The Fall River Historical Society is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting artifacts relative to the history and multi-cultural people of Fall River. We serve the public through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and cultural events, and frequently partner with the city and other non-profit organizations in presenting events for the benefit of the community.About Us
Founded in 1921, Fall River Historical Society (FRHS), the oldest cultural institution in Fall River, Massachusetts, is an important resource for scholars, researchers, other museums and historical societies, and the local community. Dedicated to preserving the history of Fall River and sharing it with the public, we maintain significant collections of costumes and accessories, decorative arts, furniture, ephemera, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and manuscripts. We also have distinguished maritime and Fall River textile industry collections.
The museum is housed in a French Second Empire mansion that was once a station on the Underground Railroad. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure features a magnificent period interior, while our beautiful grounds with Victorian gardens provide a memorable venue for functions such as weddings and cocktail parties and for special events. Our exhibits include the world’s largest collection of artifacts pertaining to the life and trial of Lizzie Borden, and the FRHS curators are recognized as leading Borden case authorities. Our distinctions also include The Charlton Library of Fall River History, a first-rate Museum Shop & Boutique, our annual Holiday Open House, and Easton Tea Room, a popular spot for social events and meetings.
To promote public understanding of Fall River history, we stage exhibits, host lecture series, and partner with the city and other organizations to present events for the benefit of the community. We are a leading provider of cultural and family-friendly events such as plays, concerts, and festivals.+
Incorporated in 1921, Fall River Historical Society (FRHS), a Public Charity, is the oldest cultural institution in the city and is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting artifacts relative to the history and multi-cultural people of Fall River. We serve the public through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and cultural events, and frequently partner with the city and other non-profit organizations in presenting events for the benefit of the community.
The FRHS is recognized in the Greater Fall River area as a leading provider of innovative cultural programming.+
Fall River Historical Society was founded by a group of individuals intent on preserving the history of Fall River, once an important textile center with the distinction of being the world’s largest producer of cotton cloth. The Society was originally housed in rented rooms in the Buffington Building, a commercial structure that was destroyed by fire in 1928. At that time, the majority of the collection acquired by the organization was lost, save a few important artifacts. The organization found a permanent home in 1935 when David Anthony Brayton (1900 – 1975), scion of a prominent city family, donated the residence of his late aunt, Elizabeth Hitchcock Brayton (1865 – 1935). Remarkable for its fine state of preservation, the structure, once a station on the Underground Railroad, is the only intact example of the mansions built by the affluent mill owners during the period of Fall River’s greatest prosperity.
The FRHS operates as both a house and local history museum, featuring period room settings and exhibits on various topics. Its holdings of objects, ephemera, and archival material constitute the largest and most important collection of its kind.+
Our Board of Directors 2023-2024