A Chronological Guide to the History of Weymouth, Massachusetts (based on one compiled by the South Shore Historical Society, Inc. and amended by Dr. Christopher Hannan in 2012, and Regina Potter in 2021)
1639: An attempt to establish a Baptist Church in Weymouth was made as early as this year but the promoters met with fines and banishment at the hands of the Puritan Standing Order and gave up their purpose.
1640: The Mill of William Waltham on the “road to Hingham plain” was a saw and grist mill. Captain William Torrey arrived in Weymouth, an ancestor of Reverend Samuel Torrey and President William Howard Taft. Twice Reverend Torrey was selected president of Harvard; twice he declined the honor.
1641: The first recorded town meeting was held. Other town meetings followed at irregular intervals until 1651, but were held regularly thereafter until 1999. Weymouth’s town meetings became the oldest consecutive town meetings in the nation until the town changed its form of government in the year 2000. Although Weymouth now has a mayor, it is still the Town of Weymouth.
1642: The first agreement between the colonists and natives was made. The title to the town was purchased from the native population.
1643: Forty families left town, reducing the population to about 900. Massachusetts Bay Colony (which included Weymouth) joined with the colonies of Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut to form the United Colonies of New England (also known as the New England Confederation). The chief purpose of the Confederation was defense against natives and foreign aggressors. The last meeting of the Confederation was in 1684.
1647: The Massachusetts General Court ordered all towns having over 50 householders to appoint one town citizen to be paid by the town to teach reading and writing to its residents.
1648: The earliest reference to the “herrings broge” (Chaucer for herring brook) was made, showing that the fishery dated back to colonial times. In fact, Governor Winthrop 15 years earlier referred to the “ale-wife river” at Weymouth. Adam Cushing in 1730 (apparently to revive the industry) brought herring from the Taunton River to Great Pond, and from that day, the fish have never failed the town.
1651: The Town of Weymouth voted to pay ten pounds for six months of schooling for Weymouth children. It is the first reference to public education in a town record. The first regular town meeting was held November 26, 1651. The last regular town meeting was held in 1999.
1663: Several Weymouth houses were burned by Indians.
1669: A tide mill was constructed around this time in the vicinity of Mill Cove, North Weymouth.
June 1675: King Philip’s War began on June 20, 1675, with an attack on Swansea, Massachusetts. When measured by deaths per 1000 citizens, it proved to be the deadliest war in United States history by the time it ended in 1678.
February 25, 1676: Weymouth was attacked by Indians who then burned down their houses. Battles took place at Weymouth Heights, in the Neck Street area, at Middle and Washington Streets, and in the Pleasant Street and Whitman’s Pond areas. Nineteen Weymouth men were known participants; eight houses were burned down. During King Philip’s war in 1675-76, Indians raided the town on at least three occasions.
April 19, 1676: The final raid of King Philip’s War took place when a band of Indians on their way to Plymouth burned down seven houses in this area and, according to the old records, killed Sergeant Thomas Pratt. This Indian attack was marked by a tablet erected in 1930 on the site at the corner of Washington, Middle, and Winter Streets, considered to be the geographical center of Weymouth. Later this would be the location of the first meetinghouse built in Weymouth in 1852. In 2019 it became temporarily known as Heritage Park; it will officially be dedicated during Weymouth’s Quadricentennial.
1678: The earliest known town meeting vote to furnish a schoolroom occurred.
1681: A schoolhouse was built on what is now the site of the First Congregational Church in Weymouth, officially known as The First Church in Weymouth.
1682: A new church was erected on what is now the site of The First Church in Weymouth at 12 Church Street, Weymouth Heights.
April 30, 1684: At a meeting of the selectmen a warrant was passed and given to Constable John Pratt: “You are hereby required in his Majesty’s name forthwith to distrain upon the estate of Joseph Poole to the value of five shillings which is for the breach of town order for entertaining of Sarah Downing one week contrary to town order, and so from week to week as long as the said Joseph Poole shall entertain the said Sarah Downing.”
1685: The house we know today as the Abigail Smith Adams Birthplace was constructed by Reverend Samuel Torrey at its original location at the base of Old North Cemetery at 8 East Street.
1692: Weymouth, Boston, and a number of nearby towns were grouped together and organized as Suffolk County under the new royal charter from King William.
1693: Gideon Tirrell established Weymouth’s first wool mill near Washington and Middle Streets along the Mill River, which is now the site of a shopping center.
1697: A tannery was started, preceding the shoemaking industry soon to follow.
1700: Around this time, shoemaking was most likely carried on by itinerant cobblers going from house to house.
