Before European settlers arrived, Kingston was within the tribal homeland of the Wampanoag people. Even before the Mayflower had landed in Plymouth the Wampanoags were severely damaged from rapidly spreading pandemics from earlier contacts with Europeans. Several ancient Native American burial sites have been located within the borders of Kingston.
Originally the north precinct of the town of Plymouth, Kingston was first settled by Europeans in 1620, shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Modern-day Kingston is believed to be the site of several bloody battles during King Philip's War from 1675-1676. The residence of Governor Bradford was raided by the natives before the Wampanoags were defeated.
Kingston was incorporated as a distinct town in 1726, following a tax dispute between the residents of north and south Plymouth. Before then, Kingston was the upper class portion of Plymouth. Kingston is home to the longest continuously run boat yard in North America. The American Revolutionary War era brig, USS Independence, was built by Kingston shipbuilders and has emerged as a town icon, featured on the Kingston town seal, as well as the subject of the town song, "Independence". The tenure of the Independence in the Massachusetts Navy was short, however; the ship was captured in battle off the coast of Nova Scotia by HMS Hope and HMS Nancy.
In the 1950s Kingston was transformed from a small rural town into an extension of the Boston metropolitan area when Massachusetts Route 3 was constructed, connecting Boston to Cape Cod, with two exits in Kingston (and a third exit immediately over the town line in Duxbury).
Kingston saw its largest population growth in the 1990's when the Old Colony Railroad was reopened as a commuter rail line, connecting once-rural Kingston with Boston, making Kingston an even more viable place for commuters to live. More recently, Kingston has seen the construction of four industrial-sized wind turbines, located along Route 3.