Manuscript Collections

The manuscript collections contain papers, diaries, correspondence, etc. of persons relating to Kingston history in some manner. Links below will bring you to a pdf file of the finding aid (not all finding aids are posted on this site. Finding aids for each collection are available at the Local History Room and the Reference Desk).

MC-1. Helen Holmes Papers (1865-1938) 1 box (3 linear inches) Nearly all of the collection is concerned with Helen Holmes’ interest in gardening. Perhaps most notable are lecture notes and manuscript materials on the topics of herbs, roses, old New England gardens, and gardens in Geneva. Also included are clippings, fliers, and pamphlets on various aspects of horticulture, together with some herb vendor price lists.

MC-2. Lydia T. Adams Letters (1821-1908) 1 box (3 linear inches) Collection of 16 letters sent by Lydia T. Adams to family members and friends while on a 45-day Cook’s Tour of Europe during the summer of 1891. Letters from the following locales are included: On board the SS Friesland (bound for Europe), Brussels (Hotel de la Porte), Munich (Hotel Belle Vue), Rome (Grand Hotel Continental), Naples, Lake Maggiore, Chauionix (Hotel D’ Angleterre), Lucerne (Swiss Hotel), Paris (Hotel St. Petersburg), and London (The Midland Grand Hotel).

MC-3. Hannah T. Adams (1796-1858) Diaries (1817-1836 and 1841-1858) 3 box (15 linear inches) Fourteen volumes of diaries spanning 1816-1836 and 1841-1858. Evidently no diary was kept between January 1837 and March 1841. The diaries cover a variety of different topics including day-to-day work and recreational activities, the weather, comments on sermons that she heard in local churches, concerns about the health of her children, and periodic evaluations of her “interior life.”

MC-4. Charles H. Drew (1853-1937) Diaries (1870-1871) 1 box (3 linear inches) Pair of diaries chronicling the events of two sea voyages; the first to the Mediterranean between March and October, 1870, the second to South America between January and August, 1871.

MC-5. Henry M. Jones (1859-1926) “Ships of Kingston” manuscripts and notes boxes (23 linear inches) Collection of manuscript material used in the production of the Ships of Kingston by Henry M. Jones. The collection includes historical sketches of Kingston ships, and biographical sketches of Kingston ship builders and ship captains. Also included are photographs together with pen and ink drawings that were used to illustrate the book.

MC-6. Walter H. Faunce Diaries (1832-1930) 1 box (3 linear inches) Walter Faunce’s diaries are of the “pocket diary” type. Entries generally contain accounts of daily activities and occasionally the weather. The Kingston Public Library has volumes covering the years: 1855, 1857, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1863, and 1865. The Jones River Village Historical Society owns another volume covering the year 1858. Also included in this Collection is a handwritten manuscript believe to have been written by Faunce.

MC-7. Thomas Bradford Drew Collection (1834-1898) 2 boxes (10 linear inches) This Collection contains notebooks and manuscripts about Kingston history and genealogy. Topics covered in the notebooks include Kingston vital records and gravestone inscriptions. Manuscript titles include: “Historical sketch of Kingston, Massachusetts,”“History of Kingston – ancient ferries, highways, & bridges,” “History of Kingston Annals from 1726 to 1821,” “History of Kingston – Houses of some of the early settlers,” “History of the town of Kingston, Plymouth County.”

MC-8. Helen D. Foster Collection (1900-1998) (Collection not completed; finding aid not yet available to public; original diaries may not be accessed by public.)

MC-9. George F. Sever Collection (1866-1954) 4 boxes (20 linear inches) The George F. Sever papers document the involvement of a retired engineer in Kingston town governance and local community organizations. There are two series in the collection, Town Records and Local History.

The Town Records series contains records that relate to Severs work on the Board of Selectmen and on the Board of Public Welfare. Two folders originate from his service on the Board of Public Welfare. Financial records and playground expenses derive from the financial responsibilities of the Board of Selectmen. The largest proportion of the series relates to Severs work on Kingston boundary lines and street lighting.

The Local History series is derived from Severs involvement and membership in the First Parish Congregational Church and the Jones River Village Club. His chief research interest in local history, and the largest proportion of the series, is related to gravestone documentation in Kingston although gravestones in Plymouth County are documented and illustrated in a postcard album. The series includes photographs of Kingston gravestones, notes from a lecture on tombstones and notes related to Revolutionary and Civil War gravestone sites in Kingston. This research was used to order commemorative plaques for soldier’s grave sites in Kingston.

MC-10. Ruth Forbes Chandler Collection (1894-1978)
 8 boxes (48 linear inches) The Ruth Forbes Chandler papers document the active literary career of a local Kingston children’s author. The focus of her numerous manuscripts were of children facing difficult problems. This is especially true of Ladder to The Sky about a young black boy facing adversity. Originally published in 1959 and then later reissued in 1965 during which time most books were published about caucasian children. As Chandler stated in a letter to a young child “Then came the change in people’s thinking and the call for varied racial backgrounds”.

