Brockton, Massachusetts

Brockton is a city in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, sometimes referred to the City of Champions, mainly due to the success of native son boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler. In 1649, Native Americans sold the surrounding land to Myles Standish as an addition to Duxbury. Brockton was part of this area, which the English renamed Bridgewater, but was eventually again renamed, after a local merchant named Isaac Brock. The town of Brockton became a city in 1881. During the American Civil War, Brockton was America’s largest producer of shoes.

On October 1, 1883, Brockton became the first place in the world to have a three-wire underground electrical system, when Thomas Edison threw a switch to activate it. The City Theater opened on October 24, 1894, the first theater in the world to be tied into the three-wire electrical system. On December 30, 1884, the first electrically operated fire station in the United States opened in Brockton.

Brockton’s setting is primarily urban, lying along the Salisbury Plain River, which once powered the city’s many shoe factories. To the northeast lies the Beaver Brook Conservation Land, attached to the southern end of the Ames Nowell State Park in Abington. There are several parks throughout the city, the largest of which is D.W. Field Park, an Olmsted-inspired park which includes ponds, Waldo Lake and Brockton Reservoir in Avon, as well as a golf course.

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