This local historical society was organized in 1896 by concerned citizens from the city of Medford, Massachusetts. Their purpose was to collect and preserve the history of this historic city, to correct the myths that had grown up over the years, to build a historical library, to collect the artifacts of local history, and to celebrate historical anniversaries.
Our next event:
The Medford Historical Society is excited to be a site on this year's Jingle Bell House Tour. Come by to see holiday decorations and artifacts from the time the original song &Jingle Bells& was composed. For more information or tickets visit jinglebellfestival.org, or call 781-475-2162.
See our Events Page for more details and a complete listing.
The Medford Historic House Marker Program
Homeowners can now celebrate the rich architectural history of Medford with an attractive historical marker that shows the original date their house was built. More information.
Civil War Photographs
Originally assembled by Medford citizen and first mayor, General Samuel Crocker Lawrence, who commanded a regiment in the Civil War, these photos were prepared largely in the expensive platinum method which insures photographs of extraordinary clarity and detail that is still apparent today. Landscapes of the Civil War.
Brick from the Medford brickyards went up the Middlesex Canal and helped to build mills in Lowell and New Hampshire. Who knows how many private houses up-country were built with these same bricks which came out of Medford's claypits? Making Bricks in Medford.
Medford is rich in history. During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Medford grew from a small settlement of landed gentry to a middle-class streetcar suburb. Read about the first three centuries of Medford: A Peculiar Plantation, A Quiet Country Town, The Emerging City.
Medford Slave Letters
This six-year correspondence between Timothy Fitch, a Medford resident, and a ship captain of Fitch named Peter Gwinn occured between January, 1759 and october 1765. An extensive selection of these letters are scanned and transcribed. Medford Slave Letters.
West Medford forms part of one of the oldest Afro-American communities in the United States. A committee of several longstanding Afro-American residents are working with Tufts and Brandeis Universities to document the legacy of outstanding Afro-Americans from this community. Afro-American Remembrance.
From Africa to Medford
Few people today are aware of the extent to which slavery and the slave trade permeated New England. Students and faculty from Tufts University and Medford High School worked with Medford's Royall House Association to create an exhibit presented at the Medford Historical Society on the slave trade in Medford and in New England. From Africa to Medford.
Pitch, Tar and Tallow
In the nineteenth century the Mystic River was tidal and flowed unchecked to the ocean. Thatcher Magoun, a Pembroke man, saw the possibilities and started the first ship yard. Medford-Built Sailing Ships.
Although most traces of the Middlesex Canal have long since been erased or built over, we in Medford have not forgotten the ingenuity and industry of our forebears in helping to build this canal. The Middlesex Canal.
The Brooks Estate has been a part of Medford history and the city's landscape for over 330 years. Linda M. Penta writes about the history and preservation efforts of this property. Brooks Estate.
Daniel Lawrence & Sons made "The Best Rum in the States." Medford Rum.
Visit Our Museum Shop
Historical books and gifts are available from our Museum Shop.
Other Historical Organizations in Medford
The Brooks Estate. Fifty acres of historic open space, two historic buildings.
Royall House and Slave Quarters. National Historic Landmark.
Medford Historical Commission / Historic District Commission. Official city board for historic preservation and district issues.