Nahant Historical Society

41 Valley Road, Nahant Massachusetts 01908 (781) 581-2727

Our mission is:
“To acquire, preserve and interpret artifacts of Nahant, Massachusetts, illustrating its history, prehistory and that of people associated with it, for the enjoyment, education and enrichment of the public. ”

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Last updated
10 dec 2013/csb


2014 Nahant Calendar Now Available!


This annual favorite, contains memorable views of Nahant and its people. Includes rare images both old and new.
Price: $12.00


Keep the Character in Your Old House
a lecture by Jane Hennedy, preservation consultant

SUNDAY, November 3,rd 2013
Serenity Room, Nahant Community Center
41 Valley Road, Nahant, MA

howe estate

Illustration: The Thomas Howe estate on Little Nahant, designed by the Boston firm of Wait & Gutter, hand-tinted illustration from American Architect and Building News, November 27, 1880, collections of Nahant Historical Society.

Nahant Makes The New York Times!

The Annual Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend, sponsored by the Nahant Historical Society, was honored with two pages of photographs by Bill Cunningham in the New York Times on 18 August 2013.

The coverage can be found on
The New York Times website:
howe estate

The 22nd Annual Nahant Ball Weekend’s theme was An Evening in Vienna, with a Grand Victorian Ball on Saturday night at the Town Hall and Waltzing Through Time Concert with formal tea at the Community Center, and a Victorian promenade to East Point on Sunday. The weekend was organized by Katy and Ben Bishop and live music both days was provided by Spare Parts who can be heard on our CD: Dancing by the Shore. This was Mr. Cunningham’s first trip to Nahant and he enjoyed his time on our little penninsula immensely. Next year’s Dance Weekend will be held 8-10 August 2014.

The 2013 Paterson Lecture
The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War
by Stephen Puleo
SUNDAY, September 29,th 2013 at 2:00 pm
Serenity Room, Nahant Community Center
41 Valley Road, Nahant, MA

charles sumner As part of the Society’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, we present The Caning—The Assault That Drove America to Civil War by Stephen Puleo. This features a longtime summer visitor to Nahant, Charles Sumner, the illustrious United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1851-1874. An acclaimed orator, Sumner used his talents to passionately advocate the abolitionist cause. On May 22, 1856 in the United States Senate Chamber, he was brutally attacked and beaten by the ardent pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks from South Carolina. Come and learn more about this astonishing story that accelerated our nation and Nahant into the Civil War.

For more details see the Paterson Lecture page

01908 art gala

The Society is honored to be this year’s beneficiary for the 01908 Art Gala on September 7th and the very generous donation received to be used for our vital services as Nahant’s small museum. We are most grateful to the 01908 Committee for this extra-ordinary festival, which attracted all ages. The Society sends deepest thanks to all the artists, attendees and volunteers who made this fabulous event possible.


Ellingwood Chapel
Concert Series
Visit the concert page for the latest schedule and related information.

  • December 22nd:
    The Epic Brass

    The Epic Brass Quintet will return to the Ellingwood Chapel with a concert filled with Christmas joy and music. If you love Christmas music—and especially if you love to sing it—please join us. We will intersperse music of Handel, Victor Herbert, Ralph Vaughn Williams and Leroy Anderson with traditional carols sung by all those present.


  The Bark Sarah and her Maker
in the Hodges Reference Room
Nahant on the Rocks
in the Lowell Gallery


  Nahant’s Naval Secrets
Sacrifice of Self: Nahant and the Civil War
Historical Nahant:

Dancing by the Shore:
    Victorian Music from Nahant
You can buy all these items through our Gift Shop
Nahant Community Center

Come visit and learn about Nahant’s rich historic heritage in our quarters here at the Nahant Community Center, formerly the Valley Road School. We welcome researchers and urge you to visit our Hodges Reference Room and its library and archives facilities. We invite you to visit our premier major exhibition, entitled Nahant on the Rocks. This retrospective illustrates in a lively format the legendary and seldom told story of Nahant and its people. Nahant on the Rocks opened in 2003 to rave reviews. In 2004 this exhibition won one of the most prestigious museum awards: the Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History.
History is fun! Come join us.

The Nahant Historical Society is a member of the following organizations:
American Association of State and Local History
New England Historic Genealogical Society
New England Museum Association