Acushnet is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts. First settled by Europeans in 1659, it has been included as a part of three separate towns during its history. The name Acushnet, which is also the name of the river beside which the town is situated, is derived from the language of the Wampanoag Cushnea Native American tribe, meaning “peaceful resting place near water” (reflecting the fact that the tribe inhabited the lands leading up to the river).
Acushnet is bordered to the east and northeast by Rochester, to the southeast by Mattapoisett, to the south by Fairhaven, to the west by New Bedford and to the northwest by Freetown. The town line between Acushnet, Rochester and Mattapoisett forms a portion of the border between Bristol and Plymouth counties. Acushnet lies approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of Boston, 20 miles (32 km) west of Cape Cod, four miles (six km) north of Buzzards Bay and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island.
The town lies within the coastal plain, mostly below 80 feet (24 m) elevation, with higher points around Mendon and Perry Hills in the southeast of town and in the Sassaquin area in the northwest corner of town, where the highest point in town rises slightly above 160 feet (49 m) above sea level. Most of the town’s population lies along the New Bedford line, with the largest area in the southwest corner of the town, near the town hall.