This finding aid is not a complete record, but is a record as of January 2024. The index is very basic, not detailed, but hopefully will be helpful. Items added after this point in time will be recorded when convenient.
The archives are in secure storage. Many of the materials are fragile, and we are not able to allow access to all items. Scholars should contact the minister or the archivist to inquire about access.
[N.B.: Additional records have not yet been catalogued. Most of this uncatalogued material is from the past fifty years.]

First Parish Archives Shelf List

Shelf — Contents
A1 Books [Bibles, prayers, poems]
A1 Rolls [blueprints & drawings]
A2 History box
A2 Clerks’ books box
A3 Ministers box / books
A3 Ministers’ books box
A4 Buildings & Grounds box
A4 Members box [obits, lists]
A5 Orders of Service
A5 Newsletters
B1 Lenten Manuals
B2 Financial Matters boxes
B3 Records of First Parish
B3 Annual Reports box
B4 Religious Education box
B4 Events box
B5 Clubs & Organizations

A1 Books


*Hymn and tune book for the church, the home and services for congregational worship. Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1868-1869.  215 pages.  Spine title “ Hymn and tune book and liturgy.”
*Book of prayers and praise for congregational worship. Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1893.  377 pages. Inside cover – “Pew no. 24; presented to A. B. Tower, September 1904 by Aunt Lydia [?] N. Bates, sister-in-law of Uncle Newcomb”. On cover “Newcomb Bates”
*Book of prayer and praise for congregational worship. Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1893. 377 pages. Inside cover – “41”.
*Sacred biography, or, the history of the patriarchs, to which is added, the history of Deborah, Ruth, and Hannah. Being a course of lectures delivered at the Scots Church, London Wall. Boston: Manning and Loring, 1794. By Henry Hunter, D.D.  The first American edition V.1 224 pages, V.2 242 pages. Spine title “Hunter’s sacred biography”.
*The holy Bible, containing the old and new testaments. London: Oxford University Press, no date.  Front cover “Presented to Robert A Storer[?] in September 1930 by friends at the home of Helen Nelson, Waltham, Massachusetts”. On front cover “R.A.S.”
*The holy Bible, containing the old and new testaments. Presented to Nancy Leigh Hendrickson, by Plymouth Congregational Church / Howard J. Conn, minister, June 7, 1953 [Has a fancy frontispiece]
*The holy Bible, containing the old and new testaments. Boston: Congregational Publishing, 1932.  Illustrated and with maps. At the end – “Helps in the study of the Bible”, edited by Sidney A. Weston, PhD. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1932.  62 pages [study guide]
*The holy Bible, containing old and new testaments. London: Collins’ Clear-Type Press, 1939. Old testament, 813 pages. New testament [red letter edition], 248 pages.  Illustrated and with maps. Front piece “Presented to Anne Berry by Mother and Daddy, December 25, 1941.”  At end, “Selected helps to the study of the Bible from the works of Rev. Charles H.H. Wright, D.D., 64 pages. Some notes by Anne inside.
*Tender and true: poems of love. Boston: George H. Ells, 1886.  180 pages.  In front, “Ella [?] G. Nichols with the kind regards of Joseph Osgood, Cohasset, October 17, 1888.  Separate card – “Book given by Mr. Osgood to Mrs. Edward Nichols on her wedding day.”  Cover title “Tender and true”

A1 Rolls

*Osgood House [Parish House], scale ¼” = 1 foot; first floor plan, measured and drawn by Edward Nichols, Architect, prior to the removal of the porch, trellis, partition between the parlor and sitting room & a portion between the laundry and kitchen.  Note by G.S.Tower, December 5,1957.
*Plan of the furnace cellar of the Meeting House; + the vane on the Unitarian church, Cohasset, MA.  Scale 1 ½ “ = 1 foot; + plans of the Parish House, no date.
*Blue prints, etc. of the rebuilding of the spire on the Meeting House. No date.
*Pencil sketches by Edward Nichols, architect.  “The fluted wooden casings enclosing the iron columns which support the gallery of the Meeting House were made from these sketches.  Save these sketches for the record.  They could be used for having new columns made if the Meeting House should burn.” Gilbert S. Tower, February 23, 1958. In a cardboard tube.
*Blueprints of:
-The north elevation of the Meeting House
-The front elevation of the Meeting House
-The rear elevation of the Meeting House
-The south elevation of the Meeting House
-The cross-section looking south toward the street
-The cross-section looking toward the pulpit
-The cross-section of the cellar
-Plan of the furnace cellar and elevation of the pulpit
-Plan of the first floor and pews
-Plan of the gallery
-Plan of the weather vane

