About Brockton

A Little Bit of Brockton History

Brockton is located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts and has a Mayor-Council form of government. The city prides itself on its diversity of cultures, and is home to approximately 100,000 residents. Present day Brockton was first settled in the 17th century and was originally known as North Bridgewater – a geographic area that is today comprised of the communities of Brockton, West Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, and Bridgewater. Brockton became a city in 1881. Farms gave way to factories and Brockton became an epicenter of the shoe and textile industries, earning the name “Shoe City.” 

Brockton is known for three distinct histories:

  1. Shoe City - During the American Civil War, Brockton was America's largest producer of shoes, and until the latter parts of the 20th century, Brockton had a large shoe and leather products industry. The Homestead - The "original Homestead" was built in 1767 by Deacon Jeremiah Beals. The Beals were direct descendants of Hingham's John Beal who became one of the first shoemakers in America in 1638.
  2. Fire Fighting - Having the first electrically operated fire station in the United States
  3. Boxing - Home to legends Rocky Mariano and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the city had a population of 40,000; and more than 6,000 people were employed in over 100 separate shoe manufacturing entities. Today, Signature Healthcare, W.B. Mason, Bay Pointe Rehabilitation, Barbour Corp., U.S. Laboratories and Fairfield Farm Kitchen are the top employers in Brockton.

Brockton is home to an award-winning public school system. Brockton High School, the largest high school in New England and one of the biggest in the nation, has more than 4,200 students. It has also been named amongst America’s Best High School’s by U.S. News & World Report.  

Other area schools include: Southeastern Regional Technical HSCardinal Spellman 9-12Foxboro Charter School, and Trinity Catholic K-8.

The City has also been home to Massasoit Community College for more than 40 years. In addition to Massasoit Community College, Brockton is also located near two, four-year institutes of higher education. Bridgewater State University is located in Bridgewater, just 7 miles from the city, and offers over 36 undergraduate and 80 graduate courses of study. Massasoit and Bridgewater have a program called MCC2BSU which allows easy transition from a two year associates program to a four year bachelor program. Stonehill College is a private Catholic college located in nearby Easton. With over 2,500 students enrolled, Stonehill offers over 80 majors, minors and concentrations in liberal arts, science, business and pre-professional fields..

Brockton has a growing commercial base with large companies like W.B. Mason, Signature Healthcare, Bay Pointe Rehabilitation and US Laboratories to name a few. There is a vibrant small business community as well that allows authentic culture to grow and flourish. The Metro South Chamber of Commerce supports and promotes the local business community through leadership in public advocacy, education, networking, information and community development. Other small business organizations are Downtown Brockton Association, Montello Business Association, Campello Business Association, Black Owned Brockton, and Cape Verdean Association of Brockton.

In addition to convenient shopping destinations like Westgate Mall, there are also a variety of restaurants and eateries that offer a culinary tour of the world without straying too far from home. Supermarkets like Vincente’s Supermarket and Alves Grocery offer ethnic food choices to match the growing diverse population in Brockton.

Just to name a few:

Cape Verdean Restaurants

Haitian Restaurants

Peruvian Restaurant

Jamaican Restaurant

There is a wealth of cultural and recreation opportunities in the city from education to recreation.

The Fuller Craft Museum, located on Oak Street, is billed as the only craft museum in New England. The permanent collection at Fuller Craft Museum includes studio furniture as well as glass, ceramics, jewelry, wood and textiles.

The Brockton Historical Society operates a complex of museums along Route 27.  The trio of sites is each dedicated to a separate facet of the city’s long history – the shoe industry, fire fighting, and an early homestead.

The Brockton Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the finest orchestras in the Greater Boston area. It has been called "one of the region's classical jewels" by the Boston Globe, and is recognized as one of the leading community symphony orchestras in Massachusetts. The BSO entertains audiences throughout the city all year long.  

The Brockton Public Library offers a variety of programs and services for residents of all ages. With three locations around the city, their in-house resources include a collection of more than 140,000 books, 1,700 videos, and 1,000 audio tapes; computers for internet access and word processing; museum passes for the entire family; and historical resources to assist you with your genealogical needs.

The Brockton Cultural Council is the local funding arm of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, that works to elevate the rich cultural life in Massachusetts. The BCC mission is to fund locally based arts, culture, and interpretive science organizations who collaborate with one another or other local organizations. 

Campanelli Stadium, located on Feinberg Way, is home to the Brockton Rox. The team is part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England (FCBL). It is summer collegiate baseball at its best, having been regarded as one of the most talented and competitive leagues in the country. The adjacent Shaw’s Center, presently under new management, is ideal for functions and corporate events.