1716: The nation’s oldest lighthouse began operation: Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor.
1721-1723: The Second Congregational Church was organized in South Weymouth.
1723: A new schoolhouse was built to accommodate education in each of the two town parishes.
1744: Abigail Smith was born on November 11, 1744. She later became the wife of John Adams, the nation’s second president, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the nation’s sixth president.
1751: The North Meeting House, built in 1682, was used to store gunpowder which burned that year. In the words of Reverend William Smith, it “made a surprising noise when it blew up.” At least one eighth of Weymouth’s population perished from a “throat distemper”.
October 25, 1764: Abigail Smith and John Adams were married in the Smith homestead, North Weymouth.
1773: Samuel Arnold’s shipyard started operations at the confluence of the Monatiquot and Fore Rivers. It continued to operate until 1812.
April 19, 1775: Weymouth Minutemen responded to the Lexington alarm and marched to Roxbury.
May 21, 1775: The Battle of Grape Island in North Weymouth took place; it was the only Revolutionary War battle that occurred in Weymouth. Abigail Adams described to her husband what she had witnessed from Great Hill in her letter of May 24.
July 1776: John Adams wrote this to Abigail about the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illumination from one end of this continent to the other…” Weymouth faithfully complies every July 3 with family events and concessions and a grand fireworks display at Lane Beach, North Weymouth.
August 11, 1776: The Declaration of Independence was read for the first time in Weymouth by Abigail’s father, Reverend William Smith. The Revolutionary War was in progress. The quota called from Weymouth was ten.
1779: Brigadier General Solomon Lovell was sent by Massachusetts on the Penobscot Expedition. The purpose of the expedition was to rout British sympathizers. Weymouth built its first workhouse for the indigent on land that is now part of Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery in South Weymouth.
1780: John Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution – the oldest in the world. It is on display at the Commonwealth Museum in South Boston (across from the Kennedy Library and Museum in South Boston).
1790: Two grammar and two English schools were kept for six months of the year. The first federal census was taken: Weymouth’s official population was 1,469.
1793: Norfolk County was formed and Weymouth was made a part of it, no longer being a part of Suffolk County.
1797: Weymouth’s first permanent school committee was established.
1798-1800: The United States fought an undeclared war with France.
1799: Weymouth established eight school districts.
1701-1800: The old Plymouth Post Road, now Commercial Street, served as the main route through Weymouth. Stage coaches stopped in Weymouth Landing at the Wales Inn and in East Weymouth at the Rice Tavern. Wales Inn became the rectory of Sacred Heart Church and the Rice Tavern became the Peck Funeral Home. Horses were watered at Avonia Spring at the corner of Essex and Commercial Streets.
1800: According to the federal census, Weymouth’s population was 1,803.
1803: The Braintree and Weymouth Turnpike Corporation was chartered, better known as Queen Ann’s Turnpike. It was chartered to construct a route now occupied by Quincy Avenue in Quincy and Braintree, Washington Street in Weymouth, and Whiting Street in Hingham. In the same year the Louisiana Purchase was completed.
c. 1803: On what is now Route 53, the old toll house was constructed of seam-face granite – the first known instance of construction with Weymouth seam-face granite. The house was located about a quarter mile from the Hingham line. The quarry which provided the granite was located between the house and the Hingham line. The house was taken down in the mid 1990s.
February 29, 1804: The New Bedford and Bridgewater Turnpike Corporation was chartered. Its northern terminus was its junction with the Weymouth and Braintree Turnpike (now known as Route 53). Today this road is known as Route 18/Main Street in Weymouth. Weymouth’s first post office was established at Weymouth Landing.
July 25, 1806: Maria Weston Chapman was born in Weymouth. She became an ardent abolitionist and an associate of William Lloyd Garrison; married Henry Chapman of Boston; and died in Weymouth in 1885. In 1964 the school on Commercial Street was named Maria Weston Chapman Middle School.
1808: The first factory for shoemaking was constructed by James Tirrell. Previously shoes had been made in homes and sheds (which became known as “ten footers”) or by itinerant shoe workers.
1808: Hingham and Quincy Bridge and Turnpike Corporation was chartered but did not start construction until June 1812. This company would construct the bridges which connect North Weymouth to its neighbors along Route 3A.
1810: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 1,889.
1812: The first Fore River Bridge from Quincy Point to Ferry Point, North Weymouth, was completed.
1815: A machine for making shoe pegs was invented, which began to change the shoe industry in Weymouth. Previously they had been whittled out by hand. Dr. Cotton Tufts, the founder of the Massachusetts Medical Society, died. He was “one of the foremost men in his profession” and had a practice in Weymouth.
