Holbrook

Holbrook is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 10,791.

Before European settlement, the area now known as Holbrook, Massachusetts, like all of New England, had long been inhabited by Algonquian-speaking peoples.

Holbrook was first settled by Europeans (mostly British colonists) in 1710 as the southern part of Old Braintree, and was officially incorporated on February 29, 1872, the last town created from the former lands of Braintree. It was formerly known as East Randolph, being divided from Randolph by track from the Old Colony Railroad line.

Holbrook’s development is typical of suburban Greater Boston. In the 18th and 19th centuries, farming and cottage trades, particularly shoe production, dominated the economy. Slowly, the town evolved into a primarily residential community with many residents commuting to work in Boston proper and the primary employment within the town being in service industries.

As was true of many towns in Massachusetts, its residents served during the United States Civil War. Some members of the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry are buried in Union Cemetery. The impact of the War came not only from the residents’ direct participation in the conflict, but was also from the need for production of boots for soldiers. It was during the Civil War that shoe production became a significant component of the town’s economic life, and production moved decidedly from the home and into factories.