Thanksgiving Open House
Parson Capen House

Thanksgiving Morning,
November 23, 10am - 12pm
Free Admission

1 Howlett St, Topsfield, Massachusetts

Enjoy the old-fashioned Thanksgiving spirit with a visit to the Parson Capen House on Thanksgiving Morning.

Costumed interpreters roast a turkey on the open fire. Cider and treats will be served. Old-fashioned children's games on the lawn.

Bring your family and out-of-town guests!

See all of 2023-4 Programs! Download the flyer here.

PLEASE use our new parking lot! DO NOT PARK in the Emerson Center’s parking lot. If our lot is full when you arrive, park along the east side of East Common Street (same side as the Gould Barn) or on Main Street.

Topsfield Holiday Walk

Parson Capen House Aglow

December 2nd, 3 - 6pm

1 Howlett St, Topsfield, Massachusetts
On the corner of the Common
Free Admission

Costumed characters present the history of Christmas through the centuries.

  • Mulled & Cold Cider
  • Traditional Holiday Treats
  • Antique Christmas Decoration Exhibit

Fun for the whole family!

Sharing the Love of History

Welcome to Topsfield The Topsfield Historical Society is dedicated to the study and preservation of the history of Topsfield Massachusetts. All volunteers, we are active participants in the vitality and character of our small town. We invite all Topsfield residents and those interested in the preservation of our town’s history to join in on our many opportunities to be involved.

We are organized to enjoy, learn and preserve the history of Topsfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America. We offer monthly talks on a wide variety of historical topics such as colonial slavery, women's history, Boston history and historical actors such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Mark Twain. We run educational programs for Topsfield schools and local children. Every June, we sponsor the Strawberry Festival which features Topsfield's local nonprofit organizations, local history exhibits and local craftspeople.

Since the early 1900s, we have owned and cared for the 1683 Parson Capen Historical House.

Interested in seeing the Parson Capen House? Private tours are available upon request by emailing: Please give us two weeks notice before you would like to come. Volunteers are not usually available on short notice.

In the 1990s, we moved and restored the 300 year old Gould Barn which we now offer to the community as a meeting and event space.


We also actively promote research and promotion of Topsfield’s history through scholarships, lectures and Topsfield school programs. We collaborate with the Topsfield Town Library, the Topsfield Town Clerk's office, the Essex National Heritage Commission, Gordon College (Wenham) and other historical and cultural organizations within Essex County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Our new project for the new millenium is the Digital History Online Project. We are creating a new website that will act as a central clearinghouse for all original and secondary source resources on Topsfield's history. Since our beginnings in the late 1800s, the Topsfield Historical Society has published over 30 volumes of information and historical research results regarding Topsfield's history. Digital History Online Project is the beginning of a new effort to make this information easily accessible to researchers of all types into the future.

Strawberry Festival

Our major fundraiser is the annual June Strawberry Festival which attracts newcomers, old-timers, and visitors from all over Massachusetts and the United States.

Contact Us

The Topsfield Historical Society has existed for over 100 years and has over 400 members in 18 states. We invite you to join our membership.

The Gould Barn page has more information on renting the Barn for your next event.

Questions about our historical archives can be addressed to

We invite you to explore our website, send us your comments and join our Society.

Please Note: Do NOT call the Gould Barn phone number. That phone is for internal purposes only. No messages are taken and no calls returned.

The Society can be reached by email only. Please use the appropriate emails above or use