Category Archives: pique of the week featured-3

Featured post on local history homepage.

Using Ancestry

Ancestry is one of the many digital resources available through our library. It allows you to search through many types of historical records, including census, military, immigration, and vital records, among others. This makes it a fantastic resource for genealogical research.

 

Portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)
Standing portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)

 

Take, for example, this panel card (above) featuring Mary Trow. It’s one of a number of images for which we’ve been able to identify the subject(s), despite it not having a caption.

 

Screenshot of Ancestry search fields
Basic search for Mary Trow using Ancestry

 

By simply inputting her name and location in Ancestry’s search fields, I was able to learn a bit about her.

Mary Lewis Trow was born on August 27, 1871 to Charles and Georgianna Trow. She had two younger siblings, Harris (b. October 22, 1876) and Eugenia (b. March 28, 1886). Her father was a printer who was born in Cambridge, MA. They all lived with Georgianna’s father, Daniel Cushman, a ship carpenter.

According to census records, Mary started working as a reporter for the daily paper sometime between 1910 and 1920, an occupation she held for over 20 years. She continued to live with her sister, Eugenia, on Second Brook Street (image below) up until she passed away in 1947.

 

Cushman-Trow House, 55 Second Brook Street, 1939
Cushman-Trow House, 55 Second Brook Street, 1939

 

Just from a name and a location (or more information if you have it), Ancestry can often provide a bounty of information, or at least a starting place for further research.

Full access to Ancestry and American Ancestors, another digital resource, is available at the library. Stop by to learn more and to try them out for yourself.

 

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

A foul fowl?

Sometimes you come across an image that really makes you wish someone had written a caption. Here is one such photo.

With Delano’s Wharf in the background, we know that the photo was taken on the edge of Kingston Bay. The man stooped over the water resembles Charlie Delano (1837 – 1903) who fished and clammed in the area. But what is he doing with that bird? Catching it? Releasing it? Giving it a rinse? Added to the puzzle are the expectant looks from the four by-standers to the left.

Any ideas?

 

Source: Image from the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11).

Great Bridge

The Great Bridge, or the bridge over Main Street (Route 3A) where the road intersects with Brook Street, did not receive its name because of its architectural significance, but because it carried the Great Road, running from Plymouth to Boston, over the Jones River.

The early history of this bridge and its predecessors is noted in the Town’s Annual Report from 1895. (These Annual Reports are great sources of information about Kingston’s history. We have a set here at the library if you’d like to check them out.) The yearly recap about the Great Bridge is as follows (phrases bolded for emphasis only in this post):

Horatio Adams, Alexander Holmes, and Azel H. Sampson were chosen a committee to make the alterations in the highway near the Great Bridge, ordered by the County Commissioners upon petition of George B. Thomas, and others, and a new arch bridge has been substituted for the arch and flat covered bridges, equal in construction and workmanship to any stone structure in this part of the State. As there has been some controversy over the history of the bridges built over the river at this place at different periods, the following may be interesting to some of our people: The first bridge was a wooden structure, and was built in 1715. This existed until 1825, when, at a town meeting held May 2nd, it was voted, “That a committee of five persons be chosen with authority to contract in behalf of the town for a new bridge to be built where the Boston Road crosses Jones River, to have a stone covering, to be 25 feet wide, and of such height as the committee shall judge the public good requires, and the following persons were chosen: Thomas P. Beal, Richard F. Johnson, Eli Cook, James Sever, Esq., and John Thomas.”

Four years later—April 6, 1829—it was voted “To choose a committee of seven persons to investigate the state of the bridge over Jones River, and the following persons were chosen: Eli Cook, John Sever, Joseph Holmes, Zebulon Bisbee, Robert Cook, Nathaniel Faunce, and Benjamin Delano.” Voted also, “That the committee be instructed to proceed immediately to examine the state of the bridge and to make a report of the result of their examination at the adjournment of this meeting.”

At the adjournment, the committee reported as follows: “The committee appointed to examine the shattered bridge near Timothy French’s have attended that service and report:

First—That in their opinion said bridge may and ought to be repaired upon its original foundation, and the bottom thereof made secure from undermining by a plank platform.

Second—That there be made one other arch or passageway for water on the North-west of, and near the present archway of seven feet in ye clear, built and covered with stone.

Third—The committee have made an estimate of the probable expense of repairs and alterations as above, and believe the whole may be done for the sum of $250.

By order of ye Committee,

ELI COOK, Chairman.”

They then “voted to accept the above report and that the Selectmen make the alterations and repairs to the bridge which are recommended in said report.”

The bills that were paid by the town are in evidence that the arch bridge was built in 1825, and the Northerly passageway in 1829, in accordance with the votes passed by the town.

 

Check out these photos, taken not long before the 1895 Annual Report.

