Mansfield is an industrial railroad town in Bristol County, just 26 miles south of Boston and 14 miles south of Brockton. The town is at the junction of major highways Route 24 and Interstate 495. One notable presence in the town is the concert venue the Tweeter Center of the Performing Arts, formerly known as Great Woods, which draws... Show all »
Mansfield is an industrial railroad town in Bristol County, just 26 miles south of Boston and 14 miles south of Brockton. The town is at the junction of major highways Route 24 and Interstate 495. One notable presence in the town is the concert venue the Tweeter Center of the Performing Arts, formerly known as Great Woods, which draws thousands of visitors each year for music and special events. Originally, the town was the unsettled frontier of Taunton, used for hunting, fishing and some livestock grazing. The earliest permanent settlement took place in the 1680s.
Before the American Revolution, most residents were engaged in agriculture or in making iron. The first grist mill was established in 1695 and the first iron forge in 1735, to work bog iron found in the area. In the early 19th century, there were the beginnings of diversified industry at several tack factories, cotton mills, machine foundries and straw hat making operations. The local economy expanded from manufacturing to commercial interests in the 1830's when railroads arrived in Mansfield and the town was established as a refueling and freight transfer point. However, later in the 1800's, the town needed to draw new industry to Mansfield and the Mansfield Board of Trade was formed in 1892 and was successful in attracting other businesses to town.
Among the companies they brought 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 the site of experimental gladioli farms. More recently, in the 20th century, the completion of Routes 24 and 495 and the development of a joint Mansfield/Foxborough industrial park brought new commercial life to the town. Today, Mansfield is a suburban community of residents who take advantage of the town's strategic position along major roads and easy access to larger cities like Boston, Brockton and Providence.
Besides commuting, economic and employment opportunities are widely available in the area's commercial complexes and industrial parks. An abundance of open-space and parkland is found in Mansfield as well. The conservation commission oversees places such as The Great Woods, Maple Park, York and Sweet Pond Conservation Areas. These protected lands offer recreation such as fishing and hiking. Homes in Mansfield can be found in both traditional and contemporary styles and exist as single-family properties or condo/townhouse units.