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flag  History of Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

Visit Dedham, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Dedham, Massachusetts, USA - Depot

Dedham, Norfolk, MA

Settled in 1635 by people from Roxbury and Watertown, Dedham was incorporated in 1636. It became the county seat of Norfolk County when the county was formed from parts of Suffolk County on March 26, 1793. When the Town was originally incorporated, the residents wanted to name it Contentment. The Massachusetts General Court overruled them and named the town after Dedham, Essex in England, where some of the original inhabitants were born.

Included in Dedham are: Stone Haven, Ashcroft, Endicot, Findlen, Jerusalem, Oakdale, Readville Manor, and Riverdale. mass_lookup.htm

There is MUCH more to discover about Dedham, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Dedham Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

Square, Dedham, Mass.
Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

Square, Dedham, Mass.
Court House
Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

Court House

Discover Dedham: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1636 - August 18 - The Covenant of the Town of Dedham, Massachusetts is first signed
1649 - Dedham inhabitants went to Wollomonopoag (Wrentham/Norfolk) to cut grass from meadows due to its scarcity in Dedham.
1660 - Dedham selectmen deputed men to search and view Indian lands around Wollomonopoag.
The appointed committee, reports back to the Dedham town meeting that they had been to view the lands at Wollomonopoag, near about the pond (Lake Pearl) by George Indians wigwam; and recommended a settlement there.
1661 - The Dedham general town meeting voted to set up a plantation at Wollomonopoag.
1675 - King Philip's War commenced. First company formed in Dedham under Captain Prentice.
1775 - Dedham raised a company of 60 Minute Men..
1839 - Dedham
Dedham, Massachusetts
Norfolk county. County town. This town is on Charles river, with a good water power. It is 10 miles S.W. from Boston, 35 E. from Worcester, 35 N.W. from Plymouth, 26 N. by W. from Taunton, and 30 N.E. from Providence. It has a beautiful court house of hewn granite. Its Indian name was Tiot. A rail-road from the centre of the town meets the Boston and Providence rail-road, about two miles at the eastward. The manufactures of Dedham the year ending April 1, 1837, amounted to $510,755. They consisted of cotton and woolen goods, leather, boots, shoes, paper, marbled paper, iron castings, chairs, cabinet wares, straw bonnets, palm-leaf hats, and silk goods. The value of silk goods manufactured was $10,000. Dedham village is very pleasant and possesses every inducement to render it a desirable residence for the mechanic or man of leisure. Population, 1837, 3,532.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - DEDHAM. [Pop. 3,290. Inc. 1635.]
For some time the first settlers called this town Contentment. Its name was changed to Dedham in honor of the martyr, John Rogers,
who preached at Dedham in England, and was probably known to some of the first settlers here.

From Dedham have at various times been formed the towns of Medfield and Medway, Wrentham and Franklin, Needham, Bellingham, Walpole, and Dover.

Dedham is watered by the Neponset and Charles ; and, as early as 1639, the citizens dug the first canal in the State, now called Mother
Brook, to connect Charles and Neponset rivers, and furnish suitable
sites for mills.

The chief manufactures are cotton, woollen, and silk goods, paper, shoes, bonnets, and cards.

The Ancient Oak, older than the town, is a curiosity, as is also the
pedestal of William Pittas Pillar, at the corner of Court House

Fisher Ames, an accomplished orator and profound statesman, was
born in Dedham.

Dedham is the county town, where the courts are held and the
records ...

1849 - Fire in Dedham. Loss of Life.
About 2 o'clock on Saturday morning, fire broke out in a house (formerly the alms-house) in Dedham, owned by Mr. J. F. Richards, which, together with another house and barn, was entirely destroyed. The houses were occupied by thirty-six Irish families. One of the tenants, Mr. David McHugh, was making his egress from his house, having under each arm a child, when he was run against by some one equally anxious to make their escape, causing him to drop one of his children, a boy about 7 years of age. Sad to relate, the boy was burned to death.
Boston, Massachusetts
July 20, 1849
1854 - Dedham
Dkdham, a post-township of Norfolk county, Massachusetts, on the south side of Charles river. Population, 4447.

