Mansfield, is an industrial railroad town in Bristol county. In its earliest days, the town was the unsettled frontier of Taunton, used for hunting, fishing and some livestock grazing. The earliest permanent settlement of Mansfield took place in the 1680s.
During the Colonial era, Mansfield’s economy was based on a mixture of agriculture and ironworking. The first grist mill was established in 1695 and the first iron forge in small industrial base was established with several tack factories, cotton mills, machine foundries and straw hat manufacturers. Local officials made a conscious effort to diversify town business.
It appeared that Mansfield’s commercial destiny was decided when the railroads arrived in Mansfield in the 1830s and the town was established as a refueling and freight transfer point. However, later in the 19th century, the town suffered from a decline in rail freight, and local officials were actively engaged in attempting to draw business to town.
The Mansfield Board of Trade was formed in 1892 and was instrumental in drawing new industries to set up in town. Among the companies that moved in were jewelry firms which had been settled in Attleboro. Immigrants from Italy, Ireland, England and Canada moved to Mansfield to fill the manufacturing and farming jobs in the town, which was site of experimental gladioli farms.
The construction of Routes 24 and 495 and the development of a joint Mansfield/Foxborough industrial park brought new commercial life to the town. Mansfields growing industry and commitment to education and recreation programs makes Mansfield a great place to live!
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