a young Rehoboth minister, George H. Tilton, decided that something should
be done to preserve the remnants of the town’s colonial past. Thus
inspired he founded the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society
in March of that year. The Society was established for several purposes:
to preserve artifacts relating to Rehoboth's history, to maintain a
meeting hall, and to run a consolidated school.
were raised by selling $10.00 shares to individuals, and were matched by
Mr. Darius Goff, a wealthy Pawtucket mill owner. Mr. Goff also donated one
acre of his father's homestead on Bay State Road for a building site.
Rev. George H. Tilton
Thomas W. Bicknell
1885, Thomas W. and Amelia D. Bicknell donated five hundred dollars to the
Society for the purpose of establishing a public library in the memory of
her parents, Christopher and Chloe Blanding (currently the Blanding Public
Construction started on the first
Goff Memorial Hall,
a large, wooden Victorian-style building, and it was dedicated in March
the first floor were a schoolroom, library, and antiquarian room. The
second floor was a large meeting room. In July 1911, the building was
struck by lightning and burned to
Goff Memorial Hall was quickly planned and built (this time of brick), and
was dedicated in May 1915. The consolidated school only operated for
one year, but the Society still operates Goff Memorial Hall and The
Blanding Public Library.
Society no longer operates as a stock-holding entity and membership is
open to all.
At present the RAS owns and
operates the Carpenter Museum & E. Otis Dyer Barn located at 4 Locust
Avenue and Goff Memorial Hall & Blanding Public Library located at
124 Bay State Road in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Both sites can be
found on Bay State Road between Winthrop Street (Route 44) and Anawan
Street (Route 118). Click on
Mapquest for a detailed map with