Bob Wood will be on duty in the Bridgewater Public Library’s History Room on Wednesday nights from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Please call ahead if you wish to meet with him- 508-697-3331.
Bridgewater Public Library also owns The Bridgewater Independent on microfilm from 1876. We have the Vital Records for most of the cities and towns in Massachusetts in either book or microfiche format.
The Historical Room has a collection of Bridgewater authors. Since Bridgewater is a college town, many notable authors have lived and worked here.
Below is a brief bibliography of just some of the work you will find in the historical room.
- The Bridgewater Historical Collectors, Pictorial History: Bridgewater, Massachusetts Bridgewater, Mass.: The Bridgewater Historical Collectors, 1994.
This paperbound volume contains old photographs of various locations of interest around Bridgewater. Continues a previous volume entitled Tales Around the Common.
- Burrows, Fredrika Alexander, Cannonballs & Cranberries, Taunton, Mass. : W.S. Sullworld, 1976.
A useful description of the cranberry industry in Southeastern Massachusetts with additional information on the coexisting bog iron industry. Particularly helpful during the fall for reports on Thanksgiving.
- Cochrane, Gordon S.(Mickey), Baseball: the Fans’ Game, Cleveland, OH: Society for American Baseball Research, 1992.
Mickey Cochrane was one of Bridgewater’s finest. There is great interest in this famous baseball player, both locally and nationally.
- Doherty, Katherine M., History Highlights, Bridgewater Massachusetts: A Commemorative Journal., Taunton, Mass., W. S. Sullwold, 1976.
Published for the Bridgewater Bicentennial Commission, this volume provides a wealth of information on Bridgewater history. It is an excellent starting point for researchers who want to know about the town. It documents the early settlement of Bridgewater and highlights many fascinating facts. Useful for school-age students as well as genealogists.
- Evans, Roger, Bridgwater With and Without the “e”. Bridgwater, England, 1994.
Roger Evans visited our Bridgewater a few years ago to give his lecture on the various Bridgewaters both in England and the United States. He gave us a copy of his book. It includes some historical background on the southern coast of England, where Bridgwater is located as well as a chapter on the various other Bridgewaters in the world.
- Farmer, John, A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969.
A useful source for genealogy researchers for the area. Our Collection includes local history as well as broader collections about greater New England history.
- Gordon, Edward W., Bridgewater Comprehensive Community Resources Survey: A Narrative History. Cambridge,Mass.: Townscape Institute, 198-.
Photographs and descriptions of historic homes in Bridgewater’s Historic District. Useful to homeowners who need background information on their houses.
- Hurd, D. Hamilton, History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts.Philadelphia, J. W Lewis, 1884.
This book contains “biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men”. It is organized by different towns in Plymouth County. The Bridgewater portion has also been reprinted as Crane’s History of Bridgewater.
- Kingman, Bradford, History of North Bridgewater. Boston: Kingman, 1866.
Nearby Brockton, formerly known as North Bridgewater, is chronicled here. History and genealogy are covered “from its first settlement “ with family registers.
- Latham, Williams, Epitaphs in old Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Bowie, MD, Heritage Books, 1986.
A complete list of epitaphs in the graveyards of West Bridgewater, Bridgewater and East Bridgewater. All of the public graveyards and most of the private graveyards are included up to 1882. Family historians use this source when they visit Bridgewater for summer genealogy trips. It has a very useful index.
- Little, Flora T., A Wreath of Memories.
A memoir by Mrs. Little, a benefactor of the Public Library along with her husband, Walter. A wonderful description of Bridgewater and the many locations around the world the Littles visited.
- Mitchell, Nahum, History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1970 (reprint of 1840 edition)
This book has a family register of the earliest settlers in Bridgewater and their descendants. Genealogists often consult this book first before they explore other sources when they visit us.
- Norman, Elizabeth M., We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese. New York: Random House, 1999.
This is a fascinating account of World War II nurses who were prisoners of war in the Philippines . Among them was Helen Cassiani, a Bridgewater native.
- Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts. Chicago: J. H. Beers, 1912.
This three-volume set, “containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families”, includes Bristol, Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. Illustrated portraits are included.
- Rich, Louise Dickinson, Innocence Under the Elms. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1955.
Louise Dickinson Rich lived in Bridgewater during her early years and wrote this account of life here. Her later work describes life in Maine and other parts of New England.
- Sylvester, Herbert Milton, Indian Wars of New England. Boston, W. B. Clarke Company, 1910.
This book discusses the tribes of New England and their various wars, most notably King Philip’s war, which is of particular interest to scholars of Native American history in the Bridgewater area.
- Washburne, Brenton P. The Washburn Family in America. Buena Park, California: Brenton P. and Robin P. Washburne, 2nd ed., 1997.
Genealogy of notable local family.
- Welch, Laraine, Massachusetts 1800 Census. Provo, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1973.
Census data for Massachusetts in 1800. The library also owns other census materials important to genealogists.
- Weston, Thomas, History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts. Boston, Houghton, Mifflin, 1906.
Neighboring Middleboro, formerly South Bridgewater, is discussed here.