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OBHS Annual Field Day at Standish Grove, East Bridgewater, Sept. 4, 1909.

Old Bridgewater Historical Society Board

Board of Directors:


President:  Mary O'Connell

Vice President: Janice O'Brien

Treasurer:  Linda DeArruda

Secretary:  Scott Ames


Rev. Diane Badger

Bill Hogan

Jeannie Keith Cullati

Amy Mackin

Kathleen Provost (pro tem)

Robert Wood (pro tem)

Katherine Wolfe

The Old Bridgewater Historical Society was founded in 1894 for the purposes of collecting, preserving, and publishing the Colonial History of the original Bridgewater settlement - an area that today is comprised of East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater, and Brockton.  

The Memorial Building houses the Society's offices, archives, library, and meeting space.  In addition to regular hours, the building is open by appointment, and for regular events. 

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1 / What is the early history of Old Bridgewater?

Bridgewater was purchased from Massasoit and the Wampanoag Tribe of Native Americans in 1649, by Myles Standish, Samuel Nash, and Constant Southworth representing Plymouth Colony.  The agreed upon price was 7 coats, a yard and a half in a coat; 9 hatchets; 8 hoes; 20 knives; 4 moose skins; 20 and a half yards of Cotton.  The town of Bridgewater was incorporated in 1656 and eventually became four distinct towns: East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater, and Brockton (North Bridgewater).

2 / How are the Memorial Building and Keith House supported financially?

The Old Bridgewater Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization and is not funded by a municipality.  It is run by volunteers and is supported by dues, donations, fund-raisers, and small grants. Thank you to all our members who continue to support OBHS with their dues, donations and attendance at our events.

3 / Who was Rev. James Keith and why is there a house named after him?

James Keith was born in Scotland and educated in Aberdeen, arriving in Boston about 1662.  He was ordained as a minister in 1664, shortly after which he accepted the post of Bridgewater’s first town minister.  He gave his first sermon in a meadow while standing upon a large rock, now known as Pulpit rock, located in West Bridgewater’s War Memorial Park. The Keith House, built by the town to house Rev. Keith and his family, is believed to be the oldest existing parsonage in the United States.

4 / Where can I find information about my old house in Plymouth County?

Search the registry of deeds at

Contact previous owners


Look up old census records.


Subscribe to a genealogy website.


Visit a local library, historical society, or preservation foundation. They may include historical books, maps, old newspapers, local census records, drawings, and photographs.


Research Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps through the Library of Congress at

5 / Where else can I look for information about local history?

Bridgewater Public Library:


East Bridgewater Public Library:


West Bridgewater Public Library:


Brockton Public Library:


Maxwell Library at Bridgewater State University:


Plymouth Colony Pages:


MACRIS: Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System:


The World’s Largest Gravesite Collection:

6 / How do I find old issues of your newsletters?

Members may request up to 2 newsletters per quarter.  Copies will be emailed to members free of charge.

Non-members may purchase up to 2 newsletters per quarter.  Copies may be purchased by non-members for $5 each.  Copies will be emailed.

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