The important early influence of Clement C. Maxwell, president of the Bridgewater Normal School (Bridgewater State College), in encouraging Chandler to undertake a literary career is seen in his incoming correspondence. Logbooks of children’s stories and novels kept by Chandler record the dates and publication history of her works between 1943 and 1966, a period of extensive literary output for the author. The original manuscripts for many of these stories and novels make up a large proportion of the papers. Chandler was frequently called upon for speaking engagements and regularly attended writer’s conferences. She donated part of her manuscript collection to the Grummond Collection at the University of Mississippi.

MC-11. Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (1894-1970)
 2 box (7 linear inches) The collection includes Finney’s World War I correspondence, material related to Finney’s role as commander of the American Legion Post 108 in Kingston, and some rare Kingston ephemera including a memorandum of the Kingston Civilian Defense Committee on air raid and blackout signals that were scheduled to be used locally.

MC-12. Reverend W. Wyeth Willard Collection (1905-1999) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection contains an assortment of newsletters and fliers published by or about W. Wyeth Willard, pastor of the Federated church of Kingston, together with newspaper clippings documenting his life and activities. A biographical sketch about Willard titled “Combat Chaplain” which appeared in the November 1980 issue of Leatherneck Magazine and a blueprint map of Camp Good News is also in this Collection.

MC-13. Arthur Beane Collection (shipping papers for the Morning StarMonte CristoCordovaLeonidas, and the Zamar) 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection contains ship papers from the following ships: Morning StarMonte CristoCordovaLeonidas, and the Zamar. It forms part of the Jones River Village Historical Society Collection.

MC-14. Henry L. Barker Papers (1875-1948) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection consists primarily of papers relating to the Frederick C. Adams Library and an assorted of Kingston billheads (Collection not completed; finding aid not yet available to public)

MC-15. Lothrop Holmes Papers (1824-1899) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection consists mainly of newspaper and auction catalogue clippings containing information about Lothrop Holmes’ decoys, photocopies of town documents pertaining to Holmes’ vital dates and photographs (possibly taken by Ted Avery) depicting Holmes’ decoys and gravestones of Holmes’ family members.

MC-16. Emily Fuller Drew Collection (1881-1950) 4 box (20 linear inches) This Collection mainly consists on unpublished essays and notes on the history of houses, places, and events relating to Kingston before the 1930s. Of particular interest in this Collection are images taken by to Drew. These images can be found in the LHR Image Collection: Drew Collection. This Collection is a minor sampling of the lifelong work Drew accomplished. Many of her contributions may be found in other Local History Room Collections, especially MC- 29, the Jones River Village Historical Society Collection.

MC-17. Cornelius A. Bartlett Papers (1811-1880) 14 boxes (70 linear inches) Among the many deeds and records in this Collection, Bartlett is perhaps best know for his collection of diaries and his work on the older homes of Kingston.

MC-18. Mitchell Toabe Papers (1909-2002) 5 boxes (31 linear inches) As Toabe was heavily involved with Silver Lake Regional High School, this Collection contains account reports, meeting minutes and surveys all relating to the early years of Silver Lake Regional High School. Additional items of note housed in the Toabe Collection include a history of Toabe’s hardware and surrounding businesses on Summer Street, copies of the a yearly calendar, produced by Toabe, containing photographs of area places, houses or events. The Collection contains calendars from 1948 – 1971, though not encompassing all years. Also of interest may be a thank you note to Toabe for his position of Price Administrator from the White House.

MC-19. George C. Burgess Papers (1831-1912)1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection consists primarily of historical papers about Kingston and Kingston residents.

MC-20. Dura Wadsworth Collection (bulk date: 1820-1899) 1 box (3 linear inches) Of particular note in this Collection are correspondences and accounts of the Western Railroad Office and the Plympton Wool Manufacturing Company.

MC-21. Mary Hathaway Collection (Collection not completed; finding aid not yet available to public)

MC-22. Kingston Public Library Papers (1871-present) 8 boxes (33 linear inches) The scope of the Kingston Public Library Papers Collection covers a span of over 100 years of operation and service to the Town of Kingston and its community by the Kingston Public Library. This Collection of Library Papers begins with the history of the Library: from the conception through the execution of establishment. A number of historical sketches exist, which provide detailed descriptions, from a number of different viewpoints. Within the Collection there also are a number of legal documents, including wills and deeds. A large number of these documents focus on the original construction of the building, finances, equipment and maintenance throughout the years and the addition to the Library in 1964.

