Duxbury Rural & Historical Society

Duxbury Rural & Historical Society You never know what history is going to do next... join the fun! Hours: DRHS operates multiple properties. Please visit our website for open hours.

We welcome all visitors to our page, and encourage them to share their thoughts and memories of Duxbury. The DRHS does reserve the right to block or hide inappropriate use of the DRHS page. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping this page friendly and positive.

In anticipation of our upcoming event with Steven Ujifusa, author of Barons of the Sea, we are highlighting Duxbury conn...
08/11/2020

In anticipation of our upcoming event with Steven Ujifusa, author of Barons of the Sea, we are highlighting Duxbury connections to both the China Trade and Clipper Ships.

One of the most important Boston shipbuilders was Samuel Hall. He built over 110 ships in his East Boston yard, including the first clipper launched in Boston, the Surprise, in 1850. For a time, the Surprise held the record for the New York-San Francisco run (96 days 15 hours). The ship also carried Warren Delano's wife and children to China in 1862.

Samuel Hall (1800-1870) was born in Marshfield and began his shipwright career there. At the tender age of 26, he was hired by King Caesar to become the Weston firm's master carpenter. While in Duxbury, Hall was responsible for building at least 15 of the Westons ships, including the 530 ton Eliza Warwick. He and his family owned the mansion at 479 Washington Street (DRHS Headquarters) from 1834-1836. In 1839 Hall set his sights on the burgeoning wharfs of East Boston and left Duxbury's soon-to-be waning shipbuilding in his wake.

After retiring, Hall and his wife moved back to their hometown of Marshfield.

Philippe de Lannoy: The First Delano. Steven Ujifusa's book, Barons of the Sea, partly focuses on Warren Delano (grandfa...
08/10/2020

Philippe de Lannoy: The First Delano.

Steven Ujifusa's book, Barons of the Sea, partly focuses on Warren Delano (grandfather of FDR) who made his fortune as a merchant in China. But all Delanos, including Warren and FDR, are descendants of one of Duxbury's founders, Philippe de Lannoy, sometimes spelled, de la Noye (c. 1603-1681).

Philippe traveled on the Fortune in 1621, the second ship to arrive in Plymouth. He, as you may tell from his name, was French speaking. He was born in Leiden, Holland, but his parents had escaped religious persecution from Wallonia, a part of Flanders (in present day Belgium). While in Holland, Walloons like the de Lannoys, joined the Separatist church established by the English who had escaped their own religious persecution. So it was that some of the first Plymouth colonists' native language was French, not English. Once in the New World, de Lannoy was anglicized to Delano.

In 1627 Phillip received a land grant of 40 acres in Duxbury. His farm was was on the north side of today's St. George Street, with John Alden's grant neighboring him on the south. Much of the Delano farm was later owned by King Caesar's son, Gershom Bradford Weston. In 1868, a portion became the Wright Estate. Today it is the playing fields for Duxbury High School. In the photo of the area you can still see Wright's stone wall.

Phillip was married twice, fathering 10 children. He is most likely buried in the Myles Standish burial ground on Chestnut Street, although a marker is long gone, if there ever was one.

Warren Delano, the successful merchant, was a descendant of Jonathan Delano (1648-1720), the fourth son of Phillip de Lannoy and Hester (Dewsbury). Jonathan did not remain in Duxbury but moved with his wife, Mercy Warren, to Dartmouth, MA - where they had 13 children. Warren was Jonathan's great grandson.

There were plenty of Delanos who stayed in Duxbury, having large families for generations. There are still many descendants in town today.

Throw Back Thursday: Fun Times at Duxbury Beach, c. 1934. Pictured here are (back, l to r) Helen, Winthrop "Winnie" Bake...
08/06/2020

Throw Back Thursday: Fun Times at Duxbury Beach, c. 1934. Pictured here are (back, l to r) Helen, Winthrop "Winnie" Baker, Russell "Poody" DeWolf, Dave; (front) Johnny DeWolf and "Marg."

