Pique of the Week

Pique of the Week is a quick, fun way to dip into the collections as we put them online.  We want to share what piqued our curiosity this week, but we also want you to talk to us. Let us know what you think and what you want to see.

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  • 202 years ago next Monday… 202 years ago next Monday...On September 20, 1808, the President sent this to the inhabitants of Kingston in response to their earlier petition about the Embargo Act of 1807.  As form letters go, this is a good one. Continue Reading
  • For medicinal purposes and no other For medicinal purposes and no otherTo Mr. Seth Drew In accordance with the provisions of the statues of 1855 Chap. 215 you are hereby appointed an Agent of the Town of Kingston to purchase Spiritous or Intoxicating liquors and sell the same at your residence to the inhabitants of said town to be used in the ... Continue Reading
  • Back in the classroom, open your books Back in the classroom, open your booksCaptioned by the teacher’s grand-niece, this photograph shows the seventh and eight grades at the Center Primary. This school house is now known as the Faunce School.  For another class photo, see here. Continue Reading
  • Sailing, Sailing Sailing, SailingKingston’s storied history of building ocean-going sailing vessels stretches from about 1713, when shipwright Samuel Drew and his son Cornelius set up shop on the Jones River, until 1874, when Edward Holmes launched the brig Helen A. Holmes, or perhaps until 1898 when Edward Ransom built only Kingston’s only steamer, ... Continue Reading
  • Cushman’s Store – Outside and In Cushman's Store - Outside and InThe house at 196 Main Street, partially visible on the left in the photo above, stands on land purchased in 1785 by David Beal, and was probably built around then.  The store wing was added in 1794.  Beal’s son, David Jr., then his son-in-law Horace Collamore ran the store until ... Continue Reading
  • Building the Bailey Playground Building the Bailey PlaygroundDrop by the Library to see a selection of photos and a few other things that tell the story of the Bailey Playground. Continue Reading
  • I hear that train a-coming… I hear that train a-coming...For more about Old Colony Railroad, check out the Local History Room’s exhibit case. At one of their earliest meetings, the Directors of the Old Colony Railroad  voted to give the engines historical names related to Plymouth. The “Mayflower” along with the “Miles Standish” pulled the very first trainload of dignitaries ... Continue Reading
  • Train tickets Train ticketsThe purple trains that stop in Kingston along the Old Colony line to connect commuters to the larger regional rail system have a long and interesting history. The Massachusetts Legislature chartered the Old Colony Railroad on March 16, 1844. John Sever of Kingston was elected the new company’s first President.  Just ... Continue Reading
  • Now appearing, for the first time since…well, almost forever. Now appearing, for the first time since...well, almost forever.This is the Second Meeting House, which stood where the First Parish Church now stands on Main Street, next to the Training Green. It served not only as the second building to house the First Parish, but also as the center of Kingston’s town government before the original Town ... Continue Reading
  • Clam-a-rama! Clam-a-rama!Throughout the 1800s, Kingston, along with Plymouth and Duxbury, provided clams to cod fisheries all along the Massachusetts coast. Clams were sold fresh for bait in the winter months, or steamed, salted and barreled for summer use. The region produced as much as 100,000 bushels a year. Around 1875, ... Continue Reading
  • Congratulations Graduates! Congratulations Graduates!Stop by the Library and take a look at this month’s exhibit, which highlights Kingston graduates and graduations from 1862 on. This photograph was donated by the daughter of one of the graduates pictured.  The inscription on the back reads “Vesta Porter. Mamma first girl on left, next to her ... Continue Reading
  • Three Letters Three LettersIn 1938 and 1939, the author Henry Beston wrote three letters to Kingston resident Mrs. Alexander Holmes. The two had met at a retreat on Star Island, N.H. Beston is perhaps best know for his 1928 work Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod. ... Continue Reading
  • Why they called it Rocky Nook Why they called it Rocky NookThis picture postcard shows the view from Rocky Nook across Kingston Bay toward the Standish Monument in Duxbury. Oh, and lots of rocks. Continue Reading
  • Coconuts! Coconuts!Ah, the tropics! Here Henry M. Jones, author of Ships of Kingston standing at the far left, and four unidentified friends enjoy a refreshing treat under the palms.  The woman may be Henry’s wife Abby Bosworth Holmes Jones, though between the hat and the coconut, it’s difficult to tell. The ... Continue Reading
  • And a belated top o’ the morning to ye all And a belated top o' the morning to ye allFrom the always entertaining Joseph Finney Collection. A rosy-cheeked couple merrily skip along, both dressed in green.  She wears a large bonnet, a green empire-waisted gown and dainty black boots.  He sports  a traditional leprechaun outfit with a green jacket, bow tie and top hat, accessorized with a walking stick and ... Continue Reading
  • Taking Stock Taking StockA new exhibit is now in the display case.  “Taking Stock — Kingston Investments in the 19th Century” shows a century of local and national stock certificates and related business ephemera. One of the local items is particularly intriguing. Little can be found about this early corporation. The named individuals can be identified. ... Continue Reading
  • Now and then, then and now Now and then, then and nowAll the recent snow reminded me of this photograph taken from Green Street.  It dates after 1883, because the Soldier’s Monument is there, but before 1928, when the trolley stopped running. Once I found this one, I walked a little ways down Green Street to see if the view was the ... Continue Reading
  • Happy New Year! Happy New Year!A Very Happy New Year Another New Year’s day is due And so today I send to you A better wish than e’er before Because you see, I like you more Lovingly, Mary. Source: Joseph Finney Collection Continue Reading
  • Laddie – A Christmas Story Laddie - A Christmas StoryIn 1928, the first and second grade students in Elspeth Hardy’s class wrote a holiday story about a little dog named Laddie saving Christmas for his family. As Mrs. Hardy described the process, “The children worked collectively; one child started with an opening sentence, the others took the thought and ... Continue Reading
  • Happy Holidays! Happy Holidays!A beautiful batch of holiday mailers from the Loring Postcard Collection are now in the Local History exhibit case.  Stop by and take a look. Continue Reading