Historical Sites

Cushing Memorial State Park

8 Cushing Rd, Scituate, MA 02066, USA

Owned By: Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

At Cushing Memorial State Park in Scituate, a short woodland trail leads to the burial site of US Supreme Court Chief Justice William Cushing. At 4.8 acres, this is a very small park!


This land is within the region of the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk). To learn more about local Native American tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett, and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag, both share information on their websites. 

This is the resting place for Chief Justice William Cushing, who lived from 1732 to 1810. He served on the first United States Supreme Court from 1789-1810, and is regarded as Scituate’s Greatest Citizen.

Cushing graduated from Harvard College in 1751, and began to practice law in 1755. In 1760, he moved to Lincoln County, Massachusetts (Now Dresden, Maine), and served as a Probate Judge and Justice of the Peace. In 1772, he was appointed to the Superior Court of Massachusetts Bay Province. After the American Revolution, he became a Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court, and in 1777 was elevated to Chief Justice, an office he served until 1789.

On September 24, 1789, President George Washington nominated Cushing as one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Two days later, the Senate confirmed the appointment. Cushing served on the Supreme Court for twenty years until his death at the age of 78.

Cushing grew up at Belle House Neck, on today’s Neal Gate Street. His family held slaves, as did he and his wife. However one of his many achievements was presiding over the state Supreme Court case that deemed slavery unconstitutional in Massachusetts. Click here to learn more about this and other stories on the North River Early Black Heritage Trail.

Trail Description

A lot of history is packed into this short wooded trail, which leads to, and around, the burial site of Chief Justice Cushing.

Habitats and Wildlife

Many species of small mammals such as rabbits, raccoons, and opossums call this woodland home. It is part of the North River watershed.

The North River rises from marshes and springs in Weymouth, Rockland and Hanson. It is approximately 10 miles in length, with its source at the confluence of the Indian Head River (Hanover) and Herring Brook (Pembroke). From there it flows through the towns of Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Norwell, and Scituate to the Atlantic Ocean between Third and Fourth Cliffs, draining approximately 59,000 acres along the way.

  • A historic marker beside a granite wall.
  • A bronze marker on a granite wall beside a roadway.
  • A historical marker and a granite wall with a roadway in between.
  • A roadway through the woods with a property sign.
  • An interpretive sign beside a stone wall with a memorial in the background, in a wooded setting.
  • A photograph of an interpretive sign and a bench with a stone wall in the background, in a forested setting.
  • A close-up photograph of an interpretive sign with a stone wall in the background.
  • A photograph of a memorial in a wooded setting.
8 Cushing Rd, Scituate, MA 02066, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 4.8 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited on-site parking at the end of Cushing Park Road.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Interpretive signage, bench.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: North River watershed

Other Things to Do at This Site