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.
  • Back to school Back to schoolTo the despair of children everywhere (and likely to the joy of their parents), it is that time of year when the school year starts anew. Here are Elspeth Hardy’s first graders at the Center Primary school on Green Street, now called the Faunce School.  Mrs. Hardy taught generations of Kingston ... Continue Reading
  • Olly-olly oxen-free! Olly-olly oxen-free!Or, as Johnny Cash might sing, “I got livestock, I got livestock.” Continue Reading
  • Nick’s Rock Nick's RockPublished in 1899 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Topographical Survey Commission, The Atlas of the Boundaries of the Town of Kingston describes the 18 corners marking the town limits and the seven “triangulation stations” used to locate the corners. The Atlas includes the statutes that formally defined the boundaries, textual ... Continue Reading
  • Ice cream! Ice cream!Earlier this week the Patriot-Ledger asked “Have you had a penny lick, a hokey pokey or a toot today?” The paper went on to explain that before cones became the preferred holder, ice cream was eaten from a small glass (a penny lick), wrapped in a bit of paper ... Continue Reading
  • Bryant’s Boxboard Mill Bryant's Boxboard MillFor almost 50 years, Sylvanus Bryant ran a mill located on Sylvia’s Place Road between Bryant’s Pond and Soule’s Pond in the Indian Pond neighborhood of Kingston. As far back as 1721, several water privileges existed on Furnace Brook, Trout Brook and the man-made ponds that connect them.  Around 1810, the ... Continue Reading
  • In honor of the All-Star break In honor of the All-Star breakLong before the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry and even earlier than the infamous trade that took Babe Ruth from Fenway to the Bronx, a profound difference split the game we know as America’s past-time. There were actually two kinds of baseball – the Massachusetts Game and the New York Game. ... Continue Reading
  • “Kingston had a safe and sane Fourth of July” "Kingston had a safe and sane Fourth of July"So said the Old Colony Memorial newspaper on July 9, 1910. The Jones River Village Club (now the Jones River Village Historical Society) had discussed for several months how to promote the state’s new restrictions on fireworks, which limited the use of blank cartridges, cannon rockets and other explosive means of ... Continue Reading
  • Teeny tiny tintype Teeny tiny tintypeThis is Emily Burt Bradford, grandmother and namesake of Emily Burt Holmes Marvin, from whose family papers it comes. It is a tintype, an early form of photography.  The images on tintypes, like daguerrotypes and ambrotypes, were unique photographs captured directly, meaning there was no intervening negative. The underlying support for ... Continue Reading
  • School’s out! School's out!The spring is sweet for many reasons, not least of which is the end of the school year. These Kingston High School students, posed on the steps of that august institute of learning, probably looked forward to three months off as much as their counterparts today. The old high school stands ... Continue Reading
  • “The Public Bedammed” "The Public Bedammed"Kingston, Mass. Oct. 29th, 1896. To the Selectmen – Kingston, Mass. Gentlemen: – Is it not about time that some attention was given to the operation of the Plymouth & Kingston Street Railway and better accomodations demanded for the use of more than half the main highway in the town?  The cars do not ... Continue Reading
  • Dog blog and dog exhibit! Dog blog and dog exhibit!The new exhibit is up, and to help celebrate the 4th Annual Library Pet Show, it’s all about the dogs of Kingston. See snapshots of Library staff members’ pooches! Marvel at the hounds and terriers of bygone days! Wonder at the family portrait with the dog front and ... Continue Reading
  • Dog blog: On the Kingston Bay Dog blog: On the Kingston BayIt was the good ship ‘Chesperus’ That sailed the wintry sea, And Chesper had taken Herbert W. Cobb To bear him company. Chester Fuller and dog aboard the ‘Chesperus,’ 1898 The poem above is written on the back of the photograph, and while it is a little cryptic (did Herbert W. Cobb take the picture ... Continue Reading
  • More on Memorial Day More on Memorial DayIn April 2009, Town Meeting approved spending from the Elizabeth B. Sampson Memorial Fund for a number of projects, including one specific to this holiday weekend.  Kingston’s Veterans Agent received $5,000 from the Sampson Fund for “memorial stones and flags at veteran’s graves in local cemeteries,” continuing local observance of ... Continue Reading
  • New exhibit: Memorial Day New exhibit: Memorial DayThis month’s exhibit highlights photographs, programs and other documents from Kingston’s Memorial Day celebrations. Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday originated during the Civil War and spread across the country by the end of the 19th century.  After the First World War, Memorial Day expanded to honor the memory of all ... Continue Reading
  • Dog blog: an experiment in scanning negatives Dog blog: an experiment in scanning negativesHere’s a quick look at one of the first negatives I’ve scanned in the Local History Room. This is Emily Drew’s photograph of Elm Street  at the Jones River.  The Pumping Station is just out of the frame to the right side. Elm Street Bridge, looking north, circa 1920 Meanwhile, somebody’s best ... Continue Reading
  • More Water for Kingston More Water for KingstonThe Pumping Station Kingston’s municipal water system was proposed at Town Meeting in 1884, legislated in 1885 under “An Act to Supply the Town of Kingston with Water,” and implemented in 1886.  The system officially began operations on August 10 that year.  While the actual water supply came from wells, Jones ... Continue Reading
  • Mayflowers Mayflowers“April showers bring Mayflowers,” especially lately with all the recent rain and particularly in Massachusetts, where these fragrant little blossoms are our state flower. Commonly called Mayflowers, trailing arbutus or less elegantly, the gravel plant, Epigaea repens can be found hiding under pine needles ... Continue Reading
  • Water for Kingston Water for KingstonOn April 12, 1886, workers broke ground for the construction of a reservoir as part of Kingston’s new municipal water system. Located just south of Russell Pond off Round Hill Road, the reservoir was used by the Water Department until 1996. Reservoir, circa 1923 In his paper “Problems of the Water Department” ... Continue Reading
  • Hoppy Easter! Hoppy Easter! Continue Reading
  • Greetings from Kingston, Mass. Greetings from Kingston, Mass.The exhibit for April in the Local History display case is a selection of early 20th century color postcards showing Kingston buildings and places. Stop by and take a look! Continue Reading