Fall River is a port and industrial city located at the head of Mount Hope Bay, about 50 miles (80 km) south of Boston. It was founded in 1659 by settlers from the Plymouth Colony and chartered as a city in 1854. From the 1870s until the 1920s it was the largest center of cotton texitle manufacture in the United States. Although the city's importance declined after 1929 and the Great Depression, many industries remain.
The USS Massachusetts, a World War II battleship, is berthed on the waterfront as a war memorial. The city's name is derived from the Indian name of a local river, the Quequechan, which means "'falling water."