THE TAYLOR FARM SITE
Published in the Middleborough
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Along the remote western edge of Plymouth County lies the Taylor Farm site. This section is known as Titicut; the Indian meaning is ‘The Place of a Great River.’ Located along the Taunton River in North Middleboro, this 82 acre farm has been lived on for some 8000 years since Early Archaic times. Across the Taunton River to the north lies the noted Titicut site, the subject of several past articles in the Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archeological Society. (Robbins 1967).
Standing next to the Taunton River which runs
Selection of this spot by Early Archaic people must have been prompted by its vast hunting and fishing potential, plus a water route to the ocean. Each spring herring pass upstream by the thousands to spawn at Assawompsett and Nippenicket Lakes. These phenomena must have fascinated early man and have drawn him like a magnet to this beautiful area. Probably other large fish such as salmon, shad, pike and sturgeon also migrated up the Taunton River to spawn. And not to be overlooked is the possibility in early times of seal following upstream with the annual fish run. Early settlers must have noted its deer hunting potential, with the river yielding fur-bearing animals and always good fishing available.
View of the Taylor Farm Site from Pratt's Bridge looking east. Fort Hill View.
EARLY HISTORIC REFERENCES
The first white settlement at Titicut was made in 1637 by Miss Elizabeth Poole and several associates. She was the daughter of Sir William Poole, a Knight of Colombe, in the parish of Coliton, Devon, England. Her purchase was between the bounds of Cohannet (Taunton) and the Titicut weir above Pratt’s Bridge. She came for the purpose of forming a settlement and for the conversion of the Indians to Christianity. (Weston 1906:28). She is credited with being one of the chief promoters of Taunton and its incorporation as a town on September 3, 1639.
At Pratt’s Bridge, David Charles, Isaac Wanno and other Indians, in 1707, owned the land with an old mill privilege. It was used for some 5 years until in 1725 when iron works were established and a company was formed for the manufacture of hollowware. In 1730 Ebenezer Robinson has a sawmill and a furnace on the Taylor farm, the south side of the valley. (Weston 1906:407).
Other early white settlers at this site developed many small industries. William Pratt owned a large farm, and built a gristmill, a sawmill, a fulling mill for processing wool, a gun shop, and a linseed oil mill. He also had a blacksmith shop and shoemaking shop. His father, Benjamin Pratt built ships of 40 to 50 tons during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s just across the river from the Taylor farm near the Titicut site. (Emery 1876:91).
During the course of Taylor farming operations four main concentrated aboriginal occupational areas of about one acre apiece were continually surface-hunted during the past 40 years (Fig. "A"). Four distinct periods of occupation have been identified by the type of recovered projectile points, when compared with similar types at other well-stratified sites.
IMPORTED PROJECTILE POINTS
Numerous imported projectile points, probably from New York and Pennsylvania, have been recovered at this site. This being a "Closed Site" a better chance for comparing and examining the total assemblage, as related to domestic and imported points, becomes available. Using Ritchie’s (Ritchie 1971) nomenclature, recognized are Genesee, Brewerton Side-notched, Snook Kill, and Susquehanna Broad of the Late Archaic; Meadowood, Rossville, Jack’s Reef Corner-notched, and Jack’s Reef Pentagenal of the Woodland
you to one of our local historians,
Bill Taylor of Middleborough for photo and story.