Self-Guided Tours

Take a self-guided walking or bicycle tour at your
own leisure following routes through Dedham’s neighborhoods, or sign up for a guided seasonal
walking tour.

Please note we also have Seasonal Guided Walking Tours

Walking Tour of Historic Dedham Village

The tour takes about an hour to complete (though there are a few shortcuts if you’re pressed for time). The tour route is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

1. 612 High St., Dedham Museum & Archive

One of the oldest historical societies in the United States, the Dedham Museum & Archive houses a library, archives, and museum. It also owns one of the foremost collections of Dedham Pottery. This was the original site of Jeremiah Shuttleworth’s home, Dedham’s first Postmaster in the late 1700s. The home served as the town’s Post Office and a dry goods store. Jeremiah’s daughter, Hannah Shuttleworth, bequeathed the house and funds to the Dedham Historical Society for the construction of the current Romanesque building in 1888.

2. 619 High St., Nathaniel Ames House and former Christian Science Church

Nathaniel Ames Jr. (1708-1764) was a physician, but was most famous for writing New England’s leading almanac. He was the father of Fisher Ames, who was elected to the first U.S. Congress in 1789, beating Founding Father Samuel Adams. He was also the father of Nathaniel Ames III, also a physician, (1741-1822) who built this house in 1772 and carried on the tradition of the “Ames Almanack” until 1775. The federal style house is now overwhelmed by the mass of the former Christian Science Church, constructed in 1946 and recently converted to a gallery and event space.

3. 622 High St., Nest

One of the few remaining wood frame commercial structures on High St. that is still in use. The at front and large display windows are typical of commercial structures of that time. Another example of a 19th century store front is around the corner at 20 Court St.

Tour of Veteran’s Monuments and Memorials

Dedham has many monuments to its veterans. This tour takes you on a route to visit sixteen. In addition, you can take an additional tour using this interactive map.

1. Start at the Town Hall. Inside, up the stairs in the lobby, on the left are the Civil War Tablets. Originally placed in the old Memorial Hall, these tablets now reside in the Town Hall. They list the names of the Dedham residents who fought in the Civil War. Outside the Town Hall, there are two granite monuments. One is dedicated to all those who served in the Armed Forces from Dedham. The other places a special emphasis on 9/11 and Jeffrey Coombs.

2. Walk towards Washington Street and turn left onto Washington Street. Turn right on Marsh Street. On the corner of Marsh Street and Court Street on the left is the Rochambeau Marker. This is a marker to commemorate the French Troops who stayed in Dedham on their way from Newport to Boston under Rochambeau. Although this does not honor American veterans, it is a reminder of an important ally in the Revolutionary War.

3. Turn right onto Court Street. Turn left onto Village Ave. The Cemetery is on the left. The Village Cemetery was set aside by settlers in 1636 and was given multiple additions in the years to come. Walking towards the back corner of the Cemetery, away from the St. Paul’s Church and Village Ave, you will find the Civil War memorial. This particular memorial honors the soldiers from Readville, then a part of Dedham, who died in the Civil War. Located next to it is a memorial for the Ship Maritana, and its captain and crew.

Bike Tour Photograph

Bike Tours

Do you enjoy bike riding and are curious about the history of Dedham? Take a ride and experience the landscape and infrastructure of the town from different periods as you move through several neighborhoods; it’s a good way to think about the decisions people made in the past that shaped the town, and decisions we are currently making every day about what we want for the town’s future. This bike tour is a collaboration of the Dedham Historical Society & Museum, the Dedham Cycle Club, and the Dedham Public Library. Research about the historic stops was conducted by Dedham Historical Society & Museum. The tour was developed for a group ride held on September 18, 2021.

Some of the tour’s highlights:

  • Courthouse and Jail
  • Tavern sites
  • Fairbanks House
  • Mother Brook & Mills in the area
  • Stagecoach Routes and Bike Races!

 

Tour Facts:

  • Total biking time is about 2 hours and follows 9.1 miles. You can do as much or as little as you like.
  • This ride is suitable for a wide range of biking levels. Please remember to wear your helmet, be aware of your surroundings, and take precautions. Dedham Historical Society & Museum, Dedham Cycle Club, or the Dedham Public Library are not responsible for your safety when following this bike tour.

 

Recommended Apps: The tcx file can be used on apps such as RidewithgpsStrava, and Komoot.

Sacco and Vanzetti in Dedham: A Walking Tour

Sacco and Vanzetti were accused of killing a guard and paymaster at a shoe company in Braintree on April 15, 1920. The trial drew international attention. Convicted and eventually executed, people locally and around the world claimed the two were innocent and decried the decision over concerns of bigotry because the two were immigrants and anarchists. The trial was held in Dedham, the seat of Norfolk County, over June and July of 1921. The two were executed in 1927.

This walking tour takes people to the locations and along the route where Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti would have walked to and from the jail and courthouse, and to other notable locations where others associated with the trial would have walked.

Mother Brook Historic Walking Trail

Take a walk along the historic Mother Brook, stopping to read the historic markers along the way. Thank you to Dan Hart for creating this tour.

DM&A School Field Trips

Get a glimpse into Dedham history with a field trip to The Dedham Museum & Archive. This free, hour-long program, designed for Grades 3 and up, gives students an unusual opportunity to gain a hands-on museum experience while learning about local history.

  • We offer an engaging, interactive museum experience for school children.  We give students an opportunity to take a close-up look at original documents and historic objects.
  • The program provides students with an opportunity to wear museum gloves and handle historic artifacts while comparing and contrasting historic objects with their contemporary replacements.
  • As part of the program, students will visit the museu, library/archives and examine historical documents and photographs that provide a fascinating look back at Dedham history.
  • The Massachusetts Frameworks are the basis for this program, and museum staff work with teachers to incorporate local history into the visit.

* Field trips dates can be scheduled to meet your school’s needs.

*Groups are limited to approximately 30 students and must include 1-2 adults for every 10 children.

*Contact the Fairbanks House at 781-326-1170 about visiting their site on the same day.

For reservations please contact us at 781-326-1385

info@dedhamhistorical.org

P.O. Box 215
Dedham MA 02027

We regret the Dedham Museum & Archive building is not handicapped accessible.

Due to limited parking, buses should drop-off students at the Society and return one hour later for pick-up.

This program is sponsored in part by the Dedham Women’s Club.

Dedham Museum & Archive
612 High St.
Dedham, MA 02026

Disclaimer: Dedham Museum & Archive is not responsible for your safety while you are following any of the tours, or sections thereof, noted above. Always use caution and take safety precautions. Following any of the routes in this section is an acknowledgement of your taking full responsibility for your safety and well being.

Belong To Something Lasting