Both of the DeWolf brothers, along with Winnie Baker, graduated from DHS in 1934; "Marg" may be Winnie's older sister, Marjorie Baker. #southshoresummer

We’re very excited about our upcoming event with Steven Ujifusa on his book “Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build ...
08/05/2020

We’re very excited about our upcoming event with Steven Ujifusa on his book “Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship” so today we’re sharing with you a painting in our collection of one of the most famous clipper ships of the 19th century, “Flying Cloud entering San Francisco Harbor.” Built in 1851 by Donald McKay of Boston, the Flying Cloud broke the record (twice!) for the fastest trip from New York to San Francisco. First, in 1851 in 89 days, 21 hours and then again, beating its own record in 1854 with 89 days, 8 hours, a record that stood for 135 years until 1989 when the sloop Thursday's Child completed the passage in 80 days, 20 hours. Notably, the navigator on the Flying Cloud for both of these record setting voyages was Eleanor Creesy of Marblehead, Massachusetts and wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy, who was the captain. After 1854, Henry Otis Winsor (1825-1906) of Duxbury became captain of the Flying Cloud for a short time. Henry would go on to make the trip to San Francisco on other ships, even marrying his wife, Louise R. Hays of New York on board one in San Francisco harbor in 1872.
For more information on this free event, and on “Barons of the Sea” check out the events page on our website: https://duxburyhistory.org/events/barons-of-the-sea-author-talk-with-steven-ujifusa/

#maritimehistory #maritime #clippership #boatrace #flyingcloud #baronsofthesea #museumcollections #objectoftheweek #housemuseum #historichouse #historichousemuseum #duxbury #localhistory

Historic Duxbury Lego Contest Entry: Trevor Berman, age 8: Powder Point Bridge/Beach Day. Nice job, Trevor!There's still...
08/04/2020

Historic Duxbury Lego Contest Entry: Trevor Berman, age 8: Powder Point Bridge/Beach Day. Nice job, Trevor!
There's still time for you to enter! All ages welcome (including adults!) and prizes given in each age category. Find out more: https://duxburyhistory.org/historic-duxbury-lego-contest/. Entries due August 17! In collaboration with Duxbury Free Library Duxbury Free Library

Joe Delano and his homemade car at the Gurnet, c. 1932What more can we say about this fantastic photograph of a teenaged...
08/03/2020

Joe Delano and his homemade car at the Gurnet, c. 1932

What more can we say about this fantastic photograph of a teenaged Joseph Delano (1916-1958) of Kingston, sitting atop his own contraption! He clearly had engineering in his blood, thanks to his father, Paul Holmes Delano, an MIT graduate and civil engineer.

In 1937 he married Evelyn Johns of Plymouth. Some of our FB followers may recall Joe's son, surveyor Philip Delano. #southshoresummer

Pilgrim Hall Museum
08/01/2020

Pilgrim Hall Museum

Today would have been one of Plymouth 400's significant events, the indigenous-organized Wampanoag Ancestors Walk. Sadly that public gathering could not be safely held, we're honoring it with a "Wampanoag Ancestors" virtual visit to Burial Hill with Aquinnah educator Linda Coombs, this afternoon at 1 pm, livestreamed on our page. Hope you'll join us! #plymouth400 #wampanoag #SouthShorehistory

Throw Back Thursday: Powder Point, c. 1890. The eastern end of Powder Point was devoid of trees in the 19th century and ...
07/30/2020

Throw Back Thursday: Powder Point, c. 1890. The eastern end of Powder Point was devoid of trees in the 19th century and Powder Point Avenue was nothing but a dirt path. The lone house seen here is 16 Crooked Lane, owned at the time by Oliver T. Briggs. Briggs had purchased much of the "Point End" for development in 1873. Although his plans did not come to fruition, he did build his gorgeous Victorian.