1816: The year known as “The Year Without a Summer”. Because of the 1815 eruption of the volcano Tambora in Indonesia, world-wide temperatures remained cooler than normal. Fine ash in the stratosphere is believed to be the cause. It actually snowed in June that year in the Boston area. The eruption is the largest and most devastating in recorded history.
October 28, 1818: Abigail Smith Adams died at her home in Quincy. The Adams home, Peacefield, is now part of the Adams National Historical Park.
1820: According to the federal census the population of Weymouth was 2,407. Atherton W. Tilden’s shipyard commenced operations in the vicinity of the former Samuel Arnold’s shipyard. Tilden’s shipyard continued operations until 1848.
1821: Weymouth granite was used in the construction of Mill Dam connecting the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets in Boston to Brookline. This dam now forms the base of Beacon Street as it continues from Beacon Hill towards Brookline.
1822: Weymouth became 200 years old. For those first two centuries of its existence, Weymouth had primarily been a fishing and agricultural community. However, stream pollution made herring fishing a thing of the past and this lost source of fertilizer contributed to the decline of Weymouth agriculture.
1822: Weymouth was presented with a proposal to bring large scale industrial development to the town by using the Back River as a source of water power. This would rival the new industrial centers of Waltham, Lowell, and eventually Manchester, New Hampshire. Weymouth rejected the offer to build factories in North Weymouth.
1830: The Essex Street Poor Farm was built, and rebuilt in 1917 after it burned down. The federal census indicated that Weymouth’s population was 2,839. A second official map was made.
1836: First Universalist Society of Weymouth was organized.
1837: Wooden boxes replaced casks and hogsheads for packing boots. Weymouth’s population was approximately 3,400, which included 1,300 bootmakers trying to make a living. Weymouth Iron Works was founded.
1838: The Abigail Smith Adams Birthplace was removed from its original site on East Street and moved to Bridge Street in Bicknell Square, North Weymouth, where it was used as a bunkhouse for farmhands. In its place, and using some of the lumber from the original building, a new parsonage for The First Church in Weymouth was built. This structure still stands at 8 East Street, across from Abigail Adams Green.
1840: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 3,738.
1844: Old Colony Railroad was chartered to build a railroad from Boston to Plymouth.
1845: Weymouth was a “mission” of Saint Mary (Catholic) Parish of Quincy.
1846: The South Shore Railroad was chartered to build a railroad line from the Old Colony Railroad in Braintree to Cohasset.
1849: Josephus Shaw, Quincy Tirrell, William Dyer, Prince H. Tirrell, and James L. Bates were shoemakers of Weymouth who pioneered to California.
1850: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 5,221. The exact date of Weymouth artist Susan Torrey Merritt’s painting, Fourth of July Picnic at Weymouth Landing, Massachusetts is unknown, but it is generally dated c. 1850.
1851/52: An ecclesiastical society was formed in North Weymouth. On March 11, 1852 the society dedicated a church building and, on the same day, organized it as the Pilgrim Congregational Church of North Weymouth.
1852: Queen Ann’s Turnpike became a town road and was known as Washington Street. The first town hall was constructed at the corner of Washington, Middle, and Winter Streets. (It was destroyed by fire in 1914). Town meetings were no longer held in the church.
1853: Another town map was published, decorated with churches and public buildings on its fringes. The Third Universalist Society was organized. The first high school was established in an upper room of the town hall. James Clapp founded the Clapp Shoe Company which lasted for four generations. He pioneered the use of French kid and patent kid leathers and replaced steam with electric-powered machinery.
1854: The Edwin Clapp Shoe Factory was established.
1856: Edmund Soper Hunt began the manufacture of fireworks at what is now the site of Electroswitch on King Avenue.
1860: Beginning this year, North High classes were held in the John Adams Elementary School. This continued until 1897 when a new high school was built.
1861: Marshall C. Dizer erected a three-story shoe factory at the corner of Broad and Madison Streets.
1861-1865: The United States Civil War was in progress. Weymouth contributed numerous troops to the cause. Their names are listed on the War Memorial next to Weymouth Town Hall at the Ralph Talbot Amphitheater.
1862: The first regularly employed superintendent of schools was appointed. The Fore River and Back River Bridges and Bridge Street became a public highway.