With the move of the Library in 1994, there was a great deal of controversy raised over the reuse of the F.C. Adams building. There is also extensive information regarding the original construction of the Adams building by architect J.E. Chandler and the eventual acceptance onto the National Register of Historic Buildings.

This Collection is abundant in the number of documents existing from a variety of previous programs sponsored by the Library, including special events such as the Children’s Room 20th Anniversary Celebration and the Library Centennial Celebration. The Collection is also strong in its focus on the Local History Room and the activities of the Local History Room.

Though the Collection is primarily text based, there are a small number of postcards depicting the Adams building and photographs depicting the evolution of the Library as an institution servicing the community. The Collection also contains VHS tapes, original library cards, bookmarks and more.

MC-23. Helen Adair Hammond Adams Papers (1883-1962) 5 boxes (25 linear inches) This Collection contains a information on a variety of topics related to Kingston, from genealogy to place histories, to information on various events which occurred in Kingston. Helen Adams diverse personal interests are reflected in this material that she collected.

MC-24. Ada Brewster Collection (1842-1929) 2 boxes (8 linear inches) Of primary interest in this Collection are the pencil sketches of Indians, Chinese, and landscapes Brewster completed while either visiting or living in California, Nevada, and Florida. Genealogical material on the Brewster family, as well as information on Kingston related topics such as the Bradford House and the Helen Adams estate auction, may also be of interest. A scrapbook that contains photographs from the late 1800s through the early 1900s, created by Flora Brewster, shows many views of Woodside and other areas in Kingston.

MC-25. Albion Holmes (1913 – 2006) 2 boxes (10 linear inches) This Collection contains a number of interesting items, including historical sketches covering the following areas and times of Kingston: “Kingston Post and its Postmaster,” “Stony Brook Neighborhood,” a history of Toabe’s Store, Kingston taverns, a 1947 driving tour of Elm Street through Indian Pond Road, and Irish history in Kingston .

MC-26. Jennie F. McLauthlen Papers (1868-1947) 2 boxes (6 linear inches) This Collection consists of annual town reports, copies of the magazine Our Young Folks; An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls (box 2), the 200th Anniversary pamphlet of the First Church of Pembroke, a 1927 issue of The Quill, a playbill of The Dickens Club, Little Em’ly and an 1828 Farmers Almanac.

MC-27. Town House Attic Papers. (1774-1931) 14 boxes (69 linear inches) The issues covered and the materials included within this Collection, cover a wide range of Town topics. The majority of the dates covered fall between the late 1700s and the early 1900s. Included is a number of papers relating to the Almshouse (poor house) of Kingston.

Included in this Collection are two documents that illuminate an interesting chapter in Kingston’s history. The first document is an 1808 letter from the Selectmen of Boston to the town of Kingston, asking Kingston to join with Boston in asking the President of the United States to lift the embargo on European goods that was then in place. The entire Boston Board of Selectmen, including the famous architect Charles Bullfinch, who was then Chairman of the Board, signed this document. The second document is a letter from Thomas Jefferson, who was President at that time, to the inhabitants of Kingston, acknowledging receipt of their petition and explaining his reasons for continuing the embargo. This document was filled in and signed by Thomas Jefferson. According to Stuart Whitehurst of Skinner Auction House, both documents are authentic (documents were authenticated the summer of 2004).

MC-28. Dr. William C. Gould Collection (1909-1984) 1 box (13 linear inches) This Collection consists of Dr. Goulds obituary, medical book and tools.

MC-29. Jones River Village Historical Society Papers (1909-present) 44 boxes (267 linear inches) This Collection is divided into the following series: Early information, Bradford House Council, Bradford House, Literature, Places, People, Diaries, Ledgers, Non-text (photographs) and Lanternslides.

MC-30. Margaret Warnsman Collection (1911- ) 4 boxes (20 linear inches) The Warnsman Collection focuses on Kingston history, events, places and people. Of specific note in this Collection are documents that explore the history Kingston families, as well as documents that focus on Kingston neighborhoods and houses, such as the houses on Bridgewater Road, the Forge Pond District and the Stony Brook neighborhood history. Of other interest may be the collection of newspaper clippings, many of which focus on the 200th birthday celebration of Kingston in 1926. Also within the collection of newspaper clippings are obituaries of notable Kingston residents dating back to 1890. The Warnsman Collection additionally contains a number of photographs that explore the development of Kingston in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

MC-31. Eleanor Loring Cole Collection (1914-2005) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains examples of Kingston and other local town business billheads. Of note in this Collection are three books: the 1928 publication of Laddie and two class autograph books.

MC-32. Juliette A. Ayer Collection (1933-2004) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains information on the (Reverend Martin) Parris family.

MC-33. Katherine Pratt Collection (1911 – 2004) 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains information from the life of Katherine Pratt. The majority of the photographs are not identified, but are believed to have been Kingston residents.