Welcome to the
Marshfield Historical Society Website

    Check out our  Program Line-up for 2017 under Coming Events

 Coming Events for March and April 

Tuesday, March 28th at 7:00 PM: Packet Boats Conducting Trade on the North River presented by Bob Jackman, local historian (third of a series of four); Venue: Marcia Thomas House lecture room. Suggested donation $5 per person.

Marshfield’s packet boats are now largely forgotten. Yet from 1627 until 1871 packet boats were a crucial commercial and cultural link between Marshfield and the world at large. A close examination of the roles served by packet boats provides significant insight into life and commerce in Marshfield during that 250 year period.

Since the North River was the primary shipping lane used by packets, the ships and captains that sailed that river will get the bulk of our attention. However, the earliest packets serving Marshfield actually sailed Duxbury Bay and soon after the Cut Canal into Green Harbor River. Packet boats also sailed the South River and sometimes the canal connecting the South River and Green Harbor Rivers.

Small packets were often operated by a single man or a master with a crew of one. Packet masters were remembered as eccentric men with distinctive personalities. During the presentation there will be an opportunity to mention a few interesting examples. Some local businessmen such as Clift Rogers did not sail packets but participated in the trade with an ownership share.

Trust between residents and a packet master was crucial. The master had to assume that produce seen at the top of a barrel was indicative of the quality of product down to the bottom of the barrel. On the other hand, the local farmer selling his goods to the packet operator had to believe that the packet was paying a fair price reflecting the current Boston wholesale market. In some cases, the packet captain served as a sophisticated purchasing agent representing North River businesses that themselves were less technically savvy about the raw materials purchased by the captain on behalf of these businesses

Saturday, April 8, 2017, Back Roads of the South Shore’s History Symposium will be presenting a program titled Church & State: Religion in Architecture and Politics on  the South Shore. For details, click here and then click on their Current Events tab.

Sunday, April 16th at 1:30 PM: Pro-Am lecture* To Be Determined (TBD)

Tuesday, April 25th at 7:00 PM: Harvesting Flax and Processing It into Linen garments in Colonial Marshfield presented by Bob Jackman, local historian (last of a series of four); Venue: Marcia Thomas House lecture room. Suggested donation $5 per person.

* Suggested donations for the Pro-Am lectures is $10 for non-members and for $5 members. Pro-Am lectures are preceded by free snacks and beverages starting at 1:30 PM through 2:00 PM when the speaker starts. Questions and answers follow. The Marcia Thomas House is located at 65 Webster Street, Marshfield, MA near the Historic Winslow House. It is the Headquarters of the Marshfield Historical Society and houses its museum and archivesClick here for directions to the Marcia Thomas House.

Check out Robin Mitchell’s wonderful book “Yesterday’s Marshfield”, a pictorial journey as viewed through the photographers’ lens. Click here to visit Store.


After many months of planning, designing and  submitting bids  we finally have two new signs! One at    the Marcia Thomas House and one at the  Old Winslow Schoolhouse. 

Hours of Operation for 2017

The museum and archives are open the first Sunday of the month from 1pm-4pm and by appointment. For 2017 the dates are Jan 1st,  Feb 5th, Mar 5th, Apr 2nd, May 7th, Jun 4th, Jul 2nd, Aug 6th, Sept 3rd, Oct 1st, Nov 5th, Dec 2nd and Jan 7th 2018.   meow                                                                               

Membership Renewal:  Send your 2017 membership check dues to: MHS, PO Box 1244, Marshfield, MA 02050. There is a Membership Application under the Home/Become a Member tab at the top of the page. For more information contact membership chairman Jane Davidson. 781-801-0392;   janedavidson02050@gmail.com

We need volunteers for garden and field maintenance, for museum docents, for cataloging of artifacts and for simple house maintenance. Volunteer for one-time or longer term projects. The Board cannot do it all themselves. Please call Tim Davidson at 781-801-8267; tdavidson02050@gmail.com for more information.                                          

Meetings of the Board of Directors are generally held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM, at the Marcia Thomas House. For 2017 the dates are Jan 10th,  Feb 14th, Mar 14th, Apr 11th, May 9th, Jun 13th….


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