Local History Collections

Frederic C. Adams Public Library, multiple views

The Library’s Local History Collections (LHC) are housed in the Frey-Hoeg Historical Collections Room in the Adams Center, formerly the Frederic C. Adams Public Library, at 33 Summer Street.

The  Collections are available by appointment. Please contact the Archivist at 781-831-6277 or history@kingstonpubliclibrary.org with any research requests. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Use the menu at right to navigate to the materials we have online, and for additional information about the Library’s historical materials.


Enjoy the latest posts from the Local History blog “Pique of the Week”.

  • Joyful Thanksgiving to all!Joyful Thanksgiving to all!
    An old favorite from the Joseph Finney Collection
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  • Memorial Day 2021Memorial Day 2021
    Kingston first observed Memorial Day — known then as Decoration Day — in 1879. Here are a few images and documents of Kingstonians commemorating those who lost their lives in war.  
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  • Mustard squirt-gun anti-protest, 1966Mustard squirt-gun anti-protest, 1966
    “8/10/66-KINGSTON, MASS: Brandishing her own protest U.S. involvement in the Viet Nam war. UPI Telephoto”  
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  • Winthrop Street and the Hidden Historical Hand of HoratioWinthrop Street and the Hidden Historical Hand of Horatio
    Kingstonian Horatio Adams has appeared in the Pique of the Week a few times (here, here and here… well, that last one isn’t exactly about him, but it’s a favorite!) He was an prominent figure in Town history, but who knew he’d be right in the middle of a hot online ...
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  • In “my late mother’s random yard sale junk, we found this framed gem…”In "my late mother’s random yard sale junk, we found this framed gem..."
    In a post to the Kingston Town Locals group on Facebook , Will Perry described a recently uncovered 1810 document that describes the line between Pembroke and Kingston.  It appears to be a “Notice of Perambulation” documenting a joint walk along the border by the Selectmen of both Towns. By law, ...
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  • Welcome 2021!Welcome 2021!
    Source: Joseph Cushman Finney Papers MC11
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  • For Veterans’ Day: Melvin SimmonsFor Veterans' Day: Melvin Simmons
    Naval Constructor Melvin Simmons, born in Kingston on April 19, 1806, served as Master Carpenter for the first steam (or screw) frigate the USS Merrimack. Launched in June 1855 from the Charlestown Navy Yard, she was christened by Simmons’ daughter Mary Elizabeth, then 23. When Virginia seceded from the Union in ...
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  • Elder’s SpringElder's Spring
    “Elder’s Spring was the water supply for the house-holds of Isaac Allerton, the Mayflower Pilgrim, and of other occupants of the farm, until it came into possession of Elder Thomas Cushman, for whom the present name was given. The old spring was a lovely spot, shaded by huge willows, and ...
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  • A new idea, from 101 years ago.A new idea, from 101 years ago.
      In 2018, a new farmer’s market opened in Kingston. The Library’s usually there; check us out! It’s a great new venture with some interesting echos of the past. In  1917, Kingston also had a new community market, this one located at the Point, right where Summer Street splits from Main. The Old Colony ...
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  • Indian Pond summerIndian Pond summer
    Source: Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16
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  • In other spelling newsIn other spelling news
    Gray’s Beach Park is named for Edward Gray, who arrived in Plymoth Colony in the 1642 and eventually became one of the the richest men around. He owned land along what later became Kingston’s shoreline, including as this notable land record,  the site of  Kingston’s little beach. And we know it’s ...
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  • Happy Birthday toHappy Birthday to
    Our distinguished and beloved Town Historian!   Source: MC11 Joseph Finney Collection
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  • And the correct spelling is…And the correct spelling is...
      Here’s a detail of an early brochure for the summer cottage development called Ah-De-Nah, circa 1930.  The name was pitched as a Native American term, but descendants of the developers, Edgar and Waldo Loring, might tell you it was just made up.
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  • Welcome Home!Welcome Home!
    Why, thank you! It’s good to be back.
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  • Watering trough at the PointWatering trough at the Point
    In 1888, Henry R. Glover, a wealthy manufacturer of mattresses and “curled hair” from Cambridge, donated the “Henry Glover Watering Trough” to the town for public use at the Point, the triangular plot of land at the intersection of Main and Summer Streets. Glover was the son of Rev. Samuel Glover, ...
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  • What a mustache!What a mustache!
    The following is a portrait of Frederick G. Brackett (1854-1941). In 1889, he purchased the house at 126 Brookdale Street, built by the Chandler family around 1790, along with the sawmill located off Hall’s Brook just east of the house. Brackett continued to operate the mill (which burned down in 1924) ...
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  • Swimming lessonsSwimming lessons
      Source: Image from the Mary Hathaway Collection MC21.
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  • Happy Father’s DayHappy Father's Day
    In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, here is a sweet moment captured by Kingston historian and photographer Emily Fuller Drew of her niece, Norma, jumping into the waiting arms of her father, Clarence Drew (Emily’s brother).   Source: Image from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16.
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  • June 1924June 1924
    This photo from June 1924 shows an especially happy bunch of schoolchildren from the Center Primary School, renamed the Faunce School later that same year in honor of Walter H. Faunce, a former teacher, superintendent of schools, and town selectman.   Source: Image from the School Photograph Collection IC5. 
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  • 60 Main Street60 Main Street
    In this photo, a group of people (unidentified) appear to be enjoying the shade on a nice, sunny day.  One of the women is holding a small dog in her arms. They’re gathered in front of the Elbridge G. Windsor House at 60 Main Street, built around 1860.   Source: Image from the ...
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