Taunton, Massachusetts

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Taunton is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the seat of Bristol County and the hub of the Greater Taunton Area. The city is located 40 miles (64 km) south of Boston, 18 miles (29 km) east of Providence, 10 miles (16 km) north of Fall River and 25 miles (40 km) west of Plymouth. The City of Taunton is situated on the Taunton River which winds its way through the city on its way south to Mount Hope Bay, 10 miles (16 km) away. Taunton is considered to be a mill town, with several mills in the city as well as in nearby Fall River.

As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 55,976. The current mayor is Charles Crowley.

Founded in 1637 by members of the Plymouth Colony, Taunton is one of the oldest towns in the United States. The city takes its name from Taunton, Somerset, in southwestern England. An English woman, Elizabeth Pole, from Taunton, was instrumental in the founding of the American Taunton. The native Americans called the region Cohannet before the arrival of the Europeans. Taunton is also known as the Silver City, as it was an historic center of the silver industry beginning in the 19th century when companies such as Reed & Barton, F. B. Rogers, Poole Silver, and others produced fine-quality silver goods in the city.

Since December 1914, the city of Taunton has provided a large annual light display each December on Taunton Green, also giving it the nickname of Christmas City.

Taunton once included many surrounding towns, including Norton, Easton, Mansfield, Dighton, Raynham, and Berkley. Possession of the latter is still noted by the naming of Taunton Hill in Assonet, which is now North Main Street, a street that heads into Berkley and Fall River.

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