Category Archives: Houses

60 Main Street

Four people, two sitting and two standing, in front of the Elbridge G. Winsor house
Elbridge G. Winsor house at 60 Main Street, c. 1905

In this photo, a group of people (unidentified) appear to be enjoying the shade on a nice, sunny day.  One of the women is holding a small dog in her arms. They’re gathered in front of the Elbridge G. Windsor House at 60 Main Street, built around 1860.

 

Source: Image from the Delano Photograph Collection IC11.

Black and white photo. Two large blooming trees

Arbor Day

Orchard behind C. Drew's house, c. 1925
Orchard behind C. Drew’s house, c. 1925

 

Happy Arbor Day! Here are a couple snapshots of some lovely trees from the orchard behind “C. Drew’s house” on Summer Street. C. Drew either refers to Charles Drew or Christopher Prince Drew, co-founder of C. Drew and Company, both of whom lived on Summer Street.

 

Orchard behind C. Drew's house, c. 1925
Orchard behind C. Drew’s house, c. 1925

 

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

Black and white photo of a dirt road with trees. A house and a church are on the left side of the road

Seeing double

Seth Washburn House, corner of Evergreen and Summer Streets, c. 1865
Seth Washburn House, corner of Evergreen and Summer Streets, c. 1865

 

In the Local History Room we have a number of stereoscopic photographs, known as stereographs or stereoviews. These prints feature two nearly identical images, side by side, typically mounted on a 3.5-by-7-inch card. When viewed through a stereoscope, they create the illusion of a single three-dimensional picture. They were popular among commercial and amateur photographers from the late 1850s to the 1920s.

The three stereoviews featured here belong to a series called “Views of Marshfield and vicinity” by M. Chandler of Marshfield.

 

Main Street, looking south, c. 1865
Main Street, looking south, c. 1865

 

Thomas Hill, looking north, c. 1865
Thomas Hill, looking north, c. 1865

 

 

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

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).     

 

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).

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).

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). 

Major John Bradford

Gravestone of Major John Bradford
Gravestone of Major John Bradford, taken by Emily Fuller Drew circa 1925

Today marks the 281st anniversary of the death of Major John Bradford, as he died December 8, 1736.

The inscription on his gravestone reads:

Here lyes y body
of Mayjear John
Bradford who dec
Decbr y 8th
1736 in
y 84th year
of his age
he lived near 62
years with his wife
Gravestone of Major John Bradford
Gravestone of Major John Bradford, taken by Emily Fuller Drew circa 1925

Major John Bradford, born February 20, 1652, was the grandson of Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony.  He married Mercy Warren in 1674, with whom he had ten children. Major Bradford likely earned his title during  King Philip’s War (1675-76).

Major John Bradford is also remembered as a benefactor of the town, as he gave 14 acres of land to the North or Jones River Precinct of Plymouth (now Kingston) in 1717 for the purposes of a “Burying Place,” a “Training Field,” and a “Meeting House” — now the land on which the Old Burying Ground, Training Green, First Parish Church, and old Town House sit.

Major John Bradford House, in snow
Major John Bradford House, taken by Emily Fuller Drew circa 1925

The Jones River Village Club (now the Jones River Village Historical Society) purchased and restored his homestead at 50 Landing Road in 1921 before opening it to the public in August of the same year. It is now open on select days during the summer.

 

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

What’s in a name?

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.

Area around Thomas' Hill from Kingston GIS, 2016
Area around Thomas’ Hill from Kingston GIS, 2016

[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.

John Thomas House, Thomas Hill, 156 Main Street, circa 1900
John Thomas House, Thomas Hill, 156 Main Street, circa 1900

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.

Main Street, looking south up Thomas' Hill, circa 1900
Main Street, looking south up Thomas’ Hill, circa 1900

And here are a couple of views looking the opposite way down the hill.

Kingston Village from Col. Thomas' Hill in 1838, reproduced 1975
Kingston Village from Col. Thomas’ Hill in 1838, reproduced 1975

[This wood cut is from this book, originally published in 1839.]

 

Main Street, looking north down Thomas' Hill, 1876
Main Street, looking north down Thomas’ Hill, 1876

And here’s one of indeterminate direction, but with a nice shady feel to it.

Strolling on Thomas' Hill, 1890
Strolling on Thomas’ Hill, 1890

 

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.”

 

Kingston-Plymouth Howard Johnson's. Photograph courtesy of Dan Holbrook 2003, via highwayhost.org
Kingston-Plymouth Howard Johnson’s. Photograph courtesy of Dan Holbrook 2003, via highwayhost.org

Here’s more.

 

Source: Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4; LHR Image Collection IC7; Mitchell Toabe Papers MC18; and highwayhost.org.

For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at piqueoftheweek.wordpress.com.

 

August 22 was a Saturday in 1863 too

The Local History Room recently received a trove of old ledgers from H. K. Keith & Co.  These hand-written record books track inventory in the general store, customer accounts and daily sales, like this apparently busy Saturday exactly 153 years ago today.

Page 138 from H.K. Keith's 1863 register of daily sales
Page 138 from H.K. Keith’s 1863 register of daily sales
Page 139 from H.K. Keith's 1863 register of daily sales
Page 139 from H.K. Keith’s 1863 register of daily sales
Page 140 from H.K. Keith's 1863 register of daily sales
Page 140 from H.K. Keith’s 1863 register of daily sales

It appears that the column between the item and the price is a code for the purchaser’s account.

Henry Kingman Keith (1826-1909) was born in North Bridgewater and spent some time in Duxbuy, but lived most of his adult life in Kingston.

Henry Kingman Keith, portrait, circa 1860
Henry Kingman Keith, portrait, circa 1860

In 1847, he married Vesta Snell Cary (1827-1903).

Vesta Snell Carey Keith, portrait, circa 1860
Vesta Snell Carey Keith, portrait, circa 1860

Keith built his general store in Kingston in 1848, just three years after the Old Colony Railroad first drove through town.

H. K. Keith and Company General Store, 58-60 Summer Street, circa 1860
H. K. Keith and Company General Store, 58-60 Summer Street, circa 1860

The store was a success, and would thrive under a variety of owners and retail formats: Lewis H. Keith, Henry and Vesta’s son; Burges and Keith; Burges and Bailey; Toabe Hardware; Kingston Hardware; Crossroads Liquor; Trackside Liquor (and possibly more).

Two men at the entrance of the store at 58-60 Summer Street, circa 1875
Two men at the entrance of the store at 58-60 Summer Street, circa 1875

The building has been enlarged and lowered and added-onto; here’s a more recent look.

58-60 Summer Street, 1998
58-60 Summer Street, 1998