Like in many other villages and towns, Cohasset’s Historical Society strives to preserve the rich history of its past. Founded in 1928 from the original Committee on Town History, the society owns and operates four historic buildings in order to display its nearly thirty thousand objects - including its two prized antique firefighting hand tub pumpers.
PAUL PRATT MEMORIAL LIBRARY; built in 1903 from private donations to house the 7500-volume collection of the town’s Free Public Library and the private Paul Pratt Memorial Library, it now serves as the headquarters for the Cohasset Historical Society. Over the years, the original building was expanded twice before moving to its current location in a former elementary school.
CAPTAIN JOHN WILSON HOUSE; located in the downtown village, this 2 1/2 story Federal style building was built in 1810. Soon after construction was completed, Capt. John Wilson bought it and used part of the first floor to run his shipping business along with a chandlery (a shop for wax and candles). The Wilson family lived here until 1912, at which time it was converted into commercial uses. The building was given to the Historical Society in 1936.
BATES SHIP CHANDLERY; built in 1752, this company was originally located opposite Bates Wharf on the Cohasset waterfront. Considered to be the best preserved remnant of the town’s early maritime history, the building was moved to its present location on the same property as the Wilson House in 1957.
BEECHWOOD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH; the newest acquisition of the Society is this 152 year old (1866) structure that served as a centerpiece for the neighborhood for many years. Because of declining membership, it closed in 2016. The Cohasset Historical Society saved it from being purchased by developers who wanted to build condominiums. Instead, the Society plans on using it to house its most priced possessions; two historic fire fighting handpumpers. Renaming the building as “The Beechwood Meeting House,” the former church will als serve as a venue for community lectures, meetings, performances, and other events.
Founded in 1928 to preserve the history of Cohasset, the Historical Society is headquartered in the Paul Pratt Memorial Library building.
The newest acquisition of the Historical Society is the 1866 Beechwood Congreational Church. It is being renovated to house two historic firefighting handpumpers as well as space for lectures, meetings, performances, and other events.