Due to a major infrastructure project, the FRHS Museum will be closed until further notice, starting July 23, 2023.

The Museum Shop is closed until further notice.

Florence Cook Brigham Award, 2016

J. Thomas Cottrell Jr.

J. Thomas Cottrell Jr., recipient 2016

A lifetime member and benefactor of the Fall River Historical Society, Tom Cottrell grew up in Fall River. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Force during World War II as a Bombardier-Navigator. He spent his professional career as an executive with the Cottrell Paper Co. based in Rock City Falls, New York, where he served as chairman, CEO, and president for thirty years.

Tom is a former board member and past president of the Fall River Historical Society, serving in the latter capacity from 1985 to 1993. He has been one of the organization’s greatest donors of artifacts for the museum and archival collections. During his tenure as president, he completely revitalized the Society on all levels; if not for his guidance and perseverance, the Fall River Historical Society would not exist in its present form.

Tom’s involvement in the greater Fall River community has been extensive. He is a founder, past president, and past chairman of the board of the Marine Museum at Fall River. He formerly served on the board of directors of R.A. McWhirr Co., B.M.C. Durfee Trust Co., Durfee-Attleboro Bank, and as a trustee of Citizens Savings Bank and the Home for Aged People in Fall River. He is a past president of the former Greater Fall River Foundation, an incorporator of Charlton Memorial Hospital, an incorporator of the Colonial Navy of Fall River, and a past member of the steering committee for Fall River Heritage State Park.

In 1993, Tom was the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce’s Recognition Award.


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Contact Us

  • 451 Rock Street, Fall River, MA 02720
  • (508)-679-1071
  • cha@fallriverhistorical.org
  • Due to a major infrastructure project, the FRHS Museum will be closed beginning July 22, 2023. The Musem Shop is closed until further notice.