Tag Archives: Events

About Susan Aprill

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Historic places

Frederic C. Adams Library, view from the south, no date.
Frederic C. Adams Library, view from the south, no date.

 

This September. Wikimedia, the home of Wikipedia and so much more, is hosting a photography contest called Wiki Loves Monuments, featuring photographs of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kingston has two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places: the Frederic C. Adams Library and the Major John Bradford House, as well as a National Historic District, which includes the area around Main and Green Streets.  For a listing of National Register sites in Plymouth County, and elsewhere, see Wikimedia’s list.

Major John Bradford house, rear view with well, 1921. By Emily Fuller Drew
Major John Bradford house, rear view with well, 1921. By Emily Fuller Drew

 

New Exhibit: Old Home Day (and New Old Home Day!)

Postcard from The Kid, postmarked 1908
Postcard from The Kid, postmarked 1908

Old Home Day is a small town New England tradition popular from the 1860s into the 1930s, and later in many cases.  In Kingston, the town-wide event, which included clambakes, sports, dancing, singing and parades, was held annually from 1903 to 1908, again from 1933 to 1938, in the 1970s and the 1990s.

This month’s exhibit features programs and photos from some of these events.

And the tradition continues on September 8,  Kingston’s new Old Home Day!  To get involved, contact the Board of Selectmen now.

New Exhibit: “On my honor, I will try…”

Memorial Day exercises on the Training Green, circa 1943
Memorial Day exercises on the Training Green, circa 1943

 

March 12 marks the 100 year anniversary of the first meeting of the Girl Scouts and to help the local troops celebrate, the Local History Room’s monthly exhibit shows a number of 1940s and 1960s Girl Scout artifacts, including badge sashes, pen knives and a collapsible camping cup.  Stop by and take a look.

Picnic on the lawn

Kingston Inn, circa 1950
Kingston Inn, circa 1950

Back when the Library was on the other side of the street, the Kingston Inn occupied our current site at the corner of Green and Summer.  Originally called the Patuxet House, the hotel was built in 1854 by Josiah Cushman to capitalize on the arrival of the Old Colony Railroad just a few years earlier.  The hotel was not particularly successful, and several owners and managers were involved through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Some strange and mysterious events took place at the Inn. In 1881, the remains of six people and “funerary objects” were discovered on the grounds.  Because it was a suspected Native American burial ground, the remains were turned over the Peabody Essex Museum.  In 1921,  the “Rum-Runner’s Murder” took place in the 20 car garage. The somewhat cloudy circumstances involved professional dice players, a trunkful of illegal liquor and $4,000 in missing cash. A murder trial followed in 1922.  In 1927, the re-christened Bay View Inn was offered as first prize in a raffle as the First Annual  Grand Bazaar by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  For reasons unknown, the raffle never happened.

By the 1950’s, the hotel — once again called the Kingston Inn — was advertised as a summer resort for African-Americans, particularly those travelling from New York for a Cape Cod vacation.  Unfortunately the venue remained as unsuccessful as it had been a century earlier.  In 1970, the contents were auctioned and the building was razed.

 

Source: Major Bradford’s Town, by Doris Johnson (Town of Kingston: 1976)

 

New Exhibit: Summertime

This month’s exhibit celebrates summer in Kingston with picnics and parades, fresh sweet corn from the farmer’s market, swimming, fishing, and just lounging on the grass eating ice cream.

Horse-drawn float in the 200th Anniversary Parade, 1926
Horse-drawn float in the 200th Anniversary Parade, 1926

Here’s the front of a float in Kingston’s 200th Anniversary Parade, which rolled on August 20, 1926.  The four boys behind the float seem very interested in whatever’s going on behind that shack…

Bathing beauties on 200th Anniversary Parade float, 1926
Bathing beauties on 200th Anniversary Parade float, 1926

Well, yeah, that’s why!