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, 2018

Robert Kitchen

Robert Kitchen, recipient 2018

Robert Kitchen, a long-time member of the Fall River Historical Society (FRHS), is being recognized for his outstanding service over several decades. He has done exceptional work in promoting the history of Fall River and its multi-cultural people through organizing and presenting educational lectures and online exhibits. Bob has also given countless volunteer hours to the FRHS over many years.

Bob was born and raised in the Flint section of Fall River. His father’s family emigrated from Lancashire, England, in the 1880s, to work in the city’s textile mills. His mother’s family came from New Brunswick, Canada, just before the turn of the 20thcentury; prior to coming to the United States, his maternal grandfather was a subsistence farmer. Upon arriving in Fall River, the majority of the family ended up working in the mills.

Educated in Fall River, Bob attended the Davol and Davis elementary schools; he later attended B.M.C. Durfee High School. While in his junior year, Bob joined the Coast Guard Reserve and, upon graduating in 1956, reported for two years active duty serving on an Ocean Station cutter out of Boston. He attained the rank of Quartermaster 3rd Class and was discharged in 1958, but remained in the Coast Guard Reserve, retiring in 1979 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Following his active duty, he attended Bridgewater State College, graduating in 1962 with a Bachelor’s degree, with a concentration in Earth Science. He earned his Master’s degree at the same college in 1966. It was while he was an undergraduate at Bridgewater that he met his future wife, Cathy, marrying in 1963. They have three children – Vicki, Rob, and Jon – and four grandchildren – Nick and Zachary Laury, and Spencer and Charlotte Kitchen.

Following his graduation, Bob was hired by the Portsmouth, Rhode Island, School Department, spending all thirty-seven years of his professional career teaching in that town; he taught all grades between 5 and 12, but most of his years were spent at the high school where he taught Earth Science and Oceanography. For the last twenty-eight years of his career, he served as Science Department chairman. Bob was inducted into the Rhode Island Science Teacher’s Hall of Fame in 2000. Following his retirement, he worked for a tour operator in Newport, conducting bus tours for the cruise ships passengers, holding that job for sixteen years.

Bob’s volunteer career at the FRHS started around 1990, when he began working with Mrs. Brigham giving tours; he currently serves on the board of directors. Among his other activities, he served on the Parade Committee for the Fall River Bicentennial Parade, was involved in Fall River Youth Hockey for many years, and coached JV Hockey at Portsmouth Priory and Bishop Connelly High School.


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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.