1863: Thomas W. Hamilton who had entered the Union Navy from Weymouth earned the Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor. “Rank and Organization: Quartermaster, U. S. Navy. Born: 1833, Scotland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G. O. No. 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: Serving as quartermaster on board the U.S.S. Cincinnati during the attack on the Vicksburg batteries and at the time of her sinking, 27 May 1863. Engaging the enemy in a fierce battle, the Cincinnati, amidst an incessant fire of shot and shell, continued to fire her guns to the last although so penetrated by enemy shell fire that her fate was sealed. Conspicuously gallant during this action, Hamilton, severely wounded at the wheel, returned to his post and had to be sent below, to hear the incessant roar of guns as the gallant ship went down, ‘her colors nailed to the mast.'”
1863: Bradley Fertilizer Plant was established on the present site of Weymouthport. It became recognized as the world’s largest fertilizer plant and dominated Weymouth Neck for a century
1864: The Weymouth Agricultural and Industrial Society was organized and then purchased land for the Weymouth Fairgrounds.
July 4, 1864: The Hingham and Quincy Turnpike Road became toll free. Today the road is known as Washington Street in Quincy, Bridge Street in North Weymouth, and Beal Street in Hingham.
1865: Jeremiah Quinn of Lovell’s Corner who served in Company “H” of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry in the Union Army, was the first to raise a Union flag over the Confederate capitol in Richmond, Virginia, after its capture. Weymouth shoe shops hung crepe, black rosettes, and buntings when President Lincoln was assassinated. An 80-year-old bell at Old South Union Church in Columbian Square cracked on April 15 as it tolled to mark the death of the President. The first Weymouth Fair was held September 20 and 21.
1867: The Weymouth Gazette was first published. Trinity Church, Episcopal situated on Front Street, Weymouth, was organized on December 7. The Front Street church building is now a residence and the congregation is now located on Broad Street.
1868: The Civil War Soldiers Monument on Burial Hill in Old North Cemetery, North Weymouth, was dedicated.
1869: Saint Jerome Parish in North Weymouth was established as a mission of the Catholic Church.
1870: During the 1870s the number of shoe factories in Weymouth peaked with about 75 firms making shoes and allied products.
July 4, 1874: A 250th anniversary celebration was held on King Oak Hill to commemorate the permanent settlement of Weymouth.
1875: Third Universalist Church of Weymouth, organized in 1853, erected a church building at the corner of Sea and Bridge Streets, North Weymouth.
1876: On March 10, 1876, Thomas L. Watson, Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant, heard the first words ever spoken over the telephone: “Mr. Watson, please come here. I want you.” This is the same Mr. Watson that started the Fore River Shipyard and for whom the East Braintree Public Library Branch was named. Mr. Watson and his wife are buried on a peak in Old North Cemetery, North Weymouth, facing the shipyard.
1877: The Weymouth Fire Department was established.
1879: The Weymouth Historical Society was organized, governed by an executive board and headed by a president. The Civil War Soldiers Monument was completed on Burial Hill in Old North Cemetery.
January 1, 1880: The Tufts Library opened in one room in a wooden building. The following year a brick structure was built in Weymouth Landing and served the town until it was replaced in 1965.
c. 1880-1910: Lovell’s Grove was a popular picnic and entertainment facility in North Weymouth, located on the river, near the Fore River Bridge, at the site of the electric energy plant. It was served three times daily by ferries from Boston.
1881: Nathaniel Porter Keene purchased four acres of land on the Fore River in order to establish his shipyard.
1883: Water from Great Pond was piped through the town.
1884: The largest schooner built in Weymouth, the Haroldine, was launched from Nathaniel Porter Keene’s shipyard in North Weymouth. The first meeting of the North Weymouth Improvement Association took place on July 21; its objective was “to improve and ornament the streets and public grounds of North Weymouth by planting and cultivating trees, cleaning and repairing sidewalks.”
1885: Stetson Shoe Company was started – the first factory in town having all operations under one roof. Weymouth Iron Works closed down.
1889: Bradley Fertilizer Company, 27 Kilby Street, Boston, advertised “The Largest Fertilizer Works in the World. Bradley Fertilizer Company’s works, North Weymouth, Mass.”
1890: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 10,866. During the 1890s the granite quarries of Quincy and Weymouth prospered. Italian immigrants were a popular source of labor for this industry.
1894: Patrick Vincent McNamara was born in North Weymouth on October 4. He attended Weymouth High School, and eventually moved to Michigan, where in 1954 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He served until his death in 1966. A 35-story skyscraper in Detroit bears his name: Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building.
1897/1898: Weymouth High School, with its two wings, was constructed and served the needs of the town until 1964 when a new high school opened. The 1898 structure continued to serve as a junior high school until fire consumed it in 1972. Abigail Adams Middle School is now located on the site. The Fogg Library in Columbian Square first opened in 1897.
