Category Archives: pique of the week featured-3

Featured post on local history homepage.

Ted Avery standing in the doorway of his costume shop

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)

Welcome Home Parade, 1919

On this day in 1919…

Welcome Home Parade, 1919
Welcome Home Parade walking down Green Street, 1919

October 18, 1919 was a known as “Welcome Home Day” in Kingston in honor of its servicemen and nurses returning from World War I. The “Welcome Home Committee” presented each with a bronze token of appreciation for service to the town and country, and sponsored festivities that included the parade seen here, as well as band concerts, decorations, speeches and a turkey supper in the Town House.

Welcome Home Parade

There is now a monument to the 132 men and women who “entered the service” during the war. Constructed in 1926, it is located at the intersection of Summer and Green streets.

Welcome Home Parade, 1919

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

Rally Day Postcard, 1915

Hello to Autumn!

Rally Day Postcard, 1915

Happy first day of fall! In celebration of the occasion, check out this postcard from around 1915. The message on the back reads: “We need you on Rally Day. Remember the date: October 29. Do not disappoint. Help us make this our best Rally Day. Cordially yours, Grace W. Cobb”. The postcard was not mailed, and the text was pre-printed, except for the date and the signature, which were written in.


Source: This image is from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).

Summer’s Last Hurrah

As we enjoy the last week or so of summer, take a look at this fantastic image taken by Kingston historian and photographer, Emily Fuller Drew, showing the Bearse and Drew families enjoying a clambake. It was taken around 1925 and gets even more interesting the longer you look at it. Many of the people here are looking in down toward the right, and the man in the center is reaching his arm down as well. Could he be offering up a table scrap to the family dog? What do you think? Let us know. You can always email any comments or questions to

What’s in a name?

There’s a spot in Kingston just west of Exit 9 on Route 3, elevation about 68 feet, which has been long known as Thomas’ Hill.

Area around Thomas' Hill from Kingston GIS, 2016
Area around Thomas’ Hill from Kingston GIS, 2016

[This screen shot is from the Town’s GIS, which is just amazing. Give it a try!]

In her 1933 description of Kingston place names, Emily Fuller Drew tells us that

Colonel Thomas’ Hill is located from the Great Bridge up the slope, going south of the River. This hill was named for the Thomas family whose home was located on the hill.

That’s this house.

John Thomas House, Thomas Hill, 156 Main Street, circa 1900
John Thomas House, Thomas Hill, 156 Main Street, circa 1900

Here’s a view south, up the hill towards the Thomas House, taken from a spot just before the Great Bridge over the Jones River.

Main Street, looking south up Thomas' Hill, circa 1900
Main Street, looking south up Thomas’ Hill, circa 1900

And here are a couple of views looking the opposite way down the hill.

Kingston Village from Col. Thomas' Hill in 1838, reproduced 1975
Kingston Village from Col. Thomas’ Hill in 1838, reproduced 1975

[This wood cut is from this book, originally published in 1839.]


Main Street, looking north down Thomas' Hill, 1876
Main Street, looking north down Thomas’ Hill, 1876

And here’s one of indeterminate direction, but with a nice shady feel to it.

Strolling on Thomas' Hill, 1890
Strolling on Thomas’ Hill, 1890


These images all bear the description “Thomas’ Hill,” because that’s what’s it’s been called for quite some time.  Now, though, there’s a need to update our shared geographical vocabulary. There’s a whole group of Kingstonians with a completely different point of reference, for whom this area doesn’t relate at all to an 18th century Kingston family or their stately home atop the hill.

Let the historical record now reflect the vernacular alternative: “HoJo Hill.”


Kingston-Plymouth Howard Johnson's. Photograph courtesy of Dan Holbrook 2003, via
Kingston-Plymouth Howard Johnson’s. Photograph courtesy of Dan Holbrook 2003, via

Here’s more.


Source: Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4; LHR Image Collection IC7; Mitchell Toabe Papers MC18; and

For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at