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First gaining notoriety as the “shoe city,” Brockton grew and flourished toward the end of the 19th century. As the halcyon days of the shoe industry waned, however, Brockton experienced many changes. After World War II, major residential development took place in the form of affordable single-family homes, and four new junior high schools and (eventually) a new high school were built. Housing for senior citizens and low-income residents was constructed, and new commercial buildings replaced those from a bygone era. Today, the city is still transforming as former shoe factories and commercial blocks are preserved and rehabilitated into new usage—whether residential, commercial, or industrial. Once a one-industry town, Brockton today is diverse in its industry and its people as it continues to be the “City of Champions.”
Brockton, the "City of Champions," earned this title through its fame for championship sports teams and its most famous hometown sports hero, undefeated boxing heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. The city was home to many more champions, ranging from great shoe industry barons, such as George E. Keith and William L. Douglas, to the immigrants who worked behind the shoe bench and the entrepreneurs who followed the shoe industry, making Brockton a world center of shoe manufacturing. Established as a city in 1881, Brockton was progressive and proud as the 20th century dawned. Brockton Revisited takes readers through the city's pinnacle of prestige and power and an idyllic time in history in the 1950s and 1960s. Many photographs were taken by Stanley Bauman; they tell the story of those fun-filled postwar days and chronicle Brockton's history.
Swedes came to America filled with hope tempered by the uncertainties of new surroundings, customs, and language. The first Swede to arrive in Brockton, then North Bridgewater, was Daniel Larson (Lawson), in 1844. Since that time, Swedish immigrants and their descendants have left a profound and positive imprint on the character of this region. With an excellent collection of more than two hundred vintage images, The Swedes of Greater Brockton tells the unique story of the immigration to this area of Massachusetts. Greater Brockton was the shoe-manufacturing center of the United States, with such factories as W.L. Douglas, George E. Keith, and D.W. Field. These magnets of immigration drew thousands to the region. Within these pages, meet hundreds of these Swedish immigrants and their descendants. Join in their journey to America, visit their homes, churches, and places of business, and experience their leisure activities. Learn about the establishment of the "Swedish" churches-Lutheran, Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, and the Salvation Army-and see how the entrepreneurial spark in America caught fire in Brockton's Swedish community.
On May 13, 1928, ten prominent men of Brockton, Massachusetts, headed off on a fishing trip to Moosehead Lake in Maine. After traveling fourteen hours, the group met Maine guide Samuel Budden and boarded the Mac II for the final voyage to their destination. Approximately six miles from the Tomhegan sporting camp, the boat took on water in rough seas and sank, taking Budden and all but one of the adventurers to a watery grave. Jim Benson and Nicole Casper chronicle this horrific tragedy and its legacy in two New England communities.
On March 10, 1941, at 12:38 a.m., the Brockton Fire Department responded to Fire Alarm Box 1311, which was pulled for a fire at the Strand Theatre. Fire Alarm dispatched the deputy chief, three engine companies, a ladder company and Squad A. Within six minutes, a second alarm was struck. Less than one hour after the first alarm, the roof of the Strand collapsed, and what appeared to be a routine fire turned into a disaster that killed thirteen firefighters and injured more than twenty others. The disaster marks one of the largest losses of life to firefighters from a burning building collapse in the United States. Jim Benson and Nicole Casper chronicle this devastating tragedy and celebrate the community’s heroes and resilience in the face of adversity.
Davis examines the history and cultural significance of circuses and Wild West shows in turn-of-the-century America.

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