A2 History Box


*Architectural details of the Meeting House, Nichols, October 8, 1906
*Jacob Flint Two discourses containing… 1822
*Several books bound together
-An address on the character & services of George Washington by Jacob Flint, February 22, 1832
-A discourse delivered in Cohasset in the First Congregational Church, October 27, 1867 by Joseph Osgood, on the 25th anniversary of the First Parish, 18 pages.
-Two discourses, containing the history of the church and society in Cohasset, delivered December 16, 1821, being the first Lord’s day after the completion of a century from the gathering of the church in that place, and the ordination of the first pastor, by Jacob Flint, 37 pages.
-The 25th anniversary of the wedding of Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Osgood,  May 20, 1869.
-The invitation to the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Rev. Joseph Osgood, October 26, 1892.
-A sermon delivered by Rev. Joseph Osgood on the 50th anniversary of his first occupation of the pulpit, July 17, 1892.
-Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rev. Joseph Osgood’s ordination, essay and photos, October 26, 1892.
-Ellen Devereux Osgood, essay by Joseph Osgood, with photo.
-Order of exercises at the installation of Rev. William Roswell Cole, Dec. 9, 1896.
-Centennial anniversary of the Town of Cohasset, May 7, 1870.
-Dedicatory exercises at the opening of the Paul Pratt Memorial Library, July 13, 1903.
-Booklet – 150 years of the old meeting house in Cohasset, 1747-1997, by William Cole
-A discourse preached in the First Congregational Church following the death of Joseph Osgood, by William Cole, August 7, 1898.
-Inside front cover – handwritten information on the Meeting House, etc.


*Meeting House history by William Cole, 1899
*Meeting House history by William Cole, 1907
*Meeting House 200th anniversary service, 1947
*First Parish church history, by Rosecoe Trueblood, 1947
*First Parish 250th anniversary dramatization, October 1966
*Contemplating starting a nursery school, 1951
*Handwritten history of the Meeting House, no date
*Miscellaneous items
-Massachusetts Historical Commission survey – Meeting House, 1980
-Photo of the Meeting House, Boston Globe, November 29, 1984
-Site visit by Orville W. Carroll, September 29, 1984 [see more in Buildings & Grounds box]
-Letter to Mary Hartshorne from Orville W. Carroll, October 15, 1984
-Article, “New England Meeting House and Church 1630-1850, from Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, 1979
-Article, “Listing your house in the National Register”, Historical Preservation, June 1985
-Article, “Landmarks of Massachusetts” [includes photo of the Meeting House], Boston Traveler & Evening Herald, March 27, 1914
-Hard to read photocopy of original stock book of Paul Revere Foundry, 1795
-Program for the 200th anniversary of the Meeting House, December 14, 1947
-Invitation to the 200th anniversary
-A grant for Conohasset [sic] Meeting House from the town’s Book of Early Landgrants, copied from Hingham
-An 1886 essay, “Manifest Destiny” about the Meeting House
-Photo from the Cohasset Mariner of someone spray painting new clapboards for the Meeting House on the lawn, November 7, 1985
-Photo from the Cohasset Mariner of the Meeting House, June 7, 1984
-Photocopy of photo of spray painting clapboards, Cohasset Mariner, November 7, 1985
-Article on the 200th anniversary from the Patriot Ledger, December 15, 1947
-Article by  Burtram J. Pratt, no date, no source
-Article, “First Parish Meeting House, a familiar site in Cohasset”, Cohasset Mariner, May 29, 1986
-Map of Cohasset with information
-Article, “You’re invited to First Parish restoration party”, Cohasset Mariner, June 12, 1986
-Flyer, “The steeple is back!” [fundraiser]
-Photocopy picture of the Meeting House [not painted white], no date
-Cohasset First Meeting House – picture of the steeple struck by lightning
-Dedication service for the new addition to the Parish House, November 27, 1960
-Dan Harper’s article, “The Parish House in 1721” [re 2023 renovations], August 24, 2023
-Deed to the Parsonage [?] from the Davenports, June 1915
*Book – History of First Parish, by Gilbert Tower, July 1962


