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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Our Collection

howe estate
Vignette from Nahant on the Rocks

The Nahant Historical Society has an extensive collection of memorabilia demonstrating the culture of Nahant and its people from early settlement through to the 21st century.

This collection moved in 2002 into newly renovated spaces at the Nahant Community Center, at the Valley Road School. The new space includes the Paterson Room for artifact storage, the Hodges Reference Room for archives and library and the Lowell Room, a gallery for major exhibitions. This has given us much needed improvements in library access, storage quality and exhibition space.

We hope to include sample images of our collection here; at present we are continuing the process of cataloging the collection so we can better assess what we have, its condition, and what will be needed to properly preserve it for future generations.


Current Exhibits

Remembering The Valiant in the 41Gallery

In 1955, Ray Palombo and Frank “Swede” McClain had a dream to build a boat that would allow them to lobster off shore. Many thought it couldn’t be done. However, in October of 1963, after eight arduous years of building in the tight space between their homes on Forty Steps Lane, enlisting the help of anyone who would lend a hand, an 80-ft 90-ton dragger came to life, its launch bringing everyone from the towns people to Life Magazine to an emissary from President Kennedy to watch and support the launch of the Valiant.

Nahant on the Rocks in the Lowell Room Gallery

In October 2003, we opened our first full exhibition, entitled Nahant on the Rocks, This is an interactive exhibit showing the history of Nahant from its early days as grazing land for Lynn livestock, through its days as a fishing community, its heyday as the Summer resort community for Boston's wealthy, literary and scientific notables and artists, to the present close-knit community.

The Bark Sarah and her Maker in the Hodges Reference Room

Learn the story behind this intricate large plank-on-frame ship model, a recreated ”Tall Ship“ in miniature. Find out about Winthrop Taylor Hodges, the man who spent ten years building this ship in model form based on a youthful memory. See rare photographs of the ocean-going Sarah, upon which he sailed in 1887.