A portion of the Point End was purchased in 1899 by Frederick and Fanny Knapp (owners of the Powder Point School for Boys), including the Briggs house. The Knapps had their own development plan of the Point End drawn up and they sold the lots for summer homes. The Briggs house was purchased by Boston poet Cordelia Brooks (Fenno) Browne in 1914. #southshoresummer

Don’t you love when art meets style? These needlepoint Vans were created by Celia (Kiki) Houghton in the late 1960s-earl...
07/29/2020

Don’t you love when art meets style? These needlepoint Vans were created by Celia (Kiki) Houghton in the late 1960s-early 1970s. These were originally made for herself, though she is known to have made and sold similar shoes at the time – mostly children’s styles. Active in the Duxbury community, Celia was president of the women's group at Pilgrim Church as well as both local garden clubs. To create the shoes, Celia needlepointed the canvas and then sent it away for construction from Vans. How was she able to do this? A little history on Vans- the Van Doren Rubber Company was started in Anaheim, California by Massachusetts brothers, Paul and Jim Van Doren. After 30 years in the shoe business (working for the famed Randy’s shoe manufacturing) Paul realized the best way for shoe manufacturers to make money was to also own the retail location where the shoes were sold. They opened their retail location next door to the factory in 1966 and started with three different styles (we know them today as the Authentic, Era, and Slip-On models). According to Steve Van Doren, within days of opening his father got a request for a “different shade of pink” for one of the shoes “So [Paul] said, ‘Lady, why don’t you get a piece of fabric, whatever colour pink you want, bring it back and I’ll make a shoe for you.’ So it was almost the first day that they started charging extra to do custom shoes.” Custom Vans are still around and have become one of the most popular aspects about the brand, selling about 2000 pairs a month.

#historichouse #historichousemuseum #objectoftheweek #museumcollection #vans #vansshoes #vanscustoms #shoes #retrostyle #vintage #vintagefashion #vintagevans #needlepoint #customshoes @ Duxbury, Massachusetts

Duxbury's First Civil War Widow: Zilpah Antoinette (Knowles) Tileston. Nettie (short for Antoinette), as she was called,...
07/27/2020

Duxbury's First Civil War Widow: Zilpah Antoinette (Knowles) Tileston.

Nettie (short for Antoinette), as she was called, was born in Duxbury in 1837 to Samuel and Lucia Ann (Sampson) Knowles. Her father managed Ezra "King Caesar" Weston's store.

On January 30, 1862 Nettie married Lt. Col. George F. Tileston. George was from a prominent Boston family and had worked as a newspaper reporter prior to joining the Union Army. In August, only 8 months after their wedding, George was killed during the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, leaving Antoinette a young widow - the first Duxbury woman to earn that sad honor. To make matters more tragic, she was pregnant at the time - daughter Georgia, affectionately called Georgie, was born in October.

Nettie never remarried and remained in her parents' South Duxbury household. Her sister, Mary (married to Alfred Green who had come from England to work on the transatlantic cable), lived close by. Numerous Duxbury relations were also part of her network to support her when tragedy struck a second time with the death of Georgie, her only child, age of 20 of typhoid fever.

Nettie lived until 1899, dying of pneumonia at age 62. She is one of the most photographed women in our collection. The carte de visite, c. 1865, here is one of seven images taken of her from childhood to her later years. #southshorewomen

Historic House Histories: Duxbury Bank, 1832.One of the most iconic Duxbury structures is the old Bank building, also kn...
07/24/2020

Historic House Histories: Duxbury Bank, 1832.
One of the most iconic Duxbury structures is the old Bank building, also known as the Cable Office, at 670 Washington Street, on the corner of St. George Street. Today it is lovely private residence.

The bank was constructed during Duxbury's shipbuilding heyday. Ezra "King Caesar" Weston, Jr. was the first president. The bank's clerk, James Foster, lived on the second floor with his family. Like many similar institutions in the days before a national bank, it was able to issue its own currency. By 1842, it closed its doors.

In 1869, with the town still in economic doldrums from the loss of the shipbuilding industry, the building became the terminus for the French Atlantic Cable. Some telegraph operators, newly arrived from England, boarded on the second floor. For a time, all telegrams from overseas came through Duxbury - but as other transatlantic cables were laid, Duxbury's importance waned. After WWII, the cable office, then operated by Western Union, ceased operation.

Beginning in the 1950s, the building became a privately owned residence.

New Addition! "THE MAGNIFICENT GILDED WRIGHTS." The history of the Wright family, their “Vanderbilt-like” wealth, and th...
07/23/2020

New Addition! "THE MAGNIFICENT GILDED WRIGHTS." The history of the Wright family, their “Vanderbilt-like” wealth, and their influence on Gilded-age Duxbury, Massachusetts. In 1909, Georgianna Wright gave the building that would become the Duxbury Free Library (today the DRHS Drew Archival Library and the Duxbury Student Union). Research and narration by Duxbury Town Historian, Tony Kelso. Presented via the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, 2020.