-First Parish bylaws [3 copies], October 25, 1935
-Undated draft of the First Parish bylaws
-Undated articles II and III of bylaws, certified by Thomas Lothrop, no date
-Bylaws of First Parish no date
-Handwritten draft of bylaws, no date
-Legal looking copy of the bylaws, no date

A3 Ministers Box


*Rev. John Browne 1747-1791
*Rev. Josiah Crocker Shaw 1792-1796
*Rev. Jacob Flint 1798-1835
*Rev. Harrison Gray Otis Phipps 1835-1841
*Rev. Joseph Osgood 1842-1898
*Rev. William R. Cole 1896-1919
*Search Committee 1919-1922
*Rev. George Mark 1919-1921
*Rev. Frederick Gauld 1922-1937
*Rev.Harry Meserve 1938-1942
*Rev. Roscoe Trueblood 1945-1949 1951-1968
*Rev. Gaston Carrier 1950-1951
*Rev. Edward Trivett Atkinson 1969-1995 [sermons]
*Miscellaneous ministers
-Rev. Eizabeth Tarbox 1997-1999
-Rev. Jenifer Justice 2000-2001
-Rev. Jan Carlsson Bull 2004-2010
-Rev. Jill A. Cowie 2012-2016
-Rev. Robert W. McKetchnie 2016-2022
-Rev. Dan Harper 2022- [+ installations program, 10-1-2023]
-Richard Presco 1952
-Mr. Nobbs 1921


*Fifty Years Pastorate by Rev. Joseph Osgood [also 4 loose ones]
*Miscellaneous articles
*I Was Alive and Glad, poems by Rev. Roscoe Trueblood, 1971
*Ministers and Meeting Houses of Ye Olden Time, 1966 [on shelf]