Dedham, a post-village, capital of Norfolk county, Massachusetts, is situated in the above township, on Charles river, 12 miles S. W. of Boston; connected with the Boston and Providence railroad by a branch rail road about 2 miles in length. It contains 3 or 4 churches, a number of handsome dwellings, 2 newspaper offices, and a bank.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
DEDHAM, a township, capital of Norfolk co., in the state of Massachusetts, 13 m SSW of Boston, watered by Charles and Neponset rivers, and one of their branches, and intersected by Boston and Providence railroad, a branch which runs to the village which is situated on Charles river. Pop. of township, 3,920. It had in 1840, 12 stores,, 3 woollen factories, 2 cotton factories with 4,200 spindles, 2 tanneries, 4 grist and 4 saw mills, a paper factory, and 2 printing offices.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1880 - Oldest House in New England
A house built in 1639 still stand in Deadham, Mass., and is the oldest in New England. It is beautifully situated under heavily branching elms, with a moss-covered roof. Much of the original furniture, 240 years of age, still remains, and has been in the possession of one family, named Fairbanks, during all of that time.
Macon Telegraph
Macon, Georgia
March 21, 1880
Dedham Massachusetts, 1890
DEDHAM is a fine old town, the seat of justice in Norfolk County, about ten miles southwest of Boston by the New York and New England Railroad, which passes through the eastern side of the town. The northeastern part has two branches of the Boston and Providence Division of the Old Colony Railroad, which has a beautiful station of Dedham granite in the principal village. The town is bounded north by Needham and West Roxbury district (Boston), east by Hyde Park and Canton, south by Norwood and Walpole, and west by Dover. The Charles River forms a part of the northwestern line, and the Neponset the eastern line.

The assessed area is 12,224 acres, including 3,494 acres of woodland. The largest ponds are Buckminster in the southwest, whose outlet swells Bubbling Brook, and Wigwam Pond in the north, which sends its stream to Charles River. Near the latter stream is Mother Brook, discharging into the Neponset its own waters and about one third of the Charles River, drawn from it by a... Read MORE...

1895 - Dedham
Dedham, a post-village, capital of Norfolk co., Mass., is on Charles River, in Dedham township, and on branches of the Providence Branch of the Old Colony Railroad, 10 miles S.W. of Boston, the branches extending to Forest Hills, to Readville, and to West Roxbury. It has also a station on a branch of the New York & New England Rail road. It has a handsome court-house, 6 churches, a national bank, a savings-bank, a public library, a high school, 2 newspaper offices, and manufactories of woollen goods, chocolates, and cocoas. This is the native place of Fisher Ames. Pop. of the township, in 1890, 7123.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Dcdham, a banking post-village, capital of Norfolk co., Mass., and residential suburb of Boston, is on the Charles River, in Dedham township (town), and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R., 9 miles SW. of Boston. It has a handsome court-house, etc., and manufactories of woollen goods, carpets, machinery, pottery, etc. This is the native place of Fisher Ames. Pop. of the town in 1900, 7457.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
1921 - July 14 - Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti convicted in Dedham Mass, of killing their shoe company's paymaster
July 14, 1921
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Dedham:
Legacy Place:

This open-air shopping and entertainment destination has a variety of shops, restaurants, and a cinema. It's a great place to spend an afternoon shopping or catching a movie.

Dedham Square:

Explore the historic Dedham Square, which is lined with charming shops, cafes, and restaurants. It's a great place for a leisurely stroll and to soak in the local atmosphere.

Dedham Historical Society and Museum:

Dive into Dedham's history at the local historical society and museum. Learn about the town's founding in 1636 and its role in American history.
Mountain Reservation has hiking trails that lead to the summit, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Fairbanks House:

Visit the Fairbanks House, one of the oldest surviving timber-frame houses in North America. The house dates back to 1637 and offers guided tours for a trip back in time.

Noble & Greenough School Arboretum:

Explore the beautiful campus of Noble and Greenough School, which... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Dedham Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 97 ancestors who were born or died in Dedham.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Dedham, Massachusetts, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Dedham

Massachusetts Newspapers

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Updated: 10/5/2023 7:29:43 PM