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.

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  

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

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.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 Denehey 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.

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, people standing and indoorEconomic 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.

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.

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.



Kathy O'Connell
Ann Toland
Toni Ryan
Janice Randolph
Claudette Newhall
Lucille Flowers
Peter & Faith Smith
Alan & Barbara Flowers
Thomas & Mary Kiley
Cheryl Berman
David & Gail Crispin
Julieann Clougher
Elizabeth Lemieux
Cheryl Edgar
Lucille Barton
Joseph/Edwina Moscaritolo
Richard Durham
Rose Curry
David Halligan
John & Gloria Pelose
Pepe Goodhue
Geraldine & Robert Cameron
Michael Perfetti
Walter Opanasets
Gary & Claudia Shutter
Alice/James South
Charles Ryan
Donald/Joanne Blunt
AW & CC Varraso
Elizabeth Hurley
Diana Watson
Jennifer Wysocki
John Sullivan
JB/Paul Healey
Albion Fletcher
Richard Curry
Joyce Albrecht
Gregory Shea
Carol & Toni Phripp
James & Cynthia Manganello
Gina Ruvido
Lynn Carothers
Thomas & Debbie Kent
Michelle / Arvel Kendall
Stephen/Rosemarie Barrett
Joanne McCarthy
Patricia Carr
Robert Harris

Chief Wampatuck (Wompatuck) (1627-1669), also known as Sachem Wompatuck, Josiah Wompatuck and Josiah Sagamore, was the grand Sagamore of the Massachusetts tribe of Algonquin Indians of Greater Boston and New England. His name means “white deer” in the Algonquin language. He was the son of the Great Massachusetts Sagamore Chickataubut ("house of fire") and nephew of his successor Sagamore  Kitchamakin before succeeding himself as Sagamore about 1660. In 1621, Chickaubut ruled lands from the Merrimack to the north, to the Charles to the west, and to the lands of the Narragansetts on the Rhode Island boundary.

Please click on file below for the rest of the story.


Tours of the Thayer House (above) 
Are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10-2, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.Appointments should made  at least two days in advance with an email to to ensure that one of our Tour Guides  will be available. Small Group Tours are encouraged.

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