APRIL - MAY - JUNE 2008
XXXVII NO. 4
are catching our collective breaths after a number of successful events in the
last two months:
9-the lecture and slide-show on Mary
Baker Eddy by Jane Carlson
11-the Academic Hall-of-Fame presentation at
16-the lecture/slide show on
20-our Stoughton Outdoors open house and meeting in which we heard
from and honored Joanne Blomstrom,
Kathy Williams Murphy Sylvester, and Charles Starkowsky.
Roy Robinson was also honored in absentia and the Conservation Commission
approved the designation of the Roy Robinson Loop Trail off
24-a slide show of
26-we led a nature walk and had a table of Historical Society maps and booklets
at the Town of
3- we had a table of Historical Society maps and booklets at the UU
Church Green Fair
18 - we heard David Lambert present “A
Penny Postcard’s View of Stoughton’s Past.” Our
attendance was a little down, but those of us present saw some wonderful scenes
preparations which accompanied each of these events, while time-consuming, did
help us learn more about the history of our town.
Many different pieces of information have passed our way from new
members, visitors, and the program preparations .
Here are a few morsels which we have picked up since the last newsletter:
preparation for the Mary Baker Eddy presentation we learned that Lucy
was a young girl living at the Wentworth house at 133 Central St. when Mrs. Eddy
was a boarder, known to her as Mrs. Glover.
Lucy married a Holmes and was the mother of Doris
who eventually married her elementary school classmate Sydney
“one of the most brilliant lads ever to go through the Stoughton Schools.
Edith (Rose) Benjamin tells me that her mother was their elementary
school teacher, when Doris announced that she had met the man that she was going
to marry and marry they did. Sydney
became a renowned botanist at Harvard and Doris made her mark in entymology.
Sydney and Doris would return to Stoughton each summer, stay at the
Holmes house at 212 Seaver Street, now owned by the Spector family, and he would
observe and record the flora of his home town.
His small book, The
Flora of Stoughton
is on sale at the Historical Society for 5.00.
Sydney and Doris should be nominated as candidate to the Stoughton
the second week in March, former long-time Town Engineer,
appeared at the Society, looking for pictures of himself and others helping to
build a new structure at the CW Welch Memorial Fish and Game.
It soon became clear that he was a font of information about the
purchases of Town Conservation Land which expanded the Bird Street Conservation
Area, one of Stoughton’s true treasures. Within
a couple weeks, Charlie became a member of the Historical Society.
The Town of Stoughton was planning an extensive Earth Week celebration,
and since I had gotten a grant to work on the history, maps, and signs
for the Bird St Conservation Area, it seemed the right time to focus on
“Stoughton Outdoors.” Charlie
talked for hours about the
individual pieces of land which had to be acquired to save the Bird St land from
the developers and about his long-time friendship with Roy
whom I had been trying to contact. Joanne
role in getting the signatures on a petition to purchase the Bird St parcel soon
came up, and we also learned that Kathy
Williams Murphy Sylvester
had organized Stoughton’s first Earth Day, embroidered the Bird St Square for
the quilt for the 250th and written the History of the Conservation Commission
and the land it acquired. Jim
Conlan, the Town’s Conservation officer, who worked for Charlie when he first
came to Stoughton many years ago got Brian Joyce to write a letter of
Commendation for Charlie, the Conservation Commission unanimously approved the
naming of the new trail for Roy Robinson, and we (except Roy Robinson) were able
to get together and celebrate all of the above at the open house and meeting on
April 20. When the day was over, we
had four new members and were ready to continue the search for information about
Stoughton outdoorsman Billy White and his field at the corner of Plain and
was not until doing a little research for the Green Fair Celebration at the
Universalist Church, (co-organized by Joan O’Hare’s daughter Jane Mooney and
Elisa Blanchard) in order to supplement the information that Joan O’Hare had
already passed on to me, that I removed the tissue paper from an ancient history
of the Third Parish. Soon
thereafter I learned that Lemuel
son of Benjamin, of Bird Street renown was also the man who was at the
heart of the controversy when the great Congregationalist
Unitarian Universalist religious schism that rocked almost every
community in New England made its way to Stoughton in 1822.
Lemuel Bird had been accused of not attending services and had been heard
espousing the tenets of “Universal Salvation.”
After attempts had been made and failed to get Lemuel back on the
straight and narrow, he was excommunicated.
Soon thereafter, Minister Ebenezer
Gay, under pressure from the more
liberal members of the Parish resigned, and the orthodox/Congregationalist
members of the church (many of who were pillars of the community and the
Church’s most active members left to form their own church.