View the video: https://duxburyhistory.org/online-learning/

Duxbury Free Library Duxbury Student Union Duxbury Clipper

HAPPY TRANSATLANTIC CABLE DAY!For today's throwback Thursday we have two images relating to the landing of the Transatla...
07/23/2020

HAPPY TRANSATLANTIC CABLE DAY!
For today's throwback Thursday we have two images relating to the landing of the Transatlantic Cable on July 23, 1869.

The first image is entitled, "Landing of the French Atlantic Telegraph Cable on Duxbury Beach." It was one of set of four taken by Martin Chandler of Marshfield.

The second image, "Terminus of Telegraph at Duxbury," is from the book LANDING OF THE FRENCH CABLE AT DUXBURY published by Alfred Mudge & Son, Boston in 1869. It clearly shows the trench dug in the street in which the cable was laid. The building, on the corner of Washington and St. George Streets, that housed the telegraph office had been built in 1832 as the Duxbury Bank. This particular photograph was marked by one of the cable employees, George Green, with a black dot above his bedroom window. Green is standing under the trees, just to the left of the Cable House - if you look closely, you can just make him out.

The laying of the cable from Brest, France to Duxbury Beach was the first step in Duxbury's economic recovery after the loss of the shipbuilding industry.

For more information on the cable, https://tinyurl.com/yaxl2muq.

All ages, all skills welcome! ** Historic Duxbury Lego Contest ** What are YOU doing tonight? Get out your legos and bui...
07/22/2020

All ages, all skills welcome! ** Historic Duxbury Lego Contest ** What are YOU doing tonight? Get out your legos and build your favorite Historic Duxbury Landmark! Powder Point Bridge, The Duxbury Free Library, King Caesar House...the sky's the limit, you choose! This contest can be done from any place, any time (you don't have to be in Duxbury at all) and all ages are welcome (including, ahem...the more mature lego lovers in this crowd)!

All you have to do is visit the link below, get the entry form and submit a photo of your build. Submissions due Aug. 17. Great prizes for the winners! In partnership with the Duxbury Free Library.
https://duxburyhistory.org/historic-duxbury-lego-contest/
Duxbury Free Library Duxbury Clipper

This heatwave has us thinking about staying as cool as possible, so pictured here is one of the first mass produced refr...
07/22/2020

This heatwave has us thinking about staying as cool as possible, so pictured here is one of the first mass produced refrigerators in the US, an Eddy Refrigerator. Darius Eddy founded the Eddy Refrigerator Company in Boston in 1847, later changing the name to include his sons. An 1871 catalog features a number of different types of refrigerators, including this basic chest model (which sold for $18.00). The chest is made out of wood, with a lead lined metal box inside. Eddy Refrigerators were marketed to be “dry, sweet and clean” and designed “to protect the health of the family” in the circulation of cold, fresh air through the refrigerator, which was a huge benefit to public health in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1876, the Boston Globe wrote “ …the manufacture under Mr. Eddy’s supervision has grown to mammoth proportions, and the improvements constantly added to the refrigerators turned out by the firm of D. Eddy & Son, have made them the standard style throughout the United States, as well as in many foreign countries.” While we would refer to this today as an icebox, before the invention of the modern day electric refrigerator, the two terms were used interchangeably. D. Eddy & Sons never embraced the electric models and the factory closed down and was eventually sold to Andrew & Goodrich after World War I.
This Eddy Refrigerator was discovered in the basement of a home on St. George St, having been there since before the 1920s, and donated to the DRHS in 2011.

