STOUGHTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1895
(Regular meetings third Monday at 7:30 PM)
Volume IV, Number 1 - February 1973
AT OUR MOST RECENT meeting, at which Mr. Carl L. Smith presided, the annual treasurer's report was accepted as read. The report was audited by member Gerald Goulston and he suggested only minor changes in our past procedures. Otherwise, in spite of considerable expenditures during 1972 , our treasury is quite solvent.
DONATIONS last month: Miss Mildred Halliden presented a photo of the French & Ward Factory -- 1874; three Mason-type preserving jars were given by Eva Graham; Carl L. Smith donated some news clippings and post cards of Stoughton views for our file.
1972 in RETROSPECT was a brief accounting of the Society's activities during the year and spotlighted our move from the "dungeon" in February, the signing of a five-year lease with the Town of Stoughton in April, our successful participation in two rummage sales and Easton's flea market, and the plastering and painting of all rooms on the upper level.
LAND OF LINCOLN was the title of the illustrated presentation by Joan and Norma Sullivan. Many fine comments have been heard by ye ol' Ed concerning the way in which the program was put together and delivered. The Sullivan's pointed up the fact that Lincoln Land actually comprised the states of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. However, the Lincoln Family first lived in Massachusetts. Abraham Lincoln's branch of the family moved to Virginia and Lincoln moved on to Illinois at the age of twenty-one. We learned that Abe worked at greatly diversified jobs while living in New Salem: farm work, wood cutting, store keeper, postmaster, surveyor. Later he served as an Army captain and legislator.. Many scenes relating to Lincoln's life before going to Washington were shown and the commentary taught us many facets of the great man's life which were unknown to most of the audience.
BIRTHDAYS being celebrated in February are those of William H. Harrison, Thomas Edison, Lincoln, Washington, Buffalo Bill and Longfellow along with such other notables as Katherine Leahy, Gustave Otto, Sarah Landman, Clarence and Evelyn Perkins, Sadie Kasupski and Jean Hill. Admitted to the Union in February were Massachusetts, Oregon and Ohio.
ONE OF OUR NEXT PROJECTS is to have the Lucius Clapp Memorial be declared a Massachusetts Historic Landmark by virtue of the fact that it is situated upon the site of the first school in the nation to provide textbooks at no cost to the student. Some preliminary work, as with the depot, must be done by the society and presented to the Historical Commission. (After some misfortune in maintaining a full membership the Historical Commission is again holding monthly meetings.)
WE ARE AIDING two more college students in the preparation of papers relating to Stoughton...and, in doing so, are learning more about our Town. "Cast your bread upon the waters... '!
PLANNING FOR OPEN HOUSE is progressing and some actual work is being accomplished. Some donations to our museum section have already come in response to an ad placed in a local paper. We need much in the way of artifacts for display.... just look around your cellar, attic, barn or garage and see what you have hidden in a corner. Items which were quite common to us in our earlier years are curiosities today.
FROM THE KITCHENS of the past might come (keeping our museum in mind) washboards, clothes wringers and wooden wash tubs, soap baskets, apple peelers, top-of-stove toasters, doughnut cutters, roller towels, earthenware, From other rooms may still remain commodes, commode sets, coat and hat racks, umbrellas and umbrella stands, kerosene lamps and lanterns, thunder jugs, spitoons, clothing, straw skimmers, spats, toys, books, games, dolls, tools, ice boxes, straight razors, diaries, roller towels, identified photos, ad infinitum. The list is, seemingly, endless; and should relate to Stoughton, if possible.
TIDBITS FROM THE PAST: old records of one Cape Cod town show that in 1789 the town voted "to buy a pitch pipe for ye singers"... Lincoln's inaugural luncheon on March 4, 1861 consisted of simple fare, mock turtle soup, corned beef and cabbage, parsley potatoes, blackberry pie and coffee.
HOSPITALITY HOSTESSES for the evening in January were Teresa Halliden and Hazel Kelleher.
LAST APRIL we were pleasantly entertained by Mr. V. Leslie Hebert whose topic was "Under the Liberty Tree". Unfortunately, Mr. Hebert had an extremely busy day that day and was, also, unable to show his slides because of a damaged projector. Recently, Mr. Hebert informed us that he feels he did not give us his best that evening and offered to return on February 1.9 with another very interesting program: "Mr. Hebert's Suitcase Museum". We, needless to say, were pleased with the offer and will welcome this extraordinarily interesting speaker at our next meeting . . February 19.
ANOTHER TIDBIT (to fill space): In Puritan times titles were rarely given out. Only the minister and founding fathers rated a "Mr." before their names, : Ordinary citizens were addressed as "Goodman" or "Yeoman". Seldom were ministers called "Reverend". A "Squire" was treated with great deference because of his wealth. A man's honesty, character and abilities never were considered in granting titles. Even the seating in Church was dictated by wealth and standing in the community. Harwich, Mass, permitted the richest men to have first choice of pews-and-Truro assigned the front pews to town officials.
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