1899: Weymouth adopted its town seal. The motto: Labore est vincere – “To labor is to conquer.”
1900: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 11,324. While serving in China with the United States Navy during the Boxer Rebellion William B. Seach of Weymouth earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1902/1903: Noted educator Booker T. Washington vacationed at 825 Main Street, Weymouth. At the time, he was the most influential black man in America, having recently dined with Theodore Roosevelt in the White House. Thomas A. Watson built the first steel Fore River Bridge from Quincy Point to Ferry Point, Weymouth, in 1902.
1903: Weymouth held an Old Home Week celebration, Booker T. Washington being a major speaker of the week. In March, Percy L. Bicknell became the first Weymouth resident to receive a Massachusetts auto license; he paid $650 in cash for his 4 1/2 horse-powered curved-dash Oldsmobile.
1905: Paragon Park in Hull opened. It became a popular entertainment facility for the South Shore and contributed to the closing of Lovell’s Grove in North Weymouth.
1906-1913: The United States Naval Department acquired the land along the Hingham and Weymouth shores of the Back River for a naval supply base. Many summer residences were razed.
1910: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 12,875.
1911: The First Church in Weymouth was incorporated.
April 20, 1912: Fenway Park, “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”, opened.
1914-1918: World War I was in progress. About 750 Weymouth men fought in France in that war. Ralph Talbot, a 1915 graduate of Weymouth High School, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in France.
1915: The second Saint Jerome Church was built in North Weymouth on the corner of Bridge and Neck Streets. The first church, a chapel on Lovell Street, had burned down on Palm Sunday, 1914.
1916: From the Official Program East Weymouth Carnival: “Train service is good, there being as many as thirty-three trains on week days and thirteen on Sundays running to and from Boston. From Jackson Square, the very center of the village, four electric-car lines run to Hingham depot, Weymouth Heights and Quincy depots, South Weymouth depot and Braintree depot, where good connections can be made.” In their advertisements in this program, advertisers listed their telephone numbers in a three-digit format, sometimes followed by a letter if it was a multiple party line.
1920: According to the federal census Weymouth’s population was 15,057. A motorcycle officer was added to the Weymouth police force. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution went into effect. Prohibition began. A tornado touched down on the Weymouth Fair Grounds. The Wessagusset Lodge of Master Masons was formed. The League of Women Voters of Weymouth was founded. A road up to Great Hill was built – the present Bradley Road, North Weymouth.
1923: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who later became President William Howard Taft, visited Weymouth to dedicate a tablet on Great Hill commemorating the 300th anniversary of Miles Standish’s fight with the Indians. Taft was a descendant of an early Weymouth settler, Captain William Torrey.
1925: Boston Edison’s Edgar Station began operations on the former site of Lovell’s Grove. Sithe Energy was the first user of the re-occupied site.
1926-1927: J. F. and W. H. Cushing advertised the sale of ice and coal in the Weymouth City Directory. Their telephone number was listed as “Weymouth 0266”. H. Horsely also advertised ice; his telephone number was “Wey. 1598-J”.
1928: The Weymouth Pals, a semi-pro baseball team, played their first full year and went on to become one of the leading semi-pro baseball teams in Massachusetts. Their games were played at Overlook Park in North Weymouth, which later became Bicknell Field behind Bicknell Junior High School, which are now condominiums. The park is now the E. Leo Madden Field.
1928/1929: The current town hall was built; it is a replica of the Old State House in Boston.
1929: The Dizer Shoe Factory at the corner of Broad and Madison Streets was torn down. The stock market crashed; the Great Depression began. During the Depression hobos and migrant workers set up camps by the junction of the Back River and what is now route 3A
1929: Thirteen thousand dollars was appropriated for a memorial in the shape of a granite cross to be erected on a knoll overlooking the Military Roll of Honor Wall beside Town Hall. The purpose of a Cross of Sacrifice, more commonly referred to as the Cross of Gray, is to honor the men and women of Weymouth who died for our country.
1930: Weymouth’s population was 20,882. The open air auditorium at the Weymouth Civic Center was named the Ralph Talbot Amphitheater in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Ralph Talbot. The Massachusetts Bay Tercentenary was celebrated. Weymouth, England, built a drawbridge named Town Bridge to let large ships pass to an inner harbor, much like the Fore River Bridge. Their Town Bridge bears a plaque that reads “Good wishes from the people of Weymouth, Massachusetts.”
1933: The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was passed, repealing prohibition.
