Fall 1620  
The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock and begin the settlement of Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Plymouth Colony has been established.
   
1640s  
Marshfield, Massachusetts is incorporated.  Since the marshlands of Marshfield supplied many resources for colonists such as wild food sources for people and livestock, peat, and thatch, the incorporation of the town made it necessary for the residents of Duxbury to seek marshlands elsewhere.  This is one of the many reasons that would lead to the purchase of Bridgewater.
   
23 Mar 1649
 

The inland area of Scituate, known as the "Hatherly Grant", is purchased from Massasoit (then known as Ousamequin).  He was the Sachem, or chief, of the Wampanoag Indians.  The purchase was made by Myles Standish, Constant Southworth, and Samuel Nash.  The price of the purchase was:

 

7 coats, each containing a yard and a half of cloth
9 hatchets 
8 hoes 
20 knives 
4 moose skins
10 and a half yards of cotton fabric

 

This area of land was initially called "Duxburrow New Plantation", and would be known as such for almost 7 years. 

   
1651
  The first church is organized in Bridgewater.  It is located in the part of the town that would later become West Bridgewater.
   
3 Jun 1656
  The general court incorporates Duxburrow New Plantation, also know as Duxbury Plantation, and establishes its name as Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
   
1656
  John Cary is elected to be the first constable of Bridgewater.  He is the town's "first officer."
   
  The first town meeting is held and sets fines for not attending or being late to town meetings.  Not responding in a meeting when your name was called, or leaving a meeting early, are also subject to fines.
   
1661
  Massasoit, Sachem of the Wampanoag Indians, passes away. Two of his sons, Wamsutta and Metacomet, went to the Pilgrims in Plymouth and requested English names.  They were then called Alexander and Philip.  Alexander took the place of his father as the new Sachem.
   
  The first meeting house is built. It is made of logs and is located in the portion of town that would later become West Bridgewater.
   
03 Jun 1662
  The settlement purchases the additional area of Hockomock from the Wampanoag Indians.  
   
1662
  Massasoit's son, Alexander, is siezed by the Plymouth Court.  He soon becomes ill and dies.  Some believe he was poisoned.  His brother Philip becomes the new Sachem.
   
  The first grist mill is built in Bridgewater by Deacon Samuel Edson.
   
1664
  The First Parish Church of Bridgewater, Massachusetts is officially organized by Rev. James Keith.  Recently arrived in Boston from Scotland, he accepted the post at the request of Dr. Increase Mather.
   
1670
  Bridgewater grants a license to John Howard to "keep an ordinary or tavern, the first public house operated in the town."  The license is approved by the General Court at Plymouth.  The establishment is run by John Howard and his descendants until 1821.  It was torn down in 1838.
   
21 Jun 1675
  "King Philip's War" begins in Swansea, Massachusetts.
   
12 Aug 1676
  Massasoit's son, King Philip, is killed Mount Hope, Rhode Island. He was beheaded, dismembered, and quartered as was the custom for someone that was considered a traitor to the King of England.  Local lore states that his head was placed upon a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and remained there for many years as a warning to others.  King Philip's War is officially over.
   
1685
  Plymouth Colony establishes the three counties of Barnstable, Bristol, and Plymouth, with each one bring assigned a sheriff and court to deal with criminal matters.  Bridgewater is inside of Plymouth County.
   
1691
  Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies are combined in one large colony.
   
1716
  The South Parish of Bridgewater is established.  This area would later become the present-day Town of Bridgewater.
   
1774
  The Ames Ironworks is established.
   
Feb 1775
  Parliament declares Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion against Great Britain. 
   
19 Apr 1775
  The first shots of the Revolutionary War are exchanged in Lexington, Massachusetts.  The War for Independance has officially begun.
   
1785
  The Baptist Church is organized in West Bridgewater.
   
1799
  The Bridgewater Academy is established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the purpose of "promoting piety, religion and morality, and the education of youth in such languages and in search of the liberal arts and services."
   
1801
  The First Congregational Church is built on Howard Street.
   
1820s
  The Industrial Age begins as iron furnaces and wool mills are launched.
   
15 Jun 1821
  North Bridgewater, formerly known as the North Parish of Bridgewater, is incorporated as its own town.
   
16 Feb 1822
  West Bridgewater, formerly known as the West Parish of Bridgewater, is incoporated as its own town.
   
1822
  The Bridgewater Academy constructs a new building at the south end of Bridgewater's Central Square.  The land had been donated by the heirs of Major Isaac Lazell.
   
14 Jun 1823
  East Bridgewater, formerly known as the East Parish of Bridgewater, is incoporated as its own town.  The remaining South Parish, becomes known as Bridgewater.
   
20 Feb 1824
  A portion of Bridgewater is annexed to Halifax.
   
1844
  The Methodist Church is built in Cochesett.
   
1845
  The Copeland and Hartwells Shoe Manufactory is established with a staff of 50 people.  Bridgewater has now joined other southeastern Massachusetts towns in the shoe trade.
   
1875
  The Howard Seminary is completed.  It is the first high school in West Bridgewater.
   
  The Bridgewater Academy suspends operations due to a "lack of sufficient patronage."  The building is leased to the Town of Bridgewater and is used as a high school.
   
1879
  Bridgewater's Public Library is organized.
   
09 Apr 1881
  Brockton is incorporated.
   
1895
  The Old Bridgewater Historical Society is incorporated.
   
1910
  The Water Commission and the Board of Health are established.
   
1933
  Saint Ann's Catholic Church is constructed.
   
1952
  A new junior-senior high school replaces the Howard Seminary and the high school located in the old Bridgewater Academy building.  The Academy building and its land are deeded to the Town of Bridgewater.
   
1954
  The Union of Congregational Church and the Unitarian Church are established.
   
1956
  The Spring Street School is built.
   
1957
  The construction of Route 24 is begun and Bridgewater adopts zoning by-laws.
   
1965
  The Conservation Commission is established.
   
2015
  A complete restoration of the Bridgewater Academy is begun.  Upon completion, the building will become Bridgewater's new Town Hall.