Marshfield MA is one of the most popular destinations in the New England region. The small city is located along the Atlantic Ocean and it’s famous for its beautiful sandy beaches. There are many other fun attractions in Marshfield MA including its historical and cultural sites like the Daniel Webster Estate and Heritage Center and the 1699 Historic Winslow House & Cultural Center. There are many fun recreational facilities and public parks in the city where you can go and do sports or enjoy outdoor fun. The city also boasts many wildlife sanctuaries and habitats including the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary and the North River Wildlife Sanctuary, which are owned and maintained by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. As you can see, there are many reasons why people love visiting Marshfield MA. Actually, the population of the city is 25,000 people but it increases to 40,000 during the summer months due to a huge influx of tourists. Many people who visit Marshfield MA are now aware of its rich history. That is why we are going to explore the history of the city in this article.
The history of Marshfield MA can be traced back to about 10,000 when Native Americans like the Wampanoag Tribe of the Algonquin nation and the Massachusetts Tribe lived here. The first English settlers formed a friendship with the Wampanoags following an alliance between Chief Massasoit and Edward Winslow. Chief Massasoit died in 1661 and was succeeded by his son Wamsutta. Wamsutta died mysteriously in 1662 after being visited by the son of Edward Winslow and the 13th Governor of Plymouth Colony, Josiah Winslow. This sparked a brutal war between Wamsutta’s reigning brother, Metacomet and the colonists. The Native Americans were eventually defeated and the colonists took total control of the colony.
Marshfield MA was originally a part of the “New Colony of New Plimoth in New England,” which was established in 1620. The town was an early settlement for pilgrims. The town was originally called “Green’s Harbor” then “Rexhame” before being renamed “Marshfield” because of the saltwater tidal marshes along its three rivers. In 1632, Edward Winslow, a pilgrim from Mayflower established Marshfield as a separate settlement. He went on to become governor of Plymouth Colony. Winslow played a huge role in negotiating an alliance between the Native Americans and the British settlers. He also established the first church and school in Marshfield MA. Marshfield was officially separated from Plimoth Plantation in 1640.
Plymouth Colony was composed of freemen of the Colony and it had a Governor and a General Court. The “freemen” only included white males and did not include the Native Americans, women blacks, Quakers, indentured servants, or any other religious minorities. Plymouth Colony was divided into counties in 1658 and Marshfield was made part of Plymouth County. Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony joined in 1692 to form the Province of Massachusetts.
During the American Revolution, many residents in Marshfield MA were loyalists, also called Tories. This means that they remained loyal to the British Crown and opposed the Patriots who were fighting for independence. The residents of Marshfield MA even formed a Loyalist militia in 1774 called the “Associated Loyalists of Marshfield.”
Following independence, Marshfield MA continued to grow. Today the city is a semi-rural and suburban town. Most of the residents of Marshfield commute daily to Boston MA. There are many historic houses still standing in Marshfield today and some of the old farms are still around. The city attracts many tourists during the summer season because of its rich and unique history and its beautiful beaches. Notably, the Loyalist past of Marshfield has always been a dark cloud looming over the history of the city. You can always tell that the city has a sinister past because it’s July 4 celebrations have always been more subdued than all the neighboring towns.