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flag  History of Freetown, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Freetown, Massachusetts, USA

(Assonet) (East Freetown)

Visit Freetown, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Freetown, Massachusetts, USA - Residence of Frank W. Reynolds, Assonet, Mass.

Freetown was first settled by the English on April 2, 1659 on the banks of the Assonet River, when the areas of Assonet and Fall River were purchased for 20 coats, two rugs, two iron pots, two kettles, one little kettle, eight pairs of shoes, six pairs of stockings, one dozen hoes, one dozen hatchets, and two yards of broadcloth from the Wampanoag Indians in an exchange known as Ye Freemen's Purchase.

Freetown includes: Assonet, Braleys Station, Chase's, Clifford, Terrys, and Thwaites. mass_lookup.htm

There is MUCH more to discover about Freetown, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Freetown Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Residence of Frank W. Reynolds, Assonet, Mass.
Freetown, Massachusetts, USA

Residence of Frank W. Reynolds, Assonet, Mass.
Profile on Joshua's Mountain, Assonet, Mass.
Freetown, Massachusetts, USA

Profile on Joshua's Mountain, Assonet, Mass.

"Profile Rock, also known as the Old Man of Joshua's Mountain, is a 50-foot high granite rock formation located in Freetown, Massachusetts just outside Assonet village and near the Freetown State Forest.

Native Americans believe it to be the image of the Wampanoag Chief, Massasoit. The Wampanoags occupied the region of present-day Rhode Island and Massachusetts bounded by Narragansett Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Chief Massasoit was friendly to the early Pilgrim settlers, but his son, Philip, is the namesake of King Philip's War (1675) between the Wampanoags (sometimes referred to as the Pokanoket) and the English, which resulted in the tribe’s ruin.

Joshua’s Mountain was named after Joshua Tisdale who was the first to settle near the site..." wikipedia

Freetown, Massachusetts, USA


Discover Freetown: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1839 - Freetown
Freetown, Massachusetts
Bristol county. This town lies on the E. side of Taunton river, 8 miles S. from Taunton, 12 N. by W. from New Bedford, and 40 S. from Boston. First settled 1659. Incorporated 1683. Population, 1837, 1,779. It is watered by a branch of Taunton river, and has some navigation. The manufactures of Freetown consist of iron castings, cutlery, axes, shovels, spades, hoes, forks, nails, leather, boots, shoes, vessels, chairs, and cabinet ware. Total amount, in one year, $43,820. The soil is light, and keeps, among other cattle, about 1,000 sheep.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - FREETOWN. [Pop. 1,772. Inc. 1683.]
This town lies on an arm of Taunton River, and is somewhat irregularly shaped. It was the mother of Troy or Fall River.

The soil is light, but good for grazing.

Something is done in various manufactures of iron, and a few vessels are built here.

Distance from Taunton, 12 miles ; from Boston, 40.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
FREETOWN, a township of Bristol co., in the state of Massachusetts, U.S., 42 m. S of Boston, on the E side of Taunton river, by a branch of which it is watered. Its soil is light, and possesses little fertility. Pop. 1,772.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1879 - An instance of heredity in crime is furnished by Elias Phillips, of Freetown, Mass., who recently appeared as a witness in a burglary trial, having turned State's evidence.
He is a great grandson of Malbone Briggs, a notorious criminal, who was in State-prison with seven of his sons at one time. Brigg's ancestry is traced back in a direct line to a noted pirate in the time of Earl Bellamont, and his branch of the family has for over a century furnished noted criminals in every generation. Phillips has only the use of his left arm, his right one being withered, but he recently made two keys by which an Assonet store was burglarized, and he can sail a boat, shoot a gun withe effect, and do other things remarkable under the circumstances. - Exchange.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
November 1, 1879
Freetown Massachusetts, 1890
Freetown, notable for its ledges and its large area of forest, lies in the easterly part of Bristol County, 45 miles south of Boston by the Taunton and New Bedford Branch of the Old Colony Railroad, which passes through the eastern part of the town; while the Middleboro' and Fall River Branch passes through Assonet village, in the northwestern part of the town. The other villages and stations are East Freetown and Braley's.

The towns of Berkley and Lakeville bound it on the north; the latter and Rochester on the east; Acushnet, New Bedford, Dartmouth and Fall River on the south; and on the west is Somerset, separated by Taunton River, and a southern projection of Berkley between which and Freetown is Assonet Bay. The assessed area is 21,275 acres. Two thirds of this are forest, composed mostly of pine, oak and chestnut. The geological structure is granite.

The soil is loamy, and large crops of cranberries and strawberries are raised. Of the last, in 1885, there were 40,908... Read MORE...

1895 - Freetown
Freetown, a post-village of Bristol co., Mass., in Freetown township, on the Old Colony Railroad, 45 miles S. of Boston, and 8 miles N.N.E. of Fail River. The town ship is also traversed by the Taunton & New Bedford Railroad, and has 3 churches, a newspaper office, and manufactories of guns and nails. Pop. of the township, 1417.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1899 - Freetown
Freetown. - This was the fifth town formed in Bristol county, and was originally known as Freeman's Land, or the Freemen's Purchase, and included the present town of Fall River, set off February 26, 1803. On June 17, 1700, the bounds between Freetown and Tiverton were established. On June 15, 1815, a small part was annexed to Fairhaven. The State census of 1895 gives the population of Freetown as 1,405, and the number of registered voters in 1897 as 299. The town forms a part of the Thirteenth Congressional District, and with Acushnet, Dartmouth and Fairhaven constitutes the Sixth Representative district, with 2,409 legal voters, entitling the district to one representative. The town is situated on the eastern border of the county, centrally north and south, and is bounded on the north by Berkley, on th east by Plymouth count, on the south by New Bedford and Dartmouth, and on the west by Dighton and Fall River. There are two post-offices, Freetown and East Freetown.

The largest...

New Haven Engineer Could Not See Signals - One Killed, Two Hurt.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass., Jan. 12. - A New York, New Haven & Hartford train was wrecked at East Freetown Station this forenoon by collision with a Concord freight, the engineer, on account of the blinding storm, being unable to see the signals. The freight train was taking a siding to allow the passenger train to pass.

The caboose of the freight and the engine of the passenger train were overturned, and the wreck caught fire. Fireman W. R. Asprey of the passenger train was buried under the tender. He was alive when extricated, but died on the way to the Taunton Hospital. Engineer J. D. Herbert of the passenger train was severely hurt. Charles H. Manchester, baggagemaster, was badly injured.
The New York Times
New York, New York
January 13, 1912
2023 - Here's a list of places to see and things to do in and around Freetown:
Profile Rock:

Begin your exploration with a visit to Profile Rock, a natural rock formation that resembles the profile of a Native American chief. It holds cultural significance and is an interesting geological feature.

Freetown State Forest:

Explore the vast Freetown State Forest, offering hiking trails, fishing spots, and opportunities for bird watching. The forest is a beautiful escape into nature, with lush greenery and serene landscapes.

Assonet Bay Shores Conservation Area:

If you enjoy outdoor activities, head to Assonet Bay Shores Conservation Area. It provides walking trails with scenic views of Assonet Bay, making it a great spot for a leisurely stroll or birdwatching.

Watson Pond State Park:

Watson Pond State Park is another gem in Freetown, offering a peaceful setting for picnics, fishing, and kayaking. Enjoy the tranquility of the pond surrounded by trees and wildlife.

Fall River Heritage State Park:

Take a short drive to Fall River Heritage...

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Updated: 10/7/2023 9:18:58 AM