History of the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society:

In 1884 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.

Funds 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.

In 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 Library).

Construction started on the first Goff Memorial Hall, a large, wooden Victorian-style building, and it was dedicated in March 1886. On 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 Antiquarian Room to the ground.

A new 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.

The 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).

Rehoboth Antiquarian Society
4 Locust Avenue
Rehoboth, Mass. 02769-2321
Phone: 508-252-3031