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Inaugurated in 1877 as a camp meeting ground be eastern Massachusetts residents who believed in communication with the dead, Onset quickly emerged as the nation's leading Spiritualist summer community. By 1900, however, Spiritualism had been overwhelmed by an influx of tourists and Onset subsequently developed as a secular summer resort noted for its scenic bluffs, recreational pursuits and beaches. At this time neighboring Point Independence found wide appeal among middle-class vacationers interested in swimming, sailing and relaxation. In this volume southeastern Massachusetts historian Michael J. Maddigan has drawn upon his extensive collection of postcards, as well as that of Kenneth R. Maddigan, to capture the excitement of Onset and Point Independence's heyday between 1900 and 1960 as Buzzard Bay's leading tourist center.

Onset and Point Independence

SKU: 978-1-4671-1646-6
  • Author: Michael J. Maddigan

    Publisher: Arcadia Publishing, 2016

    Paperback, 128 pages, illustrations (b/w), 6.5 x 9.25 inches

  • Onset Comes Alive *****

    An excellent look at the history of Onset, Massachusetts where I was fortunate enough to grow up, though all the arts and glamour of the previous 100 years had past by then. But this great book manages to give quite a picture of the area and the tremendous look with a great collection of images (though all cards are in B&W in the book while many were indeed color). There's one little item mentioned throughout that tells much of what you need to know, though its area currently has a population of around 3,000, there were no less than eleven or twelve hotels in the area during the spiritualist and tourist eras, and that is really something. - David M. Green,


    Great Book! *****

    Wonderful book! I bought several copies for my family members who grew up in onset. The Landry's. They all fell in love with it. The book is packed with tons of history and photos of onset. I love it! - Jeffrey O'Reilly,


    Great history; lots of photographs *****

    Great history and pictures; we recently bought a cottage in Onset (Point Independence), so we're new to the area. There's even a picture of the our area from before our cottage was built. I would've liked a little more details about where some of the old businesses where to picture them in modern Onset. Note also, same author has another book; Spiritualist Onset, which I'm reading now, which has more details, and fewer postcard pictures. - Grejam,


    Good history lesson *****

    We have a summer house in Onset and knew some of the history but there is a lot we did not know. - Ollie C. Woodard, Sr.,




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