Principal industries in Middleborough are: fire apparatus repair, lumber, novelty items, printed materials, and diversified products, as well as quality antiques. Middleborough is also the Cranberry Capital of the World. With Ocean Spray's World Headquarters in Middleborough and Lakeville. Middleborough is also home to the Christmas Tree Shop's Main Distribution Facility. Middleborough has been an industrial town since its founding, as many of the old factories are on the river because they were once powered by waterwheels.
History of Industry on the River
When the town was rebuilt after King Philips War the Nemasket River became a major source of water power for the many mills set up on its banks. Although many dams and their accompanying mills were built on the river in the 1700's, the boom of the industries on the river took place in the nineteenth century. The dams and mills were located in three major places along the river, the Upper Factory on Water Street (Wareham Street); the Star Mill or Lower Dam or Lower Factory (location of Winthrop-Atkins Company today); and the Muttock or Oliver's Mill (Oliver Mill today). There was a dam on the river near Murdock Street where John Warren built and maintained a grist mill, shingle mill, and sawmill, but after his death they were destroyed. Since these other three areas had the most influence on the growth of Middleborough, for that reason they were mentioned.
Courtesy of Dorothy Thayer.