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The city formed the Taunton Municipal Light Plant (TMLP) in 1897, when it decided to purchase the floundering Taunton Electric Lighting Company, making it a publicly owned electric utility.Today, TMLP provides electric service to 34,000 customers in Taunton, Berkley, Raynham, and sections of Dighton, Lakeville and Bridgewater.The Taunton Iron Works operated for over 200 years until 1876.It was the first of many iron industries in Taunton. In the 19th century, Taunton was also the center of an important iron-making industry, utilizing much bog iron from the numerous swamps in the surrounding area.During the 19th century, Taunton was a major shipping point for grain from the inland rural farm areas of Massachusetts to the rest of the nation via Weir Village and the Taunton River.With the advent of the railroad, Taunton would also become an important transportation hub due to its central location.
The National Weather Service also operates the Northeast River Forecast Center on the site, serving New England and most of New York state.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.The Native Americans called the region Cohannet, Tetiquet and Titicut before the arrival of the Europeans.