All posts by Sharon Pietryka

About Sharon Pietryka

Archivist at the Kingston Public Library

Interior of Ye Kyng's Towne Sweetes candy store

Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes

Interior of Ye Kyng's Towne Sweetes candy store
Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes, Home Made Chocolates and Bonbons, Kingston, Mass., c. 1930


Around 1907, Carrie W. Hall and Sarah DeNormandie Bailey began a candy business called Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes, which they operated out of the house owned by the Hall family at 215 Main Street (below). Miss Hall managed the manufacturing, while Mrs. Bailey managed the sales. By 1910, they employed 8 women year round and up to 13 during the busy summers. Not only did they sell candy, but also other small items, like baskets or baby socks, made by Kingston women. They opened tea rooms in the two parlors.


Exterior of house at 215 Main Street, Kingston, MA
215 Main Street, 1972


In 1920, their growth necessitated moving to a second, larger location: the building which was previously George E. Cushman’s store at 193 Main Street (below). They sold their candies not only in this shop, but also in stores across Southeastern Massachusetts. During the time that Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes was at this location, Isaac and Dorothy Hathaway took over operation of the business.


Exterior of George E. Cushman's Store at 193 Main Street
193 Main Street when it was still George E. Cushman’s store, c. 1902


Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes closed sometime between the late 1920s and early 1930s, and the building was left vacant until George Cushman’s son, Charles, converted it into apartments.


Sources: Mary Hathaway Collection (MC21). Images from the Mitchell Toabe Papers (MC18), the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7), and the Jones River Village Historical Society Collection (MC29).     


Kingston High School Girls' Basketball team, 1951

Kingston High School girls’ basketball team, 1951

Kingston High School Girls' Basketball team, 1951
Kingston High School Girls’ Basketball, 1951

Row 1 (sitting): Joecille Ayer, Sylvia Bailey, Judy Glass, Eva Villani (Co-captain), Mary Borghesani, (Co-captain), Shirley Marshall, Lilias Ford, Mary Lawrance

Row 2: Rose Cazale (Co-manager), Barbara Bearce, Anne Corrow, Nancy Bearce, Barbara Basler, Elizabeth Zwicker, Ann McGrath, Adrienne Gorn (Co-manager), Mrs. Stratton (coach)

Row 3: Margo White, Sally Farrington, Patricia Bailey, Althea Cherry, Lillian Maglathlin


The  entry from the 1951 edition of The Independence, Kingston High School’s yearbook, reads:

Hail to the “Champs”! Under the coaching of Mrs. Daphna Stratton, the girls’ team clinched the South Shore League Girls’ Championship with twelve wins and one loss.

The loss of one point to Marshfield tied us for first place honors in the South Shore Division. A play-off at Duxbury proved that our girls knew how to play. They romped over Marshfield with a score of 35-29. Hanover and Kingston each led its division. A play-off for the title was a memorable occasion for everyone. Trailing behind at the third quarter, Kingston exploded with fourteen points to Hanover’s three, making the final score 40-36.

This closed a very happy year for all. We lose four team members, two forwards and two guards. Best of luck next year. For our sake please keep that championship!


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7). Quote from The Independence (1951), part of the Kingston School Collection (PC12).

Standing portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)

Using Ancestry

Ancestry is one of the many digital resources available through our library. It allows you to search through many types of historical records, including census, military, immigration, and vital records, among others. This makes it a fantastic resource for genealogical research.


Portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)
Standing portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)


Take, for example, this panel card (above) featuring Mary Trow. It’s one of a number of images for which we’ve been able to identify the subject(s), despite it not having a caption.


Screenshot of Ancestry search fields
Basic search for Mary Trow using Ancestry


By simply inputting her name and location in Ancestry’s search fields, I was able to learn a bit about her.

