NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Freetown Historical Society Museum

1 Slabbridge Road, Assonet, MA 02702
(508) 644-5310

The early life of Freetown can be traced back to its purchase from Wamsutta and Weetamoe in 1659. That was when Freetown residents included Tabacason, who operated a ferry for Wampanoags across the Taunton River, and another native, Pianto, who farmed on four acres. From there the town developed with industries in iron ore, saw mills, grist mills, textiles and guns at a time when the wharves along the Assonet River were home to world-sailing schooners working in commerce and whaling in the 1800's.
Our Museum site is a hidden gem with over 10 acres and 8 buildings, including the Main Building where you'll see the original diaries of Medal of Honor recipient, Major John M. Deane, which record his time during his battles for the union in the South, as well as his saddle, blanket and chest. You'll see antique furniture, fashions, bicycles, sewing machines, implements and tools, including the steam engine used for powering machines to make textiles at the former Monument Manufacturing Company and the sleigh used to bring the town's mail from the railroad depot to the Post Office. On display are hundreds of old pictures, relics and memorabilia, including keepsakes from the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World Wars.
There is also a replica of Mason's Corner School, where you can hear the original bell, sit in desks from the many local one room school houses and view pictures of classes through the ages. If you like antique cars you can view the Museum’s display which includes a restored 1928 Franklin and a 1931 Model A Ford, both owned and driven by former Freetown residents.
You can visit the recreated Sellars Blacksmith Shop that stood in the Assonet Village section of Freetown and see the forge and tools used in the DeMoranville Blacksmith Shop which operated near Chace Village in East Freetown. While there you can sign up for one of our blacksmithing classes.
Another building is the Saw Mill, with tools, machinery and old contraptions that highlight how this mill operated.
Come sit and listen to the organ in the Advent Christian Chapel, a turn of the century chapel moved to our site in 1975, from Chace Road in East Freetown.
Stop by the Carriage Shed and see our display of farm implements, cranberry bog tools and firefighting apparatus, including the engine, Narragansett, build by L Button and Company in 1846 and purchased second-hand in 1887 for $800.00.
Shop at the Sharock’s General Store. This is a replica of the original which is still standing on County Road in East Freetown. Experience how locals shopped in the days of “ice boxes”, telephone operators, and hear the wonderful ring of our cash register.
If you have early American roots you may be able to trace your ancestry back through Freetown to its New England origins. The Museum library features one of the largest genealogical and local family histories in the area.