True Locals

Postcard of Old Derby Academy

Old Derby Academy

Hingham has many local legendaries who not only resided in the town, but truly lived and breathed Hingham.  They may not be well-known outside of the area, but their names can be found all over town and in the memories of current citizens.

Ann Whiton had a scandalous reputation in the 18th century as an unmarried woman living with her companion and their three children.  Ann owned a tavern that was the gathering place for many Hingham residents, especially during the Revolutionary War, and the location is now known as Queen Ann's Corner.

Sarah Derby, on the other hand, was a very wealthy woman in the 18th century who was revered by local residents for her generosity.  She used her wealth to help esablish the medical school at Harvard College and also to create the first co-educational school open to both boys and girls from all walks of life in.  Not having been given the opportunity to receive an education as child, she wanted to ensure that this was remedied for future generations.

George Cushing was a 19th century man of many talents, owning the very success Cushing House Hotel as well as being appointed the first Fire Chief.  This savvy businessman used his creativity not only to provide excellent services to his hotel guests, but also to continually improve and redesign the fire department.  The result was an efficient and impressive response to all fires in Hingham.

 Another true local was Washington I. James, who began his career as the Assistant Superintendent of Melville Garden and ended it as the first Police Chief.  In the latter position he had to deal with crime, danger, and new technology that constantly tested his abilities to improvise and maintain order.  He was quite successful in doing so and was much beloved by the people of Hingham.

 These individuals are a testimony to the vigor and ingenuity of Hingham residents, as well as their love and dedication to their home town.