Quincy Historical Society & Museum

Quincy Historical Society & Museum Founded in 1893 and located within a historic landmark, we are a museum of local history, a venue for public lectures, and a research library for historians, genealogists and researchers interested in subjects related to Quincy, MA.
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The Quincy History Museum at Quincy Historical Society takes you through more than 400 years of some of America's richest, most influential history. Meet rebels and reformers, workers and visionaries: John and Abigail Adams and others who helped create the United States; Granite workers who moved 5-ton blocks and helped change the look of America;
Three centuries of shipbuilders, culminating in 30,000 men and women who built the ships that helped win World War II; Meet the entrepreneurs who brought Americans 28 flavors of ice cream, do-it-yourself home repair, and drive-thru coffee and doughnuts.

Operating as usual

Those who attended our January program with local-author Joseph Pereira about his book “All Souls Day” might be interest...
05/14/2021
WWII Vet From Norwood Will Visit Grave Of Soldier Who Saved Him

Those who attended our January program with local-author Joseph Pereira about his book “All Souls Day” might be interested in this recent news story which features one of the veterans who fought in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, about which the book was written.

Anthony Grasso was 20 years old during the battle, and survived thanks to the heroism of 1st Lt. Frank DuBose of South Carolina. Grasso, now 96, is planning a trip to South Carolina to visit DuBose’s grave and pay his respects. According to the Patriot-Ledger, this trip was inspired by the publishing of Joseph Pereira and John Wilson’s book last year and is being organized by Quincy-residents Uncle Sam Rounseville and Gayle Bellotti.

For more information about this story, please see this news clip from WBZ-TV, and the original feature from the Patriot-Ledger. Keep your eyes peeled for more news about Grasso's trip as Memorial Day approaches.

https://youtu.be/SQZzRIHH1KM

https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2021/04/23/local-veteran-planning-trip-see-grave-soldier-helped-save-his-life/7321269002/

About “All Souls Day”:

The Battle of Hurtgen Forest, fought in early November 1944 on the Belgian-German border, was the worst defeat the United States experienced in the war in Europe. In the disordered aftermath, the fates of numerous American soldiers remained unknown. Their families searched for answers over two generations. The battle itself was largely overlooked by historians until recently.

Pereira’s account focuses on the battle and on the stories of the soldiers and their families and the impact on family members’ subsequent lives. It examines both military strategy and the nature of grief and of the courage of ordinary people.

Investigative journalist Joseph M. Pereira was part of the Wall Street Journal reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 9/11 attacks. He has taught journalism at Emerson College and Boston University and has won several awards for his investigative work. He wrote "All Souls Day" with John L. Wilson, the nephew of one of the men lost in the Hurtgen Forest battle.

You can find a copy of “All Souls Day” here, https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/potomac-books/9781640122253/ or via your preferred book vendor.

WBZ-TV's Bill Shields reports.

Fans of actress-author and Quincy native Ruth Gordon will want to take a look at this video recently posted on YouTube o...
04/06/2021
Ford Theater: Years Ago (October 17, 1948, CBS)

Fans of actress-author and Quincy native Ruth Gordon will want to take a look at this video recently posted on YouTube of a rare kinescope of a very early (1948) live national television production of her play "Years Ago," about her teenage years in Wollaston and her wanting to become an actress.

This tv production followed soon after the successful Broadway run of the play in 1946-47. The Broadway production starred Fredric March and Florence Eldridge as Ruth’s parents. This tv production
features Raymond Massey and Eva Le Gallienne, two other major stars of the time, in those roles. Patricia Kirkland, who originated the role on Broadway, plays the teenage Ruth.

Raymond Massey, who plays the father, actually starred with Ruth Gordon twice in the 1930s: in a Broadway production of Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome" and in the movie version of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois." Massey played Lincoln, the role for which he was most famous, and Gordon played Mary Todd.

