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#PlacesThatMatter – Fall River, Massachusetts
Oct 10, 2019 12:00 PM ET
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In 1620, long before there was a United States of America, English settlers established the Plymouth Colony in a portion of the East Coast formerly inhabited by Native Americans. It was this tribe of PokanoketWampanoag who gave the town of Fall River its name, after the Quequechan River, which flowed gently through the city, only to drop steeply, or “fall” into Mount Hope Bay.

Despite many changes, and a bit of adversity, the town persisted over the years, at one point becoming part of the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Colony, which changed the town’s name to Tiverton, and for a time was annexed by Rhode Island due to a boundary dispute. The name eventually reverted back to Fall River, and the town returned within the boundaries of Massachusetts. More than 100 years later, this early settlement would even play a small part in the American Revolutionary War, as the site of the Battle of Freetown, where the Fall River Militia successfully beat back a superior British Force.

Today, the city is known as the former home of axe murderer Lizzie Borden, as well as its thriving Portugese culture, as the site of the largest collection of World War II naval vessels, and the one-time leading textile manufacturig center in the United States.

Those stately textile mills have long been shuttered; their massive brick buildings now converted into businesses, offices or condominiums.

New industry and business has taken its place, however, including the site of Whirlpool Corporation’s commercial dryer plant. Purchased from American Dryer Company in 2015, the plant is a mixture of new employees, as well as some who have been through the transition from ADC.

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