The Milton Historical Commission was formed in 1973 to identify and chronicle the architectural and historical resources of the town of Milton, Massachusetts. Established under the Massachusetts Historical Commission (Chapter 40, Section 8d of the Massachusetts General Laws) the Milton Historical Commission began its mission by identifying extant residences that met the criteria of either historic and/or architecturally significant to the history and development of the town.
Settled in 1640, Milton, Massachusetts was once a part of Dorchester, Massachusetts and was referred to as “Unquety” the term used by the Neponset Tribe of the Massachusetts Indians as meaning “Lower Falls” which was translated into the Lower Mills after the establishment of the Stoughton Grist Mill in 1634. In 1662, after petitioning the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony, “that part of the Town of Dorchester which is situated on the south side of the Naponsett River commonly called Unquatiquisset” was established as an independent town and named Milton in honor of Milton Abbas, Dorset, England.
The year after the historical commission was formed, a celebration was held to commemorate the Two hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Suffolk Resolves on September 4, 1774 at the Daniel Vose House, now known as the “Suffolk Resolves House” and owned by the Milton Historical Society. The house, originally at 34 Adams Street in Milton Village, had been moved in 1950 to 1370 Canton Avenue by Dr & Mrs. James B. Ayer, where Mrs. Ayer restored the house. It was bequeathed to the Milton Historical Society upon her death in 1963. The House, a composite of a late seventeenth century house and a mid eighteenth century house, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Concerned with preserving history as well as identifying historic houses, the historical commission published The Story of the Suffolk Resolves which was written by Mary Webster and Charles Morris. This fascinating booklet chronicles the years leading up to the signing of the Suffolk Resolves at Daniel Vose’s House in Milton Village, and lists the grievances outlined by the representatives in the Suffolk Resolves; taken by patriot Paul Revere to Philadelphia, they were accepted with alacrity by the Provincial Congress on September 18, 1774. In addition to this booklet, the commission began a systematic inventory of houses in town that met the criteria for inclusion in the architectural survey. In 1987, the Milton Historical Commission prepared the first Historic District nomination with Milton Centre being prepared with the center of religious and town life being outlined.
In subsequent years, the commission has successfully nominated other Historic Districts in Milton that includes Milton Hill, Scott’s Woods, Brush Hill and the Railway Village Historic Districts. The commission has also commissioned a video on Milton, Massachusetts that was prepared to outline the history and development of the town. Today, the commission continues its efforts to chronicle the history and development of the town, especially in the twentieth century when tremendous changes took place.
Further information on the Milton Historical Commission can be obtained by contacting:
The Milton Town Hall
525 Canton Avenue
Milton, Massachusetts 02186
Copies of historic district surveys and individual architectural survey forms are kept in the Reference Room of:
The Milton Public Library
476 Canton Avenue
Milton, Massachusetts 02186
The copies can also be obtained from:
The Massachusetts Historical Commission
Dorchester, MA 02125
The Milton Historical Commission welcomes any information you might have on the town, its history or houses that might be included in our history database.
Much of the text used in this Web Page of the Milton Historical Commission was gleaned from the architectural and historical surveys complied by Edith G. Clifford.