The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an organization of women that actively promotes and conserves our national heritage. Our activities are focused on historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects.

We strive to preserve, learn about, and pass on to future generations an understanding of our Colonial heritage as part of the many diverse contributions that make up the richness of America’s culture.

The Massachusetts Colonial Dames is organized as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We own or operate three historic houses in Massachusetts – the Prescott House in Boston, Quincy Homestead in Quincy, and Martin House Farm in Swansea. Our properties are open to the public from May to November and at other times by special arrangement.

We also maintain an important costume collection (antique women’s clothing collection). We regularly display selected items from our costume collection in our houses, and offer special exhibits from time to time. Our costume collection is open to people doing research in the field, and appropriate items can be loaned to other organizations for special events.

We sponsor or host projects related to patriotic service by supporting those who have served our country with financial support of a veterans’ homeless shelter in Boston and several national programs, including Wreaths Across America and America’s VetDogs. Also, through our national organization, we support various scholarship programs that relate to American history and the hree national historic houses. We participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s national portrait survey and the NSCDA’s historic sampler survey, each of which adds to our understanding our past.

chandelier in sitting room
antique table

Mission

Through the historic preservation of our three properties, patriotic service, and educational projects, The National Society of Colonial Dames in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts works to inspire all people to understand and honor our origins as a nation.

“The Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames has been always concerned with future Americans as well as commemorating and restoring the glories of those of the past.”

A History of the Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America 1893-1937
By Virginia Atkinson Gardner

Values

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America works to inspire all people to understand and honor our origins as a nation. We understand that by promoting respect for the people, places and events that led to the formation of our country, we can inspire the patriotism of our fellow citizens.

spinning wheel

History of the NSCDAMA

National Society of Colonial Dames was founded by a group of women in New York City

Quincy Homestead exterior

The Massachusetts Society is incorporated and Mrs. Henry Parker Quincy is elected the first president

Quincy Homestead wheels

Massachusetts and six other associations were admitted to the Nation Council

Quincy Homestead exterior

The Massachusetts Dames help to save Quincy Homestead by buying the property, giving it to the Commonwealth and leasing it back for 99 years

Quincy Homestead feather pen

World War I

The Dames raised funds for the war effort by supporting the purchase of hospital beds in Belgium and donating to The Navy League. Along with the National society, Massachusetts supported equipping a hospital ship, and purchasing Liberty Bonds.

The National Society along with the Massachusetts Dames build the portico over Plymouth Rock.

spinning wheel

American Samplers

NSCDA/Massachusetts published- "American Samplers" by Ethel Stanwood Bolton & Eva Johnston Coe

Martin house exterior

Martin House Farm is bequeathed to the Massachusetts Dames by Susan Tabor Allen, a New York Dame and an 8th generation Martin descendent

Quincy Homestead exterior

National Society celebrates its Golden Jubilee

Ladies working during WWII

World War II

Ladies working on projects for the war effort (WWII) in Mrs Webster's music room. Some of their activities included paying for two mobile canteens sent to England, opening a work room to make garments for the Red Cross, and made their “special philanthropy” a hut in Ketchikan.

Mrs Edwin Sibley Webster 1944

Purchased the William Hicking Prescott House which became our headquarters in 1946

Mrs. Edwin Sibley Webster, President from 1942-1947

Prescott House exterior sign

The National Parks designated the William Hicking Prescott House a national Historic Landmark

Quincy Homestead desk and chair

Celebrated Golden Jubilee

Quincy Homestead antique chair

Celebrated our Centennial Jubilee

Martin house exterior

A living history program was developed for Martin House Farm and all 5th graders in Swansea, MA attend

Quincy Homestead exterior

Quincy Homestead was designated a National Historic Landmark

Quincy Homestead cross stitch

“American Experience”

The PBS show “American Experience” filmed at Quincy Homestead while filming a documentary on John and Abigail Adams

Prescott House exterior

Gala celebration of the William Hicking Prescott House

Quincy Homestead blue pottery

Given the Lamar Award for a excellence in historical activities

Sarah Prince Colburn

Purchased a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Sarah Prince Colburn and later that year a portrait of her husband was donated.

Quincy Homestead map

Celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Society

Prescott House brick exterior view

William Hicking Prescott House was used in the filming of “Little Women”