Mary Lewis Trow was born on August 27, 1871 to Charles and Georgianna Trow. She had two younger siblings, Harris (b. October 22, 1876) and Eugenia (b. March 28, 1886). Her father was a printer who was born in Cambridge, MA. They all lived with Georgianna’s father, Daniel Cushman, a ship carpenter.

According to census records, Mary started working as a reporter for the daily paper sometime between 1910 and 1920, an occupation she held for over 20 years. She continued to live with her sister, Eugenia, on Second Brook Street (image below) up until she passed away in 1947.


Cushman-Trow House, 55 Second Brook Street, 1939
Cushman-Trow House, 55 Second Brook Street, 1939


Just from a name and a location (or more information if you have it), Ancestry can often provide a bounty of information, or at least a starting place for further research.

Full access to Ancestry and American Ancestors, another digital resource, is available at the library. Stop by to learn more and to try them out for yourself.


Source: Images from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7).

Emily Fuller Drew dressed as a pilgrim

Emily Fuller Drew: Historian and Photographer

Emily Fuller Drew dressed as a pilgrim
Emily Fuller Drew dressed as a pilgrim, c. 1921


In honor of Women’s History Month, March’s local history exhibit will feature materials from Emily Fuller Drew (1881-1950), who we have to thank for much of what we know about Kingston’s history. She put in an enormous of amount of work to help preserve the history of this town. Leaving a collection of more than 700 lantern slides, Emily photographed existing images that were decaying in order to preserve the informational content. She also photographed a variety of houses, buildings, events, and people of Kingston. Local history was a passion for Emily, and she recorded it not only visually, but also in her numerous unpublished essays and notes.

Stop by the library to learn more about Emily and her legacy!


Source: Image from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16).

A foul fowl?

Sometimes you come across an image that really makes you wish someone had written a caption. Here is one such photo.

With Delano’s Wharf in the background, we know that the photo was taken on the edge of Kingston Bay. The man stooped over the water resembles Charlie Delano (1837 – 1903) who fished and clammed in the area. But what is he doing with that bird? Catching it? Releasing it? Giving it a rinse? Added to the puzzle are the expectant looks from the four by-standers to the left.

Any ideas?


Source: Image from the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11).

Great Bridge

The Great Bridge, or the bridge over Main Street (Route 3A) where the road intersects with Brook Street, did not receive its name because of its architectural significance, but because it carried the Great Road, running from Plymouth to Boston, over the Jones River.

The early history of this bridge and its predecessors is noted in the Town’s Annual Report from 1895. (These Annual Reports are great sources of information about Kingston’s history. We have a set here at the library if you’d like to check them out.) The yearly recap about the Great Bridge is as follows (phrases bolded for emphasis only in this post):

Horatio Adams, Alexander Holmes, and Azel H. Sampson were chosen a committee to make the alterations in the highway near the Great Bridge, ordered by the County Commissioners upon petition of George B. Thomas, and others, and a new arch bridge has been substituted for the arch and flat covered bridges, equal in construction and workmanship to any stone structure in this part of the State. As there has been some controversy over the history of the bridges built over the river at this place at different periods, the following may be interesting to some of our people: The first bridge was a wooden structure, and was built in 1715. This existed until 1825, when, at a town meeting held May 2nd, it was voted, “That a committee of five persons be chosen with authority to contract in behalf of the town for a new bridge to be built where the Boston Road crosses Jones River, to have a stone covering, to be 25 feet wide, and of such height as the committee shall judge the public good requires, and the following persons were chosen: Thomas P. Beal, Richard F. Johnson, Eli Cook, James Sever, Esq., and John Thomas.”

Four years later—April 6, 1829—it was voted “To choose a committee of seven persons to investigate the state of the bridge over Jones River, and the following persons were chosen: Eli Cook, John Sever, Joseph Holmes, Zebulon Bisbee, Robert Cook, Nathaniel Faunce, and Benjamin Delano.” Voted also, “That the committee be instructed to proceed immediately to examine the state of the bridge and to make a report of the result of their examination at the adjournment of this meeting.”

