The Medfield Historical Society houses extensive materials that document the history of Medfield since its founding in 1649.
Resources include manuscripts, maps, genealogies, family records, architectural plans, house histories, yearbooks, street directories and transcripts of town meetings dating from 1660. The Society’s extensive photography collection contains images of Medfield’s development from the Civil War to the present day.
In addition to modern color and black & white photographs, we have numerous examples of tintypes, ambrotypes, daguerrotypes and stereographs as part of our extensive collection. The photographs are housed in our library and archives and are available for study during Museum and Research hours, Saturdays from 10 am – noon and by appointment. Reproductions are also available for a nominal fee.
Subjects include family gatherings, portraits, historic homes and buildings, businesses, town events, natural disasters, parades, sports clubs, class photos and many more.
We currently have a project underway to digitize and catalog the entire collection to both protect the original photographs and, at the same time, make then more accessible to researchers. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this project, please email us or call us at 508-359-4773.
Genealogy and Local History
Published and non-published sources of Medfield families make the Medfield Historical Society a valuable New England genealogy center. The Wight Family Collection contains extensive diaries, and letters dating to the 18th century and is the beginning for any search. Church records, cemetery inventories and family files round out the collection.
We have extensive records on the Adams, Allen, Baker, Barber, Baxter, Boyden, Bullen, Chenery, Cheney, Clark, Derby, Dwight, Ellis, Fairbanks, Fisher, Frairy, Hamant, Harding, Hewins, Hinsdale, Kingsbury, Lovell, Mason, Metcalf, Morse, Newell, Partridge, Sewell, Smith, Thurston, Tilden, Wheelock and Wight families.
Scholars and people interested in local history come to our research center to learn about a wide variety of topics. Some of the most popular subjects:
- King Philip’s War
- The Anti-Slavery Movement
- Medfield During the Civil War
- Hannah Adams
- Lowell Mason
- Ralph Wheelock
- Early settlement of Medfield
- Architectural history & how to research “my” old house
- Medfield State Hospital (Medfield Asylum)
- Straw manufacturing
- Trolley transportation
- Veterans, war records
Vine Lake Cemetery is first and foremost a cemetery. In addition, it is a National Historic Place, an outdoor museum, a peaceful and dignified open space, a repository of family history. If you are interested in exploring the cemetery and its rich history, you can make your cemetery visit easier and more informative by downloading the free Vine Lake Cemetery app on your mobile phone or tablet to locate gravesites, explore memories, and take walking tours.