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Attention Braintree Youth Groups

Do You Want to Create a Braintree Instructions Skit for the Braintree Historical Society’s Heritage Day Celebration on September 16th?
Open To All Youth groups under the age of 21

The Curator decodes some of our museum's most curious objects from the past and rovides an emotional connection to history.

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It all started in Braintree. From British America to The United States of America in 11 years.
In early September 1765, John Adams invited James Penniman, John Hayward, Samuel Niles and Norton Quincy to a planning session.

Economic conditions were difficult. These were lean times. It's been 145 years or 6 generations since 1620. Since the end of the Seven Years War, the British have occupied the area and now want to impose a tax to pay for their occupation. The Stamp Tax. (see below*)

We’d like to celebrate the call for rights by the people of Braintree, and democracy by hosting a small group of Braintree Instructions skits developed and presented by interested youth groups of today’s Braintree and the surrounding towns of Quincy, Holbrook and Randolph, which were once part of Old Braintree.  Youth groups will develop a skit whose theme could be one of the following or combine all three.  

  • Covers the topic of rejecting the authority of the British Parliament over the colonies because of the imposition of the Stamp Act.
  • Funny - the topic will find the humor in the 1765 Stamp Act crisis or the revolution in 1775 and 1776.
  • Historic - the topic will reference some well-known, or not well-known history about the people of Braintree at the time, or the participants of the Stamp Act here in the United States or in the United Kingdom.


In 1870 the first all metal two wheeler appeared. Previous to this metallurgy was not advanced enough to provide metal which had the strength to make small, light parts. The pedals are attached directly to the front wheel. Solid rubber tires and the long spokes of the front wheel provide a much smoother ride than its predecessor. The front wheels became larger and larger as makers realized that the larger the wheel, the farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals. You purchased a wheel as large as your leg length would allow. This machine was the (first to be called a bicycle (“two wheel”).

Because the rider sat so high above the center of gravity, if the front wheel was stopped by a stone or a rut in the road, the entire apparatus rotated forward on its front axle and the rider, with his legs trapped under the handlebars, was dropped unceremoniously on his head.  Thus the term “taking a header” came into being.

Bicycle – High Wheel   BHS #562  Given by Mr. David Blunt

Want to see more positive news, fun and insight? Just
click here and you will find a few more incredible  treasures!

But before you go, WHAT IS THIS? 
(Find out in AUgust)

 Men on the Viet-Nam Traveling Wall

The Viet-Nam Traveling Wall, a replica of the Viet-Nam Memorial Wall that stands in Washington, D.C. was in Weymouth, Mass. from Wednesday to Sunday, 25 to 29 July. Thousands of area people visited the Wall.  Braintree Historical Society Curator, Mary Frazier, photographed the names of all the Braintree men who died in the Viet-Nam War and are listed on the Wall.

Ron Frazier, who served in Viet-Nam in 1963 and 1964 is shown in a photo of one small section of the Wall, which displays the names of 57,692 United States military who died in defense of democracy in Viet-Nam. 

  Note:  Morris R. McBride's uniform is on permanent display at the Braintree Historical Society.  He was the first fatality from Braintree.

It’s been almost three years of restoration and reconfiguration to prepare for the opening of the Gilbert Bean Barn and Mary Bean Cunningham Resource Center.

The wait is nearly over.The Braintree Historical Society is hosting a SOFT OPENING this Saturday, July 28th and taking a few more steps before announcing the Grand Re-Opening in the fall of this year

Thayer Family Members :

The Society was privileged to show  Gloria Thayer Grochowski, Ron & Deborah Berger, and twins, Garrett and Madison Grochowski the Thayer Birthplace, the home of their forefathers. They were retracing their family ancestry back to the year 1641 when brothers Richard and Thomas Thayer, settlers from the community of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, arrived in Braintree.

A successful FAMILY DAY with the Braintree Thayer Public Library on our Campus under a sunny and blue sky!

The visit  provided them an insightful glimpse of their life as farmers before the Revolution. The Thayer House was built in 1720 by Nathaniel Thayer, great-great grandfather to Sylvanus Thayer, the youngest of seven children, known as the Father of the U.S.Military Academy at West Point.

Over 500 Children attended the BHS - Braintree Public School Program in june 2018!

In collaboration with the Braintree Historical Society and the Braintree Public Schools 3rd and 5th grade students, over 500 students, visited General Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace during the first two weeks of June 2018 for their annual "Braintree   Our Town" field trip.  