This split happened over and over in Massachusetts and it was usually the
most dedicated members of the church leaving, but since the Church was
”owned” by the (usually more liberal) Parish as a whole, all the materials
from the pews to the communion silver to the hymn books stayed behind.
We have several copies of the dissertation written by Rev Richard Trudeau
for his Master’s Thesis at Harvard Divinity School, which discusses
this church controversy in great detail and Howard Hansen has written a couple
substantial emails on the topic, including the complicated
mathematics and shifting designations of First, Second, and Third
Parishes in various parts of Old Stoughton.
If there is sufficient interest, we can compile
a booklet on the topic which we will be available at the Society for a
Other activities at the
Society; On Feb 21, we hosted an unannounced visit from twenty plus cub scouts,
parents, and siblings. On 2/26 we
superimposed a template of current town map of Stoughton onto a Map of the 25
Divisions, and a week later onto the Map of the 12-D.
Downstairs, Hank, Joe, Brian,
Jack, and Tony completely cleaned out and reorganized the boiler room;
Hank fashioned a new work bench, and it all looked terrific. Of course,
now we are filling it with items for the yard sale and it has lost its pristine
order. Brian Daley and his sister,
Carol, replaced our old urns at the front of the building with beautiful
plant-filled new ones.
It has been a productive
quarter for acquiring new
members: Tony Alfano, Kevin
O’Brien, Charles Starkowsky, Robert Donovan,
Mark Snyder, and the Kowalcyk, McGauley, Thompson, Reese, Rooney,
Iacobucci, and Pinches families. Robert
Daniell and Carmen McNamara became Life
will be holding our yard sale on Saturday, June 14, Please
bring your household items to the Society but NO skis, stuffed furniture, or
electronic equipment. Items which
have sold well in the past are jewelry, baking dishes,, lamps, small tables and
chairs, toys, recent books, and small rugs.
We could use extra help for set-up at 7:00 that morning.
challenge is to replace Hank
as curator, who has stepped down after many years of faithful service;
Vice President Brian Daley volunteered
to accept the position, which entailed our finding a new Vice President, and
David Lambert has graciously volunteered. This
process has delayed the recommendations of the Nominating Committee and the vote
on same; both will take place at the Annuual Meeting and dinner on June 9th
at the Stoneforge Grill.
nominated slate of Officers for the next year:
President – Dwight Mac Kerron: Vice-President – David Lambert;
Treasurer – Joan Bryant; Secretary
- Evelyn Callinan;
Archivist Jack Sidebottom; Curator- Brian Daley;
Historian – Howard Hansen.
Evelyn Callinan and Millie Foss have continued
updating our obituary card file. We
have gathered materials for the Green Space Program at the UU Church, searched
for Jordan ancestors, assisted Mary Reese in getting information for the South
school’s 50th Anniversary, and located various materials for the Stoughton
Outdoors exhibit. Tony Alfano is
listing all our un-catalogued documents in the rare books cabinets and soon they
WILL all be numbered and catalogued
received: two 1931 oil paintings, otherwise unidentified by Charles Vermoskie,
from Laurie Wolfe; two railroad maps (1915) of Stoughton RR line from Stoughton
Sq south toward North Easton, from Jim Little; 1898 Stoughton High School
Catalogue from Louise Starkowsky, 1953 Stoughton Phone Directory purchased from
ebay via Dave Lambert; a large collection of old post cards and photographs of
Stoughton and papers pertaining to the WWI service of Venazio and Batiste
Maraglia from Betty Maraglia. - Jack
acquired: a miniature pair of shoe
lasts and the full WWII Navy uniform with medals of Clyde Holmes from the Holmes
family; police handcuffs with key from the Maraglia family: a Kodak Instamatic
124 camera w/box from Tony and Jean Novello. – Hank Herbowy
Curators Emily Guertin, Ruth McDonald and Joan O’ Hare
have placed on display the ski outfit recently donated by Janet Clough, which
was made for her by her mother Signe A Ostergard of Worcester in the winter of
1947-48. Also on display is a
woman’s riding outfit of faux suede and lined with satin, which was made by
Pat McGlaughlin and worn to the Bi-centennial Ball. A third display is a
two-piece walking suit, comprised of a 3/4 length green velour jacket with camas
backing and a green satin lining. and an A-line skirt,
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Calendar of Upcoming Events
Dinner (send in reservation form)
14 Yard Sale
at the Society
22 (tentative) Visit to Mary Baker Eddy House
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