Taunton is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, located approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of Boston, 18 miles (29 km) east of Providence, 10 miles (16 km) north of Fall River, 20 miles (32 km) north of New Bedford, and 25 miles (40 km) west of Plymouth. Taunton is situated on the Taunton River which winds its way through the city on its way to Mount Hope Bay, 10 miles (16 km) to the south.
In response, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ordered an immediate inspection of high-risk dams throughout the Commonwealth. Taunton has one major river, the Taunton River, along with its tributaries including the Mill River and the Three Mile River.
The highest point in the city is near its southwest corner, with an elevation of 207 feet (63 m) above sea level.
The Taunton Iron Works operated for over 200 years until 1876.
It was the first of many iron industries in Taunton. In the 19th century, Taunton was also the center of an important iron-making industry, utilizing much bog iron from the numerous swamps in the surrounding area.
The counties of Plymouth Colony were transferred to the Province of Massachusetts Bay on the arrival of its charter and governor on May 14, 1692.
The Taunton area has been the site of skirmishes and battles during various conflicts, including King Philip's War and the American Revolution.
Over 2,000 city residents were evacuated,all downtown businesses were ordered closed and Mayor Robert Nunes issued a state of emergency.
It is estimated that if the dam had failed, the Mill River would have inundated the downtown area with up to 6 feet (1.8 m) of water.
The original boundaries of Taunton included the land now occupied by many surrounding towns, including Norton, Easton, Mansfield, Dighton, Raynham, Berkley, and Lakeville.