Panel card of Great Bridge over the Jones River, view looking East
Great Bridge over the Jones River, view looking East, 1886 or 1890

Emily Drew wrote that the image above was captured “either in 1886 when they were laying our water mains or in 1890 when the street car system (trolley electric) was being installed.” She draws attention to the men “either raising a pole (a trolley pole) or lowering a length of pipe into the trench.” Even without her clues about its date, you can tell that this is the bridge that was repaired in 1829 because of the square arch to the left of the round arch.

 

Panel card of Great Bridge over Jones River, view looking West
Great Bridge over Jones River, view looking West, 1886 or 1890

Here’s the view looking West, likely taken the same day, as evidenced by that pole/pipe.

 

Now take a look at the bridge (below) built in 1895.

Black and white postcard of Jones River and Great Bridge
Jones River and Great Bridge, around 1915

Notice the single arch?

 

As always, you can send your comments or questions to history@kingstonpubliclibrary.org.

 

Source: Block quote from the Town of Kingston Annual Report of 1895, part of the Town of Kingston Publications (TOK4), and additional information from Emily Fuller Drew’s lantern card slide file, part of the Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slide Collection (IC4). Images from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7) and the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11) .

 

Looking ahead to spring

Missing the warm weather yet? Now that we’re halfway through winter,  spring is right around the corner.

280 Main Street, around 1900

Take a look at this beautiful bed of asters in front of the house at 280 Main Street, built around 1897. The woman on the left is Martha Maglathlin. On the right you can see the fork of Wapping Road (left) and Pembroke Street (right), with the public watering trough at the point of the intersection.

 

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

Are you ready for some football?

1933 South Shore Football Champions

First row: (standing, left to right): Malcolm (Mac) Peterson, Alfred Bruneau, Harold (Slim) Alberghini, Chester (Chet) Morrison, Amelio Ruffini, Russell (Prout) Prouty 

Second row (kneeling, left to right): Bob Bailey, Raoul Corazzari, George Candini, Clyde Melli, Eddie Cadwell, Stephen Reed, Bob Davis

 

In 1933, the Kingston High School football team won the South Shore Championship.  Over the course of this season, they won five games, lost two, and tied one. 13 out of the 28 team members can be seen here in their practice jerseys on the field behind the Reed Community House. They were coached by Mr. Gotschall, the Principal, who also supervised the basketball team.

 

 

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

 

Skiing down Summer Street

Four young men on cross-country skis on Summer Street in Kingston, MA
From left to right: Clinton Keith, Isaac Hathaway Sr., Ralph Drew, and Ralph Holmes, around 1915

 

On a snowy, winter day a hundred years ago, these four young men strapped on their cross-country skis and posed for this picture right in the center of Summer Street, just north of the railroad tracks. The Adams Block is visible on the right, and the laundry building that was previously the freight station for the railroad is visible on the left.

 

Source: Image from the Albion Holmes Collection (MC25). 

Cyanotypes

Cyanotype photographic prints are immediately recognizable. Their striking blue appearance is the result of a particular chemical combination (though the prints can in fact be toned to alter this color).

Credited to Sir John Herschel—an astronomer and chemist—in 1842, the cyanotype process involves coating a piece of paper with a solution of ferric ammonium citrate before exposing it to light under a positive image (as opposed to a negative image, which is the inversion). Then, that exposed paper is developed with a potassium ferricyanide solution.

Anna Atkins, who knew Herschel as a friend of her father, used this process to illustrate her botanical studies. Her three-volume work,  Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843–53), was the first photographically illustrated book.

The first commercial cyanotype paper emerged in 1872 in France. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) started instructing its students on the cyanotype process for the creation of blueprints in 1875. The following year, the first commercial blueprint machine made in Switzerland was introduced at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the first official World’s Fair in the United States.

From the 1870s to the 1950s, the cyanotype process was primarily used by engineers and architects for printing blueprints. It was revived by photographers during the 1960s as an alternative to the silver gelatin process.

We have a number of cyanotypes here in the Local History Room.

House where they serve clambakes, Wharf Lane, Rocky Nook, circa 1905
House where they serve clambakes, Wharf Lane, Rocky Nook, c. 1905

 

Joshua Delano house, 91 Main Street, circa 1905
Joshua Delano house, 91 Main Street, c. 1905

 

Woman standing in front of a large snow drift, undated
Unidentified woman standing in front of a large snow drift, undated

 

Man seated in a horse-drawn buggy, undated
Man seated in a horse-drawn buggy, undated

 

If you’d like to see these—or the other cyanotypes we have—in person, stop by the Local History Room!

 

Sources: Images from the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11) and the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16). 

Stulik, Dusan, and Art Kaplan. 2013. The Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Conservation Institute. http://hdl.handle.net/10020/gci_pubs/atlas_analytical

James, Christopher. 2014. “The Cyanotype Process” in The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. (Course Technology). https://www.christopherjames-studio.com/docs/chapter7-the-cyanotype-process.pdf