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STOUGHTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1895

(Regular meetings third Monday at 7:30 PM) 

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Volume V1I, Number 1  - February  1976

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OUR SECOND ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE was a success equal to that of last year and everyone is happy. Particularly happy is John Pires, our 200th visitor in 1976 and the recipient of a commemorative coin in an attractive Lucite paper weight. Mr. Pires was welcomed with the ringing of a bell by greeter Kathy Jardin and escorted to the center of our auditorium by President Ed Meserve who then presented the souvenir and explained to the gathering (and a very surprised John Pires) just what was happening.

Many of our ladies were dressed in costumes reminiscent of Revolutionary War days and made an effectively attractive appearance. Both of our lady greeters, Kathy and Wendy were in complete costume right down to white stockings. Our rooms were really spruced up during the few days prior to the opening and some of our displays were updated. Many of our members gave their time to help make the day a pleasant experience. Our thanks to all of them.

OUR APPRECIATION, also, to the following who helped in many ways; Bob Crevola of the "Pennysaver"; Clinton, Dorothy and Russ Gay of Bay the Florist; Howard Hansen of Hansen Brothers Printing; State Mutual of America (Worcester); Stoughton Grenadiers; and others who may have been inadvertently omitted,

ONE FEATURE of the afternoon on January 4 was a visit from the very impressive Stoughton Grenadiers represented by George Giddings, Leo Mellyn and Frank Guertin, all resplendent in colorful full dress uniforms of the nineteenth century. All three gentlemen were very gracious in explaining the use and significance of the various parts of their equipment and uniforms.

WANTED . . . Old cash register that still works; dressmaker's forms for museum displays; copies of "Semaphore" and "Stotonian"

MANY GIFTS have come our way recently. Civil War diary copiedon typewriter from Mr.McCullough of Dorchester; a different Ball preserving jar from Amelia Gregory; photos from Elliot French through the kindness of Gus W.; Xerox-ed copies of some of our maps from Charlie Starkosky; old-style Mazda lamps from Doris McGarvey; portable typewriter from Herb Burke; photos from Alice Magee; two special editions of News-Sentinel from Ethel Jenkins; a new recording by an old group, the Old Stoughton Musical Society, given by the society; unique old camera from Ethel Lutted; a generous financial donation from Carl and Ruth Pistor (visiting from Honolulu); original oil painting of the Holbrook cabin on the hill off Plain Street given by the artist, Carl Libby; and, on loan for our anniversary year, Past-Pres. Phyllis Batchelder's Indian display is installed in our reading room, Many thanks.

YOU WILL BE PLEASED to know that the Birthday Bags have served their purpose well. We have a nucleus from which to start making plans for the celebrations this year. We need ideas for our participation . . . and willing hands. If you still have a Birthday Bag, please return it, full or empty, along with your idea for Our Society': part in the birthday celebrations. Bob Benson is busy with inquiries regarding the May 23 parade and John Stiles and Paul Gay are our representatives making arrangements for a booth at the country fair FROM 250th ANNIVERSARY CALENDAR: February 17, 1922 Burton Winslow is first Town Manager; Feb. 24, 1862 George Brewster, sculptor, born (he did the relief of Lucius Clapp in our reading room); Feb. 27, 1880 Atwood's Hall, other buildings destroyed in "great fire." AND, in 1976, on February 13, 14, 15 the Little Theatre presents "The Devil's Disciple" at the high school auditorium.

AN EXCELLENT PROGRAM was presented by Amy and Cliff Fowler at the January meeting. The subject was the history of the (now) Congregational Church, her ministers, parishioners and benefactors and their profound effect on the continuing history. Some members missed a fine presentation professionally executed.

OUR FEBRUARY MEETING will feature Dorothy Woodward and members of the Committee to Mark Old Homes in Stoughton. They will present a preview of homes already marked with placques and others yet to be marked. The program is a most interesting showing of slides which will prove quite familiar to Stoughton residents. Date: Monday, February 16. Time: 7:30 p.m. All welcome.

THE LUCIUS CLAPP MEMORIAL is now the official headquarters of the Stoughton 250th Anniversary Committee and a bulletin board is erected on the lawn to announce all coming and current events. With the cooperation of your Society this will, as the year progresses, become an information center as well. The hours for opening to the public will be extended to include some time on Saturdays and holidays. For this additional service to Our Town and its visitors we will need more folks occasionally. Get in touch with John Stiles or Ed Meserve (344-2249 or 344-2494) and learn just how simple your duties will be. And, remember, however simple the duties may prove to be, they are IMPORTANT.

IN THE BEGINNING . . . 200 years ago in 1777 Benjamin Rush accepted the post of surgeon general of the armies and, in dealing with great numbers of men and forced to make hasty decisions, formulated extraordinary views about illness and medicine. Every malady to which man is subject, the physician concluded, stems from a single cause: a state of excessive "excitability" in the blood vessels. He felt that any illness whatever could be treated by two methods: bleeding and purging. Many a Continental soldier, under Rush's direction, lost ten or more ounces of blood in a single treatment. Sometimes three-fourths of the blood was deliberately drained out. The doctor also used calomel (monochloride of mercury) in huge amounts. Any patient who lost two or more pints of blood and swallowed ten grains of calomel had to be made of iron to survive.

 

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