Behind the Name: Stetson Street
Stetson Street runs along land that was originally a large lot owned by Nahum Stetson, a "leading southeastern MA industrialist" who became manager at the Lazell Perkins and Co. foundry in 1835. His son, George, built a house on this lot in 1870.
This area of town changed dramatically after the railroad arrived in 1846 (much the way Scotland changed in the 1950s after the arrival of Route 24). Realizing the increased value of his land, George sectioned off a parcel for the McElwain Shoe Company (now occupied by Downtown Mini Storage, the Drop Spot, and Bridgewater Bottle & Can Redemption) in the 1890s.
In 1899, he laid out Stetson Street as a connector between Pearl and Broad Streets, and he subdivided the rest of the lot to build housing for factory employees. His home, originally on Broad Street, was repositioned and is now 15-17 Stetson Street.
Stetson Street is one of Bridgewater's very few late 19th century Victorian housing developments. The houses along the street were built c. 1900-1910 and are characterized by clapboard and shingle siding, well-crafted porches with turned elements, bay windows, and gable roofs.