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STOUGHTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1895

(Regular meetings third Monday at 7:30 PM) 

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Volume V1, Number 1  - February  1975

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A COMMITTEE, headed by Ruth Burnham, is making available to all members valuable afghan tickets at one dollar each. Ten lucky people will receive either a lovely hand-made afghan, a 19-inch electric grandfather clock, or eight additional awards to be drawn at the March meeting. Tickets will be sold at our next two meetings OR call Ruth earlier. Your dollar will help allay some recent expenses of your Society. "Let George doin it."

TWO OR THREE good folks are needed to offer only two hours of their time once or twice during the year in order that we may open our doors between the hours of 2 - 4 on Wednesday afternoons. At present we plan to open only once monthly and holidays. We have a good group of nine members already and a few more will ease the load on these kind people. If you wish to know more about what is required of you, please call Ed Meserve at 344-2494.

BUTTON HOCKS are arriving, also a carpet beater, a Stoughton Legion Drum Corps uniform in excellent condition, potato ricer, fly ribbons, advertising gadgets. These unusual, interesting gifts and more have come from Florence Buker, Edna Tobey, Wilfred Hooper and Simon Sullivan. Some of these things . . . and some lovely valentine cards from sixty years ago . . . will be on display in February. These are all things from a way of living now past and they rightfully belong in our museum for others to see, enjoy, and, therefore, learn about the good life in other years. Thanks to our many donors.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENT: FOR SALE English Bulldog. Will eat anything. Very fond of children. (From time to time we may run such ads to increase our income.)

AN UNUSUAL REQUEST: Ye ol' Ed is looking for pictures, preferably slides, of structures such as pictured at the left. These once-common buildings have just about faded from the current scene and, as is the case with many other remnants of the past, deserve some recognition in history. Ye ol' Ed would like to know the whereabouts of any of these in Stoughton or nearby. Please help.

WE NOW ENJOY the privilege of nailing our Newsletter at a much-reduced rate, cutting one of our regular expenses to one-fifth. The increase in membership this past year enables us to use bulk mailing and to mail without affixing a stamp. This cuts the work load, also.

ON THE FRONT of this Newsletter is illustrated another item we can use to good advantage in our display of baby things. Along with it, we need a life-size baby doll for some nice christening clothing we already have received.

IN THE BEGINNING ... 200 YEARS AGO, the sabbath was observed in typical Puritan strictness. It began on Saturday at 6 p.m. and lasted until sundown on Sunday, and during this time amusements of every kind were absolutely prohibited. Traveling and lounging in the streets, as well as entertainment of strangers, were regarded as sinful and forbidden by law. The people were summoned to church by the beating of a drum or the blowing of a horn. The minister frequently delivered his long discourse with a musket at his side and a sentinel at the door to warn of the approach of Indians. The worldly individual who failed to attend church on the sabbath was punished by either fine or imprisonment. The thoughtless maiden who smiled during the service was in danger of banishment, while those who slumbered received admonitions from the tithing-man of such a nature as not to be soon forgotten. If the offender belonged to the male sex he received a rap over the head from a pole in the hands of the tithing-man; if a female, she was awakened with the gentle brush of a rabbit's foot. There was no music except the singing of hymns and the prayers were often as long as the sermon, measured by hours, not minutes. The men were seated on one side of the aisle and the women on the other, with the pulpit steps and the rear seats occupied by the children. With regard to distance from the pulpit the worshipers were carefully seated according to age, social rank, estate, office, or amount contributed toward the erection of the church. One Massachusetts town had a standing committee of five to seat the church members and another committee of two to seat the committee.

MEMBER DOROTHY WOODWARD, doing research on old homes with a subcommittee within the 250th Anniversary Committee, is looking for information on houses on the following streets: BAY RD.- The Littlefield Place; Isaac Smith, 1794; John Drake, 1778; Zebulon Waters, 1732; CANTON ST.- house at 105; Thomas Crane, 1771; Consider Southworth, 1796; CENTRAL ST.- Mather Holmes, 1807; Sam'l Capen, underground railroad?; Gideon Presby; MORTON ST.- Isaac Paul, 174l; number 165; Oxbow Farm, second oldest?; tavern moved from Bay Rd.? If you have any knowledge of these homes kindly call Dottie or drop her a line.

ON FEBRUARY 17 at 7:30 we have the pleasure of presenting Grace Roach and Margaret Fitzpatrick with an illustrated program about recent vacation travel. These ladies have traveled extensively and have brought back some interesting slides from a variety of vacation areas. Bring a friend. Refreshments that evening will be prepared by Wendy Hanna and Kathy Jardin, our ass't curators.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: EAT AT SUSIE'S and you will never eat anywhere else.

IN 1777 the Massachusetts Assembly fixed wages and prices in an attempt to end the "most fatal and pernicious consequences" of galloping wartime inflation. However, the inflation continued, and within a year the legislature acknowledged the failure of its act and voted repeal of the law.

IN [1639], Edward Palmer, builder of the first stocks used in Boston, became their first occupant. The General Court ruled that the bill he submitted for the stocks' construction was excessive and sentenced Palmer to two hours confinement.

 

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