In 1975 the Braintree Historical Society (BHS) erected a colonial style barn as a complimentary addition to the Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace. The post and beam construction of the barn is consistent with that of early American structures of its style. Although it is commonly referred to as simply “the Barn,” the structure’s official name is the Gilbert L. Bean Barn Museum. The Barn houses artifacts that would typically appear in colonial America.
Mary Bean Cunningham Historical Resource Center
In 1995 the BHS completed an addition to the Barn, called the Mary Bean Cunningham Historical Resource Center. The main level of this building contains two museum galleries featuring early American furniture, artwork, and military artifacts. The lower level houses the Research Center, which contains genealogical information on many prominent Braintree families as well as a large collection of military records and artifacts from those who served from Braintree. As of recently, the upper level contains a functional 1888 marine steam engine that was built at the site of the Fore River Engine Company, East Braintree, MA, founded by Thomas Watson, the co-inventor of the telephone. The upper room has been appropriately renamed the Thomas A. Watson Memorial Room.
Currently, the facility is only open periodically and during rare, Society sponsored events.