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”.

  • New Exhibit: Ichabod Washburn Benevolent FundNew Exhibit: Ichabod Washburn Benevolent Fund
    The Ichabod Washburn Benevolent Fund was established over 130 years ago through a bequest to the Town of Kingston. Washburn, who was born and raised in Kingston, made his fortune as a wire manufacturer in Worcester but never forgot his hometown or the struggles of his mother, who raised her ...
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  • Treasure in a Shoe BoxTreasure in a Shoe Box
    Treasure in a Shoe Box Among the treasures describing the history of Kingston that Emily Fuller Drew bequeathed to the community is a common ladies shoe box.   The box itself probably qualifies as an antique on Ebay, but the real value lies in the contents: hundreds of 3″ X 5″ cards. ...
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  • Thanksgiving 1875Thanksgiving 1875
    In 1875 Kingston celebrated with a Grand Thanksgiving Ball on November 25. Cover of dance card, Grand Thanksgiving Ball, November 25, 1875 This dance card tells us that Bowle’s Quadrille Band played 17 numbers, 14 of which were listed as quadrilles. This was not as unvaried as it might sound, as there ...
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  • Equal timeEqual time
    After the dog photo last week, the cat demanded equal representation.  Here is an undated photo of Martha Bradford in costume holding a substantial and apparently contented tabby. Miss Martha Bradford and cat
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  • Dog blog: I like this pictureDog blog: I like this picture
    This is one of those pictures that just jumps out at me. I don’t know too much about it, but I really like it. The caption simply reads “Chester Fuller and his dog near Delano’s Wharf, 1890.” I wish my dog would sit up like that, but she’s knock-kneed and goofy ...
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  • Kingston’s monumentsKingston's monuments
    Over the centuries, Kingston residents have served in the armed forces when necessary, and throughout that time, the town as a whole has honored that service and sacrifice. Here is a brief look at a few of the monuments around town that set in stone the town’s gratitude to its ...
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  • New Exhibit: A Salute to our VeteransNew Exhibit: A Salute to our Veterans
    November’s Local History Room exhibit honors veterans with a display of artifacts and documents that give a small glimpse of the soldier’s life and return home.
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  • Veterans DayVeterans Day
    Armistice Day, 1918 Ninety years ago this week, at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the War to End All Wars, the Great War, now called the First World War, ended.  The following year, President Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day, and by 1921, Congress declared the federal holiday. Kingston ...
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  • Go vote!Go vote!
    With the presidential election upon us, we look back some decades to another. Here is the 1864 National Republican Ticket. Running for re-election against General George B. McClellan, a War Democrat known as “Little Mac,” on a platform that included the defeat of the Confederacy and a constitutional amendment to end ...
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  • Ada Brewster’s Wild WestAda Brewster's Wild West
    If you missed the last exhibit in the Local History Room case, you can see it online. Ada Brewster’s Wild West shows a small selection of pencil sketches by one of Kingston’s notable artists.
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  • Happy 100th Birthday to St. Joseph’sHappy 100th Birthday to St. Joseph's
    October 19 marks the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Parish in Kingston. This postcard shows the Church’s first building at 261 Main St. Mailed from Middleboro and postmarked 9/21/1906, the card was sent to Miss Nellie McGinn who lived in Brighton, MA.  Built in 1882, the building was originally a mission ...
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  • The Railroad Bridge over Howland’s LaneThe Railroad Bridge over Howland's Lane
    The Railroad Bridge over Howland’s Lane Mr. Isaac Hedges, shown in this snapshot and identified on the back by Emily Drew, was one of the incorporators and later one of the directors of the Old Colony Railroad, as reported in the Nov. 7, 1919 issue of the Old Colony Memorial.  ...
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  • New exhibit for October: Carved in StoneNew exhibit for October: Carved in Stone
    Carved in Stone is a display of photographs of gravestones in Kingston’s Old Burying Ground and Evergreen Cemetery.  Stop by the Library and take a look.
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  • South Shore Football Champions of 1933South Shore Football Champions of 1933
    Football Champions This group portrait shows some of the 1933 South Shore Champion Football Team of Kingston High School on the football field at the Bailey Playground (note the goal post in the background). Twenty-eight  boys, out of a total student body of 131 in Grades 9-12, went out for football ...
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  • Happy Helen Foster Day!Happy Helen Foster Day!
    Happy Helen Foster Day! September 24 marks the birthday of one of Kingston’s notables, Helen Foster.  Born in 1900, she studied art extensively and eventually became the first female commercial artist in Boston. She lent her talents to her hometown, designing the town seal and town quilt, collaborating on the town ...
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  • Back to schoolBack to school
    Back to school The first day of school in 1909 found some Kingston children attending the newest school in town, the Maple Avenue School. It was a two room building, planned so that another room could be added if necessary, and it was the most modern and hygienic schoolhouse to be ...
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  • More on Old Home WeekMore on Old Home Week
    The Massachusetts Legislature of 1902 passed an act to establish Old Home Week beginning on the last Sunday in July.  Events could be financed by an appropriation made by Town Meeting, and in 1903, Kingston voted $100 towards the celebration.  A committee was chosen and the week’s activities planned.  Guests ...
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  • August 28, 1908 and 2008August 28, 1908 and 2008
    August 28, 1908 and 2008 Two photos and a program — dated exactly one hundred years ago today — inaugurate the Pique of the Week, a blog by  the Local History Room volunteers and staff.  As we begin to put our Kingston photographs online, we will post things that stand out, ...
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