Category Archives: Past

Posts appears on Past Exhibits page, and possibly some others TBD. Use this for posts that have value over time to the public (please don’t use it as a substitute for documenting staff work).

“Just a word to let you know I am still alive…”: Postcards from World War I

Postcard with image of soldiers and horses, captioned "Greetings from Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Ga."
Postcard sent by Joseph Finney to Mary Fries, postmarked November 21, 1917


When the US entered World War I in 1917 and called for a draft, Joseph Finney registered during the first round. He became one of approximately 2 million men who joined the American Expeditionary Forces, armed forces sent overseas to Europe. Throughout his service he exchanged postcards with friends and family, especially his elder sister, Ella Finney, and the woman he went on to marry upon his return, Mary Fries. Looking through this correspondence allows us to piece together a loose timeline of his experiences. Stop by the library to check out this exhibit for yourself!


Source: Image from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).

Ada Brewster: Civil War Nurse, Traveler, and Artist

Sketch captioned "Cow Boy from Arizona," dated April 19, 1885
Cow Boy from Arizona, April 19, 1885


Ada Brewster, born in Kingston on May 25, 1842, lived a fascinating life. She served as a nurse at Lovell General Hopsital in Rhode Island during the Civil War; worked at the U.S. Mint in Carson City, Nevada during the production of the first trade dollar coined by the federal government; studied art at the Lowell Institute in Boston and the California School of Design (now the San Francisco Art Institute); opened her own art studio and became known as a portraitist, illustrator, china-painter, and teacher; and moved all over the country before returning home to Kingston in 1919. Stop by to learn more in this month’s Local History exhibit, featuring a selection of Ada’s sketches from her time out West.


Source: This sketch comes from the Ada Brewster Collection (MC24).


Happy Holidays!

Frederic C. Adams Library, 33 Summer Street
Frederic C. Adams Library, 33 Summer Street

In the spirit of the holidays, the Local History Room’s December exhibit features a collection of limited edition holiday ornaments created by the Kingston Lions Club between 1990 and 2002. Each one bears the likeness of a Kingston icon – from the old Town House and the Faunce School, to the Old Colony Railroad Station and the Major John Bradford House. Stop by to see this local memorabilia.
Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7).

Shall We Dance?

Kingston High School Junior Prom, 1942
Kingston High School Junior Prom, 1942

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).

YAC Bakesale – Americares Fundraiser for Hurricane Survivors

It has been heart-breaking to follow the news of the devastating hurricanes that have recently torn through the southern states and the Caribbean.  And yet it is so good to know that there are organizations, such as Americares, with feet on the ground, helping people get through this terrible time in their lives.

Here in Kingston, a small group of young people was moved to do something to help.  The Youth Advisory Council of the Kingston Public Library decided to have a bake sale.  Kindhearted people in the community baked cakes and cookies and breads to support the sale.  In addition to that, the teens hand-rolled and decorated beeswax candles to sell.

On September 30th, the day of the Bake Sale, people were lining up outside the library before it opened.  Within just a short amount of time, every last item was sold!  100% of the money raised was donated to Americares.

Rand Family Stones in the Old Burying Ground, around 1925

Kingston Gravestones & Their Carvers

Rand Family Stones in the Old Burying Ground, around 1925

For the entire month of October, the lobby display case will feature a selection of photographs of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Kingston gravestones, but rather than focusing on those interred in the Old Burying Ground, this exhibit will examine the men who carved these markers. Stop by to check it out!


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

December 27th – Mad Science: Fire and Ice

On December 27th, Children will be dazzled and entertained as they interact with our Mad Scientists!  Foggy dry ice storms, giant beach balls floating in the air and even a special Mad Science “burp” potion will amaze children as they learn about the scientific method, air pressure and the states of matter.




This is a Kingston Community Fun program and registration can be done online via the Kingston Recreation Center.

Teen Read Week

Write an essay or short story and submit it to the library by October 7th.  All submissions will be displayed in the lobby of the Kingston Public Library during Teen Read Week.

Patrons will cast their vote for their favorite essay/story and the winner will receive a gift card to Regal Cinemas!