At the adjournment, the committee reported as follows: “The committee appointed to examine the shattered bridge near Timothy French’s have attended that service and report:

First—That in their opinion said bridge may and ought to be repaired upon its original foundation, and the bottom thereof made secure from undermining by a plank platform.

Second—That there be made one other arch or passageway for water on the North-west of, and near the present archway of seven feet in ye clear, built and covered with stone.

Third—The committee have made an estimate of the probable expense of repairs and alterations as above, and believe the whole may be done for the sum of $250.

By order of ye Committee,

ELI COOK, Chairman.”

They then “voted to accept the above report and that the Selectmen make the alterations and repairs to the bridge which are recommended in said report.”

The bills that were paid by the town are in evidence that the arch bridge was built in 1825, and the Northerly passageway in 1829, in accordance with the votes passed by the town.


Check out these photos, taken not long before the 1895 Annual Report.

Panel card of Great Bridge over the Jones River, view looking East
Great Bridge over the Jones River, view looking East, 1886 or 1890

Emily Drew wrote that the image above was captured “either in 1886 when they were laying our water mains or in 1890 when the street car system (trolley electric) was being installed.” She draws attention to the men “either raising a pole (a trolley pole) or lowering a length of pipe into the trench.” Even without her clues about its date, you can tell that this is the bridge that was repaired in 1829 because of the square arch to the left of the round arch.


Panel card of Great Bridge over Jones River, view looking West
Great Bridge over Jones River, view looking West, 1886 or 1890

Here’s the view looking West, likely taken the same day, as evidenced by that pole/pipe.


Now take a look at the bridge (below) built in 1895.

Black and white postcard of Jones River and Great Bridge
Jones River and Great Bridge, around 1915

Notice the single arch?


As always, you can send your comments or questions to


Source: Block quote from the Town of Kingston Annual Report of 1895, part of the Town of Kingston Publications (TOK4), and additional information from Emily Fuller Drew’s lantern card slide file, part of the Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slide Collection (IC4). Images from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7) and the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11) .


Looking ahead to spring

Missing the warm weather yet? Now that we’re halfway through winter,  spring is right around the corner.

280 Main Street, around 1900

Take a look at this beautiful bed of asters in front of the house at 280 Main Street, built around 1897. The woman on the left is Martha Maglathlin. On the right you can see the fork of Wapping Road (left) and Pembroke Street (right), with the public watering trough at the point of the intersection.


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7). 

Are you ready for some football?

group portrait of Kingston High School football team, 1933
South Shore Champions, 1933

First row: (standing, left to right): Malcolm (Mac) Peterson, Alfred Bruneau, Harold (Slim) Alberghini, Chester (Chet) Morrison, Amelio Ruffini, Russell (Prout) Prouty 

Second row (kneeling, left to right): Bob Bailey, Raoul Corazzari, George Candini, Clyde Melli, Eddie Cadwell, Stephen Reed, Bob Davis


In 1933, the Kingston High School football team won the South Shore Championship.  Over the course of this season, they won five games, lost two, and tied one. 13 out of the 28 team members can be seen here in their practice jerseys on the field behind the Reed Community House. They were coached by Mr. Gotschall, the Principal, who also supervised the basketball team.



Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7).


“Just a word to let you know I am still alive…”: Postcards from World War I

Postcard with image of soldiers and horses, captioned "Greetings from Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Ga."
Postcard sent by Joseph Finney to Mary Fries, postmarked November 21, 1917


When the US entered World War I in 1917 and called for a draft, Joseph Finney registered during the first round. He became one of approximately 2 million men who joined the American Expeditionary Forces, armed forces sent overseas to Europe. Throughout his service he exchanged postcards with friends and family, especially his elder sister, Ella Finney, and the woman he went on to marry upon his return, Mary Fries. Looking through this correspondence allows us to piece together a loose timeline of his experiences. Stop by the library to check out this exhibit for yourself!


Source: Image from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).