History Lost: From Keith Farm to Cumberland Farms
The intersection of Prospect and Pleasant Streets, home to Scotland Congregational Church, has long been the center of Scotland.
The Federal home in the background of this photo was built at some point in the 1700s for the Keith family, who owned over a dozen acres of farmland on the site. Benjamin Keith, who was famous at Bridgewater's Plymouth County Agricultural Fair for his peaches, also owned a grocery store at the corner of this intersection (visible behind the trees in this photo—more to come about this store in a later post).
Over time, smaller lots were sliced off of this land for children of the Keith family, and the largest parcel of farmland was bought in the 1940s by the Andruk family, who lived there for several decades.
Scotland was a small village throughout most of its history; even in the 1950s, only fifteen families lived within a three-mile radius of this intersection. All that changed in 1956, when Route 24 arrived in Bridgewater and made Pleasant Street the main thoroughfare between Bridgewater and nearly anywhere else.
Seeing an opportunity to transform green pastures into green dollars, developers began acquiring property to form large lots of subdividable land, including much of the old Keith farm (compare the below aerial photos from 1979 and 2020—the red arrow indicates the perspective of the photos above). Scotland Industrial Park, which broke ground in 1978, was the first of these projects and is now home to Black Hat Brew Works and Bridgewater Savings Bank, among others.
A few years later, Cumberland Farms, which at the time was the largest landowner in Bridgewater (yet another post to come), razed the former Keith home to build a convenience store and gas station. Today, that store has been reconfigured to allow for "Jasmine Way," an access road that opens up the remaining former farmland for development.