Did you know that Taunton is one of the oldest towns in the United States? It was founded by settlers from the country town of Taunton, in Somerset, England. It was incorporated as a town on September 3, 1639.
Taunton was the center of the Iron Making Industry in the 19th Century. Taunton Works a.k.a Leonard Ironworks was the first ironworks established in Plymouth Colony and was in operation for a remarkable period of two hundred and twenty years, from 1656 to 1876.
Taunton was also the center of the silver industry in the 19th century earning it the nickname of Silver City. Reed and Barton produced the Summer Olympic Medals in 1996 and the silverware exclusively used in the White House. The USS Constitution also has an anchor made from the cities silver industry.
The Central Fire Station at 50 School Street is recognized as the oldest functioning station house in the United States.
Many interesting people and controversies visited Taunton over the years.
Robert Treat Paine was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a long time resident of Taunton.
In 1675, Indians of southern New England made a last effort to drive out the English settlers. This effort was named King Phillips War. Some of the war efforts were fought inside the Taunton city limits.
Presidents: James K. Polk, William H. Taft, FDR, Harry S Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, all visited the city.
A U.S. Army Camp called Camp Myles Standish was located in Taunton. It also served as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. The Ghosts of WWII POW’s are said to haunt the industrial park.
Taunton was a candidate site for the U.N. headquarters.
In March 2008, Hollywood director Martin Scorsese filmed a portion of the film “Shutter Island” starring Leonardo DiCaprio in Taunton on location at the Whittenton Mills Complex. and “Surrogates”, starring Bruce Willis, was partly filmed in the city, at the old Paul Dever school.
The Boys & Girls Club of Taunton is home to one of the most successful inner city floor hockey programs in the country, founded by long-time principal Dick Faulkner.