Bridgewater is located in Plymouth County, approximately 25 miles south of Boston, and has a population of less than 30,000 residents. In 1840, Horace Mann founded Bridgewater Normal School, a school for training school teachers. Today, it is Bridgewater State University and it the largest enrollment of teacher education students in the state. The largest pond is Lake Nippenicket, known to locals as “The Nip”, on the western edge of the town. Bridgewater also has other conservation areas, and a large portion of the Hockomock Swamp Wildlife Management Area is located in the town.