Category Archives: Holidays

New exhibit: Laddie, A Christmas Story

Laddie meets Santa, 1928
Laddie meets Santa, 1928

In 1928, the first and second graders in one of the Kingston schools wrote a short book about Laddie, the dog who saved Christmas. As Elspeth Hardy, their teacher and editor,  wrote in the preface, “The children worked collectively; one child started with an opening sentence, the others took the thought and followed on until the tale was finished.” Illustrations by Kingstonian Marion Cobb Dries complete the work.

Stop by the Library and read this Kingston Christmas classic.

Picnic on the lawn

Kingston Inn, circa 1950
Kingston Inn, circa 1950

Back when the Library was on the other side of the street, the Kingston Inn occupied our current site at the corner of Green and Summer.  Originally called the Patuxet House, the hotel was built in 1854 by Josiah Cushman to capitalize on the arrival of the Old Colony Railroad just a few years earlier.  The hotel was not particularly successful, and several owners and managers were involved through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Some strange and mysterious events took place at the Inn. In 1881, the remains of six people and “funerary objects” were discovered on the grounds.  Because it was a suspected Native American burial ground, the remains were turned over the Peabody Essex Museum.  In 1921,  the “Rum-Runner’s Murder” took place in the 20 car garage. The somewhat cloudy circumstances involved professional dice players, a trunkful of illegal liquor and $4,000 in missing cash. A murder trial followed in 1922.  In 1927, the re-christened Bay View Inn was offered as first prize in a raffle as the First Annual  Grand Bazaar by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  For reasons unknown, the raffle never happened.

By the 1950’s, the hotel — once again called the Kingston Inn — was advertised as a summer resort for African-Americans, particularly those travelling from New York for a Cape Cod vacation.  Unfortunately the venue remained as unsuccessful as it had been a century earlier.  In 1970, the contents were auctioned and the building was razed.

 

Source: Major Bradford’s Town, by Doris Johnson (Town of Kingston: 1976)

 

New Exhibit: Summertime

This month’s exhibit celebrates summer in Kingston with picnics and parades, fresh sweet corn from the farmer’s market, swimming, fishing, and just lounging on the grass eating ice cream.

Horse-drawn float in the 200th Anniversary Parade, 1926
Horse-drawn float in the 200th Anniversary Parade, 1926

Here’s the front of a float in Kingston’s 200th Anniversary Parade, which rolled on August 20, 1926.  The four boys behind the float seem very interested in whatever’s going on behind that shack…

Bathing beauties on 200th Anniversary Parade float, 1926
Bathing beauties on 200th Anniversary Parade float, 1926

Well, yeah, that’s why!

Kingston’s Civil War Soldiers, Sailors and Nurses

Captain William Simmons, 1864
Captain William Simmons, 1864

A native of Kingston, William Simmons served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, not as an officer, but as a master shipwright and later Constructor at the Navy Yard in Charlestown.

On exhibit for Memorial Day are photographs of Simmons and other residents of Kingston and nearby towns who served a century and a half ago.  Stop by and take a look.