Settled in the 17th century, Hingham is a charming place for 21st century living—shopping, strolling dining, sightseeing, worship, boating, biking and a host of other recreational activities are accessible in its many parks and historic streetscapes. With a unique demographic mix of old time Yankees and young families, combined with a sprinkling of artists, writers and entrepreneurs, Hingham’s residents are united by their appreciation of the town’s historic beauty and strong identity, not to mention its proximity to Boston. Located on Hingham Harbor, downtown Hingham is within half an hour of Boston by MBTA commuter train from South Station or by car, via Rt. 3 (exits 14 and 15), or on the 220 MBTA bus from Quincy Center Station.
The historic streetscapes of today’s downtown Hingham are populated by distinctive shops, antique homes and inviting restaurants. Its small scale and historic feel are truly authentic. Laid out in the 1630s on ancient Native footpaths, North and South streets flank the Town Brook, now buried by the Greenbush rail line. The eastern end of North Street was once the center of Hingham’s ship building and fishing trades. Much like today its many colonial buildings housed a lively assortment of families, shops, workshops and taverns. Before that, this tranquil harbor area was a favorite fishing and camping spot for Native Wampanoag peoples. Heading west along North and South streets, shops quietly merge in to one of the richest original collections of 17th and 18th century homes in the United States. Downtown is bounded on the south by Hingham’s oldest burying ground and the First Parish Meeting House (built 1681). Old Ship Church, as it is known locally, is the only remaining Elizabethan Gothic church in New England. Interpretive plaques and house markers sprinkled throughout the downtown area highlight the four centuries of history that has been quietly accumulating in Massachusetts’ 12th oldest town.