#southshoresummer #southshorehistory #bostonhistory #boston #dorchester #duxbury #localhistory #historichomes #historichousemuseum #objectoftheweek #refrigerator #eddyrefrigerator #antiques #furniture #historichouses #museumfromhome #museumcollection

Clamming in Duxbury, c. 1910This woman has quite the quahog haul, maybe a bit of chowder is on tonight's menu. #SouthSho...
07/21/2020

Clamming in Duxbury, c. 1910
This woman has quite the quahog haul, maybe a bit of chowder is on tonight's menu. #SouthShoreSummer

Carte de Visite photograph of Sarah R. (Wright) Dorr, c. 1865. It was taken at "M. Chandler's Saloon" in Marshfield.Sara...
07/20/2020

Carte de Visite photograph of Sarah R. (Wright) Dorr, c. 1865. It was taken at "M. Chandler's Saloon" in Marshfield.

Sarah was the daughter of Charles P. Wright and Lucy Glass. She was born and raised on her parents' farm in Marshfield, near the Duxbury town line. In 1865, at the age of 21, she married Civil War veteran, Sgt. Nathan Dorr, of Duxbury. In his civilian life, Nathan was a brick mason.

After initially living with the Wrights, Nathan and Sarah eventually moved to their own home in South Marshfield - close to Sarah's parents but also near the "Crooked Lane" neighborhood of North Duxbury, where Nathan's father was the local blacksmith and his grandfather had long operated a coach and harness shop.

All was not well in the Dorr household. In 1879 Nathan, suffering from disease contracted during the war years, found it difficult to work. By 1900, Sarah had moved to Boston with her children while Nathan moved back to Franklin Street in Duxbury. In 1903, at the age of 66, Nathan Dorr died of disease and heart failure - the doctor noted, however, the contributory factors were the chronic diarrhea and rheumatism he had contracted as a soldier. While we can't know for sure, perhaps Nathan's war years had left their mark on his mental health as well.

Sarah continued to live in Dorchester where she was an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Dorchester Women's Club and the Congregational Church. She was also a member of the DAR. At the end of her life, she moved to be with her son in West Newton, where she died in 1933 at the age of 89. Of the Dorrs' six children, all lived well into the 20th century. The last, Emma Eliza Dorr, died in 1969 at the age of 94.

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479 Washington Street, PO Box 2865
Duxbury, MA
02331

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You Never Know What Duxbury’s History is Going to Do Next…

The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society is a non-profit organization seeking to foster a better understanding of the heritage and rural environment of Duxbury, Massachusetts. The Society’s goals are to provide access to its buildings and lands, to provide educational programs for the community, to collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts relating to Duxbury’s history, to provide a library and archives for the encouragement of scholarly research and to publish documents of historical interest.

The DRHS does this by maintaining 4 historic house properties, an archival library, museum collections, and more than 150 acres of land held in conservation. Two of the properties – the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House and the Drew Archival Library – are open to the public year-round; the rest are easily accessible during their seasonal hours, or by appointment. The DRHS also runs approximately 70 programs, events and rentals each year, in an effort to make Duxbury’s history available to the widest possible audience.

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Comments

On the hiking trail up to Myles Standish monument there is a stone structure. Does anyone know anything about it?
I love being kept aware of our Duxbury history by Carolyn. Thank you for continuing to teach us new things I wish I could play Duxburyopoly :)
Wondering if there’s any information on how Howland’s Landing got its name? Thank you 
I don't remember to whom I wrote, but I. mentioned my ancestors (Winsor) and was asked if I had a photo of Edward Sprague Winsor. I finally found a copy of one in his elder years. Can you give me an address, email of who would be interested? Hallie Winsor Paul
Ed Loring familiar faces knew all of them 1934 year I was born
Missing your TBT posts!!!!
History & Genealogy interested friends & or family - On Saturday, November 10 the former 19th century home of London proclaimed Duxbury resident Ezra Weston IInd, will open the doors for a tour - 12 noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $6. Location: King Caesar House, 120 King Caesar Road, Duxbury. What I found interesting is the person, Ezra Weston , was married to a Bradford, an ancestor to Gov. Bradford. We are all related.
For those neighbors who love Historic House Tours. Watch this video. https://www.facebook.com/HinghamHistoricalSociety/
Such great posts of the Duxbury I grew up in. Thank you and please keep posting !!
Walk in your ancestors' footsteps with a family tree and personal travel itinerary. facebook.com/familyfootstepsthroughtime
Hi How would I find a family Bible, If there is one?
Your history is linked to mine 👍