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.
You can search for a post by using the search bar located directly to the right. You can also browse by category by selecting from the drop-down list below the search bar.
  • 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
  • ‘Tis the Season… 'Tis the Season...Christmas and Santa Claus are meant for children.  This Christmas party was  held in 1949 at the Beal House on Main Street for the Sunday School of the First Parish Church.  Frank Randall served as Santa and Helen Williams, the director of the Sunday School, stands to his right.  Some ... Continue Reading
  • For your holiday viewing and shopping pleasure! For your holiday viewing and shopping pleasure!The Friends of the Kingston Public Library are offering a lovely set of notecards featuring 12 historic scenes of Kingston from the Local History Room.  Some larger prints of these photographs are on display in the lobby.  Please stop by, take a look and if you like, pick up a ... Continue Reading
  • Thanksgiving 1911 Thanksgiving 1911On November 29, 1911, Laura from Island Creek mailed this happy holiday card to Russell Loring here in Kingston. This year, I’m thankful that my turkey is home in the refrigerator, not gallivanting around town with some hot-rodding kid and a pile of fruit loot! A joyful Thanksgiving to all! Continue Reading
  • Dog blog, with dancing! Dog blog, with dancing!I don’t know when it was or who they are — proud proprietors would be my best guess — but they’re standing in front of the Rocky Nook Pavilion.  Once located on Wharf Lane, this fine establishment offered “dancing every Saturday night.” Continue Reading
  • Cough syrup Cough syrupFrom the collection of Jennie Mclauthlen, Kingston’s first Librarian. 1887 Raisin Pie. — One cup chopped raisins, two cups of water, one teaspon mixed spice, one cup cracker-crumbs, two cups sugar, one cup of vinegar, one-half cup butter, one beaten egge.  Boil and fill pies; bake three-quarters of an hour. Cough Syrup. One oz. ... Continue Reading
  • A different kind of boat picture A different kind of boat picture  This photograph just turned up in a recent donation to the Local History Room.  It has no date, no place, nothing beyond the image itself.  Context and best guesses, however, suggest that it dates to the late 19th century and shows the interior of one of the small boatyards on ... Continue Reading
  • Martin Parris & the Small-Pox Martin Parris & the Small-PoxWho was Martin Parris? One of Kingston’s first school teachers, Martin Parris was born in Pembroke in 1766.  He attended Brown University; in May 1794 the Kingston Selectmen hired him to teach school at an annual salary of seventy pounds.  That same year, he married Kingston native Julia Drew; they would ... Continue Reading
  • A whale of a tale A whale of a taleIn the 1948 Annual Report of the Town of Kingston, the Board of Health reported: On October 20th, 1948, a fin-back whale came ashore north of the town pier at the foot of River Street. Measuring 42 ft. in length and weighing approximately 30 tons, this would ordinarily ... Continue Reading
  • Harvest time Harvest timeA beautiful cabinet card recently came into the Local History Room, part of a larger collection. While the contrast in the original is a little faded (and has been adjusted in this scan), the image is otherwise perfect, and the subject — harvesting the cranberry crop — could not be ... Continue Reading
  • Doubletake DoubletakeThis week’s study in incongruity comes from the Ruth Forbes Chandler papers.  The finding aid for the collection gives the following biographical snippets: Author of a number of books and short stories for children.  Teacher and principal in the New Bedford school system.  Moved to Kingston in the 1950s. Lived at ... Continue Reading
  • Origins of the Local History Room Origins of the Local History RoomThe Local History Room started some time ago, and while the exact date may never be known, the point of initiation is clear: a box of memorabilia carefully kept somewhere in the Frederic C. Adams Library. At some point during her tenure, which stretched from the Library’s founding in 1898 to ... Continue Reading