1935: The third style of Fore River Bridge, a drawbridge, was built, connecting Quincy Point with Ferry Point, North Weymouth. A gas explosion in Weymouth Landing killed one man.
1936: As part of the depression era WPA (Works Progress Administration) program, Arthur Vinal, a Weymouth artist, painted pictures of Weymouth High School, the Nevin School, and the Washington School. The Weymouth Drive-in Theater opened, located on the present site of Lowe’s Plaza on Bridge Street in North Weymouth. It was “New England’s only open air auto theatre” at the time.
1938: The First Universalist Church in Weymouth Landing was destroyed by fire. In North Weymouth, on April 1 “a bolt of lightning and ensuing fire destroyed the barn of Stephen Delorey, killing a horse, a cow and a cat, and causing damage estimated by firemen at $2000 [about $32,000 today].”
1940: Weymouth’s population was 23,868.
1942: The South Weymouth Naval Air Station opened.
1941-1945: During World War II many North Weymouth residents worked in the Quincy and Hingham Shipyards.
June 6, 1944: D-Day. Allied invasion forces landed in France. Elden H. Johnson was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in Italy. Frederick Murphy, medical corpsman, another Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was killed by land mines while helping the wounded. During the World War II years, 55 Central Street served our armed forces as the Weymouth Service Center. After World War II it became a club house for Girl Scouts in the area. What is now McDonald Keohane Funeral Home at the corner of Middle and Charles Streets in East Weymouth served as a Red Cross center. Local women met there and prepared first aid packets to send to the troops overseas.
1946: Motion pictures were at their most popular. North Weymouth had the flourishing drive-in theater and three active bowling alleys. The first of the baby boomers was born. (A baby boomer was born during the demographic post World War II baby boom between 1946 and 1964).
1947: To preserve the Abigail Adams Birthplace from destruction a group of Weymouth people spearheaded by Amy Hill Duncan organized the Abigail Adams Historical Society. At their initiative the Abigail Adams Birthplace was again moved – this time to a piece of land in North Weymouth near its original location. It continues to be maintained by the Abigail Adams Historical Society.
1948: Protective covenants for Great Hill Park, North Weymouth included the following quotation: “No persons of any race other than the Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot, except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race domiciled with an owner or tenant.”
1949: Weymouth High School’s football team had an undefeated season – the first of many.
1950: The Christmas tree in Jackson Square was illuminated for the first time.
1953: The Weymouth Newcomers Club was established.
August 31, 1954: The screen at Weymouth Drive-in in North Weymouth was demolished by Hurricane Carol.
1956: T/Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr., USAF, of Weymouth was the first official casualty of the Vietnam War. Nine years later his son L/Cpl Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, USM, also from Weymouth was killed in action. They are believed to be the only father and son killed in Vietnam.
1960: During Columbus Day weekend a “Rocket to the Moon” was seen in the schoolyard at St. Jerome in North Weymouth. Simulated rides in a rocket made by parishioners were sold and earned the parish some funds. The playground on Pilgrim Road in North Weymouth, formerly known as Wadaga Road Park, was renamed James T. O’Sullivan Park in honor of the well-loved Selectman from North Weymouth.
1963: The Zoning Improvement Plan went into affect. ZIP Codes were in. Weymouth has four zip codes: Weymouth 02188, East Weymouth 02189, South Weymouth 02190, and North Weymouth 02191.
1964: Corporal Richard Slack Jr., USM, from East Weymouth was killed in Vietnam. The Weymouth Historical Commission was formed by the Board of Selectmen. Kathy Corrigan of Weymouth competed in the Tokyo Summer Olympics on the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic Team. A new high school was opened on Commercial Street, and when student population expanded, the town met student needs with a second high school in South Weymouth.
1965: An Indian dugout was found in Weymouth’s Great Pond when the water level dropped during a drought. It was preserved and on display in the Canoe Room of the Tufts Main Library, which opened that year on Broad Street. The dugout is now in the Local Library Room of the new Main Library, which opened in September 2020, on the same site.
November 9, 1965: The Great Northeast Blackout occurred at 5:28 p.m., affecting parts of Ontario, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Over 30 million people and 80,000 square miles were left without electricity for up to 13 hours. Because Braintree has their own power plant, they were unaffected by the blackout.
1966: L/Cpl James H. Cavicchi Jr., USM and Pfc Richard J. Canova, USM, both from Weymouth, lost their lives in Vietnam. The Weymouth Fine Arts Chorale was established by Peter L. Edwards, organist and choir director of Old South Union Church in South Weymouth. He led the chorale for 45 years, until his retirement in 2001, at which time Dr. Libor Dudas became the new director.
