replaced with a temporary one-lane bridge.

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