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.”
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).
Take a look at these Halloween costume winners at Kingston Elementary School back in 1952!
Source: This image is from the School Photographs Collection (IC5).
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)
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.
For more on Kingston’s Welcome Home parade, see this post.
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)
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
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.
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.
In 1847, he married Vesta Snell Cary (1827-1903).
Keith built his general store in Kingston in 1848, just three years after the Old Colony Railroad first drove through town.
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).
The building has been enlarged and lowered and added-onto; here’s a more recent look.
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.
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.
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.
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