Upcoming events


Braintree Public Schools "Braintree, Our Town" TRI-VISIT PROGRAM  Monday, June 04, 20189:00 AM - 1:30 PM Gen. Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace, Braintree 

Annual General Meeting Dinner Monday, May 21, 20186:00 PM - 9:00 PM Granite Grill, 703 Granite street, Braintree MA 02184 

Spinning and Weaving Exhibition! Sunday, April 15, 201811:00 AM - 1:30 PM Gilbert Bean Barn 

Causes of the Civil War/Fate of Slaves Monday, April 09, 20187:00 PM - 9:00 PM Thayer Public Library Auditorium

Chief Wompatuck and the Native American culture of Early New England  Wednesday, March 28, 20187:00 PM - 9:00 PM Gilbert Bean and Mary Bean Cunningham Resource Center

Historic Information

Historic Braintree was founded on land first colonized in 1625 by Captain Wollaston, and initially named Mount Wollaston. Under the rule of Thomas Morton it was renamed Merry Mount. The area was resettled and incorporated as the town of Braintree, named after the English town of Braintree in 1640, on land which is now part of the current town of Braintree, from which Randolph, Holbrook, the City of Quincy were split off. 

John AdamsJohn Quincy Adams

Braintree is the birthplace to Presidents John Adams (1735-1826), and John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), as well as

John HancockImage result for sylvanus thayer

statesman John Hancock (1767-1848) and General Sylvanus Thayer  (1785-1872) (photograph of his birthplace, The Thayer House, shown above).

Presentation by John Dennehy of  Braintree Historical Society

No automatic alt text available.*It all started in Braintree. 
From British America to The United States of America in 11 years.
In early September 1765, John Adams invited James Penniman, John Hayward, Samuel Niles and Norton Quincy to a planning session.

Economic conditions were difficult. These were lean times. It's been 145 years or 6 generations since 1620. Since the end of the Seven Years War, the British have occupied the area and now want to impose a tax to pay for their occupation. The Stamp Tax.

This did not meet with anyone's approval. 
John Adams and the others crafted a document that was an instruction to the town's representative at the Massachusetts Legislator to oppose the Stamp Act. 
The Instructions were presented to the town residents and officials in the then town hall / meeting room at the corner of Elm Street and Washington Street. 
The Instructions were unanimously approved by the town. The document was known as The Declaration of Rights and Grievances - The Braintree Instructions. 
The document was significant because it was one of the first documents from British America to officially reject authority of Parliament over the colonies in North America.
This did not meet with the King's approval. 
11 years later, John Adams again attends a planning session for a document that will be ratified on July 4th, 1776.

No automatic alt text available.

Thayer Academy Student Intern Program - 2018

Curator, Mary Frazier stands with Director, Ruth Powell, Intern, Maximilian Wagner, Librarian, Claudia Shutter and Intern Supervisor, , Robert Harris.

The Intern Program (more)

BHS - A 100% Voluntary Run Society.

Our Members join because:

  • They appreciate what a local organization can do for the community;
  • Joining is a way for them to feel part of our community and like minded enthusiasts of history, culture and heritage;
  • it provides them with a chance to give towards something that can make an impact in people's lives.


Born in Salem, Massachusetts,  Tom Watson was a bookkeeper and a carpenter before he found a job more to his liking in the Charles Williams machine shop in Boston. 
He was then hired by Alexander Graham Bell, who was a professor at Boston University. They were known for the invention of the telephoneWatson resigned from the Bell Telephone Company in 1881 at the age of 27. Using money from royalties from his participation in the invention of the telephone, Watson first tried his hand at farming. He became a fairly successful traveling Shakespearean actor for a time and then set up his own machine shop. In 1883 Watson founded the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company

Image result for thomas watson 7 mastPhotograph of Schooner built by Thomas Watson between 1902 and 1907 

He soon began taking bids for building naval destroyers and by 1901 the Fore River Ship and Engine Company was one of the largest shipyards in America. It would later become one of the major shipyards during World War II, after being purchased by Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Over the last month, BHS launched a new Volunteer Initiative.  We hosted two very successful Volunteer Orientation sessions. We had a full house of Volunteers bringing new energy, ideas, enthusiasm, and learning about the incredible history and legacy of the Braintree Historical Society, founded in 1930.  Our goal for this Initiative is to increase our volunteers to 100 over the course of the coming year. Won't you join us? Volunteer  

Tours of The Thayer Birthplace
Available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 AM - 2 PM - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Appointments should be made at least two days in advance
by emailing BHS at to confirm availability. Group Tours are encouraged.

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