Another live network presentation of "Years Ago" took place in 1960, with Robert Preston and Peggy Conklin as the parents. The 1953 movie version, titled "The Actress," starred Spencer Tracy and Teresa Wright as the parents and Jean Simmons as Ruth.

- Ed Fitzgerald

A Free The Kinescopes exclusive! This is a very, very rare kinescope of the debut episode of Ford Theater, which aired live on October 17, 1948 on CBS.Plot...

03/08/2021
Quincy400 Announces Upcoming Documentary

A special announcement from Quincy400:

"Beyond the Bloody Massacre" presents the intersecting histories of the Boston Massacre Trials through the words and experiences of John Adams, and Josiah Quincy Jr., the two Quincy (formerly Braintree) born lawyers who defended a British Captain and seven soldiers in two murder trials in the late fall of 1770.

Filmed during the 250th anniversary of those trials, "Beyond the Bloody Massacre" is a timely exploration of the pre-revolutionary origins of the American legal tradition of the rule of law and the complex intersections of the right to protest and mob violence in American political and social history.

The documentary features a unique group of five prominent scholars who have come together to guide viewers through the Boston Massacre Trials and the political, legal, and social worlds of Boston in 1770.

Quincy400 invites you to take historical journey "Beyond the Bloody Massacre."

https://quincy400.com/history-arts-culture/beyond-the-bloody-massacre/

In recognition of Black History Month, Quincy Historical Society would like to highlight the life of, Quincy-entrepreneu...
02/22/2021
Joseph Lee: Restaurateur, Caterer, Hotelier, Inventor – Quincy History Blog

In recognition of Black History Month, Quincy Historical Society would like to highlight the life of, Quincy-entrepreneur, Joseph Lee; a successful restaurateur, hotelier, caterer, and inventor. Lee’s life is a story of tremendous personal success. Born enslaved in 1849, Lee eventually went on to entertain the President of the United States at his establishments and held several patents for inventions that revolutionized the restaurant and catering industry.

This article, written by Society Board Member Wayne Miller, details Lee’s remarkable life and his many contributions to Quincy’s culinary and social scene, as well as his inventions. It also features unique images from our archives of Lee’s famous Quincy establishment, The Squantum Inn.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of the "Quincy History Newsletter," which features original articles and research into Quincy’s history. Please consider becoming a member to support this work, and to never miss another issue.

History Posts Quincy Businesses Quincy Inventors February 19, 2021 Joseph Lee: Restaurateur, Caterer, Hotelier, Inventor By Wayne Miller Restaurateur, Caterer, Hotelier Joseph Lee rose to the pinnacle of success in Quincy in the late 1890s as the proprietor of the Squantum Inn. During his career as....

Last week (on February 4th) the United Service Organization (USO) turned 80. Founded in 1941, the USO is a non-profit or...
02/08/2021

Last week (on February 4th) the United Service Organization (USO) turned 80. Founded in 1941, the USO is a non-profit organization that provides live entertainment to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families.

This photo (first posted by the Fort Devens Museum) shows Quincy USO volunteers attending an organized dance with military personnel.

Looks like a fun party!

The USO is 80 years old! (As of yesterday.) This dance featured the Quincy USO volunteers dressed up as Hula Girls.

Some news about local historical resource access that might be of interest to our friends and members: The Thomas Crane ...
02/05/2021

Some news about local historical resource access that might be of interest to our friends and members:

The Thomas Crane Library is currently offering free access to the popular genealogy website Ancestry.com at home! They also offer access to American Ancestors and Heritage Quest databases through their website. For more details about how to take advantage of this fantastic resource see the post linked below.

Popular genealogy database Ancestry is now available to Quincy residents at home for a limited time. Use Ancestry at home by logging into the catalog and clicking 'Ancestry - Quincy' on the left of the page - http://bit.ly/39Fl2is. Then, click the Ancestry Library Edition logo.

