Capt. John Smith is said to have landed in Cohasset in 1614. For nearly 2 centuries the town was a fishing and farming community. Many residents now commute to work in Boston, and the town's bayside location attracts summer tourists.
About 2.5 miles offshore is Minot's Light; the 114-foot-tall granite tower was built in 1860 to replace the original iron structure, destroyed in a storm. Moore's Rocks Reservation on Jerusalem Road provides a good view of the bay and light. Elm Street was known as “Ship Cove Lane” because it led to the shipyards and landing sites at Cohasset Harbor. It also was the street on which most of the shipbuilders and sea captains lived.