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Southbridge Historical Resources
Please see below for resources that may be of use to you in researching the history of Southbridge, or in doing local genealogy research. We have linked to resources that are available from anywhere online, as well as a bibliography of books you will find in our collection.

If you have further research questions, please contact the Reference Department during normal operating hours, Monday through Friday at 508-764-5426 or

General Historical Resources available online
Historical Maps online (via Leventhal Map Center, BPL)
Items available at Jacob Edwards Library (bibliography)
Topic-specific resources available online

General Historical Resources available online:

  • Historical Photographs (Digital Commonwealth)
    • This link goes directly to JEL's own institutional collection. For more results, search the Digital Commonwealth as a whole for 'Southbridge' to see items that belong to other institutions.
  • Chase, Levi - History of Southbridge. Extracted from Hurd, D. Hamilton The History of Worcester County, Massachusetts v.2 Philadelphia, J.W. Lewis & Co., 1889
  • Southbridge: A Souvenir. Published by the Ladies' Circle and Y.P.C.U. of the First Universalist Society of Southbridge, Massachusetts. 1899.
  • Worcester, Mass. Board of Trade. "The Worcester & Southbridge Street Railway," from The Worcester Magazine, 5 (1903): 193-207.  Accessed on October 13, 2020.
  • Veteran Burials in Southbridge - List of Veterans buried at Oak Ridge, Morse Neighborhood, & Pratt Cemeteries. Includes Veterans of Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish American War, and World War I.
  • Dick Whitney's Southbridge History Website contains many historical photos of Southbridge, oral and written histories from residents, and info on major events
  • Optical Heritage Museum - Located on Crane Street in Southbridge, the museum houses one of the largest collections of spectacle frames and Ophthalmic Optical items in the world.
  • MACRIS - Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System. Provides photographs and historical information on historic properties throughout the state.

Historical Maps Available Online

Plan of the Towns of Sturbridge and Southbridge
   1870, F.W. Beers
View of Southbridge, Mass., Center & Globe Village
   1878, J.L. Galt & Co.
Map of the Town of Southbridge, Mass.
   1878, F.W. Beers
(These maps courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. Linked to with permission.)

Bird's Eye View Map of Southbridge
   1892, O.H. Bailey & Co.
Plan of Southbridge
   1831, Barlow Freeman
Part of the Town of Southbridge, Worcester Co.
   1898, L.J. Richards & Co.
Area Towns
   1898, L.J. Richards & Co.
Towns of Charlton, Sturbridge, Southbridge & Dudley
   1898, L.J. Richards & Co.
Historic US Geological Survey Maps
   1945 & 1952
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
     February 1888
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
     January 1894
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
    January 1899
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
     February 1904
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
     May 1911
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
     September 1918
Hamilton Woolen Co. "Lower Mill" Insurance Map
AO Southbridge Facilities Interactive Map
Southbridge Historic District Map
GIS/Online Mapping


Books available for checkout or use at Jacob Edwards Library:
You may also browse our online catalog. This link will take you directly to a search on Southbridge history.

Please note that the Ammidown History Room is not publicly accessible. Library staff will retrieve the specific items from the Ammidown Room for patron use in the reference area of the library. Patrons will need photo identification and are asked to sign in at the Circulation Desk to use materials from the Ammidown Room. Decisions to photocopy Ammidown materials will be made by the staff based on the condition and conservation needs of the material.

Topic-specific online resources

Chase - Early Indian Trails through Tantiusque
Chase - Echoes of Memory
Chase - Interpretation of Woodward's and Saffrey's Map
Dedication of World War Memorial Park
History of the Southbridge Fire Department
Morse - The Morse Neighborhood of Southbridge
Sandler - History of the Fiber-Optic Industry
Select historical photographs posted on the JEL Flickr account


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