Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nickerson Avenue

This street has been known by several names. As originally laid out, the street was intended to extend from South Main Street to Pearl Street (Union Street had yet been built at the time), and was named Washburn Street for the family on whose land it was developed. With the construction of Middleborough Town Hall in 1873-74, the street became known as Townhouse Avenue. The name remained until May 30, 1919, when it was renamed as part of Memorial Day observances in honor of Simeon L. Nickerson who was killed in action July 23, 1918, in France. The street originally ran parallel and adjacent to Temple Place, a right of way which extended from South Main Street to what is now Thatcher’s Row in order to provide access to the Central Baptist Church. With the opening of this street, however, Temple Place fell into disuse.

Memorial Plaque, Corner of Nickerson Avenue and South Main Street, Middleborough, MA, photograph by Mike Maddigan, June 8, 2009.
This small plaque stands on the northeast corner of Nickerson Avenue and South Main Street and dedicates the street to the memory of Simeon L. Nickerson.  Interestingly, the plaque refers to the way as Nickerson Street rather than Avenue.  Nickerson was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic self-sacrifice when he and two others crossed an open field in order to ascertain the location of enemy machine guns. Efforts are currently under way to have Nickerson awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism.


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