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 email@example.com 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”.
- 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 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 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 KingstonThe Pumping Station This is not Kingston’s pumping station (per the Water Department); it’s an unlabelled look-alike! 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 ...Continue Reading
- 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 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!
- 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
- Crash!Conductor at trolley accident, 1910 Here are two views of a trolley accident in Kingston from sometime in 1910. The cars shown here belonged to the Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, which was originally called the Plymouth & Kingston Street Railway. For more information on the company, which still runs buses ...Continue Reading
- The Town LandingLying at the foot of River Street, the Town Landing provides access for boaters to the Jones River, as well as a lovely place to sit and watch the water flow into Kingston Bay. These two photos were taken by Ted Avery in April 1975. Forty years earlier, this was the ...Continue Reading
- The “Short Reach” of the Jones RiverThe “Short Reach” of the Jones River, 1920 Emily Fuller Drew took this photograph “expressly for the booklet” The Story of Jones River, which she and Sara Y. Bailey completed in 1920. The original caption reads “Flat House Dock. The home of Joseph Bradford, youngest son of the Governor. It is ...Continue Reading
- George E. Cushman’s delivery wagonEven before the days of online ordering and overnight shipping, groceries and other necessities could appear at your door on demand, delivered perhaps by the horse-drawn wagons of Kingston merchant George E. Cushman. From 1864 when he began clerking in Azel Sampson’s dry goods store at 196 Main Street to ...Continue Reading
- Vital RecordsVital records are the most basic paperwork of human life, the tangible evidence of the three most important events: birth, death and marriage. In Massachusetts, these events have been registered at the local level since 1635 and formally collected by the state since 1841. On display this month are a ...Continue Reading
- “Proficiency in Typewriting”Here is a recent acquisition, a fragment of the past that made its way into the Local History Room. This wallet-sized certificate attests to the speed and accuracy of the typwriting skills of one Esther De Marzio. Who was she, we ask? A 1927 Kingston High School graduate, Literary Editor and ...Continue Reading
- Happy holiday!Source: Joseph Cushman Finney Papers MC11Continue Reading
- KINGSTONOPOLY!The Local History Exhibit for February starts with the game of Kingstonopoly, a customized version of the classic board game Monopoly done for the PTO of Kingston Elementary School in 2000. Looking through the collections of the Local History Room, we find not only a pair of adorable wooden boxes ...Continue Reading
- The Adams BlockThe original Adams Block consisted of avariety of buildings picked up here and there by Horatio Adams, moved onto Summer Street and joined together in a new kind of retail conglomeration. A novel idea in the 1840s, the business block was a bold experiment. The nature of the structure, however, ...Continue Reading
- “The White Rose of Savoie” traditionThe house now known as 53 Lake Street was once the home of “Squire Holmes” whose father Jonathan Holmes Sr. built it at the time of his marriage to his second wife, Rebecca Tilden in 1752. Although it was a small structure, it was a double house and easily accommodated ...Continue Reading
- The only steamer built in KingstonIn the spring of 1898, noted Kingston ship-builder Edward A. Ransom launched the largest vessel constructed on the Jones River since 1874, the steamer Tiger. She was, in the words of Henry M. Jones, author of Ships of Kingston, “a handsome vessel” of 30 tons with an overall length of ...Continue Reading
- The Old Bay PathThe Old Bay Path Well before the Pilgrims landed, the Native Americans of southeastern Massachusetts had an extensive network of well-worn trails, among them the Old Bay Path shown in these two lantern slides. By 1637, the colonists had adopted the Bay Path as the main highway through Kingston. Eventually the ...Continue Reading