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
This is one of those with little information attached; we have only what’s depicted in the image. It looks like it may have been taken between 1920, when the garage was built, and 1925, when the Fire Department moved the Surprise Hose Company in.
The building at right was the second train station at the Old Colony Railroad’s Kingston stop. It was moved sometime around 1890 to the spot shown here, used as a laundry, then demolished in the early 1960s.
Source: Loring Photographs IC15
We’ve got a new exhibit in the Library lobby. Stop by and take a look.
The spot where the Kingston Public Library stands was once the site of Kingston’s first hotel, built in 1854, just nine years after the Old Colony Railroad first chugged through town. Former boarding house proprietor Josiah Cushman bought the land from Spencer Cushman, and immediately borrowed $1500 from the seller to finance the building. Josiah ran the hotel, known as the Patuxet House, for the next 25 years, until another of his creditors, merchant Henry K. Keith (listed in the 1888 publication Twenty Thousand Rich New Englanders), took over the property, though Keith did not run the Inn himself.
Sometime around 1900, the hotel’s name had changed to either the Hotel Kingston or, the better known Kingston Inn. In 1921, right in the thick of Prohibition, crime struck. The double-crossing rum runner murder happened after hotel proprietor Richard Rowland (or Roland) ordered 26 cases of illegal Scotch from a well-known bootlegger. According to the Boston Globe, “Rowland had a good market for liquor at the Kingston Inn,” which had a reputation as a sporting house with a regular dice game, but he didn’t want to pay for the booze. Rowland plotted with two local thugs to fake a robbery in the hotel garage, but the bootlegger fought back and his driver, Edward Cardinal aka Eddie Gardner, was gunned down. The bootlegger escaped with the liquor, and Rowland, “the debonair blond gambler,” was eventually convicted of manslaughter, but his accomplices were never caught.
By 1927, the hotel was known Bay View Inn, and served as the grand prize in a raffle advertised by the Plymouth chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The brochure described the Inn’s
“28 rooms, including reception parlor, one large and three small dining rooms, hotel office and billiard parlor. It is situated on over 1 acre of land and the beautiful trees and lawns add to the enhancing surroundings. In addition to the main Hotel, there is a 20-car garage, with a cement floor, with an accessory store and office included in the buildings.”
For reasons unknown, the raffle never happened. The Inn sat empty and changed hands a few times until 1953, when Coley and Lillian Mae Hayes bought the property. Originally from Georgia, the couple worked together as chauffeur/butler and housekeeper/cook in the 1930s and 1940s in private homes around New York City and Boston. Between 1933 and 1941, they spent summers at Twin Oaks, the Duxbury camp they owned with Lillian’s two sisters and their husbands. The camp was a great success among its African-American clientele, but when one of the sisters died, another took over, and the Hayes went back to private employment, until 1953 when they bought the Kingston Inn.
The Hayes advertised in publications like Ebony and the Amsterdam News, and focused on African-American vacationers from Boston, New York and Philadelphia. The promotional materials produced during the Hayes’s tenure emphasized the near-by sights of Plymouth, the delights of Cape Cod, and the comfortable family atmosphere at the Kingston Inn, where “you don’t have to dress for dinner.” Coley Hayes ran the Inn until his death in 1966; Lillian appears to have predeceased him, though her death date isn’t known. In 1970, Hayes’ executor sold the vacant hotel to New England Telephone, which razed the building and constructed the long-distance equipment facility, which eventually became the Kingston Public Library in 1995.
One of the most fun things about working in a local history collection is that sometimes people just show up with things to add to the collections. This week, a former member of the Kingston Mother’s Club dropped off three scrapbooks of Club activities 1965 to 1978, full of membership directories, newspaper clippings and photos.
The Club hosted lectures, auctions and fashion shows; sponsored Boy’s Baseball, vision screenings and Candidates Nights; and held banquets and dinner dances.
As I browsed the scrapbooks, I thought “These parties look like a blast,” and then one photo from the Scholarship Dance in the spring of ’77 just about jumped off the page.
It’s Buddy, our library custodian, out on the floor of the Hilltop Club, dancing to the Hour Glass! I only wish we could see his shoes.
When you’re cleaning out your attic, keep a sharp eye out. History is everywhere.
Source: Kingston Mother’s Club scrapbook, 1975-1978 Acc.20014-22
This is Emily Fuller Drew’s copy negative of a panel card probably taken by someone else sometime earlier. There’s not a lot more information about it: just two boys fishing in the pond that provided water power to C. Drew & Co., the long-lived Kingston tool manufacturer. (There’s a great deal of information about C. Drew and their tools here).
Who were the boys? Who knows? That’s not captured on any of the three versions of this image in the Local History Room. Yet, for all the identifying detail lost to history, there’s something painterly about the composition of the two figures and the texture of the image that abstracts it just enough to capture the hazy, nostalgic air of a hot summer afternoon spent fishing.
Sources: Negative from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16 (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)
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
Another Memorial Day is upon us. Here are a few photos from the Local History Room collections which provide a glimpse of one of Kingston’s Memorial Day parades sometime before 1961.*
*This date is based on a flag carried by the color guard, which reads “U.S.S. Des Moines.” This heavy cruiser was launched in 1946 and decommissioned in 1961.
Source: LHR General Image Collection IC7
Who was Peanut Jack? There’s nothing in the Local History Room to help identify him, but the 1890 Plymouth and Kingston Directory gives us this.
The 1909 Plymouth Directory has almost the same ad, but the proprietress in that version is a Mrs. M. D. Costa, exactly what we see printed on the tarp or wagon cover right next to Peanut Jack in the photo. So it seems likely that Peanut Jack was one of the “teams making regular trips to all places in the vicinity.”
Sources: Delano Photograph Collection IC11; Books OC7
Asa Cook Hammond (1826-1913) was a carpenter or housewright, who was born Pembroke, but lived in Kingston from around 1850 until his death. He married Amanda Clark, a dressmaker from Plympton in 1849; they had several children. Both are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery.
Asa is identified as the figure in the foreground of the photograph but the woman and two boys are not, though it seems likely they are Asa’s wife and children.
The Hammond’s house, built in the Queen Anne style with an unusual center hall plan and set perpendicular to the road, still stands at 40 Wapping Road.
As a descendant of First Comers and an indefatigable researcher of their occupations, genealogies, land swaps and lawsuits, Emily Fuller Drew was perhaps more entitled than most to dress up like a Pilgrim. It certainly seems to have suited her.