Don't forget, you can use American Ancestors and Heritage Quest databases at home, too! Email us at [email protected] or call 617-376-1300 x3 to ask for the user ID and password for American Ancestors and get started researching your family history now. Access these and our other genealogy resources on our website: http://bit.ly/2LbBSfq.

Some great images from City of Quincy's page of the Academy and the bust of John Hancock in the snow this week....
01/28/2021

Some great images from City of Quincy's page of the Academy and the bust of John Hancock in the snow this week.

Poor Mr. Hancock looks like he needs a hat and scarf! ☃️

Hopefully all of our friends and followers are able to stay warm and safe in this wintry weather.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our program with guest speaker Joseph Pereira as he talked about his n...
01/18/2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our program with guest speaker Joseph Pereira as he talked about his new book "All Souls Day: The World War II Battle and the Search for a Lost U.S. Battalion." For those who could not make it but are still interested in the story, we do have a special promotion tied to this event:

Thanks to the generosity of, friend of the Society, Uncle Sam Rounseville, we have copies of "All Souls Day" available for personal autograph, in exchange for a donation pledge to the Society.

To request a copy, simply email us at [email protected] with the amount you would like to pledge and your contact info, and we will coordinate getting a autographed copy to you.

We've already received several pledges, so this promotion is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

---------------

Description of "All Souls Day" as written for Amazon:

"The U.S. Army attacked three villages near the German-Belgium border, surprising the Germans who surrendered with little resistance. The German army regrouped and counterattacked. A brief but horrific battle ensued, and as the enemy pressed forward, the Americans retreated in haste, leaving behind their wounded and their dead. Discussion of this week-long conflict that began on All Souls Day, November 2, 1944, has been confined to officer training school, in part due to its heavy losses and ignominy.

After the war the U.S. Army returned to the battlefield to bring home its fallen. To its dismay it found that many of these men had vanished. The disappearances were puzzling and for decades the U.S. government searched unsuccessfully for clues. After poring over now-declassified battlefield reports and interviewing family members, the authors reconstruct a spellbinding story of love and sacrifice, honor and bravery, as well as a portrait of the gnawing pain of families not knowing what became of their loved ones. Ultimately this work of history and in-depth contemporary journalism proffers a glimmer of light in the ongoing search."

The retail price for "All Souls Day" is $29.95.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our program with guest speaker Joseph Pereira as he talked about his new book "All Souls Day: The World War II Battle and the Search for a Lost U.S. Battalion." For those who could not make it but are still interested in the story, we do have a special promotion tied to this event:

Thanks to the generosity of, friend of the Society, Uncle Sam Rounseville, we have copies of "All Souls Day" available for personal autograph, in exchange for a donation pledge to the Society.

To request a copy, simply email us at [email protected] with the amount you would like to pledge and your contact info, and we will coordinate getting a autographed copy to you.

We've already received several pledges, so this promotion is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

---------------

Description of "All Souls Day" as written for Amazon:

"The U.S. Army attacked three villages near the German-Belgium border, surprising the Germans who surrendered with little resistance. The German army regrouped and counterattacked. A brief but horrific battle ensued, and as the enemy pressed forward, the Americans retreated in haste, leaving behind their wounded and their dead. Discussion of this week-long conflict that began on All Souls Day, November 2, 1944, has been confined to officer training school, in part due to its heavy losses and ignominy.

After the war the U.S. Army returned to the battlefield to bring home its fallen. To its dismay it found that many of these men had vanished. The disappearances were puzzling and for decades the U.S. government searched unsuccessfully for clues. After poring over now-declassified battlefield reports and interviewing family members, the authors reconstruct a spellbinding story of love and sacrifice, honor and bravery, as well as a portrait of the gnawing pain of families not knowing what became of their loved ones. Ultimately this work of history and in-depth contemporary journalism proffers a glimmer of light in the ongoing search."

The retail price for "All Souls Day" is $29.95.

