Category Archives: pique of the week featured-3

Featured post on local history homepage.

Combating an Invasive Species: The Gypsy Moth Infestation

Illustration of gypsy moth caterpillar and adult
Illustration from “The Home and School Reference Work, Volume IV” by The Home and School Education Society, H. M. Dixon, President and Managing Editor, published in 1917 by The Home and School Education Society. Image file found here.


Today, we may see gypsy moths outside our homes or in our woodlands and think nothing of them, but this insect has a tumultuous history in the United States.

In 1869, an amateur entomologist imported this species from Europe to his home in Medford, Massachusetts. He intended to use the moths to breed a silk-spinning moth that would be more resistant to disease than the domestic silkmoth. Unsurprisingly, several adult moths escaped from their enclosures, setting a number of problems in motion that we continue to grapple with today.

Stop by to learn more about Kingston’s efforts to eradicate this pest in this month’s local history exhibit!

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).

A flyer inviting people to attend a Centennial Military and Fancy Dress Party.

A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party

Invitation sent to Horatio Adams for "A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party," 1876
Invitation sent to Horatio Adams for “A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party,” 1876


1876 marked the 100th anniversary of nationhood for the United States. On April 12th of that year, a “Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party” was held at Fuller’s Hall (which burned down in 1900) in support of the “Massachusetts Women’s Centennial Fund.” The invitation above was sent to Horatio Adams, Kingston resident and self-proclaimed “Capitalist.”

Attendees must have enjoyed a night of dancing, as Joyce’s Quadrille Band provided the music for the evening. The quadrille was a type of group dance commonly featured at events such as this during the nineteenth century. Four couples faced each other in a square formation, performing a set of figures to music with eight-bar phrases. It was popular in part due its familiar figures and its numerous variants, like the waltz, polka, schottish, Esmerelda, and mazurka.


Source: Document from the Invitations and Calling Cards Collection PC8.

Black and white photo. Photo of the bust of a man with curly hair and a beard

Childhood Hours by Cousin Benja

Portrait of Benjamin Mitchell, c. 1860
Portrait of Benjamin Mitchell, c. 1860


Benjamin Mitchell (1827-1865), who wrote as Cousin Benja, is featured in this month’s exhibit. He spent all of his life in Kingston and composed poetry and essays primarily about nature, God, and the spirit. The following poem is included in a collection of his works, Poems and Letters, compiled by his sister after he died.


Childhood Hours

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
When I was young, and free
To roam among the woodland bowers,
By mountain side and lea!
To chase beneath the noonday sun
The golden butterfly;
And sail my boat upon the tide,
Beneath the sunset sky.

Oh, give me back my mountain hours,
When not a care I knew;
With heart as gay as summer flowers,
And light as evening dew!
To trace along the hidden path,
That winds by rock and stream;
And pluck the daisy from its bed,
Among the mossy green!

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
My schoolmates young and gay;
To roam again in quest of flowers,
The pleasant fields of May!
And then at noon to sit and chat,
Beneath the greenwood tree;
And eat our bread and butter there,
And call it “taking tea!”

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
The dearest to my heart;
When I could sit in Nature’s bowers
And see the day depart.
When I could view the Queen of Night
In lovely beauty dressed,
Casting her silver rays of light,
To make the earth look blest!

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
Where memory loves to dwell—
Too dear they are to be forgot,
I ever loved them well;
But childhood hours, and halcyon scenes,
Will ne’er return again;
And I must learn to leave my boyhood dreams,
And live like other men!


Source: Cousin Benja. Poems and Letters. Plymouth: Memorial and Rock Press, 1866. 

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).

Black and white photo. Three women, a man, and a dog standing in front of a large firewood pile

On this day in 1912…

Father, Mother, Annie, Grace and Lead on James Rickard’s wood lot, March 30, 1912


Here’s a snapshot taken 106 years ago. On the back, this image is captioned:

March 30, 1912
On James Rickards woodlot.

According to census records for 1910, James C. Rickard owned a farm in Plymouth, where he lived with his wife, Lydia. The four people in this photo, however, remain unidentified.

Any ideas?


Source: Image from the Loring Photograph Collection (IC15).

World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day, a day to focus attention on the importance of water. In honor of the occasion, take a look at this selection of images of some of our local bodies of water.



Jones River

Silver Lake

View of Silver Lake from the shore
Silver Lake, 1924


Indian Pond

Boy in water and two people sitting in canoe on shore of Indian Pond
Indian Pond, 1925


Russell’s Pond

View of Russell's Pond from the South
Russell’s Pond from the south, 1923


Smelt Brook

View of lower Smelt Brook
Smelt Brook, c. 1925


Forge Pond

Porter Reed Tack Factory at Forge Pond
Porter Reed Tack Factory at Forge Pond, 1925


To learn more about Kingston’s rivers, ponds, and brooks, check out Places around Town.

For more information about World Water Day and this year’s theme—”Nature for Water”—go to


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

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).     


Kingston High School girls’ basketball team, 1951

Kingston High School Girls' Basketball team, 1951
Kingston High School Girls’ Basketball, 1951

Row 1 (sitting): Joecille Ayer, Sylvia Bailey, Judy Glass, Eva Villani (Co-captain), Mary Borghesani, (Co-captain), Shirley Marshall, Lilias Ford, Mary Lawrance

Row 2: Rose Cazale (Co-manager), Barbara Bearce, Anne Corrow, Nancy Bearce, Barbara Basler, Elizabeth Zwicker, Ann McGrath, Adrienne Gorn (Co-manager), Mrs. Stratton (coach)

Row 3: Margo White, Sally Farrington, Patricia Bailey, Althea Cherry, Lillian Maglathlin


The  entry from the 1951 edition of The Independence, Kingston High School’s yearbook, reads:

Hail to the “Champs”! Under the coaching of Mrs. Daphna Stratton, the girls’ team clinched the South Shore League Girls’ Championship with twelve wins and one loss.

The loss of one point to Marshfield tied us for first place honors in the South Shore Division. A play-off at Duxbury proved that our girls knew how to play. They romped over Marshfield with a score of 35-29. Hanover and Kingston each led its division. A play-off for the title was a memorable occasion for everyone. Trailing behind at the third quarter, Kingston exploded with fourteen points to Hanover’s three, making the final score 40-36.

This closed a very happy year for all. We lose four team members, two forwards and two guards. Best of luck next year. For our sake please keep that championship!


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7). Quote from The Independence (1951), part of the Kingston School Collection (PC12).