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”.

  • Letter from a mother to her daughter on the day of her weddingLetter from a mother to her daughter on the day of her wedding
      On January 1, 1857, Hannah Thomas Adams married Azel Washburn, a 27-year-old fisherman. Her mother, Hannah Thomas Brewster Adams, wrote her a note which reads: To Hannah on the day of her marriage Dear and only daughter in part Farewell! Ever since your birth you have been with me and an object ...
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  • A carriage ride on the beachA carriage ride on the beach
    Who’s ready for a day at the beach? Maybe not like this, but the weather sure looks nice here!   Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection IC7.
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  • Memorial DayMemorial Day
    Take a look at this snapshot of the 1946 Memorial Day parade as the procession, led by marshall Winfield Keene, exiting Evergreen Cemetery.   Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection IC7.  
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  • Combating an Invasive Species: The Gypsy Moth InfestationCombating an Invasive Species: The Gypsy Moth Infestation
      Today, we may see gypsy moths outside our homes or in our woodlands and think nothing of them, but this insect has a tumultuous history in the United States. In 1869, an amateur entomologist imported this species from Europe to his home in Medford, Massachusetts. He intended to use the moths to ...
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  • Arbor DayArbor Day
      Happy Arbor Day! Here are a couple snapshots of some lovely trees from the orchard behind “C. Drew’s house” on Summer Street. C. Drew either refers to Charles Drew or Christopher Prince Drew, co-founder of C. Drew and Company, both of whom lived on Summer Street.     Source: Images from the Emily ...
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  • A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress PartyA Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party
      1876 marked the 100th anniversary of nationhood for the United States. On April 12th of that year, a “Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party” was held at Fuller’s Hall (which burned down in 1900) in support of the “Massachusetts Women’s Centennial Fund.” The invitation above was sent to Horatio Adams, ...
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  • Childhood Hours by Cousin BenjaChildhood Hours by Cousin Benja
      Benjamin Mitchell (1827-1865), who wrote as Cousin Benja, is featured in this month’s exhibit. He spent all of his life in Kingston and composed poetry and essays primarily about nature, God, and the spirit. The following poem is included in a collection of his works, Poems and Letters, compiled by his ...
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  • Summer Street, 1927Summer Street, 1927
    In March 1927, Emily Fuller Drew (seen here in her Tercentenary costume) took these photos of Summer Street, looking south toward the center of Town, just after Town Meeting voted to widen the street. Summer Street had been previously straightened and/or widened in 1846, 1856, 1905 and 1922, when a ...
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  • Seeing doubleSeeing double
      In the Local History Room we have a number of stereoscopic photographs, known as stereographs or stereoviews. These prints feature two nearly identical images, side by side, typically mounted on a 3.5-by-7-inch card. When viewed through a stereoscope, they create the illusion of a single three-dimensional picture. They were popular ...
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  • On this day in 1912…On this day in 1912...
      Here’s a snapshot taken 106 years ago. On the back, this image is captioned: March 30, 1912 On James Rickards woodlot. Father Mother Annie Grace Lead According to census records for 1910, James C. Rickard owned a farm in Plymouth, where he lived with his wife, Lydia. The four people in this photo, however, remain unidentified. Any ideas?   Source: Image ...
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  • World Water DayWorld Water Day
    March 22 is World Water Day, a day to focus attention on the importance of water. In honor of the occasion, take a look at this selection of images of some of our local bodies of water.     Jones River Silver Lake   Indian Pond   Russell’s Pond   Smelt Brook   Forge Pond   To learn more about Kingston’s rivers, ponds, and ...
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  • Ye Kyng’s Towne SweetesYe Kyng’s Towne Sweetes
      Around 1907, Carrie W. Hall and Sarah DeNormandie Bailey began a candy business called Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes, which they operated out of the house owned by the Hall family at 215 Main Street (below). Miss Hall managed the manufacturing, while Mrs. Bailey managed the sales. By 1910, they employed ...
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  • Kingston High School girls’ basketball team, 1951Kingston High School girls' basketball team, 1951
    Row 1 (sitting): Joecille Ayer, Sylvia Bailey, Judy Glass, Eva Villani (Co-captain), Mary Borghesani, (Co-captain), Shirley Marshall, Lilias Ford, Mary Lawrance Row 2: Rose Cazale (Co-manager), Barbara Bearce, Anne Corrow, Nancy Bearce, Barbara Basler, Elizabeth Zwicker, Ann McGrath, Adrienne Gorn (Co-manager), Mrs. Stratton (coach) Row 3: Margo White, Sally Farrington, Patricia Bailey, ...
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  • Using AncestryUsing Ancestry
    Ancestry is one of the many digital resources available through our library. It allows you to search through many types of historical records, including census, military, immigration, and vital records, among others. This makes it a fantastic resource for genealogical research.     Take, for example, this panel card (above) featuring Mary Trow. ...
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  • Emily Fuller Drew: Historian and PhotographerEmily Fuller Drew: Historian and Photographer
      In honor of Women’s History Month, March’s local history exhibit will feature materials from Emily Fuller Drew (1881-1950), who we have to thank for much of what we know about Kingston’s history. She put in an enormous of amount of work to help preserve the history of this town. Leaving ...
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  • A foul fowl?A foul fowl?
    Sometimes you come across an image that really makes you wish someone had written a caption. Here is one such photo. With Delano’s Wharf in the background, we know that the photo was taken on the edge of Kingston Bay. The man stooped over the water resembles Charlie Delano (1837 – ...
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  • Great BridgeGreat Bridge
    The Great Bridge, or the bridge over Main Street (Route 3A) where the road intersects with Brook Street, did not receive its name because of its architectural significance, but because it carried the Great Road, running from Plymouth to Boston, over the Jones River. The early history of this bridge and its ...
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  • Looking ahead to springLooking ahead to spring
    Missing the warm weather yet? Now that we’re halfway through winter,  spring is right around the corner. Take a look at this beautiful bed of asters in front of the house at 280 Main Street, built around 1897. The woman on the left is Martha Maglathlin. On the right you can ...
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  • Are you ready for some football?Are you ready for some football?
    1933 South Shore Football Champions Kneeling, left to right: Bob Bailey, Raoul Corazzari, George Candini, Clyde Melli, Eddie Cadwell, Stephen Reed, Bob Davis In 1933, the Kingston High School football team won the South Shore Championship.  Over the course of this season, they won five games, lost two, and tied one. 13 ...
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  • “Just a word to let you know I am still alive…”: Postcards from World War I“Just a word to let you know I am still alive…”: Postcards from World War I
      When the US entered World War I in 1917 and called for a draft, Joseph Finney registered during the first round. He became one of approximately 2 million men who joined the American Expeditionary Forces, armed forces sent overseas to Europe. Throughout his service he exchanged postcards with friends and ...
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