In the late 1800s, James Tuttle ran the Tuttle Poultry Farm at his family’s property located at 105 Ward Street. Soon after his death in 1906, his wife and great great grandmother to current Hingham resident Joyce Barber, Henrietta (Simpson) Tuttle, began running a one week overnight camp for black children from Boston. Learn more
On July 8, 1924, the Boston Globe reported a flaming cross on Beal Street in Hingham. According to the article, police believed that members of the Ku Klux Klan had something to do with the incident. From 1927-1927, according to Not All is Changed, the Hingham Journal also reported four "fiery" crosses: one behind Lovell's greenhouse (this is very likely the Beal Street cross reported in the Globe), one at the back of Linscott Road, one in the Damstra meadow, and one atop Otis Hill.
The Town approved zoning changes that made it possible to help establish Bradley Woods. Original documents from this development reveal that racially restrictive covenants were part of the deeds of these homes. The deeds state in section G that “No persons of any race other than the Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot, except this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of another race domiciled with an owner or tenant.” Read more
Hundreds of Black soldiers and sailors came to live in Hingham during WWII. They were not only segregated in the service, but also segregated in Hingham. They were not welcome at the Recreation Center. According to the Hingham Journal, the soldiers “know that segregation to a certain degree is mandatory [but] what to do to make them feel at home?”
The South Shore Citizens Club is co-founded by Hingham residents Marion “Mother” (Lindsey) Teague and her father, Herbert Lindsey on February 24, 1942 (the organization was incorporated May 12, 1961). Throughout the years, the SSCC planned and executed many different kinds of events, including dances, annual breakfasts and buffets, teas and fundraisers. According to records, they also raised scholarship money for "minority" students on the South Shore. Read more
The U.S. Navy announced it would take the land now known as Wompatuck State park to create a Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex. To do so they evicted families and closed streets and “... took the property from the poor people .. some were black families.” Admirals who participated in the acquisition told Hingham citizen, Tom Sweeney, years later that “if you people had protested just a little more, we would have yielded.” This acquisition forced many poor families to move out of Hingham.
Herbert Lindsay and Mabel Diggs, with the help of a Hingham Recreation committee, organized a dance for “colored sailors stationed locally” in the Agricultural Hall (now the site of the Hingham Public Library). Guests enjoyed refreshments and several dances such as “a conga line, jitter bug contest, waltz contest, slipper dance and elimination dance.” Shirley Bonitto is recorded as the secretary of the group responsible for the dance.
Born on Nantucket to Cape Verdean parents, David DeLuze moved to Hingham in 1942 to seek employment at the Hingham Shipyard, where he was placed on the waitlist. He found work in New Hampshire until he was finally offered a job at the Shipyard in 1943. Mr. DeLuze worked first as an oiler and then became the Shipyard’s first Black crane operator. Up until World War II, the racially segregated Navy limited Black sailors to the role of mess attendants, but the demands of the war forced the Navy to begin training them for other jobs, often involving dangerous tasks with ammunition. Read more
On May 11, 1944, the USS YF-415, from the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot, sank 14 miles off Nahant with a crew of 30 men while performing a routine dump of obsolete ammunition. 11 of the 17 crew members who were lost were Black sailors. Today the ship sits 240 feet below sea level. View the video of the October 2004 memorial service.
The Hingham Fourth of July parade was led by a Black band and two military units. Many musicians who would continue on to become famous Jazz musicians were stationed or stopped over in Hingham and were part of the Hingham Depot Ammunition Band during the war including John Coltrane (in 1945), Al Grey, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Tommy Ridgely.