Fall River, industrial city (1990 pop. 92,703), Bristol co., SE Mass., a port of entry on Mt. Hope Bay, at the mouth of the Taunton River; settled 1656, set off from Freetown 1803, inc. as a city 1854. It was once the foremost cotton textile center in the United States; the first cotton mill was built in 1811. The collapse of the industry in the 20th cent. was a severe blow to the city's economy. A variety of products are now made, but health care facilities are the largest employers. The Univ. of Massachusetts has a biomanufacturing facility there. The U.S.S. Massachusetts, the state's official World War II memorial, is berthed in the harbor. The city was the scene (1892) of the famous trial of Lizzie Borden, who was acquitted of murdering her parents in the family's home there.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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