billerica historical society

Overview: The Billerica Historical Society is a house museum: the Clara Sexton House dates to c. 1723 and is the only public repository in the Billerica community with displays relating to the town’s material culture. The institution possesses collections of artifacts including ceramics, glassware, pottery, silver, pewter, tin, copper, paintings, furniture, and clothing, as well as genealogical materials and other documents related to the history of the town.

American Revolution Materials: Holdings related to the American Revolution include materials addressing the lead up to the war, such as information about the tarring and feathering of Thomas Ditson. A resident of Billerica, Ditson was tarred and feathered by British soldiers on a visit to Boston after being accused of encouraging a soldier to desert the army.

The collections also include materials relating to the early days of the war. The Billerica Historical Society possesses documents relating to Minuteman participation in the march to Concord, as well as information about Asa Pollard, an American soldier and resident of Billerica who fought and died at Bunker Hill.
Furthermore, the archives contain materials related to daily life during the American Revolution. These holdings include papers related to the Reverend Henry Cumings, a Congregational Church pastor in Billerica during the American Revolution, as well as the Amos Wyman homestead, where John Hancock and Samuel Adams hid during the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Key Words: Samuel Adams, Battle of Lexington & Concord, Billerica, Boston, British army, Bunker Hill, Rev. Henry Cumings, Thomas Ditson, genealogical information, John Hancock, houses, soldiers/militia, Asa Pollard, religion, tar and feathering, Amos Wyman

Collection Policies: The Billerica Historical Society is actively seeking to expand its collections, mainly through donations, and is particularly focused on acquiring materials related to the early days and families of Billerica. Approximately half of the collection has been processed, and finding aids are available in print. The Billerica Historical Society has occasionally hosted exhibits locally, however, does not normally loan materials from its collections.