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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Burkland and Goode Schools, Middleboro -- October 5

Henry B. Burkland: N 41° 53' 12"  W 70° 54' 37"
Mary K. Goode:      N 41° 53' 14"  W 70° 54' 42"
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)

This is our second visit to the Burkland and Goode Schools. Please see the blog post from our January 2012 visit for some fun questions about the coordinates of these schools compared to each other and compared to EarthView's home base in Bridgewater.

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Satellite images and online maps are a big part of modern geography science, and we are using them to keep track of where we have taken EarthView. The Middleboro section of our new EarthView Experience map shows three schools we have visited in the town. Without zooming in, can you tell which one is Burkland and which is Goode? What is the third marker a bit to the southeast?

We are very fortunate to have a geographer from Middleboro as one of our new EarthView Wranglers (the BSU students who help us with the EarthView program). Macee had a few interesting things to share with us about Middleboro (or Middleborough -- that's another story). She reminds us that this is the second largest town in Massachusetts (by area). What nearby town is even larger?

Macee provided this map, which includes a clue. Middleboro is highlighted, as is all of Plymouth County.

Macee also told us about the geography of the Burkland and Goode Schools themselves. Students used to progress from Goode (Grades 1 and 2) to Burkland (grades 3, 4, and 5), but now students are assigned according to the town geography, with every street assigned to one of the schools. Without a map it is not easy to see, but the Burkland streets and the Goode streets seem to be in the north and south parts of the town. We hope that some Burkland and Goode students can figure this out and use the "comments" button below to let us know for certain!

Buildings are an important part of the human geography of any town, and they change over time. Macee provided this photo of Main Street -- you can click to enlarge it. Notice that it has trolley tracks in the middle of the street. What other clues can you find to the age of the photograph. Can you find this location today? (Please don't stand in the middle of the street to find it, but perhaps you can come close to it.) Can you or your parents figure out which buildings are still in place and which have changed? What kinds of businesses might no longer be as important? What kinds of businesses would you find on Main Street today that  would not be found when this picture was made?

Did you know that Middleboro was once covered with ice, perhaps a mile thick? And as most of the ice melted, some huge chunks remained, and flowing water deposited a lot of sand, gravel, silt, and clay around them. These deposits became much of the land of Middleboro and the giant ice cubes eventually melted away, leaving holes for ponds. Some of those kettle ponds remain; others filled in with organic matter and became the perfect places to grow cranberries. This is one reason that Middleboro and neighboring towns became the world's most important cranberry producers.

The headquarters of Ocean Spray is located in Middleboro, at a site that was chosen with the help of a geography professor from Bridgewater State who passed away about ten years ago. Look at the map that shows the headquarters, and see if you can figure out why the site was chosen.

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One final piece of Middleboro geography is the Oliver Mill Herring Run, which was part of a field trip for university geography students this summer. Herring are anadromous fish that migrate from the ocean to their birthplaces in small streams. They are historically very important to the New England diet, but when industry grew in this area, the factories (mills) often interfered with the fish. More conscientious builders created fish ladders, which remain in use today, even after the factories are gone.
Photo by BSU Geography student
Ashley Costa (c) 2012.

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