A3 Clerks’ Books Box

*Clerks’ Book 1825-1897
*Clerks’ Book 1898-1942

A4 Building and Grounds Box


*Construction & maintenance – blueprints, etc.
*Building & Grounds
-Copy of deed & Declaration of Trust conveying Parish House to First Parish
-Letter to Gilbert Tower from C. Lothrop re insurance for Meeting House and organ, July 1918
-Insurance to Rev. George Mack from Charles Gammon re deed for Parsonage, April 28, 1920
-Inventory of Parish House property, August 1933
-Report of Committee on Charter by Gilbert Tower, 1932 [?]
-Report of Parish House Committee, 1944-1945
-Several letters between Ed Tower, James White and G.W. Colliet to Ignatious Francis re cement his cement walkway on First Parish property, 1954
-Letter to Samuel Hassan from the Osgood Club re enlargement of the Parish House, December 9, 1956
-Report of the Maintenance Committee, April 4, 1956
-Report of the Working Committee for the Needs of the First Parish church, January 10, 1952
-Report relative to major repairs to Parish property, April 10, 1957
-Report of the New Building Committee, December 11, 1957
-Report of the Building Repair Committee, December 11, 1957
-Warrant for Special Meeting on January 15, 1958
-Blueprint of Parish House [2]
-Contract between First Parish & Louis A Langelli for Parish House work, April 25, 1960
-Recommendation of Maintenance Committee for an exterminator, July 7, 1963
*Construction & Painting
-Letter to Gerald Berggren from Max Pounder re low bid for painting of Meeting House, July 22, 1985
-Letter to Steven Hawkins from Max Pounder re low bid for painting of Meeting House, July 22, 1985
-Letter to Richard Redfield from Christopher Burgess re renovation of steeple, August 30, 1983
-Brochure from Granville Mfg. Company re price list for clapboards, 1984
-Blueprint of Meeting House replacement frame from south elevation,1984
-Letter to Max Pounder from Orville Carroll re notes on Mr. Carroll’s site visit, October 16, 1984
-Paint samples, 1984
-Work scope, etc. for Meeting House restoration and painting, from Aldrich, Pounder & Assoc., June 24, 1985
-Drawing of front and side entrances to Meeting House
-Report, “A Specification for the addition & alterations of the Parish House for First Parish”, 1959/1960
-Architectural drawing, “Foundation & Basement Plans”, Meeting House, 1958
-Parish House Committee Report, 1953/1954
-Report of the Maintenance Committee, March 20, 1963
-Article, “Cohasset to celebrate restoration of church”, 1986
-Article, “Bound for the Heavens”, Boston Globe [photos of Meeting House steeple], July 23, 2010
-Article, “Historic spire to get makeover “, Boston Globe, March 22, 2010
-Photo from the Patriot Ledger, of the Meeting House in the snow
-Article, “Steeple Chase” by Bruce Irving, Design New England, December 2007
-Report of the New Building Committee, December 11, 1957
-Photo of the Meeting House organ [in center of balcony], 1892
*Meeting House Repairs
-Article, “First Parish renovations grow more complex”, February 24, 2000
-Massachusetts Building Survey – Meeting House description, April 9, 1980
-Proposal to provide consulting services for the renovations & additions to the Parish House & Trueblood Hall at First Parish, March 6, 1997
-Report on structural & electrical conditions in Meeting House and Parish House at First Parish, October 26, 1956
-Letter to G.M. Flint from Cleverdon, Varney & Pike re the Meeting House & Parish House at First Parish, December 12, 1958
-Report of the Building Repairs Committee, June 23 1959
-List of costs of renovations of the Meeting House and Parish House, to Louis A. Langelli from G.M. Flint, January 9, 1958
-Specs for alterations to first floor of the Meeting House [papers stuck in-]
>Payment bond for work on Parish House & Meeting House, Hartford Insurance, November 8, 1958
>Performance bond for work, Hartford Insurance, November 19, 1958
>Performance bond & labor and material  bond, April 26, 1960
>Letter permitting the use of the common for construction, Nov. 11, 1958
>2 certicficates of insurance – manufacturer & contractor and workmans’ comp & liabilities, November 10, 1958
-Article, “Restoration project underway at First Parish church on the common”, by Quinn Kelly, Patriot Ledger, no date, but after March 2020

A4 Members Box


*Memorial Services and Obituaries [various memorial service programs and newspaper obituaries about past members]
*Miscellaneous people [articles on some members]
*Membership Committee Reports
-April 13,1955
-April 4, 1956
-Description of the committee, no date
-Unitarian yearbooks [reports], 1939-1942


*Attendance at First Parish services 1945-1964
*Pew tax book 1899
*Sunday collections 1901-1904
*Pew tax book 1904-1909


*Recording numbers at services, etc., November 4, 2001 – August 22, 2004


*Directories & folder with 1932 [X3]
*Nehemiah Hobart’s Book of Records, 1745 [photocopy]
*Pew map, no date [circa 1900]
A5 Orders of Service


*September 1974-June 1978
*September 1978-June 1981
*September 1983-June 1987
*September 1987-June 1990
*September 1989-June 1992
*September 1992-Summer 1993
*September 1993-Summer 1994
*September 1996-June 1998

A5 Newsletters


*Newsletters 1983-1998

B1 Lenten Manuals


*1991, Commitments
*1993, Moments
*1994, Gifts
*1998, The View From Where I Sit
*1999, This Old House
*2000, Memorable Personal Encounters
*2001, This Special Earth of Ours
*2003, What Gives Me Strength
*2006, Hope
*2007, Promises Kept
*2018, The Story of a Smile
*2020, What Music Means to Me

B1 Folders


B2 Financial Matters Box 1


*Treasurer’s reports 1893-1963 [incomplete run],  2011, 2022
*Miscellaneous Financial  / Insurance
-Short list of donations from members, no date
-Letter from G. Lothrop to Dean James, “First Parish insurance expiration dates” and amounts, August, 16, 1919
-List of expenditures continuing, 1933 or 1934 [?]
-Hard to read letter
-Estate of Ruth Bourne from her lawyer
*Canvasses and Requests for Donations, 1916-1956 [incomplete run], 2011-2024


