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Middleborough is a town in Plymouth Countymarker, Massachusettsmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 19,941 at the 2000 census.

For geographic and demographic information on the village of Middleborough Center, please see the article Middleborough Center, Massachusettsmarker.

Middleborough is frequently written as Middleboro.

In the summer of 2007, Middleborough became the proposed location for a future resort casino, sponsored by the Wampanoag Tribe of Mashpee, Massachusettsmarker.


Middleborough was first settled by Europeans in 1661 as Nemasket, which was later changed to Middlebury and was officially incorporated as Middleborough in 1669. The name Nemasket came from a Native American settlement along the small river that now bears the same name. "Nemasket" may have meant "Place of Fish" due to the large amount of Herring that migrate up the river each spring. The name "Middlebury" was taken from a place in England, and changed to the more modern "Middleborough." During King Philip's War (1675-76), the town's entire populace took shelter within the confines of a fort constructed along the Nemasket Rivermarker. (The site is located behind the old junior high school (which has since been retrofitted as a kindegarten), and is marked by a state historical commission marker along Route 105.) Before long, the fort was abandoned and the population withdrew to the greater shelter of Plymouth colony; in their absence, the entire village was burned to the ground, and it would be several years before the town would be refounded. Western Middleborough broke away in 1853 and formed the town of Lakevillemarker, taking with it main access to the large fresh water lakes there, including Assawompset Pondmarker. Middleboro was home to world-famous circus midget General Tom Thumb, of Barnum & Bailey Circus fame, as well as Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson, who cross-dressed as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army. Once the shoe capital of the world , Middleborough has since become the cranberry capital of the world, hosting the corporate headquarters of Ocean Spray Cranberries. Middleborough is also the second-largest town in Massachusetts in terms of area. Notable sights include the 1870s Victorian-style town hall, the Greek revival-style town library (1903), and in the Spring, the Nemasket River Alewife & Blueback herring run upstream to the Assawompset Ponds complex to spawn.

In recent history, Middleborough has made its mark through the prowess of its Little League program. In 1994 the Middleborough All Stars reached the Little League World Series by defeating Milburn-Short Hills, New Jersey to take the East Region title. The team would finish 3rd in the United States. They are one of only two Massachusetts Little League teams to win the East title (Andover Little League, 1988) before the splitting of the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions in 2001. In 1999, the team again won the Massachusetts State title and fell in the East Region final to Toms River, New Jersey - the eventual U.S. runner-up.

Since 2000, the team has reached the State semi-finals 4 times finishing 3rd in the state in 2000 and 2003, and 2nd in 2002 and 2008. The 2002 team was only beaten by U.S. runner-up, Jesse Burkett Little League of Worcester.


The crossing of Center Street and Main Street in downtown Middleborough is on the parallel of latitude the Forum Romanummarker (Roman Forum) in Rome, Italymarker, at North latitude 41 degrees, 53 minutes, 32.7 seconds.

The Assawompset Ponds complex, which largely separates Middleborough from Lakeville, and includes the inter-connected ponds of: Assawamset Pond, Pocksha Pond, Long Pond, and the Great and Little Quittacus Ponds, is the largest natural body of fresh water in Massachusetts.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 72.3 square miles (187.3 km²), of which, 69.6 square miles (180.1 km²) of it is land and 2.8 square miles (7.1 km²) of it (3.80%) is water. Middleborough is the second largest municipality in Massachusetts, smaller only than Plymouthmarker.

Middleborough lies on the western border of Plymouth County. It is bordered by Bridgewatermarker and Halifaxmarker to the north, Plymptonmarker and Carvermarker to the east, Warehammarker and Rochestermarker to the south, and Lakevillemarker, Tauntonmarker and Raynhammarker to the west. Despite its name, Middleborough is not located anywhere near the other 11 "-boroughs" in the state, lying south and east of all of them. The town is approximately fifteen miles west of Plymouth, thirty miles east of Providence, Rhode Islandmarker and 40 miles south of Bostonmarker.

