Copyright 1996-2005, Gerald Beals, Curator of the Brockton Historical Society. All rights reserved.  

"Brockton is an old and dying shoe city with a heel at its throat...
It is a graveyard that might be beyond saving... "
(Paraphrased from an article by Mike Barnicle - Boston Globe 12/27/95.)

"Popularizing Brockton's fantastic history is probably the single most important factor in enhancing and remaking this city's beleaguered image."  Gerald. Beals  1/5/96

Considering the persistency of comments like Mike Barnicle's, above, it is not surprising that many Brocktonians continue to feel that their city is  the butt of far too much spurious journalism.   Thanks to the internet, however, the media that have traditionally interpreted and shaped this community's image are finally being challenged by "a new kid on the block." 

Because of its extraordinary resources, the Brockton Historical Society - which is the principle guardian of our remarkable heritage - is committed to producing a responsive project prototype.  Under the aegis of, concerned individuals and organizations throughout greater Brockton have been  increasingly coming together in a grassroots effort to utilize the internet to more cooperatively promote the positive aspects of this city and region. 

Supporters  include The Fuller Craft Museum, The Brockton Symphony, The Little Red School House Assoc., The Brockton Interfaith Community, The Brockton Christian School (and several other religious and fraternal organizations,) The Brockton Rotary Club, The Plymouth County Development Assoc., The Taunton River Watershed Assoc., The D.W. Field Park Association, The Massachusetts Offices of Travel, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, and area Chambers of Commerce etc. A number of private citizens and exemplary entrepreneurs throughout the area have also been especially supportive of the site. For example, a great deal of assistance in establishing the project has been, and is being, graciously provided by The Internet Connection Inc. of Mansfield, the Brockton Photo Engraving Inc. and  the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Brockton's rich 350 year history - involving "an extraordinary cross-section of people living in an extraordinarily special place" - reflects a unique microcosm of Americana. Accordingly, interactive computer access to the city's "practically ignored " regional identity is the cornerstones of For example, the incorporation of a regional "Electronic Multi-Cultural Heritage Trail" and a "virtual - electronic - Brockton" are not  only clarifying the city's character and its "blurred" sense of place but are anticipated to generate more interest in area tourism than has been the case for over 50 years.

Meanwhile, the associated PRIDE ON LINE link will provide electronic guests with a 24/7 opportunity    to view  numerous area historical highlights and features. Examples include: Cybertours, which allows browsers to peruse and learn about such nationally important landmarks as the historic Civil War paintings in the Memorial Corridor of Brockton's City Hall, the Edison plant on School St., and a host of other nationally significant tourist attractions that have been largely forgotten throughout the region.

Other  planned components include "Ask Doctor Brockton - An Open Forum" which enables viewers to obtain live audio answers to frequently asked questions about past, present and future events; Roots, which focuses upon providing vital statistics and associated  genealogical assistance; and Alumni, which will ultimately link up the thousands of former residents and area High School graduates dispersed throughout the world who still maintain a strong interest in and belief in the future of greater Brockton.

Meanwhile, a unique "Anniversary Notes" link will keep the community appraised of significant dates in Regional history. For example, a recent release detailed events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Brockton Fire Dept., the 100th anniversary of the Brockton City Hall, the 100th anniversary of the Brockton Day Nursery and the Brockton Hospital, and the fasinating  story of the settling of the area we now know as Greater Brockton 300 years ago. An animated weekly Postcard Gallery and highlights of images and text in the Society's popular newsletter are also being featured.

Besides Brockton's "primary" internet portal BrocktonMA.Com. 

 Other locally produced sites such as,,, etc. are also undergoing major development. For example,  the eight major shoe museums throughout the world will soon to be "webbed" to the Brockton Historical Society Heritage Center for the purpose of sharing and disseminating information. Similar communicative benefits will be developed in association with the Society's proposed new Edison and Marciano wings and their already developed and highly successful web pages.

Of course, once the BHS state-of-the-art model has been perfected and completed, the scores of  cultural organizations that flourish  throughout the region will be distinctively, harmoniously, and seamlessly linked to each other - and to the world. It is further  anticipated that will be the primary "nerve center" for processing and disseminating cultural information in the region.

An extraordinary educational feature will involve "live cam" input from - and out put to - area college and high school students. These distant learning  links will not only provide access to some of the remarkable accomplishments of area students, but inter-connectivity with the Electronic Village at the Brockton Historical Society Heritage Center, as well. Interestingly, one group of local students has already constructed a web page for the The Little Red School House. Meanwhile, another group has begun producing a souvenir CD-ROM on Brockton's History in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Brockton Historical Society, next year. Other groups are producing CD-ROMS in honor of the Brockton Fire Department's 150th anniversary and Brockton's 300th anniversary. Another interesting goal associated with the PRIDE ON LINE link will be to involve the regular web publication of articles by members of Brockton's venerable "Scribblers" literary association. Finally, related "amateur works" of Brockton youths and seniors will also be a regular online feature.

Editor's Note: As Brockton continues to benefit from - and build upon - increased awareness of its glorious history, let it be known that the new Brockton Historical Society will  play an important part in shaping the character of the "new Brockton." In fact,  we intend to continue to  lead the way. 

Any individual or organization interested in becoming a sponsor, or cooperatively enhancing the cultural image and identity of greater Brockton,  is cordially invited to join us.

To join or volunteer your assistance to THE BROCKTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY please call

508 238 9183

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Copyright © 1996-7-8-9-0-01-02-03-04-05 Gerald Beals