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.
Source: Image from the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11).
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 new exhibit in the Local History case in the Library lobby. Stop by to see photos of summers past in Kingston: ice cream, beaches, picnics and more.
Source: Mary Hathaway Collection MC21
Kingston’s Town Administrator wrote yesterday
As many of you know, the town is awaiting a new Harbormaster Patrol Boat, which is estimated to arrive around July 17th, and perhaps sooner. This purchase was authorized at this year’s special town meeting.
The Board of Selectmen have offered a “contest” to name the boat for the town. The person who submits the name chosen will be given a maiden voyage around Kingston Harbor on the boat, along with family and/or friends to the maximum allowed on the boat.
So, please submit your entries to me with a copy to Laurie, and pass along the info on this contest to others in your department, and/or in the town!
Here are some possibilities from the Local History Room. Submit your own to the Town Administrator’s office (see here for how to)
Chesperus, owned by Chester Fuller (or possibly his talking dog).
Arteola, owned by Charles Drew, in a photo from Old Home Day, 1908.
Matchless owned by Captain James (or John) Drew.
Tiger, the only steamer built in Kingston, built by Edward Ransom in 1898, owned by him, A.J.Hill, C.A. Ransom and Henry S. West.
Kittiwake V, built by George Shiverick for Henry M. Jones.
Herculean, built in 1839 by Joseph and Horace Holmes, owned by Joseph Holmes.
Ship Herculean of Kingston, Benjamin Cook, Master, 1840
The 7 foot figure head weighed in at 800 pounds, heavy enough to cause the ship to leak. It was repurposed as a garden statue, where it stood among the shrubs for many years.
Finally, though there is no painting or photo, Independence, for the very first ship of the U.S. Navy, built in Kingston and seen here on the Town Seal, designed by Helen Foster.
Sooner or later, summer will come. We’ll all be hot and sticky and we’ll welcome a cooling breeze near the waterfront. Just like this crew.
Source: LHR General Image Collection IC7
Though not in town, the lighthouse at the Gurnet — formally known as the Plymouth Light Station — is familiar to many Kingstonians.
The Massachusetts legislature authorized the first lighthouse on the Gurnet in 1768; it burned to the ground in 1801. The federal government replaced the original with a pair of towers, which served for the next 41 years. Our photo shows the twin wooden towers built in 1842 to replace the earlier pair. The two lights stood together until 1924, when the northeast tower was taken down.
The current tower stands 39 feet tall, 102 feet above water; it is wood framed and shingled. The light flashes an alternating single, then double white every 20 seconds, with a red sector marking the Mary Ann Rocks. In 1977, the light was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest freestanding wooden lighthouse in the United States.
In 1997, the Coast Guard moved the remaining tower 140 feet north, away from the eroding cliff. Two years later, the light was turned over to the nonprofit Project Gurnet & Bug Lights Inc., which manages the two.
Sources: Photo from the MC21 Hathaway Collection; text from the “Plymouth Light” Wikipedia entry, a report from the Coast Guard Historian’s Office, an article on Lighthouse Friends, and the Project Gurnet site noted above.
Delano’s Wharf is one of Kingston’s iconic buildings, jutting into Kingston Bay from the end of Wharf Lane, near Gray’s Beach.
In a small twist of perspective, here’s a tranquil view from the Wharf.
Source: Delano Photograph Collection IC11
Old Home Day is a small town New England tradition popular from the 1860s into the 1930s, and later in many cases. In Kingston, the town-wide event, which included clambakes, sports, dancing, singing and parades, was held annually from 1903 to 1908, again from 1933 to 1938, in the 1970s and the 1990s.
And the tradition continues on September 8, Kingston’s new Old Home Day! To get involved, contact the Board of Selectmen now.
The Local History Room is closed for summer vacation. See you in August!