Grand Army of the Republic Hall, 1825
353 Country Way, Scituate
This historic structure is open throughout the year for Society lectures, presentations, & exhibits. The G.A.R. Hall is also available to rent for private functions and events.
In 1825, the Baptist Society contracted with Zeba Cushing to build a meeting house on land purchased from Nehimiah Curtis. By 1866, the meeting house was too small for the growing Baptist flock, so the Baptist Society sold the building to Joshua Jenkins for $600.
Jenkins converted the meeting house into a hall, constructing a stage and renting to social and benevolent groups for meetings and entertainments.
In 1875, one hundred and twenty veterans who had served in the Civil War formed the George W. Perry Post No. 31. In 1883, the veteran group purchased the hall from the Jenkins family, renaming the Grand Army Hall.
For the next 50 years, the Grand Army Hall was the center of town gatherings. Patriotic speeches echoed from its walls on Memorial Day, July 4th, and later on Armistice/Veterans Day. Many an old soldier, who had shouldered a musket in Mr. Lincoln’s Army as a young man, recounted stories of the War. The Women’s Relief Corps organized events to raise money for disabled veterans and their families. The Sons of Union Veterans, Charles F. Bates camp, raised money for the care of veterans’ graves.
In addition to Post activities, the GAR Hall hosted high school recitals and dances, minstrel shows, political debates, liberty loan drives, holiday pageants, whist parties, suppers and numerous other events. With the passing of Scituate’s last Civil War veteran – Francis M. Litchfield – in 1936, the Women’s Relief Corps and the Sons of Union Veterans assumed management of the GAR Hall.
In 1953, the Town of Scituate took over the Hall, and, for the next twenty years it was used regularly. Time and neglect, however, had begun to take its toll on the aging structure.
The Scituate Historical Society recognized the inherent historical value of the property and committed to its restoration and preservation. In 1997, the Town sold the building to the Scituate Historical Society. With the help of Community Preservation Act funding, it took six years for the Grand Army of the Republic to be renovated into the fine meeting hall that it is today.
On July 26, 2008, a refurbished and restored Grand Army Hall of the Republic reopened for its one hundred and eighty-third year of community use. The years have come full circle. Once again, the Hall is alive with the Society’s GAR Hall Lecture Series – an entertaining and provocative series of presentations of area authors, journalists, historians, and personalities. The GAR Hall is also available for private rental for functions and events.
When you visit, you will be immediately struck by the beautiful original pine floors and the outline of the straight-backed church pews from 1825 and the Baptist Society days. Printed on the walls are excerpts from letters that Scituate soldiers sent home from the Civil War battlelines… and photomurals of the fine men and women of the Grand Army of the Republic Veteran Post No. 30 wrap the space in their memory.