Will Holton and John Morrison

Bringing Early Boston History to Life: Creating and Growing the Partnership of the Historic Bostons

The Partnership of the Historic Bostons was launched as an all-volunteer organization in 1999 when the Mayors of Boston, Lincolnshire, UK and Boston, Mass. signed an agreement linking our “Mother Town” and its “Daughter City”. In 2003, the Partnership assumed responsibility for the “Boston Charter Day” celebrations from the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Rappaport Foundation.

Our mission is promoting public history, and while many residents and tourists have some familiarity with Boston and the Revolution, other than the Mayflower, few know much about the founding and early years of our city. Over time, we broadened our mission from preserving the historical links with Boston, Lincolnshire to exploring how the 17th-century puritan founders of Boston and the Bay Colony helped shape the principles upon which the United States of America was established.

We’ll cover how the organization came into existence and the challenges and key initiatives at each stage of it’s growth. We’ll also tell you what we’ve discovered about attracting an audience and creating and offering public history programs to a broad audience, as well as how we measure our impact.

The Partnership of the Historic Bostons will have a table to discuss their upcoming programs as well as volunteer opportunities.

Will Holton, PhD

Will Holton, PhD, (cssh.northeastern.edu) is President Emeritus and the founding president of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University.

John Morrison

John Morrison is President of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons (historicbostons.org) and has been active with the Waltham Historical Society. His architectural-cultural-design interest led him to become tour leader with Boston by Foot. He began Partnership activities with the reading group at Mass Historical Society and was elected a trustee of the Partnership and treasurer in September 2016.

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