12/31/2020

Dear Members and friends of Quincy Historical Society,

We want to take a moment at the end of a truly tumultuous year to reflect on all that has occurred and all that we are grateful for. It is not often that one feels the weight of history on events as they happen around us, but this has been such a time. As we head into a new year, we are faced with at least a few more months of disruption until we can return to our normal lives. Like everyone else, we at Quincy Historical Society look forward to the day when we can all safely gather together again.

In order to protect our community, we have had to stay apart, and Quincy Historical Society announced our temporary closure on March 17th. This closure forced us to take stock of what we could do and could not do in terms of our usual operations and programs, and we soon realized that we would have to be creative in order to keep in touch.

As the saying goes, necessity breeds ingenuity, and we did find new ways to present programs and information. Technology has been a big part of that ingenuity, and the Society is very proud of the new techniques and platforms that we have branched out to over the past year, many of which we intend to carry on with after the pandemic ends.

In May we partnered with the Thomas Crane Library and QATV online to re-present a program from January 2019 about Quincy’s experience during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. After the success of this first program, we partnered with them again to present programs about historic Yellow Fever outbreaks and how that disease influenced American art and culture and then the lighter topic of Howard Johnson’s history of ads and branding. Then, earlier this month we were able to debut our first solo virtual program about the history of historical societies featuring guest speaker Dr. Alea Henle. Due to the success of these virtual events, and the increased accessibility that we saw because of their digital nature, we are looking into ways to continue to offer virtual programming in the future.

In June, the Society launched The Quincy History Blog adding to the Society’s literary output. Thus far it too has been a great success, and we have featured articles about Solomon Willard, the Quincy connections to the Sacco and Vanzetti case, the Quincy connections to the Boston Massacre Trials, Quincy citizens linked to the Suffrage Movement, as well as two digital exhibits featuring Howard Johnsons’ history and the data from our research into the 1918 Flu Pandemic. The blog is also something that we intend to nurture after the end of the pandemic as it provides yet another means of fulfilling our mission to share as much of Quincy history as possible.

This year has been a struggle. But when life is a struggle that is when it is most important to remember what we are grateful for. And we at Quincy Historical Society are very grateful for all of you. Everyone who has attended our programs, read our blog, interacted with us, and engaged with us over the past year has helped us to adapt to these strange times. We hope that if you watched one of our programs or read articles from our blog or newsletter, that we were able to provide you with a few moments of historical perspective amid all the chaos.

Best wishes to you all for the coming year.

-Quincy Historical Society & Museum

Thank you to everyone who joined us last night for our program "Historical Cultures in the Early United States"! This wa...
12/11/2020
Alea Henle – Libraries, Research, & History

Thank you to everyone who joined us last night for our program "Historical Cultures in the Early United States"! This was the Society's first solo foray into the world of digital programming, and we are happy to say that it was a resounding success.

As promised during the program, here is a link to Dr. Henle's blog, and to the publisher's page for her book "Rescued from Oblivion":

https://aleahenle.com/

https://www.umasspress.com/9781625344991/rescued-from-oblivion/

If you missed the program, we did record it and are currently looking into options for posting the talk online. So stay tuned!

Posted on November 26, 2020November 26, 2020It’s a bouncing baby . . . blog! Welcome to a new blog organized around one of my research interests: early 20th century postcards, particularly those exchanged among people in the United States. Birth announcement sent 23 Feb. 1921. I credit (blame) a c...

QUINCY HISTORY BLOG UPDATE: In February of this year Quincy Historical Society alongside Adams National Historical Park ...
11/30/2020
The Boston Massacre Trials at 250: Two Men from Quincy Galvanize an American Debate – Quincy History Blog

QUINCY HISTORY BLOG UPDATE:

In February of this year Quincy Historical Society alongside Adams National Historical Park hosted a program marking the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. We presented an episode of the “Profiles in Courage” television series, depicting John Adams’ decision to represent the soldiers during the Massacre Trials. The showing of that episode sparked a wonderful discussion with our audience afterwards, and that conversation was on our minds as we worked on creating the Quincy History Blog a few months later.

