Berkley, located in commuting proximity to the cities of Boston, Brockton, Fall River and Providence Rhode Island, is a rural residential community tucked away in Bristol County. The town still retains its undeveloped country flavor, having not changed significantly since it was first settled as an agricultural community and later... Show all »
Berkley, located in commuting proximity to the cities of Boston, Brockton, Fall River and Providence Rhode Island, is a rural residential community tucked away in Bristol County. The town still retains its undeveloped country flavor, having not changed significantly since it was first settled as an agricultural community and later incorporated a town in 1735.
Today, Berkley, which still possesses many of its 18th century homes, is largely a bedroom community for nearby cities and industry. It provides a quiet atmosphere of open-space and tempting proximity to the destinations and attractions of Cape Cod and the Rhode Island coast. Early in town's history, Berkley was a well known Indian settlement area fed by rich shellfish and water fowl resources. Woodlands in the town also drew the first European settlers. However, armed conflict in the late 17th century during King Philips War delayed development of the town when residents fled for safety to nearby Tauton.
Berkley was slow to develop and even now remains largely unspoiled partly because rocky soil that inhibited agriculture. Additionally, there was a lack of water power to fuel the industrial mills so typical of New England towns in the 1700's and 1800's. However, there was a modest shipbuilding industry in Berkley and sufficient clay deposits stimulated small pottery operations.
Still a small, rural community, Berkley's population of roughly 4000 residents live spread out over 16 square miles where they enjoy the open-space and peaceful landscape. One notable town feature is the Berkley-Dighton Bridge, possibly the oldest swing span bridge in the state.
Situated in Southeastern Massachusetts, Berkley is bordered by Dighton on the west, Taunton on the north, Lakeville on the east, and Freetown on the south. A short drive to the neighboring communities in Bristol County offers Berkley residents access to cultural and economic opportunities made rich by the area's long standing immigrant communities.
There are numerous ethnic festivals, feasts, restaurants, old world markets and specialty shops throughout the region. Properties in a variety of simple, traditional architectural styles most often feature large lots of one or more acres.