|Photo by Amanda Valente, BSU|
During our visits to the Burkland and Goode schools in Middleborough, we have been very impressed with the murals, including one depicting the importance of maritime connections in our region. This kind of public art is common in communities directly adjacent to the sea, but all the more important in places like Middleborough and Bridgewater, which are just far enough away that the connections might be forgotten.
For example, where the Taunton River divides the two towns, the Titticut area still bears the marks of an old shipyard, where tall ships were launched for use crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It has been many years since such a thing could be done so far upstream for three reasons. First, many bridges would block the progress of the ships. Second, the dam in Dighton would also be in the way. Third, and perhaps most important, Bridgewater and Middleborough no longer have white pines of sufficient size to make the masts of ships.
Nonetheless, both Middleborough and Bridgewater remain connected to the sea, through the connections of both towns to active seaports to the north and south -- Boston and New Bedford. Just after we noticed mural depicting earlier maritime activity in Plymouth -- whose historic port remains a great area to visit and learn -- we noticed a special article on port cities by our friends at Geography@about.com.