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 firstname.lastname@example.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”.
- 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 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 pictureThis 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-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 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 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
- 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 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
- 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!Or, as Johnny Cash might sing, “I got livestock, I got livestock.”Continue Reading
- 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!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 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 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”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 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!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”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!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 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