The Duxbury Rural & Historical Society (DRHS) (Duxbury, Massachusetts) was founded in 1883 primarily through the efforts of a group friends who were concerned about the declining condition of their town. Duxbury’s economic heyday of the early 19th century was long gone. Jobs were scarce, the population was declining as families moved to Boston in search of work, and parts of the town were falling into decay.
Florence Ford, 23 years old and the daughter of a local storekeeper, first envisioned the organization that would become the Rural Society. In the fall of 1883, during a meeting of a literary club at the house of Rev. Rushton Burr, she proposed a “village improvement society” to “improve and ornament the streets of the Town.” This organization would take on projects that the tiny municipal government of that time could not. Her idea was met with enthusiasm and Rural Society was formed on November 14, 1883.
The early projects of the Rural Society included placing streetlamps and trees along the town’s major roads, installing road signs, planting flower beds at significant locations such as the various train stations, caring for the grounds around Town Hall, installing a water pump and trough at Town Square, and reclaiming the Old Burying Ground which had fallen into neglect. In 1891, DRHS purchased its first conservation land at Round Pond thus dedicating itself to the preservation and care of Duxbury’s historical and natural resources.
The DRHS has received and acquired several properties since its organization. In 1965, a town-wide fundraising effort was organized to purchase the King Caesar House. This elegant Federal style property was built by shipbuilder and merchant Ezra Weston II in 1809. In 1997, the DRHS purchased the Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House. This elegant structure, procured for the DRHS through a community fundraising, was built by a prominent ship owner in 1807. DRHS installed the Drew Archival Library in the 1909 Wright Building, which was restored by the Town of Duxbury in 2007 using Community Preservation Act funds.
In 2017, the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society completed a multi-year project to preserve the structural integrity of the Bradford House and to re-invigorate the family history, focusing on the Bradford daughters and their incredible lives. This reinterpretation is intended to engage the public, to be more varied & inclusive, and to appeal to audiences today.
Today, DRHS strives to be a responsible steward of its historic buildings, museum objects, archives, and lands. We welcome all audiences to learn along with us, explore our collections, and interpret the unfolding, diverse stories of Duxbury’s history. DRHS does this by maintaining four historic museum house properties, an archival library, museum collections, and more than 150 acres of land held in conservation. The DRHS also runs approximately 50 programs, events, and rentals each year, in an effort to make Duxbury’s history available to the widest possible audience, from longtime residents to new families and school-age children.
The organization currently has 5 full-time and part-time staff, 12 Board members, 11 volunteer led committees, and hundreds of active volunteers contributing over 8,400 hours of time each year. DRHS has an operating budget for 2022 of $628,879 and endowment at 2021 FYE of $7,485,180.
DRHS is seeking a collaborative, innovative, and engaged leader to highlight the dynamic stories of Duxbury and continue to embed the organization as an anchor organization within a vibrant and active community. At this small organization with a large local and regional impact, the next Executive Director will join a committed community of staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, and community partners. This opportunity will allow a skilled, thoughtful, ambitious leader to take the DRHS to the next level. The ideal candidate will exhibit the following qualities:
· Have progressively responsible experience in a nonprofit organization or organizations, ideally within the cultural, history, or museum spaces.
· Have demonstrated success in fundraising through diverse sources from government to high-level donors and membership drives including major gifts and capital campaigns.
· Have exceptional communication skills to engage with a range of audiences such as business, media, community leaders, donors, staff, Board, and volunteers.
· Demonstrate comfort in the use of technology and digital media in promoting the institution and in reaching audiences.
· Have experience in collections management policy and practice or be comfortable with the learning curve involved in embracing collections management best practices.
· Have experience cultivating, developing, and inspiring a cohesive, high-performing, and collaborative team of staff and volunteers.
· Demonstrate significant experience in facilities management and prioritization of capital investments to ensure operational efficiency.
· Have a passion for history and at least a general familiarity with the academic discipline.
· Be an active leader, ready to roll up sleeves, and be the first to help with event set up while being the face of the organization.
· Have a willingness to live in Boston’s South Shore area and to actively participate in the life of the community.
The salary range for this position is between $100,000 - $115,000 commensurate with experience. DRHS offers a comprehensive benefits package, including but not limited to paid holidays, vacation, health insurance and FSA, as well as a retirement plan including employer contribution.
To confidentially apply, please submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at https://bit.ly/3SuKTNE (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page).
For more information about the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, its programs, and properties, please visit: www.duxburyhistory.org
- The Duxbury Rural & Historical Society
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