Inspired by the NPR series Main Street USA, in which reporters travel to different cities and towns in the United States and report what is happening on Main Street, Pam and James Hayes-Bohanan, a librarian and geographer respectively, have decided to embark on a similar project in which we shall visit places called Bridgewater.
Twelve years ago we moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts to take jobs at Bridgewater State College. One of the first things we noticed about the College's website was its web address, http://www.bridgew.edu/, seemed to be truncated. Why wasn't "water" spelled out? In those crazy pre-Google days we wondered who would ever find the College that way? We soon discovered that Bridgewater College in Virginia had beaten BSC to the punch and taken the http://www.bridgewater.edu/ domain. An additional consequence of working for the College that missed the boat is that now neither of us can type the word "bridge" without adding a "w" to the end. An occupational hazard that several of our colleagues share.
Anyway, we have since found out that Bridgewater is a pretty common name for a town, especially in New England. We know there is a Bridgewater, Vermont; a Bridgewater, Maine; a Bridgewater, New Hampshire; a Bridgewater, Connecticut; a Bridgewater, New York; and a Bridgewater, New Jersey. Additionally we know there is a Bridgewater in Nova Scotia, Canada and Bridgwater (that's right, only one "e") in England. We hope to visit all of these someday. If there is a town, village, burg, building, geologic feature called Bridgewater (or some variant thereof) where you live, let us know and we will put it on our list.
Just after we decided to take on this project we heard this story on NPR about a filmmaker visiting places called Belgrade.