1967: En 3/C William H. Little, USN and Sp/4 Jerome J. MacDonald, USA, both from Weymouth, lost their lives in Vietnam.
1968: L/Cpl Paul F. Quill, USM of North Weymouth lost his life in Vietnam.
July 20, 1969: American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon. They returned to Earth with the first samples from another planetary body.
1970: Thomas Boylston Adams, who was then president of the Massachusetts Historical Society, wrote “I do not know whether this end was inevitable. Perhaps it was. But that [the Wessagusset massacre of 1623] was achieved by dishonorable means must remain a charge on the conscience of mankind…Therefore I call it ‘the Crime of the Pilgrims.'”
March 1, 1972: The North Weymouth Civic Association was founded by William Anderson, James Bacon, Bill Begley, Leo Crowley, Walter George, John Keenan Jr., Joseph McDonald, Colin McPherson, John Peruzzi, Sulo Soini, John Sheehan, and Lawrence Sullivan.
April 30, 1975: The Vietnam War officially ended; Weymouth had lost eight citizens.
1980: The 36-acre Webb Memorial State Park opened in North Weymouth, having been transferred to the state in 1977 by the U.S. Government. Named after Weymouth police officer William K. Webb, and composed of three connected drumlins and a low marsh area, it forms the only mainland portion of the Boston Harbor Island National Recreation Area. The park had previously been the site of underground silos for housing NIKE missiles.
1985: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in North Weymouth was dedicated. The site was provided by the Town of Weymouth; all donations for the site were provided by private citizens.
1988: The Weymouth Food Pantry was established in a 10 x 30 foot room with a few volunteers and four families on the client list. It now distributes more than 500,000 pounds of food per year to Weymouth residents in need.
1990: Massachusetts citizens were officially designated “Bay Staters”. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
1992: Members of the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) from the Boston area established the Patriot Squadron to preserve the legacy of Naval Air Stations Squantum and South Weymouth.
1999: Weymouth residents voted to change to a city form of government. Despite its city form of government it is still the Town of Weymouth. Up until 1999, Weymouth had the distinction of having had the oldest continuous Town Meeting form of government in the nation: 365 years.
January 2000: David Madden, Weymouth’s first mayor, took office and served for eight years. The Weymouth Historical Commission under the new form of government now reported directly to the mayor, who is responsible for appointing new members and reappointing existing members.
September 11, 2001: A day no one will ever forget; no one was left untouched. Patriot Day, first observed in 2002, honors the memory of those who were lost that day.
June 14, 2003: Abigail Adams State Park on Bridge Street in North Weymouth was dedicated. The stroller-friendly park is maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and features some of Abigail’s quotations, displayed on plaques.
2004: The town completed a major expansion to Weymouth South High School doubling its size and modernizing the building and its equipment. The town converted the 1964 high school to middle school use and renamed it the Maria Chapman School.
October 2005 – The first semi-annual Shelf Bunch Brunch occurred at the Scituate Mill Wharf with only eight attendees; word spread and over the years the group has grown to over 140 “possible attendees” from throughout the country. The idea of creating this group came from North Weymouth native, Harold “Pi” Pugh, Class of 1965 WHS, who wanted to bring together the many friends from the 1960s who hung out at the “Shelf” parking lot above the “old beach”. There is a Facebook page for this fun group: Shelf Bunch Brunch.
February 23/24, 2007: The Weymouth Garden Club began its annual Books in Bloom event at Tufts Main Library.
2008: Susan Kay became Weymouth’s second mayor and served for eight years, during which time she instituted the annual Great Pumpkin Give-a-Wey, among other great family events, and initiated the revitalization of Legion Memorial Field.
September 2009 – Upon the retirement of Dr. Libor Dudas, Richard Travers became the third director of the Fine Arts Chorale.
October 10, 2009: Marys’ Point at Webb Memorial State Park was dedicated to educator and activist Mary Toomey of Weymouth, and leading oceanographer Dr. Mary Sears, Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Together they were honored for being instrumental in the saving of the Back River Estuary. Mary Toomey was founder of the Back River Watershed Association.
2011 – Weymouth approved $150,000 in Community Preservation funds for the restoration of Abigail Adams Birthplace, which included repairing damage done by termites.
2012: Weymouth was sited by Money Magazine as being the 87th out of 100 best places to live in the United States. Chubby, the little red boat, was installed on the traffic island in Bicknell Square by members of the North Weymouth Civic Association.
2012: Construction began on the new Fore River Bridge project. Weymouth Food Pantry celebrated its 25th anniversary.