Middleborough's rivers and brooks feed in two directions; the Taunton Rivermarker, Nemasket Rivermarker and their tributaries flow southeastward as part of the Taunton River Watershedmarker, which empties into Narragansett Baymarker. The other waterways of the town, including the Weweantic River, flow southward into Buzzards Baymarker. Along Middleborough's border with Lakeville lie the Assawompsetmarker, Pockshamarker and Great Quittacas Pondsmarker. Tispaquin Pondmarker, Woods Pond, and several other ponds make up the town's bodies of water. Middleborough also has four wildlife management areas, as well as the Beaver Dam, Great Cedar and Little Cedar Swamps, the swamps being located in the north of town. The town is also the site of several cranberry bogs, especially in the southeastern part of town along the Carver town line. (In fact, Ocean Spray's headquarters are just over the town line in Lakeville.)


Interstate 495 runs through the town on its way to Cape Codmarker. The town is also crossed by U.S. Route 44, as well as Routes 18, 28 and 105, as well as a short, 1,000-foot section of Route 58 which passes through the southeast corner of town. Route 79's eastern terminus is on the town line at Route 105; the "Entering Middleborough" sign is barely fifty feet from the end of the road. Routes 18, 28 and 44 meet at a rotary adjacent to I-495 just west of the center of town. Two of I-495's four interchanges are located there. Also, I-495's interchange with Route 24 is located just 1-1/2 miles northwest of the town line.

Since the 1840s Middleborough has served as a major rail transportation hub for southeastern Massachusetts, with at one time five rail lines radiating out from the town. Today three rail lines radiate from Middleborough, toward Bostonmarker, Tauntonmarker and Cape Codmarker. Two rail freight companies serve Middleborough: CSX Transportation, which serves the Boston, Taunton and a short portion of the Cape Cod lines; and Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, which serves Cape Cod. The nearby Middleborough/Lakeville commuter rail stationmarker of the MBTA's commuter rail system provides frequent direct service to Boston's South Stationmarker. The nearest inter-city (Amtrak) passenger rail stations are Providencemarker, Route 128 stationmarker in Westwoodmarker and Boston's South Station.

The nearest regional airports are Taunton Municipal Airportmarker and Plymouth Municipal Airportmarker; the nearest national and international airports are T.marker F.marker Green Airportmarker in Warwick, Rhode Islandmarker and Logan International Airportmarker in Boston.


As of the census of 2000, there were 19,941 people, 6,981 households, and 5,117 families residing in the town. The population density was 286.7 people per square mile (110.7/km²). There were 7,249 housing units at an average density of 104.2/sq mi (40.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.12% White, 1.26% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.78% of the population.

There were 6,981 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $52,755, and the median income for a family was $65,173. Males had a median income of $60,854 versus $40,570 for females. The per capita income for the town was $75,000.00


Middleborough is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of three separate districts, the Tenth and Twelfth Bristol and Twelfth Plymouth. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the First Plymouth and Bristol district, which also includes Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Dighton, Marion, Raynham, Taunton and Wareham. The town is home to the Fourth Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police..

On the national level, Middleborough is a part of Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, and is currently represented by Barney Frank. The state's senior (Class I) member of the United States Senate, re-elected in 2006, is Ted Kennedy. The junior (Class II) Senator, up for re-election in 2008, is John Kerry.

Middleborough is governed by the open town meeting form of government, which is led by a town manager and a board of selectmen. The town's services are centralized downtown, with the fire and police headquarters being just to the north of the town hall, and the central post office being northwest of it. The town library is also located downtown.

A second part-time fire department is operated further south along Route 28 in South Middleboro. A third, temporary station was built in the 2000s as the surrogate home for the downtown facility, which was closed for substantial renovations. This third station, near the rotary north of the center of town, has subsequently been closed.


Middleborough has its own school system, headed by a school committee and superintendent. There is one school for kindergarten children, the Memorial Early Childhood Center, housed in the old junior high. It opened in September 2007 after a $13 million dollar renovation. The Mary K. Goode Elementary School serves grades 1 and 2 and the Henry B. Burkland Intermediate School serves grades 3 through 5. The John T. "Tiger" Nichols, Jr. Middle School (1999) serves grades 6 through 8, and the Middleborough High School serves grades 9 through 12. Middleborough High's teams are nicknamed the "Sachems," and their colors are black and orange. The school's main rival is Carver High School.

Notable residents


  1. Home - Brockton, MA - The Enterprise
  2. Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from
  3. Station D-7, SP Bourne

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