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Taunton is also known as the "Silver City", as it was a historic center of the silver industry beginning in the 19th century when companies such as Reed & Barton, F. Rogers, Poole Silver, and others produced fine-quality silver goods in the city.
At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 55,874. is the current mayor of Taunton, and has held the position since 2012.Several major companies operate within the industrial park and in other parts of the city.In October 2005, the Whittenton Pond Dam north of the downtown area threatened to fail following a week that brought 9 inches (230 mm) of rain to the city.At the time of Taunton's incorporation, they explained their choice of name as being, "in honour and love to our dear native country...and owning it a great mercy of God to bring us to this place, and settling of us, on lands of our own bought with our money in peace, in the midst of the heathen, for a possession for ourselves and for our posterity after us." Plymouth Colony was formally divided into counties on June 2, 1685, with Taunton becoming the shire town of Bristol County.Prospect Hill, rising over Lake Sabbatia north of the downtown, has an elevation of 197 feet (60 m).
Due to the annexation of towns from the original town of Taunton, the city now is irregularly shaped, with it (along with neighboring Raynham) roughly making a triangle.
The Taunton Locomotive Works (begun in 1846) also operated in the city during this time.
Taunton was also home to several textile mills (Whittenton Mills) and other industries, such as felt (Bacon Felt) and brick making.
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.
Founded in 1637 by members of the Plymouth Colony, Taunton is one of the oldest towns in the United States.