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.
  • Kingston’s Civil War Soldiers, Sailors and Nurses Kingston's Civil War Soldiers, Sailors and NursesA native of Kingston, William Simmons served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, not as an officer, but as a master shipwright and later Constructor at the Navy Yard in Charlestown. On exhibit for Memorial Day are photographs of Simmons and other residents of Kingston and nearby towns who ... Continue Reading
  • And now, a wish for summer… And now, a wish for summer...And now, a wish for summer... Continue Reading
  • “Divided States of America,” April 28, 1861 "Divided States of America," April 28, 1861Pages 1 and 4 of a letter dated April 28, 1861  to “My Dear Tom” from Will in Kingston, Mass, Divided States of America. Sunday Apr 28 1861 Kingston Mass. Divided States of America My Dear Tom It is now nearly seven weeks since you left here and as I did not write by the ... Continue Reading
  • Yum, yum, rum. Yum, yum, rum.Capt. Ezra Fuller To Charles Adams Dr. 1827, Jan 4 To Powder + Shot ..56 ” Paying Pilotage at the Bar 10..00 ” 2 Gallons Rum 1..20 ” 4 lb. Nails ..40 ” 1 qt Rum ..15 ” 1 lb. Tobacco ..20 ” 1 qt Rum ..15 ” 4 3/8 Gallons Rum 2..62 1/2 1 Bushel Peas ..50 Cash12..00 $27.78 1/2 Continue Reading
  • “I care not a whit for the laugh or the sneer…” "I care not a whit for the laugh or the sneer..."April is National Poetry Month, so here is a poem by Kingston’s own romantic versifier, Benjamin “Cousin Benja” Mitchell.  Born in 1828, Benja lived with his parents and sister in picturesque Thatchwood Cottage on what is now Brookdale Street near the Duxbury line.  He spent much of his life roaming ... Continue Reading
  • Taxes TaxesNew (and very timely) exhibit on taxes in the Library. Continue Reading
  • View looking north, no date View looking north, no dateFrom Abram’s Hill, you can see a quite a way.  This view shows the back of the Frederic C. Adams Library at lower left and the houses along Summer Street down through Kingston center.   The Reed Community Building was not yet standing (it would be at lower right), so ... Continue Reading
  • Heartbroken HeartbrokenLooking for tax-related documents for an upcoming exhibit today, I found death instead (or perhaps it found me?), in a small, but heart-breaking moment from the past. On October 29, 1870, Bradford Adams died of typhoid fever aged 15 years, 11 months and 3 days.  Father and Mother are George T. ... Continue Reading
  • After fire, Prospect Hill After fire, Prospect HillProspect Hill lies on the north side of Smelt Brook in south-east Kingston.  And Major Bradford’s Town tells us that the devastating fire occurred in July 1908.  Beyond that, there’s not much information on the hill, the fire or this  haunting image.  More later, if more can be found.   Continue Reading
  • “IT WILL…ROLL ITS GREAT EYEBALLS!” "IT WILL...ROLL ITS GREAT EYEBALLS!"Last week’s look at the capitalist Horatio Adams leads to this week’s pique.  Among the many stockbroker’s receipts, enticements to buy land in Nebraska, an 8% Gold Bond for the Death Valley – Arcalvado Consolidated Mine Company, and stock in the Association Salt Company is a beautiful little booklet. Yes, in ... Continue Reading
  • Kingston Capitalist Kingston CapitalistOn the 1900 Federal Census, as on others before, each head of household was asked to give his (or more rarely, her) occupation. Along Summer Street, these included dry goods merchant, station agent for the railroad, boarding house keeper, stone cutter and teacher, until the census taker came to Horatio ... Continue Reading
  • Lives Alone – The Story of Kingston’s Famous Hermit Lives Alone - The Story of Kingston's Famous HermitThinking of those who are under-represented in archival collections, of the undocumented figures of history,  hermits have to be in the top ten, right?  That just doesn’t seem right, so… here’s the story of Kingston’s famous hermit, drawn from a cabinet card, a few entries in town records, a newspaper article, ... Continue Reading
  • “I send you… "I send you...patriotic greetings on his birthday.”   From the chock-full-of-holiday-goodness of the Loring Postcard collection. Continue Reading
  • Bills, Bills, Bills! Bills, Bills, Bills!January is not only cold and snowy, but usually swamped with bills from the previous month’s holiday extravagances. For example, in December of 1893, the Town of Kingston spent $2.50 at John C. Dawe’s establishment.  Eschewing groceries and grains, bypassing sails and spars, avoiding coffee and varnish, the Town settled ... Continue Reading
  • Happy New Year! Happy New Year!From Helen Foster again. Continue Reading
  • A Holiday Treat! A Holiday Treat!It’s heartwarming to know that on a planet somewhere far away, Christmas means Cupid with a whip riding snails pulled by dragonflies. Continue Reading
  • Holiday Ornaments Holiday OrnamentsThis month’s exhibit features a collection of holiday ornaments created by the Kingston Lions Club between 1991 and 2001.  Each limited edition glass ball bears the likeness of a Kingston icon — from the old Town Hall and Soldier’s Monument to Bildad Washburn’s Tavern on Main Street and the fish ... Continue Reading
  • Ichabod Washburn Benevolent Fund Ichabod Washburn Benevolent FundApplications for Kingston’s 2011 Ichabod Washburn Benevolent Fund are now online. Completed forms are due at the Town Clerk’s Office by January 31, 2011.  Funds will be distributed in March 2011. To learn more about Ichabod Washburn, check out this earlier post. Continue Reading
  • A little walk on Summer Street A little walk on Summer StreetWARNING: For the historical thought experiment that follows, imagine there’s no traffic on Route 3A/Summer Street. Yes, it’s not easy, and if you can’t persuade yourself, please DON’T stand in the middle of the street! You have been warned! Stand in the middle of Summer Street just south of Evergreen and ... Continue Reading
  • Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving!Last year, a great color postcard really captured the festivities of the holiday, and the year before, a little dance card prompted a step into the many varieties of the quadrille.  This year, Helen Foster provides a look back at Thanksgiving in Kingston history.  Above, a preliminary sketch she drew ... Continue Reading