Have A Shining Good Time In The Silver City Of Taunton
Even In Stormy Weather, Taunton Has Something For Everyone
Taunton is a modern and compact city of just 55,874 people, with a fascinating industrial past and a bright future. The county seat of Bristol County in Massachusetts is one of the oldest towns in the United States.
Members of the Plymouth Colony founded Taunton in 1637. Before the city's founding, the area was known as Cohannet or Tetiquet. Where many founders hailed from, Taunton got its modern name from Taunton, Somerset County, England. Taunton is also notable because one of its founders, who played a crucial role in its church's founding, was Elizabeth Poole. This pioneering lady was one of the first women to found a colony in the United States. She sailed to America from Plymouth, England, in 1633. She sailed in the company of fourteen servants, two friends, and plenty of goods and fishing provisions.
These days, anyone in England and interested in Elizabeth Poole can visit her birthplace, Shute Barton. This is an impressive and rambling medieval home. Here in Taunton, MA, history buffs can visit her grave.
Taunton, A City Of Iron and Silver
Taunton is not only famous for its age and its founders. It also has a long history as a producer of silver and iron.
Taunton Iron Works was first founded in 1656. It held a location on the Forge River banks in what was then part of Taunton and is now the town of Raynham. The ironworks was the first of its kind in Plymouth Colony and only the third ironworks to be established anywhere in New England.
Early Taunton residents discovered bog ore, a kind of impure iron ore found in bogs, in the Taunton area. They realized this made it ripe for an ironworks and invited two experienced iron men who had worked at Braintree Furnace in Quincy, MA, to set up works in Taunton.
Taunton ironworks continued to produce iron until 1876, which means it was in constant operation for two hundred and twenty years!
Today, the ironworks site is marked by a small park, which is dedicated to the descendants of Theodore Dean, who was the last person to own the ironworks.
Although many of the old mills now have other uses, you can still visit the historic sites and admire the architecture. In and around Taunton, you will find:
- The John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace Site, also known as the Braintree Furnace. This is the first iron blast furnace in the United States, and its founders went on to build Taunton Iron Works.
- The Old Colony Iron Works-Nemasket Mills Complex in East Taunton. This site initially belonged to the Old Colony Iron Company, one of the most prolific iron producers in New England. In 1899 the New England Cotton Yarn Company acquired the site, and it became a textile mill. These days it is home to residential condominiums.
- The Bridgewater Iron Works, in nearby Bridgewater. The Bridgewater works had a long and exciting history. The site was founded in 1707 with a blacksmith's shop and would produce iron pots for the whaling industry, cannons, nails, iron hoops for wooden barrels, and even steam engines. The works were a major producer of parts for the US Navy in the mid to late nineteenth century. These days the site is a public park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still see remnants of the old buildings.
- The Whittenton Mills Complex is on the banks of the Mill River in Taunton. The site began life as an iron forge in 1670 and has also housed a nail mill and a textile mill. In more recent times, the area was used for filming several scenes from the movie Shutter Island.
As well as iron and textiles, Taunton enjoyed an illustrious history as a silver producer, and you can still visit the sites of several silver producers, including The Taunton Silverplate Company, Reed & Barton, and the Poole Silver Company.
The Past Is Always Present In Taunton
With such a long history, it is no wonder that Taunton is full of historical sites. Visitors who want to enjoy Taunton's past will love:
- The Bristol County Courthouse, which was built in 1826 and is known affectionately as "ole copper top."
- The Taunton Post Office, built-in 1931-32, is a beautiful example of Classical Revival architecture.
- The Old Colony History Museum, whose parent society, the Old Colony Historical Society, was founded in 1853. These days the site houses an impressive collection of artifacts that show what life was like in the original Plymouth Colony.
- Taunton Green Historic District, which was the heart of Taunton's commercial district in the nineteenth century. Historic buildings edge the pretty green, where you can see monuments to all the wars in which Taunton residents have participated.
When Storms Nearly Caused Disaster In Taunton
1832 saw the construction of the Whittenton Pond Dam, which was an earthen dam. The original barrier was made of wood, and in 1968 it failed and caused flooding in Taunton. In October 2005, the city was once again in danger of flooding due to historically heavy rainfall putting pressure on the dam. This caused widespread disruption:
- Schools were canceled
- 2000 residents were evacuated
- National Guard troops were stationed nearby in case of emergencies
- Roads were closed
Although disaster did not befall Taunton that day, inspectors found structural damage on the dam, and it was replaced. The replacement dam was removed in 2013.
SERVPRO Uses Water Pumps To Help Residents Deal With Flood Damage
Vacuum pumps were vital to preventing disaster in 2005. Authorities used high-volume pumps to fend off flooding by diverting water around the dam and draining nearby Whittenton Pond.
When storms cause flooding in the home, pumping out excess water is a vital first step. Water can quickly soak into everything, from furniture and textiles to drywall and insulation, causing damage to personal belongings and the property. Water also provides a breeding ground for mold.
SERVPRO uses a variety of pumps to remove excess water in the case of flood damage. We have powerful truck-mounted pumps for significant incidents and smaller electric pumps or even carpet wands for smaller areas. We train our technicians to know which pump is most effective in every situation.
Pumping out water makes it easier to dry your home and salvage your belongings. Once the water has gone, our team will focus on using fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to dry the area and restore your house, "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Taunton / Mansfield is here to help with any flood damage issues. Call us today at (508) 824-0200.