Beginning in Weymouth, the South Shore Irish Heritage Trail meanders through Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, Scituate, Marshfield, Duxbury, and Kingston before ending in Plymouth. We invite visitors to come in groups, as families, couples, or alone.
Begin or end the trail at any point. People can spend a day in one town or visit two towns in one day. or spend a week or more enjoying all the South Shore has to offer.
Céad Míle Fáilte awaits.
Weymouth lured Irish and Irish Americans because jobs were plentiful. Shoemaking was an important industry offering decent paying jobs and job security enabling Irish immigrants and their offspring the ability to save money to buy homes and raise families. Many Irish neighborhoods were established by these skilled laborers. Their descendants celebrate their “Irishness” to the present time with Weymouth’s Annual Irish Heritage Days.
Irish immigrants came to Hingham between the 1850s and 1870s. According to the history Not All Is Changed (L.L. and F.R. Hart, 1993, Hingham Historic Commission), the largest number were from County Cork, though Tipperary and other Irish counties were represented among the families who made Hingham their new home. Those who settled here had little education and chose Hingham for the work opportunities, often in the town’s factories. The immigrant Irish community in Hingham in the late 19th and…
The scenic town of Hull sits on a peninsula on the southern entrance to Boston Harbor. It’s the smallest town by land area in Plymouth County but played an important role in the history of Irish America.
In many ways, Cohasset is the typical New England town with white steepled church overlooking a lovely common and duck pond, lined with antique colonial homes. Nearby an active village main street is lined with historic buildings, charming shops and restaurants that range from French bakery specialties to lobster rolls and fine dining. The almost Maine-like rocky coastline attracts boaters, artists and adventurers. In this paradise, the largest shipwreck on the South Shore occurred, taking the lives of 99 men,…
Roughly halfway along the Trail is the town of Scituate, said to be the most Irish community in the entire United States. When the first immigrants arrived here in the mid 1800s, they noticed a familiar seaweed growing on the rocks along the coast. In Ireland they called it carrageen; we call it Irish moss. Generations of Scituate men (and a few women) helped feed their families with income from the sale of Irish moss, long a staple in foodstuffs,…
Marshfield is located halfway between Boston and Cape Cod. Its ties to Ireland run deep dating back to the actions of the town’s leading citizen, U.S. Senator Daniel Webster who led a campaign to provide food aid to Ireland during the disastrous potato famine in the mid 19th century.
The beautiful town of Duxbury, located on Cape Cod Bay just north of Plymouth, was originally called Mattakeeesett (“place of many fish”) by the Wampanoags as early as 12,000 to 9,000 years ago. Shortly after the English Colonists arrived in Plymouth in 1620, some notable settlers began moving north. These included Captain Myles Standish, William Brewster the Elder, John and Priscilla Alden. With increasing population, Duxborough was incorporated in 1637. For the succeeding 200 years the town was a quiet…
In 1847, the Gustavus was loaded with 50 tons of Kingston corn which it transported to Ireland to aid victims of the devastating potato famine. Its captain was besieged by starving Irish seeking passage back to America. By 1860, Kingston was home to 108 people who were born in Ireland.
The Town of Plymouth bears the distinction of being the only town on The Irish Heritage Trail, and in fact all of the South Shore, to have a dedicated Irish Collection in its Public Library. The Collection began with funding from Genevieve Ash, and has continued to grow up to and including the present time.
Enjoy the summer on our beautiful South Shore and be sure to visit some of the 33 sites on the South Shore Irish Heritage Trail.
Come fall, when the nights turn crisp, we will have a magical evening featuring Irish Art. This will be a Black Tie/Black Velvet Soirée you won't want to miss.
Details will follow after Labor Day.
Keep peeking at this site for other surprises.
Until then "Happy (Irish Heritage) Trails, to you!"
Peter Mehegan's Keynote Address for the South Shore Irish Heritage Launch Ceremony was abbreviated due to the strong and bright sun beating down on our guests. It is printed in its entirety here: Distinguished guests. Ladies and Gentlemen: (I thought I’d left Florida in the rear view mirror. You will not be unhappy I suspect if I keep this brief) There’s an old Irish joke about a priest driving a bit erratically on a country road in Cork when he gets pulled over by a policeman who notices a half…