One of the first articles we knew we wanted to feature was one discussing the Boston Massacre Trials, to correspond with their 250th anniversary this fall. Today, we present that article to you: The Boston Massacre Trials at 250: Two Men from Quincy Galvanize an American Debate.

The Boston Massacre is one of the Revolution’s most complex events. Despite over 200 witnesses giving testimony, exactly what happened the night of March 5th, 1770, remains largely unanswerable. The subsequent trials of the soldiers involved in the Massacre are similarly complex and filled with drama.

This article seeks to describe the delicate legal arguments made by the defense team – spearheaded by two Quincy men, John Adams and Josiah Quincy Jr. – as well as to explore the political waters that both the defense and the prosecution teams had to navigate. We also wanted to explore how the uncertain nature of the Massacre and its Trials has impacted how they are remembered throughout American history. Lastly, though these events occurred in Boston, we wanted to highlight the many Quincy connections therein.

We hope that you enjoy it.

-- Alexandra Elliott, Curator QHS

History Posts Revolutionary History November 30, 2020 The Boston Massacre Trials at 250: Two Men from Quincy Galvanize an American Debate By Alexandra Elliott “Facts are Stubborn Things”: Remembering the Boston Massacre, Part 1 On the evening of March 5th, 1770, the moon was just past first quar...

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8 Adams St
Quincy, MA
02169

Located two blocks from Quincy Center on the Red Line.

