STOUGHTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1895
(Regular meetings third Monday at 7:30 PM)
Volume V, Number 11 - December 1974
FROM OUR FILES . . . Where did the Sumner desk come from? This is the ornate desk at the front of the Jones Room which always brings queries from visitors and members alike. Charles Sumner served in the U.S. Senate from 1851 to 1874 and was a staunch abolitionist. He was severely beaten in the Senate chamber by the nephew of a southern Senator whom Sumner had berated in an anti-slavery speech. Mr. Sumner was so badly injured that he spent the next three years recuperating. It is not clear how Sumner acquired the desk; but it is known that he presented the desk to Governor William Chaflin of Massachusetts and the governor's grandson, William W. Claflin, gave it to Gus Winroth, past president of the Stoughton Historical Society. On May 21, 1951 the desk was given to the Society by Gus. The only other connection between Charles Sumner and Stoughton is through bis biographer and trustee of his estate, Henry L. Fierce, a Stoughtonian.
OUR MUSEUM FOLKS, those of our members who have already come forward to assist at our formal opening of our museum rooms on January 5 from 2-6 p.m., are arriving in number. In one way or another some of these people are already at work: Wilfred Hooper, Hazel Drake, Ruth Burnham, Francis and Amy Terrell, Elsie Hughes, Eleanor Meserve, Kathy Jardin, Wendy Hannna, Marie Sheehan, Angie MeEachern, Helen E. Holmes, Norma and Joan Sullivan, Bob Benson, Carl Anderson, Ed and Frances Podguraki, Elsie Bernasconi, Hank Herbowy, John Stiles, Ken Healy, Fred Kelleher and ye ol' Ed.
"REVERE REVERBERATIONS" , our featured program presented by Edward and Evelyn Stickney of Bedford, gave a new aspect in the life of Paul Revere. His career as a bell maker began in 1792 at the age of 57. The Stickneys told the story of the many Revere bells with the use of slides, tape recordings and interesting commentary. Rubbings of the inscriptions on many of the bells were displayed; included was a one-of-a-kind: "Revere Bosotn". The oldest Revere bell in constant use has the following inscription: "The living to the church I call and to the grave I summon all." It was gratifying to see an almost capacity audience for this most interesting program peppered slightly with dry wit and humor. (Hospitality hostesses for the evening were Eva Graham and Evelyn Healy.)
GOVERNOR STOUGHTON has been framed. . . with the generous assistance of an anonymous cash donation we have been able to have past president Phylis Batchelder's portrait of William Stoughton properly framed. The minting, given to the Society late last Spring, will occupy a prominent position in our rooms. The general public will view it first on January 5.
TWO ASSISTANT CURATORS were appointed at a brief meeting in November: Wendy Hanna and Kathy Jardin will work with John Stiles.
GIFTS: Hank Herbowy presented a copy of "Revere Bells" by Ed and Evelyn Stickney: a 1954 catalog from Corcoran's store came from Carl Smith; Mr. and Bill O'Brien have given a cash gift; and Anonymous has been most generous with a cash gift earmarked for improvements to our rooms.
A BURGLAR ALARM (in today's jargon an "intrusion warning system") is installed to protect the entire Lucius Clapp Memorial. A fire detection system is nearly complete. Each system is connected directly to the proper department --- police and fire. These alarms are the result of a vote of Town Meeting last Spring,
ADD MUSEUM FOLKS: Charlie Crane and Bob Raleigh, both from Avon.
WE ARE RECIPIENTS of some fine paintings done by member Charlie Vermoskie. During the November meeting vice-president Gus Winroth accepted six of Mr. Vermoskie's works for the Society. These are valuable additions to our display of Stoughtoniana as they depict easily recognized scenes from Our Town's past. It has been said that Mr. Vermoskie is a painter of history and his art brings back pleasant memories of long ago scenes. In the background of the presentation are many people: of course, Charlie executed the paintings in the 1930s; Gus W. and Marie Sheehan were instrumental in our having the fine gift; Gus, again, framed them using materials from his shop and some hundred-year-old molding from Ken Healy; Ted Graham was the key man and overseer of the crew which installed the paneled wall on Which the paintings are displayed; and Ken and Ted made the picture molding using a 140-year-old plane given to the Society by Clarence Perkins.
THERE ...WILL BE NO MEETING IN DECEMBER due to the proximity of the date to Christmas. We hope to see you all at the formal opening of our museum rooms on January 5 ... time: 2 to 6 p.m. The next regular meeting will be on January 20 at 7:30.
UNTIL THEN . . . Enjoy Pleasant Holidays . . . may they all be sunny days . Ye ol' Ed
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