*First Parish in Cohasset Treasurer’s  Book, #1
*First Parish in Cohasset Treasurer’s Book, #2, Russell Tower, 1909-1923
*First Parish in Cohasset Treasurer’s Book, #3, Russell Tower, 1900-1920
*First Parish in Cohasset Treasurer’s Book, #4, 1929-1941

B2 Financial Matters Box 2


*Treasurer’s Book [only a few pages filled], 1894-1900
*Book #1, April 25, 1944 – April 28, 1945
*Cash book, April 1, 1904 [also some loose pages stuck in]

B3 Records Shelf


*First Parish Records, January 29, 1953 to April 10, 1957 [some annual meeting reports, some canvass reports, some other committee reports]
*First Parish Records, April 25, 1957 to March 17, 1960 [some miscellaneous papers stuck in]

B3 Annual Report Box


*Year Books [Annual Reports], 1899-1916 [incomplete run]
*Annual Reports [1962-1963, 2010, 2017-2022
*Parish Committee Reports, 1946-1965 [incomplete run, some have no date]
*Miscellaneous Reports
-Report of the Nominating Committee, April 11, 1955
-Warrant, April 12, 1920
-Warrant, April 18, no year
-Report of the Unitarian Universalist Committee on Federal Union, February 1952
-Re the appointment of the Appraisal Committee, 1962 [?]

B4 Religious Education [RE] Box

[some of these use the terms Church School or Sunday School]


*RE rolls and reports, 1849-1858 [2 letters stuck in]
*RE rolls and reports, 1916-1920
*RE rolls and reports, 1921-1925
*RE rolls and reports, 1927-1939


*Christmas Tree Festivals, 1904-1918
*RE reports
-Miscellaneous RE activities, June 1946
-Charlotte Fox’s report on the “little folks class”, no date
*Report of the Flower Committee
*RE annual meeting, April 4, 1917
*Reports of the Kindergarten & Primary class, 1936-1937
*RE report, 1936-1937
*RE report, 1938-1939
*Gertrude E. Young’s resignation from Superintendent of Church School, April 20, 1949
*RE report 1951
*Letter from William B. Russell reluctant Superintendent of Church School] with problems of the Sunday School [such as needing more space, etc.]
*RE Treasurer’s report, April 25, 1951
*RE annual reports, 1952, 1956, and 1962-1963
*RE Treasurer’s reports, 1952, 1954
*Booklet – RE January-May 2001
*Announcement of new DRE, Kate Sullivan, July 7, 2023

B4 Events Box


*First Parish events
*Community events and fundraising


*Carnival, June 1947
*Publicity Committee reports, 1934-1940
*Carnival notes [with articles], 1935-1937
* Parish Party Scrap Book, 1902-1933

B5 Clubs & Organizations, part 1 Box


*Miscellaneous organizations
-American Unitarian Association
-American Unitarian Youth [AUY]
-Evening Alliance
-Hobart Club
-Ladies Charitable Society
-LRS [?]
-Osgood Club
-Unitarian Service Committee, 1951-1952
-Unity Alliance
-Women’s Alliance


*Ladies Charitable Society, 1892-93, 1895-1907, 1912-1934
*Lend a Hand Club, 1895
*Young People’s Religious Union, 1897-1903, 1901-1904,1903-1908, 1903-1910, 1904, 1904-1905

B5 Clubs & Organizations Part 2 Box


*Unity Club Alliance 1896-1911, 1896-1901, 1901-1908, 1908-1914, 1915-1921, 1921-1925 [all separate books]
*National Alliance, 1893-1899, 1899-1903, 19??-1907, 1907-1910, 1914, 1915-1923 [all separate books]

Sealed envelope:

*Bills relating to National Alliance


*Unity Club Alliance papers / National Alliance papers
-Unity Club 1944-1945
-Programs of the Cohasset Branch the National Alliance, 1913-1954
-Report of the treasurer, Unity Club, March 21, 1918
-President’s report, Unity Club, 1937-1940
-Donations to [or from?] Unity Club, April 20, 1942
-Annual report Unity Club, April 16, 1941
-Annual report Unity Club, April 1942
-Annual report Unity Club, April 1946
-Annual report Unity Club, April 1947
-Letter from President Musa C. Scott, November 13, 1949
-Gifts given out, no date