January 2013: John Peruzzi Sr. resigned as a board member of the North Weymouth Civic Association, having been faithfully involved in many capacities for 42 years! For the first time since the creation of the association in 1972, there is no “founding father” on the board.
April 15, 2013 – The Boston Marathon bombings took place, killing five people. During the year, Prospect Hill Drive in North Weymouth was featured in the Boston Globe’s 2015 Top Spots to Live.
2014: The Weymouth Chamber of Commerce was officially launched on January 28. The newly restored Fogg Library re-opened on April 28. The North Weymouth Civic Association held its first North Weymouth Neighborhood Day at O’Sullivan Park on Sunday, August 24. Abigail Adams Historical Society commemorated the 250th anniversary of the wedding day of Abigail and John Adams with a re-enactment at The First Church of Weymouth on October 24.
June 20, 2015: Legion Memorial Field was re-dedicated after years of disuse and months of restoration. It had originally been dedicated in the 1930s to Weymouth veterans.
2015: North Weymouth Civic Association and Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) began their efforts to block Spectra Energy (now Enbridge) from constructing of a natural gas compressor station beside the Fore River. These efforts were supported by every politician from the town government to the U.S. Senators and Representatives, except the governor, the one person that could have stopped it.
January 4, 2016: Former State Senator Robert L. Hedlund, was sworn in as Weymouth’s third mayor. Governor Charles Baker attended the inaugural ceremony at Abigail Adams Middle School.
May 1, 2016 – Fine Arts Chorale, conducted by Maestro Richard Travers, celebrated its 50th anniversary with A Celebration of American Composers. Special guests included Rebecca Parris and her piano accompanist Paul McWilliams, and Kuumunity Collaborations directed by Sheldon Reid. The chorale’s rehearsals and concerts are held at Old South Union Church.
2017: The new Fore River Bridge opened to all lanes of traffic. This bridge is the third movable bridge at this location – the first being a swing bridge constructed in 1902, and the second a bascule bridge built in 1936.
February 2018 – The town announced plans for a boardwalk to connect Wessagusset Beach to Lane Beach, which will include accommodation for wheel chairs. The construction of 50 condominiums called Seascape began on Weymouth Neck, just beyond East Bay.
April 2018 – Zoning changes were made along Route 3A from U-Haul to Hingham allowing for commercial overlay.
May 22, 2018 – The Weymouth 400 Committee was launched at Barrel House Z. The 400th anniversary of New England’s second permanent English settlement will be commemorated for the next four years, culminating in many special events in 2022 – “As Our Story Continues”.
February 2019 – Weymouth’s Charles Robert “Charlie” Coyle, joined the Boston Bruins as #13.
April 2019 – North Weymouth Civic Association held its first Easter Egg Hunt at O’Sullivan Park on Pilgrim Road.
June 14, 2019 – A ceremony was held on Flag Day at the new park located at Washington and Middle Streets, the town’s geographical center. The opening day was observed with the raising of the U.S. flag on a new flagpole. The park, temporarily named Heritage Park, will be officially dedicated in 2022, the Quadricentennial of Weymouth, with its new name, to be chosen by entries from the Class of 2022 of Weymouth High School.
November 2019 – The first mayor of Weymouth, David M. Madden, died on November 4. Weymouth 400’s first recipient of its “I’m Going to Let It Shine” award was presented to Chief Richard Grimes on November 19 . He retired on December 31, after a 42-year career in law enforcement. The award is “given to an individual or organization that is the one candle that lights a thousand, making their community better.”
January 2020: Mayor Robert L. Hedlund was elected to a second term. On January 20, Richard Fuller is sworn is as Weymouth’s new Chief of Police. The world’s battle with the COVID-19 pandemic began.
March 10, 2020 – Governor Baker declared a State of Emergency to give “the Administration more flexibility to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.”
May 2020 – Chubby II was installed at Bicknell Square to replace the “little red boat”, Chubby, which had become unstable. Both boats were donated to NWCA, to be maintained by the Beautification Committee of NWCA.
August 2020 – North Branch Library and Pratt Library were both closed. No definite decisions have been made about their future use.
September 2020 – After being in operation for only four days, the new compressor station had two emergencies (September 11 and 30), which lead to a shutdown. It is not officially in service.
November 21, 2020 – Dennis Brooks of North Weymouth became the second recipient of Weymouth 400’s “I’m Going to Let it Shine” award.
December 2020 – According Massachusetts Department of Health, rates of COVID-19 were reported high throughout the South Shore, with Quincy and Weymouth among the municipalities at the highest risk for transmission of the virus.