Scituate ( (listen)) is a seacoast town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, on the South Shore, midway between Boston and Plymouth. The population was 18,133 at the 2010 census.
For geographic and demographic information on the village of North Scituate, which is a part of Scituate, please see the article North Scituate, Massachusetts.
The name Scituate is derived from "satuit", the Wampanoag term for cold brook, which refers to a brook that runs to the inner harbor of the town. In 1710, several residents emigrated to Rhode Island and founded Scituate, Rhode Island, naming it after their previous hometown.
European settlement brought a group of people from Plymouth about 1627, who were joined by immigrants from the county of Kent in England. They were initially governed by the General Court of Plymouth, but on October 5, 1636, the town incorporated as a separate entity.
The Williams-Barker House, which still remains near the harbor, was built in 1634. Twelve homes and a sawmill were destroyed in King Philip's War in 1676.
In 1717, the western portion of the original land grant was separated and incorporated as the town of Hanover, and in 1788, a section of the town was ceded to Marshfield. In 1849, another western section became the town of South Scituate, which later changed its name to Norwell. Since then, the borders have remained essentially unchanged.
Fishing was a significant part of the local economy in the past, as was the sea mossing industry.