Scituate MA Homes & Real Estate

Scituate is a suburb on the seacoast of the South Shore and like many similar towns nearby, it was once a summer colony but has evolved into a residential community over time. As of 2021, the year-round population was nearly 19,185 and it does expand during the summer months. The town was officially established in 1636 when it was big enough to incorporate separately from Plymouth. The name Scituate is derived from the Wampanoag term for cold brook, "satuit." Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, pieces of the original town were split off to form parts of existing Marshfield, Hanover, and Norwell, but it kept most of its beautiful coastline. It claims to be the birthplace of the Irish mossing industry in North America. In the recent past, it was ranked safer than 88% of U.S. cities and #3 best places to live in Plymouth County. Proudly, 85% of their public school students go on to higher education.

Scituate is known for the strength of its public school system. The district is made up of one Early Childhood Center, four elementary schools (Hatherly Elementary, Wampatuck Elementary, Jenkins Elementary, and Cushing Elementary), one middle school (Lester J. Gates Middle), and one high school. There is a multitude of private childcare and preschool options in town, as well as one small private Montessori school called Inly, which has students from toddler age through grade eight. Students are also able to attend nearby South Shore Regional Vocational School in Hanover for free.

The seventeen-square-mile town features four village districts: North Scituate, Scituate Harbor, Greenbush-Driftway, and Humarock. Though Humarock is often called Humarock Island, it is actually a peninsula settled between the South River and the ocean, accessible through Marshfield, and is marked by its unmistakable shoreline of smooth, flat rocks. The South River is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing in the summer. 

North Scituate Village, previously called Gannet Corner, is largely residential but also has a number of businesses lining Gannet Road and Country Way. 

Although the highway isn’t easily accessible from Scituate, the town does have two stations on the MBTA line for direct service into Boston: North Scituate and Greenbush. Daily serves is provided between Scituate and South Station in Boston and takes approximately 1 hour.

Scituate Harbor Village or Scituate Harbor Cultural District is home to not only the harbor but also a great amount of the town’s action. The area boasts beloved and long-standing businesses including restaurants, shops, galleries, and more. Front Street offers ample free public parking. On the first Friday of each month businesses keeps their doors open late to host special events with musicians, authors, and more. During the first Friday in May, the Scituate Harbor Art Walk allows businesses to host and display the work of local artists for viewers to stroll along and enjoy. Another unique traditional town event in this area is called Heritage Days. During a weekend in August, they close off a few streets for a vendor and artisan fair with live music and activities to celebrate the history of Scituate. 

Interestingly, about half of Scituate residents claim Irish ancestry (perhaps the highest percentage of any American town), and their well-known Saint Patrick’s Day parade is considered the largest on the South Shore, running from Greenbush-Driftway to the harbor.

Scituate’s coast is marked by four distinct cliffs. First Cliff is the northernmost and Fourth Cliff the southernmost, marking the edge of Humarock. The top five well-known beaches along the coast are Minot Beach, Egypt Beach, Humarock Beach, Peggotty Beach, and Sand Hills Beach, each with designated swimming areas. There are a handful of other operating beaches as well.

A great resource to get the most out of the underwater world in town is the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Miles off the coast of Scituate, Stellwagen Bank is an underwater plateau leftover from the last Great Ice Age, formed similarly to parts of Cape Cod. Through the Sanctuary you can go for a whale watch or scuba dive to enjoy the marine life.

If you want to get a sense of the history of Scituate, there are a few places you might want to visit. The Bates House, Mann House, and Cudworth House are each run partially as museums open to the public with rooms and artifacts on display. The latter two have gardens on the grounds maintained by the town garden club. The Old Oaken Bucket Homestead or the Woodworth House was made famous by poet Samuel Woodworth, born in Scituate in 1784. The Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum honors the people who developed and expanded the industries that the town was built upon with six growing and changing exhibits. Stockbridge Mill, built in 1650, still operates as one of the oldest surviving mills in the US. The Little Red School House is home to The Kathleen Laidlaw Center, managed by the Scituate Historical Society. It contains the town’s historical library and archives and often hosts visitors and events. 

A tourist attraction in town is the Scituate Lighthouse or Old Scituate Light, built in 1811 and now owned by the Scituate Historical Society. It sits on a picturesque area of the harbor and is sometimes open for tours and for climbing up to the top. In the same vein, The Lawson Tower, located off First Parish Road, is a major local landmark built in 1902 in the style of a European castle turret to enclose a steel water tank. It offers great views from the top when it is open to the public to climb. 

The Williams-Barker House, now called Barker Tavern, was supposedly built in 1634, making it one of Massachusetts’ oldest standing buildings. It has undergone some changes throughout the years, but is currently operating as a tavern and event venue with multiple dining rooms and a pub.

Although most residents in Scituate own homes, there are a few condominium and apartment options in town. The Village at Greenbush is an apartment community comprised of three buildings—two purely dedicated to living space and one with some business space and co-working office space as well. Some condo locations are: James Landing Condos, Whitcomb Pines, The Glen Condominiums of Scituate and Village at South River Townhomes. Seaside at Scituate is a 55+ community of carriage-style townhomes with elegant amenities and coveted ocean views located near Egypt beach.

If you’re looking for a furry friend, Scituate Animal Shelter is popular for those looking to adopt in the area, and the town dog park is brand new as of 2019.

There are Christian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Unitarian, Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic churches within the town’s borders. Many residents volunteer at the active food pantry to battle food insecurity in the surrounding community.

Widow’s Walk public golf course was rated "Readers' Choice Award" #1 Golf Course on the South Shore in the community newspaper for fifteen years straight, beginning in 1999. Aside from the course itself, the walking trail is lovely, and you may be lucky to spot some wildlife. Other sporting and social facilities in town include Scituate Country Club, Hatherly Country Club and Scituate Harbor Yacht Club. 

Scituate has two grass-covered town commons suitable for picnics or walks on a nice day. There are a number of waterfront and woodsy trails such as the AJ Maceachern Memorial Trail along Herring River and the Bates Lane Trails. Rivermoor Habitat Park and Conservation Park are beautiful areas as well as Cushing Memorial Park, the resting place for Chief Justice William Cushing who served on the first US Supreme Court from 1789 to 1819. He is known as the town’s greatest historical citizen.

Overall, Scituate has a coastal suburban vibe and some vivacious town culture. Although it’s not quick and easy to the highway, the train still makes Boston conveniently accessible. If you’re looking for unique harborside living, give Scituate a try. 

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Scituate June 22, 2024
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