Historical Scavenger Hunt

Hingham is filled with markers and memorials dedicated to those people—and pets—who made a difference in the community’s success

Written by Dave Kindy  Photography by Jack Foley


Where It All Started

In September 1635, Rev. Peter Hobart and other English settlers arrived on these shores and established the town of Hingham. Though it’s hundreds of feet from the coast today, a bronze plaque on North Street marks the place where they landed and set up shop nearly 400 years ago.


First Meeting House

A lot happened here! Located near the intersection of North and South streets, the Hingham plaque marks the sites near where First Meeting House (1635), First Burying Ground (1635), First School House (circa 1661), Fort (1676) and Derby Academy (1784) were all established. Quite an impressive array of firsts!


Abraham Lincoln Statue

Just across the street from the Samuel Lincoln House is a memorial honoring the builder’s distinguished descendant. The bronze statue of a solemn, seated Abraham Lincoln bears the inscription “With malice toward none, With charity for all.” It was created by sculptor Charles Keck and dedicated in 1939.


Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Memorial Park at Common and Main streets honors Hingham residents who made the ultimate sacrifice. It includes monuments and markers for those who fell in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The park was formerly known as Matthew Hawkes Square, named for an early settler of the town.


Old Ship Church

A lot happened here! Located near the intersection of North and South streets, the Hingham plaque marks the sites near where First Meeting House (1635), First Burying Ground (1635), First School House (circa 1661), Fort (1676) and Derby Academy (1784) were all established. Quite an impressive array of firsts!



Hingham has more monuments honoring veterans at Town Hall. Inside is a plaque listing the names of residents serving in the “World War 1917-1918.” In front of it is the empty POW/MIA Chair honoring those who never returned. Just outside Town Hall is the Veterans Memorial with a large bronze globe.


Loring Hall

When Hingham needed a “building for Lectures, Picnics and Social Meetings of all kinds,” native son Col. Benjamin Loring donated the money for it. Today, Loring Hall still stands on Main Street but with another role added to the list. Originally built in 1852, it was refurbished as a movie theater in 1964. 


Benjamin Lincoln House

Major Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who blazed a trail to glory during the American Revolution, accepted Lord Cornwallis’ sword of surrender at the Battle of Yorktown. His great grandfather Thomas—another Abraham Lincoln ancestor—built the Benjamin Lincoln House in 1665. Eleven generations of the family lived in the home on North Street.


Hingham Deed

Stored at the Hingham Public Library is the original deed for Hingham. Signed in 1665, the patent granted English settlers title to the community “from the beginning of the world” by the Massachusetts Indians and includes the mark of their leader Sachem Wompatuck. A copy is displayed at Town Hall.


Old Ordinary Tavern

For 150 years, weary stagecoach travelers on the road from Boston stopped at the Old Ordinary Tavern to refresh with “an ordinary meal” and a pint or more of cider. Built in 1686, the museum is located next to the Hingham Historical Society’s Olmsted Garden, Old Fort and Arts and Crafts Annex.


Soldiers and Sailors Monument

During the Civil War, Hingham sent hundreds of young men to fight for the Union cause. Many did not return home. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Hingham Cemetery honors those brave 74 citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice. The 30-foot monument made of Quincy granite was erected in 1870.


Herbert Lewis Foss Grave Site

Hingham’s only Medal of Honor recipient is buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Hingham. During the Spanish-American War, Herbert Lewis Foss cut a communication cable in Cuba under heavy fire that had already wounded several sailors. The U.S. Navy seaman received the nation’s highest honor for valor on July 7, 1899.


Angel of Grief

Hingham’s Angel of Grief is a copy of a famous 1894 statue on a grave in Rome that American sculptor William Wetmore Story made for his wife. The figure has been replicated at many graveyards, including Hingham Cemetery. This large depiction of a weeping angel was erected in 1912 over the grave of Maria L. Hooper.


Memorial Bell Tower

Erected in 1912, Memorial Bell Tower near the Old Ship Church was built to commemorate the 275th anniversary of the founding of Hingham. Restored in 2019, the town-owned structure includes 10 bells similar to those at St. Andrew’s Church in Hingham, England, where many of the town’s original settlers first lived.


Bare Cove Fire Museum

Sound the alarm! The Bare Cove Fire Museum is your place for four-alarm fun on the history of firefighting in New England. Located on Bare Cove Drive, the museum includes a large collection of artifacts, equipment and documents, as well as restored motorized fire apparatus, including a 1922 Maxim Motors ladder truck.


Old Derby Academy

Established in 1784, Old Derby Academy was the first coeducational school in America. Now it is home to the Hingham Historical Society and its collection of 18th century artifacts, portraits, documents and more depicting the community’s proud heritage. The building is available to rent for meetings and social gatherings.


Gloria War Memorial

Dedicated in 1929, the Pro Patria et Gloria War Memorial at Victory Park on Hingham Harbor is often called the “Iron Horse” statue, even though it is really bronze. It also features a young man holding a torch honoring those who served in the military. The Latin inscription means “For Country and Glory.” 


POW Memorial

In 1986, residents dedicated the POW/MIA Memorial on Hingham Harbor to remember those prisoners of war and missing in action in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict. All three flags—United States, POW/MIA and Blue Star—will continue to fly until all service members are accounted for.


A Salute to Bismark and Butch

Hingham is home to graves of two other veterans: Bismark and Butch, U.S. Marine Corps mascot dogs. They are buried in Bare Cove Park, next to the Department of Public Works Building, which once housed the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot. The dogs received full honors, including firing squads, when they died.


Landing Ship Tank Memorial

During World War II, Hingham Shipyard was an important manufacturing site for the landing craft that brought Allied troops ashore on D-Day. The LST (Landing Ship Tank) Memorial at the shipyard remembers the sailors who died piloting these vessels at Normandy to help liberate Europe during World War II.