Founded in 1961, the Hanson Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and studying the history of the town of Hanson, Massachusetts. Meetings are held from April through November at Primary School 4 on Main Street, and enjoy guest speakers who provide lectures on local and national historical topics.
The Society is also host to several special events throughout the year, including the long running summer Strawberry Festival and new Tales of the Grave cemetery tour in the fall, with future exciting events in the works. We also collect manuscripts, books, photographs, furniture and other artifacts pertaining to history of Hanson and its families.
First settled in 1632 as the western parish of Pembroke, Hanson was officially incorporated in 1820, and was named for Maryland publisher of the Federal Republican newspaper and U.S. Senator Alexander Contee Hanson. A champion of free speech, Hanson was also an American lawyer and statesman, he represented the third district of Maryland in the U.S. House, and the state of Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
The town's early industry revolved around farming, as well as bog iron and quarrying. Mills also popped up along the rivers during the nineteenth century. Today, the town is mostly residential, with some farming and cranberry farming. Ocean Spray was first started by several bogs in Hanson and remained headquartered in town before moving to Plymouth in September 1977.
Hanson was home to the Plymouth County Hospital, a tuberculosis sanatorium, located on Bonney Hill, opening in 1919 and remaining open until 1992.