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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The Schooner Roseway Arrives In Nahant | September 1, 2016

DDW Gate Guardian of Nahant Inspires Medal for Nahant Schools

Nahant Historical Society Presents
16th Annual Paterson Lecture

Sunday, Nov 20th, 2016 | 2 PM
Nahant Community Center, Serenity Room

Collecting Buddhist Art in Early Twentieth-Century America by Dr. Daisy Yiyou Wang
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?
LL 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
Daisy Yiyou Wang is the Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, which houses the America’s first major Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art collections. Wang has served as Chinese Art Specialist at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, where she made curatorial contribution to a number of exhibitions, including Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan. Her publications cover topics ranging from Buddhist art to contemporary art and the history of collecting Chinese art.

In 2014, she co-edited with David Hogge the first book in Chinese language on the Freer Gallery of Art’s collection, A Thousand Graces: Charles Lang Freer’s 1910 Pilgrimage to Longmen Buddhist Cave Temples. Her forthcoming book is the first monograph on the leading American art collector Charles L. Freer and his Chinese collection. Wang earned her Ph.D. in art history from Ohio University with a dissertation on the international dealer of Chinese art C. T. Loo. Her work has been merited with a Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Award and a Smithsonian Valuing World Cultures Award. Wang is a recipient of a Getty Museum Leadership Fellowship and a Smithsonian Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

SUNDAY, November 20, 2016 at 2 PM Serenity Room, Nahant Community Center, 41 Valley Road, Nahant, MA. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments served. Parking is limited but shuttle service will be available at St. Thomas church’s lot at 248 Nahant Road one half hour before and after the program.

"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.

"Remembering the Valiant"

1 In 1955, Ray Palombo and Frank “Swede” McClain had a dream to build a boat that would allow them to lobster off shore.

Many thought it couldn’t be done.

However, in October of 1963, after eight arduous years of building in the tight space between their homes on Forty Steps Lane, enlisting the help of anyone who would lend a hand, an 80-ft 90-ton dragger came to life, its launch bringing everyone from the towns people to Life Magazine to an emissary from President Kennedy to watch and support the launch of the Valiant.

Do you have photos or a special gem of a memory you could share to enhance our extensive archives?

If so please forward them to us by email, mail, or Facebook, or visit us at the Society and tell us your story.

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

Our 2016 Calendar is Still Available!
“Nahant in Stereoscopic Views”

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The Bark Sarah and Her Maker
Hodges Reference Room

Nahant on the Rocks
Lowell Gallery


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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

© 2016 Nahant Historical Society 41 Valley Road, Nahant Massachusetts 01908 | (781) 581-2727