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”.

  • Kingston in VerseKingston in Verse
    In celebration of National Poetry Month, this month’s local history exhibit features poems  inspired by Kingston’s environment, history, and community. Come check out selected works by Benjamin Mitchell (1827-1865), Thomas Drew Stetson (1827-1916), and Katherine L. Ward!
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  • Hello to Autumn!Hello to Autumn!
    Happy first day of fall! In celebration of the occasion, check out this postcard from around 1915. The message on the back reads: “We need you on Rally Day. Remember the date: October 29. Do not disappoint. Help us make this our best Rally Day. Cordially yours, Grace W. Cobb”. ...
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  • Summer’s Last HurrahSummer’s Last Hurrah
    As we enjoy the last week or so of summer, take a look at this fantastic image taken by Kingston historian and photographer, Emily Fuller Drew, showing the Bearse and Drew families enjoying a clambake. It was taken around 1925 and gets even more interesting the longer you look at ...
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  • VacationVacation
    The Local History Room will be closed from July 21 through August 4. If you click on the photo to display a larger size, you may be able to make out what looks like the Bug Light on the horizon on the right side of the the photo (under the black dashed line).   Sources: ...
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  • What’s in a name?What's in a name?
    There’s a spot in Kingston just west of Exit 9 on Route 3, elevation about 68 feet, which has been long known as Thomas’ Hill. In her 1933 description of Kingston place names, Emily Fuller Drew tells us ...
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  • Tura’s PharmacyTura's Pharmacy
    From the 1870s until last October, Kingston had a drugstore on Summer Street. Tura’s Pharmacy has a long history, and it’s on display in the Local History Room’s exhibit case this month. Stop by the Library and check it out.
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  • Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas
    From the fabulous Finney postcards comes this touching glimpse of two mischievous vandals and their squirrel sidekick pranking Santa while he naps. For more Christmas goodness from the Local History Room , see here and here.   Source: Joseph Cushman Finney Papers MC11 For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and ...
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  • Laddie: A Christmas StoryLaddie: A Christmas Story
    Just for the holidays! Stop by the Library and see Laddie. This is Elspeth Hardy’s first grade class at the Faunce School (then called Center Primary) in 1915. In 1928, she would help another group of students write a book, as she explains in the preface.
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  • Happy Halloween from 1952Happy Halloween from 1952
        Source: School Photographs IC5 For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at piqueoftheweek.wordpress.com
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  • Welcome Home from the War to End All WarsWelcome Home from the War to End All Wars
    For more on Kingston’s Welcome Home parade, see this post.   Source: Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16. Negatives scanned with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and digitized at the Boston Public Library in conjunction with the Digital Commonwealth) For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, ...
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  • A lovely little launchA lovely little launch
    Yes, the Local History Room is full of old stuff, but sometimes we get new old stuff, new to us anyway.  One of our recent accessions is a small trove of photographs, most not well identified, of boats built by George W. Shiverick in his shop on the Jones River. ...
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  • Carved in StoneCarved in Stone
    Kingston has grave stones that predate the town.  Photos of some of them are in the display case this month.     Source: Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4 For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at piqueoftheweek.wordpress.com
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  • It’s National Library Card Sign-up MonthIt's National Library Card Sign-up Month
    Do you have a library card? If not, please stop by the Library and get one, and take a look at this month’s Local History exhibit featuring some older library registers and cards. Source: Frederic C. Adams Library and  Kingston Public Library Collection MC22 For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local ...
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  • Working on the boatWorking on the boat
    Are they getting ready for a late summer cruise, or putting her away for the season? Source: Mary Hathaway Collection MC21 For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at piqueoftheweek.wordpress.com
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  • August 22 was a Saturday in 1863 tooAugust 22 was a Saturday in 1863 too
    The Local History Room recently received a trove of old ledgers from H. K. Keith & Co.  These hand-written record books track inventory in the general store, customer accounts and daily sales, like this apparently busy Saturday exactly 153 years ago today. It appears that the column between the item and ...
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  • Two people, one house and a clerihewTwo people, one house and a clerihew
    This is the Reverend Augustus Russell Pope (1819-1855), minister of Kingston’s First Parish Church, or as it was then known, First Congregational Society, from 1844 to 1849.  The biographical piece linked above lauds Pope’s work in Kingston, particularly his work with the Town’s schools. This is Lucy Ann Meacham Pope (1820-1870), the Reverend’s wife, who was originally from ...
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  • Photobombing is not a new thingPhotobombing is not a new thing
    One August in the middle of the 1930s, Emily Fuller Drew took some photos to document the Old Lucas House on Pembroke Street. Her file card for one of the lantern slides made from these negatives reads: William Cooke was son of Jacob Cooke Jr. mentioned in #38. He inherited & bought a ...
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  • SummertimeSummertime
    There’s a new exhibit in the Local History case in the Library lobby.  Stop by to see photos of summers past in Kingston: ice cream, beaches, picnics and more.   Source: Mary Hathaway Collection MC21 For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at piqueoftheweek.wordpress.com
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  • Here come the First Comers!Here come the First Comers!
    In 1920, the South Shore celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival in a six-month frenzy of Pilgrim-related activities, including a sprawling outdoor pageant — more detail here — featuring Kingstonians like Emily Fuller Drew in full Pilgrim dress. In 2020, just five short years from now, the 400th anniversary will be upon ...
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  • The devil is in the detailsThe devil is in the details
    Emily Fuller Drew wrote an extensive caption on the back of a print of this image: 1925 Lyman Cushman’s barns and shed on Elm St. Taken from the now Harper barn. A freshet tore down thro the valley, the Winter Meadow Brook and the canal which took its place, washing out ...
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