From the Files of the Rochester Historical Society

            To begin, I want to apologize for any confusion in last week’s article. Instead of the picture of the old Union Meeting House, there was the photo from the previous week.

            In L.C. Humphrey’s papers, he details the original size of Rochester. Rochester, as it was set off to the original proprietors, extended north to Nemasket in Middleboro, west to Dartmouth, east to Agawam plantations, and south to the sea, and that was the size of the town when it was incorporated in 1686. With the passage of time, the land area changed. First, the section of Rochester that extended deep into Wareham was set off in 1735 when the Town of Wareham was created out of both lands from Plymouth and Rochester. Later, in the 1800s, both Marion and then Mattapoisett were set off as new towns.

            Because of this unique association with neighboring towns, Rochester’s history includes the history of other localities. As someone mentioned recently, a child living in Acushnet or another nearby town might go to church or belong to a youth group in Rochester. When my grandfather went to high school it was in Fairhaven. My mother attended Wareham High, while later students went to New Bedford High.

            Our museum and society reflect these connections. The building is on County Road on the Rochester side of the road, and West Wareham is just across the street. Our membership includes residents of Marion, Wareham, of course Rochester, and also towns throughout Massachusetts and beyond.

            Our new exhibit, supported by the Rochester Cultural Council, a local agency, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, includes in part town bounds, tools, and local military items. The exhibit will open at 10:00 am on October 2 and last until 3:00 pm. In addition to the Curator’s Show Part II, we are planning a cranberry bake sale, a veteran’s tour of the Woodside Cemetery, and, at noon, an Honor Guard salute by the Wareham Minutemen Militia. There will also be an outhouse tour and sales of our Rochester clothing, books, and other items.

By Connie Eshbach

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