Place:Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States


Alt namesSatuitsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25006792
Scituate Centersource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Scituate Centresource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25006792
Coordinates42.2°N 70.75°W
Located inPlymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Church Hill Cemetery ( - 1849 )
First Parish Cemetery ( 1624 - )
Norwell Center Cemetery ( - 1849 )
Inhabited place
South Scituate ( 1634 - 1888 )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Scituate is a seacoast town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, on the South Shore, midway between Boston and Plymouth. The population was 19,063 at the 2020 census.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The Wampanoag and their neighbors have inhabited the lands Scituate now stands on for thousands of years. The name Scituate is derived from "satuit", the Wampanoag term for cold brook, which refers to a brook that runs to the inner harbor of the town. In 1710, several European colonizers emigrated to Rhode Island and founded Scituate, Rhode Island, naming it after their previous hometown.

European colonization brought a group of people from Plymouth about 1627, who were joined by colonizers from the county of Kent in England. They were initially governed by the General Court of Plymouth, but on October 5, 1636, the town incorporated as a separate entity.

The Williams-Barker House, which still remains near the harbor, was built in 1634. Twelve homes and a sawmill were destroyed in King Philip's War in 1676.

In 1717, the western portion of the original land grant was separated and incorporated as the town of Hanover, and in 1788, a section of the town was ceded to Marshfield. In 1849, another western section became the town of South Scituate, which later changed its name to Norwell. Since then, the borders have remained essentially unchanged.

Fishing was a significant part of the local economy in the past, as was the sea mossing industry. The sea was historically an integral part of the town with occasional incidents such as that described February 13, 1894, in which eight men clinging to the vessel's rigging on a schooner grounded off Third Cliff apparently died before a large crowd watching from shore "literally frozen to the ropes" while unsuccessful rescue efforts continued through the day and their apparently lifeless bodies were covered by nightfall. A small fishing fleet is still based in Scituate Harbor, although today the town is mostly residential.

In 1810, a lighthouse was erected on the northern edge of Scituate Harbor. This lighthouse is now known as Old Scituate Light. During the War of 1812, a British naval raiding party having landed on the beach near the lighthouse was deterred by the two daughters of the lighthouse keeper. The young girls, Abigail and Rebecca Bates, marched to and fro behind sand dunes playing a fife and drum loudly. The British invaders were duped into thinking that the American army was approaching and fled. The girls and this incident became known as the "American Army of Two" or "Lighthouse Army of Two". Descendants of the Bates family still remain in Scituate.

Another notable lighthouse, Minot's Ledge Light, stands approximately one mile off Scituate Neck. The Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse (also known as Minot’s Light) has been nicknamed the “I Love You Lighthouse” due to the 1–4–3 pattern that its light repeatedly emits.

Samuel Woodworth's Old Oaken Bucket house is located in Scituate. The town is also home to the Lawson Tower, a water tower surrounded by a wooden façade, with an observation deck with views of most of the South Shore from the top.

Financier and muckraker Thomas Lawson built his Dreamworld estate in Scituate. The Lawson Tower remains and the Dreamworld condominium complex pays tribute.

During World War II the Fourth Cliff Military Reservation defended the Scituate area with a battery of two 6-inch guns. It is now a recreation area for Hanscom Air Force Base.

Scituate used to be the site of international broadcasting radio station WNYW, which broadcast on the shortwave bands in the late 1960s.

Research Tips

  • Outstanding guide to Scituate family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, town histories, city directories, cemeteries, churches, newspapers, libraries, and historical societies.

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