The town of Middleborough, Massachusetts has a cool history of occupation and use that dates to the early Archaic Period. In 1744, Judge Peter Oliver, an important provincial Tory official and judge, as well as an industrial entrepreneur, operated an ironworks that included one of the earliest rolling and slitting mills in New England today.

All of Oliver’s works dominated and boosted the entire town’s early economy. He was well known and very significant for the degree to which they exploited the power of the Nemasket River, using as many as eight water wheels to run an integrated cluster of iron works, grist, saw, and many other water powered mills.

Though the Oliver family continued to gain substantial wealth for serving the colony as well as their successful business enterprises on the river, Judge Oliver was eventually impeached for receiving a salary from the crown. After he and his family left the country shortly after, the home was completely burned to the ground in 1778.

Following the abandonment of the site in the 1870s, the area was quickly becoming largely ignored until later in the 1960s and 1970s when it was finally restored for recreational purposes. For this, Oliver Mill Park survives as one of the most significant industrial archaeological sites in Middleborough as well as the southeastern Massachusetts region.

Known as one of the most picturesque spots in town, Oliver Mill Park is perfect for everything from an impromptu picnic to weddings. Because many Archaeologists have evidence of early Native American settlements in this location that date back to almost 10,000 years, both the park’s historic and natural resource significance cannot be overlooked.

Close by to other cool adventures like Edaville Family Theme Park and Myles Standish State Forest, the picturesque Oliver Mill Park is a great place to kayak, hike or just relax under the shade trees. In 2013 an astonishing almost one million herring traveled up the fish ladder to spawn in the Assawompset pond complex.