Category Archives: People

Looking forward to seeing The Post? Don’t forget about Gobin Stair and Beacon Press

 

One of this season’s new movies, The Post, recounts The Washington Post’s efforts to publish the Pentagon Papers. 

Here in the Local History Room, we have a four-volume set of the Pentagon Papers, published by Beacon Press in 1971.  As director of the publisher, Kingston’s own Gobin Stair played a decisive role in accepting Senator Mike Gravel’s proposal to publish the papers for the first time in book form and subsequently ensuring that Beacon could shoulder the political pressure, financial burden, and logistical obstacles they encountered throughout the publication process.

The first volume in our set is signed by Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who released the papers to the newspapers. If you’d like to see it for yourself, just let us know!

Gobin Stair was also a distinguished artist. He created the Alphabet Mural—depicting the evolution of language, literacy, and communication—that we are lucky to have on the wall of our meeting room. A supporter of libraries, he wrote at the time of the mural’s opening, “The Alphabet Mural calls attention to a major human accomplishment. It also declares our awareness of responsibility to meet the needs of readers right here in our growing Kingston.” Well said.

 

If you’re interested in some further reading, the Beacon Broadside just posted a great piece called “Our Civic Duty: Why We Published the Pentagon Papers.” 

Shall We Dance?

Kingston High School Junior Prom, 1942
Kingston High School Junior Prom, 1942

During November, the lobby display case will feature a selection of photos, invitations, and dance cards from throughout Kingston’s history. Did you know that ballroom etiquette once prescribed ladies to carry dance cards to pencil in the names of gentlemen who had reserved a dance? Or that in 1875, Kingston residents held a Thanksgiving Ball to celebrate the holiday? Stop by to learn more!

Source: Image from the Mary Hathaway Collection (MC21).

Ted Avery’s Costume Shop

Ted Avery standing in the doorway of his costume shop
Ted Avery and The New England Costume Co., c.1948

While going through a box of photographs, I came across this striking image of Ted Avery, holding a mask in front of his face just inside the doorway of his costume shop on Summer Street. With Halloween just around the corner, it was too fitting not to share!

 

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

Awards, Medals, and Certificates, Oh My!

Reading Certificate for Margaret Smith from the Town of Kingston Public Schools and Public Library, June 11, 1937
Reading Certificate for Margaret Smith from the Town of Kingston Public Schools and Public Library, June 11, 1937

 

Scattered across the collections of the Local History Room, we have a sampling of items that represent the achievements—both great and small—that marked the lives of Kingston’s residents. From volunteering with the Girl Scouts to Citizen of the Year, these objects commemorate just a few of the accomplishments of this community.

Stop by to check out the exhibit!

 

Source: Image from the Kingston Schools Collection PC12.

Happy Halloween from 1952

Milkmaid and robot Halloween costumes at Kingston Elementary School, 1952
Milkmaid and robot Halloween costumes at Kingston Elementary School, 1952
Halloween costumes at Kingston Elementary School, 1952
Halloween costumes at Kingston Elementary School, 1952
 Halloween assembly at Kingston Elementary School, 1952
Halloween assembly at Kingston Elementary School, 1952

 

 

Source: School Photographs IC5

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

Welcome Home from the War to End All Wars

For more on Kingston’s Welcome Home parade, see this post.

Marcher with Red Cross flag in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marcher with Red Cross flag in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Riders and marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Riders and marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Spectators at the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Spectators at the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Riders in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Riders in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers and cars in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Marchers and cars in the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Spectators at the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.
Spectators at the Welcome Home parade, October 18, 1919.

 

Source: Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16. Negatives scanned with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and digitized at the Boston Public Library in conjunction with the Digital Commonwealth)

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

A lovely little launch

George Shiverick aboard
George Shiverick aboard “Alice,” his personal launch named for his wife, date unknown

Yes, the Local History Room is full of old stuff, but sometimes we get new old stuff, new to us anyway.  One of our recent accessions is a small trove of photographs, most not well identified, of boats built by George W. Shiverick in his shop on the Jones River. This unique collection was donated by Shiverick’s grand-daughter.

This particular snapshot stands out because it’s labeled in the hand of former Frederic C. Adams Librarian Ethel J. Shiverick (George’s daughter-in-law, in case you didn’t know) as follows:

Geo. W. Shiverick aboard “Alice,” personal boat, named for wife. EJS

We have so few paper fragments of this legendary boat-builder’s life and work, that a photo of him in his very own boat is just special.

Source: George W. Shiverick Collection AC8

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

Two people, one house and a clerihew

This is the Reverend Augustus Russell Pope (1819-1855), minister of Kingston’s First Parish Church, or as it was then known, First Congregational Society, from 1844 to 1849.  The biographical piece linked above lauds Pope’s work in Kingston, particularly his work with the Town’s schools.

Reverend Augustus Russell Pope, seated portrait, circa 1845
Reverend Augustus Russell Pope, seated portrait, circa 1845

This is Lucy Ann Meacham Pope (1820-1870), the Reverend’s wife, who was originally from Cambridge. They married in 1843, just after his ordination.

Lucy A. Meacham Pope, head and shoulders portrait, circa 1845
Lucy A. Meacham Pope, head and shoulders portrait, circa 1845

This is the lovely home they built at 4 Elm Street in 1844; it now houses Hope Floats.

Reverend Augustus Pope House, 4 Elm Street, 1998
Reverend Augustus Pope House, 4 Elm Street, 1998. Photo from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

So, portraits of a couple who briefly lived in Kingston and a later photo of their house: is there more to this story?  Why, yes, there is.

It’s always helpful to have full names and important dates for the people in the pictures; since neither of the Pope was a native Kingstonian, some research was required.  That process produced an interesting scrap of a much larger history. A few years after Pope left Kingston for a ministry in Somerville, he received Patent Number 9,802 for “Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Alarms.”

And as sometimes happens when deep in the research, a clerihew popped out.

Augustus Pope
Gave us all hope
And saved us from harm
With his burglar alarm.

Sources: Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4; Massachusetts Historical Commission/ MACRIS Digital Photographs IC13

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