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Bridgewater

Renting an Apartment in Bridgewater

Bridgewater is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 28 miles (43 km) south of Boston. At the 2000 Census, the population was 25,185.

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Bridgewater, please see the article Bridgewater (CDP), Massachusetts.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 73.1 km� (28.2 mi�). 71.2 km� (27.5 mi�) of it is land and 1.9 km� (0.7 mi�) of it (2.62%) is water. Bridgewater is 99th out of the 351 communities in the Commonwealth, and eighth out of the twenty-seven towns in Plymouth County in terms of land area. The town is bordered by West Bridgewater to the northwest, East Bridgewater to the northeast, Halifax to the east, Middleborough to the south, and Raynham to the west. Bridgewater is approximately seven miles south of Brockton, ten miles northeast of Taunton, and twenty-seven miles south of Boston.

Bridgewater lies along the Taunton River, which has several other rivers and brooks which branch off of the main waterway. There are also several ponds, the largest of which is Lake Nippenicket along the western edge of the town. There is also a state forest, a town forest, several conservation areas and a large portion of the Hockomock Swamp Wildlife Management Area, in the western part of town. Parts of this swamp give rise to the so-called Bridgewater Triangle, a small area of concentrated reports of strange Fortean phenomena, colonial “dark days,” Bigfoot and mysterious black panthers, UFO sightings, and other weird encounters, a phrase coined by Loren Coleman, author of *Mysterious America* (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2007), often compared to the “Bermuda Triangle.”

Education

Bridgewater shares its school district with neighboring Raynham, with both towns operating their own elementary and middle schools, and sending their students to a common high school. Bridgewater has two elementary schools, Burnell Elementary (located adjacent to the Bridgewater State campus) and the George H. Mitchell Elementary (south and west of the town center, formerly known as Bridgewater Elementary), both of which serve students from kindergarten through grade four. Burnell also has fifth and sixth grade classes, while Mitchell’s fifth and sixth grade students attend Meredith G. Williams Middle School with the town’s entire seventh and eighth grade population. The Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School is located in Bridgewater, west of the town center. B-R’s athletics teams are nicknamed the Trojans, and their colors are red, blue and white. The school’s chief rival is Silver Lake Regional High in Kingston, whom they play in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game. A new rivalry has started with East Bridgewater in recent years. The athletic teams of the Williams Middle School use the Spartans nickname.

Bridgewater is home to the Southbrook School, a private school which serves students from kindergarten through sixth grade. There are also private schools in nearby Taunton and Brockton. Bridgewater was formerly the site of the Bridgewater Academy, a private high school located on the town common.

The town is also home to Bridgewater State College, a public liberal arts college that was founded in 1840. It is the largest of the state’s nine state colleges outside of the University of Massachusetts system. As of 2005, approximately 7,000 undergraduate students and 1,800 postgraduate students are enrolled at the college.

Transportation

Bridgewater is the site of the intersection of Interstate 495 and Route 24, with only a one mile stretch of the interstate running through the southwestern corner of town. Just north of this intersection along Route 24 are two large service areas, both of which have restaurants and a gas station. They are the only two such full service areas along Route 24, or, for that matter, anywhere along the highways of Southeastern Massachusetts (aside from a stop along U.S. Route 6 in Barnstable; that stop, however, is considered to be off the highway). At the center of town, Route 18, Route 28 and Route 104 meet at the town common. Routes 18 and 28, both north-south routes, are coextensive from this point south to the road’s intersection with U.S. Route 44 in Middleborough. Route 104 passes from east to west, with ramp access to Route 24 in the west. A short portion of Route 106 passes along the town line in the northeast of town; Route 104 ‘s eastern terminus is at that route, just along the East Bridgewater line.

The Middleborough-Lakeville line of the MBTA’s commuter rail passes through the town, with a stop at the southern end of the Bridgewater State College Campus, just south of the college’s main parking lots at the southern campus. The route is currently the only such rail line bringing commuters from the South Coast area to South Station in Boston. There is no air service to the town; there is a small strip in nearby Taunton, and the nearest national air service can be found at T. F. Green Airport outside Providence and at Logan International Airport in Boston.