For those looking for a way to step-it-up when planning a function whether it is Business or Social, why not consider something that is sure to be of interest to all your guests.  Why not make it an exciting well thought out gathering and make it educational as well.  And what could be more informative and theme oriented than rental space at the Braintree Historical Society buildings right in the heart of Braintree’s Historic District.  This venue is located near the highway, just up from the Braintree T station and is just brimming with history both National and International.


On Sunday, August 26th, the Bowes-Andrews family of Braintree hosted a Graduation Party on the Society's campus for their daughter,  Alyssa, celebrating her graduation this year from Stonehill College with a major in history.
Fifty family members and close friends attended a delightful gathering featuring a catered buffet dinner with beverages and desserts. 
In addition to enjoying the ambiance of a historical venue, guests were able to see artifacts of local and national historical significance on display in the Society's newly reorganized Barn. And over 30 guests participated in guided tours of General Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace, an 18th century home and museum, with period furnishings that captures what home life was like for a middle-class family in the 1700s.
The 3 hour celebration took place under the shade of the campus's old trees, with a pleasant breeze and a perfect blue sky. The day and the celebration could not have been better!


August’s "What is it?" - A GLOVE STRETCHER A common household item in the 16th through 19th centuries.
This Y-shaped bone instrument was probably made by sailors from whale bone. It was used to stretch gloves after they had been washed.  While the wool, leather or kid gloves were still damp, the pincer-like shaft would be inserted into the fingers and then gentle pressure on the two handles would separate the two halves of the shaft, thus stretching the glove finger back to its original size and smoothness.  Did you guess it?  Are you correct?

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 September.)

What is it ?  September

Hint:  This is a wood tool with metal along the sloped side.

The Curator has picked out more items for your fun and  interest:

BHS# 4729 
Donor: Virginia Holly
Circa 1875

This three piece  silk Walking Dress was worn by Isabelle Coggill Nash, the donor’s grandmother. Isabelle was born August 17, 1849 in Leeds, England. She married Stephen Edward Nash in New York City October 27, 1875.
The donor thinks the gown came from the prestigious Worth Boutique in Paris because Worth made Miss Coggill’s wedding gown.  This lovely blue silk is of the same time period.
Although walking was a practical way to get around, it posed a number of problems for the fashion-conscious  lady. For 19th century women, image was everything and they were expected to appear dignified and fashionably dressed at all times, especially when walking on the street in public.  Long, full skirts, often worn with a bustle and ending in a small train, were the order of the day in the 1870s and although they were considered the height of femininity, they were easily soiled by walking in dirty streets, and the indignity of having to lift one’s skirt above the ankle proved as much of a problem for many women as the dirt.
One of the ways of solving both of these problems was to wear one of the shorter trainless “walking” outfits, which were introduced in 1867. The skirts of these “walking” outfits were a uniform length all the way around with the hem raised slightly above the ground in order to avoid dragging in the dirt.

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.  

John A. Dennehy was born and raised in Braintree. He is a former member and past chairman of the Braintree Board of Selectmen and past president of the Braintree Historical Society. He is an attorney and a history professor. On Thursday afternoon, August 30, 2018, John presented a Photographic History of Braintree to residents of Glen Manor Estates, an assisted living facility in Braintree, which offers activities at their location for residents. 
An enthusiastic group were reminded of how the face of Braintree has changed from its formative years to today.
First settled in 1634 Braintree was primarily a farming community for almost three centuries and home to a number of water-powered mills and businesses, which prospered along the banks of the Monatiquot River. Horse ridden paths gave way to trams and cable cars later to be replaced by classic motor cars for the wealthy until Henry Ford introduced mass produced vehicles that now smother our roads. 
With the arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century, several manufacturing plants were built near South Braintree Square. Farming and manufacturing have since been replaced by white-collar businesses and retail establishments. Since World War II, Braintree has become home to a larger and increasingly diverse residential and business population due in part to its proximity to Boston and three major highways.
John painted vivid images of life then, supported by his photographs, stories and his passion for history. He included many previously unpublished photographs from the archives of the Braintree Historical Society. These sparked so many memories of life then by this retired community!

 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.

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).

Thomas Watson’s Contributions to Education in Braintree

By Jennifer Potts

Thomas A Watson (1854-1934) is undoubtedly one of Braintree’s most notable citizens, and his decision to settle here in 1883 resulted in many important contributions to the town.  Not only did Watson’s Fore River Ship and Engine Company put Braintree on the map as an important local shipbuilding center, he was also a driving force behind the improvement of Braintree’s schools.  So, as Braintree’s children head back to school after the summer, it seems fitting to devote some space to the many ways in which Watson’s special commitment to education helped to improve the schooling experience for everyone.  Watson was responsible for founding Braintree’s first kindergarten and, as a School Committee member, helped raise the bar for educational standards. He was also instrumental in the planning and building of three new schools for the town.

Click here to read the full story 
Lantern-On line August 2018

Thayer Academy 
Student Intern Program - 2018

BHS IS 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.



Saturday October 6th at 2:00 PM 

This years tour will be exceptional as the tour will be a joint effort with the American Legion who will be holding a very special  memorial service for William Wallace Dyer who died from injuries one hundred years (and one day) from the date of the tour. 

Tour is shaping up and will include a host of surprises of our past ancestors here in Braintree who shaped our town . 

Character actors and researchers are sought to help in making this a another great event. 

Contact: David Crispin 

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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