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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Hosted By: Nahant Historical Society & Nahant Preservation Trust

Trails & Sails Dates and Website
September 23, 2017, 10 AM to 4 PM (Open Doors)
September 24, 2017, 1 PM to 4 PM (Open Doors)

See how an 1,100 pound, 12th Century 'Jizo Bosatsu' Buddha was unearthed, restored and moved to his new home at the Historical Society!

From here walk to the Nahant thicket for bird watching or quiet reflection or drive to and park at the Nahant Life Saving Station on Nahant Road for a tour (Sun. 9/24, 1-4pm only) and head over to the Heritage Trail which will lead you to Bailey's Hill/Fort Ruckman and a spectacular view of Boston Harbor.

Special Instructions:
For walking the Thicket and Heritage Trail waterproof footwear is advised. Long pants and sleeves would be advisable. Nahant is 1.5 miles long by .5 miles wide. The Bailey's Hill end of the Heritage Trail can be a bit strenuous.
Facility Features: Wheelchair Accommodating, Walking / Hiking, Parking, Restroom
Fun for Kids & Families
Event Telephone: 781-581-2727
Location: 41 Valley Road, Nahant, MA, 01908

The Buddha Visits Valley Road!

Buddha Installation

Garden Painter

A View From The Whitney Homestead Garden

Originally built in 1717 by Samuel Breed for his family,
the Whitney Homestead has been owned by only five different families:
the Breeds, Rice/Whitneys, Jarls, Bongiornos and Costins.

NHS 2017

LL The Lowland Buddha Lives!
Nahant celebrates the anonymous restored gift of the Lowland Buddha, a Jizo Bosatsu. This work of art once graced the famous gate of the 1867 estate of George Abbot James and his wife Elizabeth “Lily” Lodge on East Point in Nahant.

Learn how this gate guardian inspired the Lowland Medal of Nahant schools. As an extra-special treat, Dr. Daisy Yiyou Wang, Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, will share her new research on the history of collecting Buddhist art in the Boston area and beyond in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Why Buddhist art? How did a number of prominent individuals and institutions form their Buddhist collections?

Jizo Bosatsu was first introduced in Japan from China during the Heian period (794-1185) and, according to the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, became “immensely popular as a protector of children, patron of travelers, and guardian of community thresholds.”Probably it is no coincidence that George Abbot James used the Lowland Gate with its guardian as the inspiration for his endowment of the Lowland Medal for proficiency in mental arithmetic in Nahant Schools.

This award has been given for almost 100 years since shortly before his death in 1917. Past winners of the Lowland Medal and their families are especially invited to this special occasion.

If you are, or know someone who is a Lowland Medal recipient, please contact the Society at
(781) 581-2727 or email

"Nahant on the Rocks"

Nahant Community Center We invite you to visit our premier major exhibition, entitled Nahant on the Rocks. This retrospective illustrates in a lively format the legendary and seldom told story of Nahant and its people. Nahant on the Rocks opened in 2003 to rave reviews. In 2004 this exhibition won one of the most prestigious museum awards: the Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History.


Wednesday and Thursday
1 PM Until 4 PM
Saturday, 10 AM Until 4 PM

NOW ONLY $5 Per Calendar !

Our 2017 Pictorial Calendar
Has Color Images Throughout!
Get One Before They Are Gone!

Visit the Society or Our Online



Membership Levels
Special Instructions

Use the button above to renew online or visit our membership page for additional membership options.


The Bark Sarah and Her Maker
Hodges Reference Room

Nahant on the Rocks
Lowell Gallery


Read the latest!
View our 2015 Newsletter

Come visit us and see our new acquisitions and don't forget to browse in our gift shop and shop either online or in person.

our shop

new to our collection


Visit the Concert page for 2017 concert details and the latest schedule.

Scheduled performances include:

Saturday August 19, 2017 | 8 PM
Five Centuries of Spanish Guitar

Saturday September 9, 2017 | 8 PM
Beethoven's 9th Symphony

Saturday September 23, 2017 | 8 PM
Emily Marvosh and Tanya Blaich:
An Evening of Songs

Donate to Support the Concert Series

Friends of Ellingwood
Special Instructions

Come visit and learn about Nahant’s rich historic heritage in our quarters here at the Nahant Community Center, formerly the Valley Road School.

We welcome researchers and urge you to visit our Hodges Reference Room and its library and archives facilities.

History is fun! Come join us.
The Nahant Historical Society is a member of the following organizations:

-American Assoc. State & Local History
-NE Historic Genealogical Society
-New England Museum Association

© 2017 Nahant Historical Society 41 Valley Road, Nahant Massachusetts 01908 | (781) 581-2727