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    Middleboro Historical MuseumMiddleboro Historical Museum Middleboro, Massachusetts
    the Middleboro or Middleborough, as it is spelled both ways?, began in 1960 in just one small space and today operates seven historical structures on one acre. The fabulous museum contains one of the biggest collections of Tom Thumb memorabilia, with the other buildings housed here showcasing life in the late 19th century and early 20th, and comparing it with today's. Their outstanding research collections include photographs, printed and written materials and directories. The museum offers excellent educational programs with many school field trips held throughout the year, and has great slide programs that are available to various civic groups around the region. One of the most famous exhibits is the Tom Thumb Museum housed inside, with a big part of the magnificent collection being housed at the Zachariah Eddy House before it was donated to this museum. The famous couple, Tom and wife, would become P. T. Barnum's circus performers, while making their home in Middleboro. The older residents here remember the famous couple coming home and tossing pennies to the kids in the streets when they rested from their tours with the circus. Tom Thumb was the stage name of Charles Sherwood Stratton, a midget, or small person to be politically correct, or is it?, and his wife, Lavinia Warren, also a small person, married in 1863. Lavinia was born and raised in Middleboro and the museum has her wedding dress on display. Their story is a wonderful success tale about two little people that would travel the world becoming more famous as they did and allow Charles, or Tom to become a rich man by the time he was 24 years old. They would even get a wedding reception at the White House, invited by Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary. Tiffany of New York would give them a silver coach as a wedding present, that is on display here as well, and they were fortunate enough to be able to construct a mansion in the city, with miniature furniture and is still standing in the city today.

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    Robbins MuseumRobbins Museum Middleboro, Massachusetts
    The Massachusetts Archaeological Society operated Robbins Museum, since the society was started by Dr. Maurice Robbins many years ago, and he was involved in numerous excavations in the Middleboro, Massachusetts area. Their mission is to promote and provide understanding and appreciation of their great Native American culture and heritage. Their museum store offers excellent handmade crafts and archaeological literature, that helps to pay for their society and museum. Dr. Robbins was one of the founders of the society in 1939 and would become its first president. He would also become the first director of the Bronson Museum, that had been the society's former headquarters in Attleboro, and is well known for his many excavations at the Wapanucket site in Middleboro and his authorship of the Amateur Archaeology Handbook that was the training manual for three generations of archaeologists around the nation. Robbins would also write some 50 articles, books and reports about archaeology in the state or just archaeology itself. The museum's name would be changed in 1988, when the society moved into its new headquarters in Middleboro, to honor Dr. Robbins' early and outstanding work.

April 21, 2011