A long history of Quakers in the Pembroke area

A 1929 picture of the Friends Meetinghouse.


A 1929 picture of the Friends Meetinghouse.

1661 – Edward Wanton buys a farm on the North River in Scituate where he starts a shipbuilding business and founds a Friends group.

1668 -- The Scituate Friends group builds a meetinghouse at Wanton’s Shipyard on the North River in what is now Norwell.


1706 – Robert Barker Jr. builds a second meetinghouse for the Friends group on a hill overlooking the North River in what is now north Pembroke.

1730 – The local Quaker group decides to dispose of the Scituate meetinghouse.

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1730-1876 -- The local Friends meeting continues to worship at the Pembroke meetinghouse.

1876 – The Pembroke meeting is disbanded due to declining membership

1934 – The Pembroke Friends Meeting Association is formed and acquires the meetinghouse for the purpose of preserving it.


1960s – Local Quakers start the South Shore Preparative Meeting, worshipping in New England Friends Home, in Hingham.

1974 – The Friends Meetinghouse is deeded by the Pembroke Friends Meeting Association to the Pembroke Historical Society.

1974 – Friends Meetinghouse in Pembroke is deeded to the Pembroke Historical Society.

1988 – Friends Meetinghouse undergoes its first major restoration since 1853. The South Shore Preparative Meeting starts to use the building for summer worship meetings.

2012 – The South Shore Preparative Meeting begins using the restored Bethel Chapel in Pembroke for its winter, spring, and fall worship meetings.

Source: An account written by Bob O’Hara for Pembroke’s 275th anniversary book, updated by Elizabeth Bates for Pembroke’s 300th anniversary book
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