Scituate

The Scituate Historical Society administers 13 buildings on behalf of the Town of Scituate and for its own programs. The oldest Lighthouse complex in the United States is Scituate Light found on Cedar Point. The best disguised water tower in the United States is the inspiring Lawson Tower found in Scituate Center. Possibly the oldest stone mill is the ageless Stockbridge Grist Mill found in Greenbush.

Each of these sites and 10 others are maintained by the Scituate Historical Society. Open house days occur throughout the late spring and into the fall. The Kathleen Laidlaw Center or Little Red Schoolhouse on Cudworth Road serves as the headquarters for these efforts. Open from 10:00 to 4:00 Monday through Saturday, the Schoolhouse holds the Society archives, a genealogical library, and other sources for historical research. The phone number is 781-545-1083.

Each weekend across the year, guests are welcomed at the Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum on the Driftway. The hours there are 1:00 to 4:00 Sunday. In the summer hours are added on Saturday. Stories of shipwrecks, storms, the Massachusetts Humane Society, Irish mossing, shipbuilding, and Minot’s Light can be found there.

The Scituate Historical Society also offers the Grand Army Hall on Country Way for rent to those in need of a beautiful space for small and mid size groups. The oldest public building in Scituate, the GAR Hall is air conditioned, has a fine caterer’s kitchen, handicap access, and a small stage. More information on renting the hall can be had by calling 781-544-0109 or by visiting www.scituatehistoricalsociety.org.

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GAR Hall

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GAR Hall 42.198753, -70.759077
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Scituate Lighthouse

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Scituate Lighthouse 42.204756, -70.715817

Duxbury

Alden House Historic Site

105 Alden Street
Duxbury, MA 02332
(781) 943-9092

Alden Kindred of America, Inc.

Part of the original land grant given to Mayflower Pilgrims John and Priscilla Mullins in 1627, the property has been home to generations of Aldens and is now a National Historic Landmark.  Alden House, c. 1680 is seen through guided tours and provides an intimate experience of family life in early New England. Visitors are welcome to tour the grounds and Alden “first site” foundation year-round.   

Admission to house:  Adults $8; kids and students $5; members free. House tours:  June 1st – Mid-October; Wednesday through Saturday, Noon – 4pm and other times by appointment.  

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John Alden House

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John Alden House 42.046301, -70.685975

Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House

479 Washington Streeet

Duxbury, MA 02332

(781) 943-6016

Duxbury Rural & Historical Society

Acquired by the DRHS in 1997 through a community fundraising effort, the Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House is perhaps the most architecturally significant building in Duxbury.  Its construction, on a grand scale uncommon in houses of the area, was based on designs by Bulfinch and Asher Benjamin. Nathaniel Winsor, Jr., a carver of figureheads by trade, inherited a thriving mercantile enterprise from his father. 

The Winsor family built at least 40 sailing vessels in Duxbury including several large brigs which traded in ports around the world.  When the age of sail passed, the Winsors moved to Boston, began to acquire steamships, and ran one of the first regular clippership lines from Boston to San Francisco.

The Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House, DRHS Headquarters, is open year round. Administrative hours are 9:30 am – 2:30 pm (M-Th). The first floor is open to the public, free of charge, and is self-touring. The first floor is handicap accessible.

Please note: the office is closed on regular bank holidays, and for vacation during the week from Christmas to New Year’s. Because we are a small staff, we encourage you to call before visiting, to ensure someone is in the office.

 

 

Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House (1807).

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Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House

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Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House 42.038999, -70.670929

King Caesar House

120 King Caesar Road
Duxbury, MA 02332
(781) 934-6016

Duxbury Rural & Historical Society

This Federal mansion was built in 1809 for Ezra Weston II, known as “King Caesar” for his worldwide preeminence as a shipbuilder and merchant.  Weston’s enterprise dominated Duxbury in the early 19th century with a large portion of the population employed in the Weston shipyards, farms, wharves, mill, ropewalk, or aboard Weston’s fishing schooners and merchant fleet.  Ezra Weston’s ship Hope, built in 1841 was then New England’s largest vessel.  Purchased by the Society in 1965, the house is presented for tours as it appeared in the 1820s.  The house is noted for its rare French scenic wallpapers, portraits of sea captains, and 19th century furnishings.

A guide-led experience through the home of Ezra Weston II (“King Caesar”), Duxbury’s largest shipbuilder, furnished with antiques and maritime treasures exemplifying Duxbury’s shipbuilding era. Introductory video is available. Stroll the grounds, including the remnants of King Caesar’s wharf, now called Bumpus Park. Introductory video available; family treasure hunts and Caesar’s Croquet are offered. More information on the house available at:   http://duxburyhistory.org/historic-houses/king-caesar-house/

Property is open on a seasonal basis; please visit the DRHS website for hours and admission. 

King Caesar House (1809).

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King Caesar House

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King Caesar House 42.045006, -70.664105

The Bradford House, Duxbury

931 Tremont Street
Duxbury, MA 02332
(781) 934-6016

Duxbury Rural and Historical Society

Sarah Hickling Bradford supervised the initial construction stages of this Federal-style home while her husband, Capt. Gershom Bradford, was held captive by the French. This dramatic beginning was the start of a lively and full household in which the Bradfords raised their young children and maintained an extended family. But the story of the Bradford House did not end with Gershom’s death….in fact, for the remainder of the 19th century, the house was owned and operated by women, his wife and daughters. In an age when female autonomy was rare, the accomplishments of these women should not be underestimated. 

The Bradford House opened July 15, 2017 with a brand new exhibition, Four Bradford Daughters: Lives Well Lived. Contemplate the tumultuous changes of the 19th century, as experienced by the Bradford women.The exhibition is a self-touring, gallery style installation in the family home. Tour guides are available for more information, or just for a chat! The exhibitions feature family-friendly and hands-on activities. An introductory video is available. More information on the house available at: http://duxburyhistory.org/historic-houses/bradford-house/.

Property is open on a seasonal basis; please visit the DRHS website for hours and admission. 

The Bradford House, Duxbury (1808).

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The Bradford House, Duxbury

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The Bradford House, Duxbury 42.038281, -70.688374