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Richard "Dick" Curry, a devoted fan of Quincy's history and all it encompassed recently passed. Dick absolutely loved Quincy. Rest in Peace, Dick
Hope everyone is staying safe during this quarantine!! It’s been difficult to stay busy and optimistic during this weird time but it’s so important to find things that keep us afloat. I’ve been watching plenty of movies during my new free time and have found a great new movie streaming website called Film Festival Flix that is full of great independent movies from all over the world!! It’s been so fun to discover new voices on their carefully curated channels, especially the IndieFest International channel. I just finished watching a time-travel period piece on it called Dimensions that had stunning costumes that replicated the 1800s really well and I was so impressed!! The film itself was a sci-fi tale with mystery and a really sweet love story intertwined in the plot. If anyone wants to watch a film there but doesn’t know where to begin, I have so many recommendations and would be happy to share them!!
We thoroughly enjoyed the article about the Pneumatic Scale Corporation in the most recent issue of Quincy History. We had no idea of all the industrial machinery that was invented and manufactured here. Great work QHS.
Hello Ed, Audrey and all. Nice page.
**Help Support the Sailors' Snug Harbor Cemetery Memorial Campaign** @SSHMarinersGenealogy The Descendants of Sailors’ Snug Harbor Mariners have been reaching out to New York and New England Heritage (Historical and Genealogical) Societies, Museums, Military Veterans Groups, and Concerned Citizens, to invite them to join a Letters of Support Campaign to support their efforts to gain access to the old Sailors’ Snug Harbor Cemetery on Staten Island to honor their Ancestors, and all of the 6,500 Merchant and Naval Mariners interred there (1834-1976), by installing a Memorial Monument (Obelisk) and holding an annual Memorial Service. Some of the Mariners were famous Sea Captains and some sailed on famous Merchant and Naval ships dating back to the American Revolution. Many were just average seamen whom sailed and endured for many years on the sea under arduous conditions. A significant amount of the Mariners were from New England. https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2244490/sailors-snug-harbor-cemetery Sadly, the Sailors' Snug Harbor Cemetery is devoid of gravestones or markers, except for 15 remaining gravestones. The Cemetery is closed and not open to the public. The Board of Trustees of Sailors' Snug Harbor have rejected the Descendants' requests to access the SSH Cemetery to honor their Ancestors. https://nypost.com/2018/12/29/caretakers-shoot-down-plans-for-monument-for-fallen-sailors/ The Descendants are collecting Letters of Support to persuade the Trustees of Sailors’ Snug Harbor to change their decision. You can help support the Descendants by writing a Letter of Support using the Support Letter Writing Instructions at the following link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sZv5VFLNWw0HA-pW2i33RhbgVFQ6oExx
As a child I loved going to the Quincy Historical Museum. As a senior I appreciate and love it even more.
My grandfather, Daniel S. Davis Jr., took a position in Smalley's Granite office there in Quincy, Massachusetts in late 1921. He and my grandmother, Minnie, rented an apartment for $20 a month at Curtis Hotel on Quincy Square. Minnie taught in George Washington School earning $25 a week. After just three weeks, the big granite strike came and lasted nearly a year. Dan was able to get a position as bookkeeper at the Boston Dispensary. Dan's brother, Edwin, couldn't sell granite because of the strike so he took an art course in Boston and lived with Dan and Minnie that winter. Dan was then able to get a position with E. W. Bailey back in Montpelier, Vermont (they were from Northfield, VT) and he and Ed left April 1st, 1922. Minnie stayed on, moving to the Quincy Hotel, to remain until school finished June 1st. This information comes for a letter Minnie wrote. if you're able to provide any further details such as when exactly that granite strike started, any photos of Smalley's, the Curtis & Quincy Hotels, or the Boston Dispensary, where those places were located, if any of the buildings still exist, etc. I would be quite interested.
Hard to Believe there is only only one day to the Elm Street Cemetery tour in Braintree and the weather forecast remains a perfect 70 degree sunny fall day! Expectations are for a large crowd! All Systems are GO! Here is brief tid bit that will be discussed... The original Grave of Sylvanus Thayer ... and how long he reposed there.... This year's tour will be different from our previous tours in that the group will all meet at 3:00 PM and be lead through the Cemetery as one group. Meet in front of the cemetery at 3:00 PM Sunday October 22nd to see the recent grave stone restorations and hear other stories like the tale of the "Iron Fence", "The Braintree Trolley", "Who’s Buried in Hon E. Thayer’s Tomb?", "What was Thayer’s Corner?", "The First Cemetery Burial", "The Missing Tombs", "Who Was a Pormologist", "Tales of Civil War Soldiers and Revolutionary War Soldiers, “Marked Graves of Braintree Slaves” and "The Mystery of the Double-Dated Grave Stone". Parking is available behind First Congregational Church (across the street). GPS address opposite 12 Elm Street. Suitable for all ages. No Charge for Admission... Donations to the Society are welcome! Braintree-Historical.org for more info.
Elm Street Cemetery Historic Tour Sunday October 22nd 3:00 PM. This year's tour will be different from our previous tours in that the group will all meet at 3:00 PM and be lead through the Cemetery as one group by Cemeterian and amateur historian Dave Crispin. Dave is a life long Braintree resident, one of our Society members and has been in cemeteries for over 46 years having been an employee at Blue Hill Cemetery all that time. He is also a recognized professional cemetery design engineer with the BSC Group of Boston. He is also active in the Massachusetts Cemetery Association and New England Cemetery Association. Join us at 3:00 PM Sunday October 22 to hear the tales of some of those resting at the historical site, one that has been exhumed, the fences and walls, trolly cars, the stones, the symbols, civil war soldiers, old yankees, slaves and perhaps a ghost story or two and maybe some singing! This year there is no reason to miss it... (the foot ball game is a night game). Parking is available behind First Congregational Church (across the street). This year, the town is placing matting (temporary pathways) on the grounds to aid in access around the cemetery. Donations to the Society are welcome! Rain Date October 29th same time. (Wish we had a rain date last year... remember is was rained out?)
Get your tickets and visit Braintree Farmers Market, today! Great event, Fasano's Catering, live music by Comfort Street - BHS Farm to Table Supper. Beautiful outdoor venue, Thayer Birthplace open for free tours! You can also get tickets online Sustainable Braintree