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Why, thank you!
It’s good to be back.
In March 1927, Emily Fuller Drew (seen here in her Tercentenary costume) took these photos of Summer Street, looking south toward the center of Town, just after Town Meeting voted to widen the street.
Summer Street had been previously straightened and/or widened in 1846, 1856, 1905 and 1922, when a number of very early houses around the Point fell victim to highway work.
This time the casualties were the gracious trees that lined and shaded the street. Emily wrote “Maples and elms lined our Summer Street in the old days..the green tunnel which was our street before the trees were cut down in 1927, to allow for widening the thorofare. Summer Street was the Boston Road which superseded the Bay Path as a highway from Plymouth to Boston.”
Her cousins Mary W. Drew and Jennie McLauthlen (Kingston’s first librarian) made their position clear in this handbill, but to no avail: the proposal was approved, the street widened, and the trees all taken down.
Sources: Photos from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16. Handbill from Vertical Files OC2 “Summer Street.” Additional information from Street Files TOK6 “Summer Street.”
It’s a little frustrating. A decade after the financial crisis that nearly demolished the world economy, there has been little if any accountability. Citizens, many victims of essentially criminal acts by huge multinationals, wonder “Why isn’t anyone going to jail? Isn’t that kind of thing illegal?”
Well, yes, fraud is still illegal, but the Department of Justice doesn’t seem to handle it that way anymore. The Chickenshit Club explores how the DOJ, and the regulators who rely on it for criminal enforcement, changed after successful prosecutions of Enron, WorldCom and other last century harbingers of impending financial doom.
It’s a sad tale of dedicated prosecutors and investigators hemmed in by front office politicians far closer to the center of corporate power than to the people they should serve, losing their edge, their institutional memory, and ultimately, their mission. If you want to know how deferred prosecution agreements and “chump change” fines replace criminal convictions and jail time, this book has the answers.
Filled with horrifying examples of the revolving door between high powered corporate law firms and high ranking government positions, The Chickenshit Club is an informative read, but not a very happy one. As Eisinger notes in conclusion, “Any hope for tougher corporate enforcement appears laughably misplaced.” Sigh.
About a display of presidential signatures from the LHR
Sometime in the 1870s an apothecary opened on Summer Street in Kingston. It would serve the Kingston community for almost a century and a half, until October 2015, when the doors closed for good. Stop by this month and see photos and artifacts that tell the story of Tura’s Pharmacy.
Tura’s Pharmacy, November 1979
The Local History Room will be closed from July 21 through August 4.
If you click on the photo to display a larger size, you may be able to make out what looks like the Bug Light on the horizon on the right side of the the photo (under the black dashed line).
Sources: Cyanotype from the Delano Photograph Collection IC11 (scan federally funded with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and digitized at the Boston Public Library in conjunction with the Digital Commonwealth)
There’s a spot in Kingston just west of Exit 9 on Route 3, elevation about 68 feet, which has been long known as Thomas’ Hill.
[This screen shot is from the Town’s GIS, which is just amazing. Give it a try!]
In her 1933 description of Kingston place names, Emily Fuller Drew tells us that
Colonel Thomas’ Hill is located from the Great Bridge up the slope, going south of the River. This hill was named for the Thomas family whose home was located on the hill.
That’s this house.
Here’s a view south, up the hill towards the Thomas House, taken from a spot just before the Great Bridge over the Jones River.
And here are a couple of views looking the opposite way down the hill.
[This wood cut is from this book, originally published in 1839.]
And here’s one of indeterminate direction, but with a nice shady feel to it.
These images all bear the description “Thomas’ Hill,” because that’s what’s it’s been called for quite some time. Now, though, there’s a need to update our shared geographical vocabulary. There’s a whole group of Kingstonians with a completely different point of reference, for whom this area doesn’t relate at all to an 18th century Kingston family or their stately home atop the hill.
Let the historical record now reflect the vernacular alternative: “HoJo Hill.”
Source: Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4; LHR Image Collection IC7; Mitchell Toabe Papers MC18; and highwayhost.org.
From the 1870s until last October, Kingston had a drugstore on Summer Street. Tura’s Pharmacy has a long history, and it’s on display in the Local History Room’s exhibit case this month. Stop by the Library and check it out.
From the fabulous Finney postcards comes this touching glimpse of two mischievous vandals and their squirrel sidekick pranking Santa while he naps.
Source: Joseph Cushman Finney Papers MC11
Just for the holidays! Stop by the Library and see Laddie.
This is Elspeth Hardy’s first grade class at the Faunce School (then called Center Primary) in 1915.
In 1928, she would help another group of students write a book, as she explains in the preface.