One of the chief towns of Bristol county. This very beautiful town is situated at the junction of Canoe, Rumford and Taunton rivers, and possesses an excellent water power. There is some excellent land in this town, and its proprietors display much taste in its cultivation. The business of the place is, however, rather in manufactures than agriculture. There are 8 cotton mills and a print works in the town; also a paper mill, 3 nail factories, a forge, a furnace, and manufactures of boots, shoes, leather, hats, chairs, brick, vessels, straw bonnets, and britannia, stone and cabinet wares: total value of the manufactures, the year ending April 1, 1837, exclusive of cloth printing and iron castings, $1,425,552. The number of hands employed in these manufactures was 1,308. There is some navigation owned in this town, which is employed in the coastwise trade, and domestic fishery.
The manufacture of britannia ware at this place, is of recent origin in this country, and proves successful. The articles manufactured, are tea sets, castors, urns, and all the varieties of that description of ware. The quality of the metal, and beauty of the polish of this ware, is said to equal any imported from "Britannia."
The village contains a large number of handsome public and private buildings, tastefully located around a beautiful enclosure, called "Taunton Green." This public walk is ornamented with trees, which heightens the beauty of this delightful village.
The settlement of this place commenced in 1637. Its principal founder was Miss Elizabeth Poole. The following is on her grave stone:
"Here rest the remains of Elizabeth Poole, a native of Old England, of good family, friends, and prospects, all which she left in the prime of her life, to enjoy the religion of her conscience, in this distant wilderness; a great proprietor of the township of Taunton, a chief promoter of its settlement, and its incorporation in 1639-40; about which time she settled near this spot, and having employed the opportunity of her virgin state in piety, liberality, and sanctity of manners, died May 21, 1664, aged 65."