STOUGHTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1895
(Regular meetings third Monday at 7:30 PM)
Volume V, Number 2 - March 1974
MOST IMPORTANT NEWS... the Stoughton railroad depot is finally on the National Register of Historic Landmarks and will now be protected to the extent provided by such action. Steps toward this accomplishment were initially taken by the Historical Society under President Bob Benson and continued through two succeeding presidencies. Many members have had a part in the work necessary to make a presentation to the office of Secretary John F.X. Davoren ... so many interested members that we will not mention them here for lack of space. In 1969, after two or three years of preparation by the Society, the newly-formed Historical Commission (consisting of more members of the Society) took over the project and labored continuously until this past winter when the efforts finally bore fruit. The station, originally built for the Boston & Providence R.R., is situated on Wyman Street and is a prominent landmark in town with its proud 62' tower which sets it apart from all other depots in the area. The building is constructed of native granite brought to site site from Myron Gilbert's quarry (located within the limits of the Bird Street Conservation Area near the West Street side), The architect was Charles Brigham and the station was completed in 1888. In the photo the large room at the left is the ladies' waiting room, under the canopy is the ticket office, and behind the larger arched window is the men's waiting room. The roofs are slate, capped with copper; the back-ground of the name and date is of wood and plaster.
OUR FEBRUARY PROGRAM proved extremely interesting and Roger Jenkins of the Brockton Historical Jociety brought many notes of nostalgia to us all with his excellent series of slides of the "Tale of the Trolleys". His presentation included a fifty-year period from the 1880s through the mid-1950s . . . from the days of the horse cars until the buses took over. Among the views shown were a number of familiar scenes of Stoughton along the trolley lines. Carl L. Smith concluded the slide presentation with more old pix of the line between Blue Hill and Stoughton. Carl, in honor of the occasion of the recognition of the depot, also showed some old views of the venerable and beautiful landmark. The audience out-numbered the February attendance and became a nearly-SRO crowd. The officers are particularly gratified by such fine attendance, bolstered by many nests.
OUR NEWEST MEMBERS include an entire Girl Scout Troop Troop 566 from the Gibbons School visited the Lucius Clapp Memorial in February as part of the requirements in earning a badge in citizenship. They were received and escorted through our museum area by Ted Graham and Ed Meserve. The young ladies were accompanied by their leaders, Mrs. Beverly Engley and Mrs. Mary Bradbury, and, as a group, joined our Society at the end of the evening, thus becoming our youngest members . . . and laying groundwork for the future.
HOSPITALITY HOSTESSES in February were Pearl Bishop, Edith Benjamin and Frances Wilbar, assisted very ably by some of our gentlemen. Our new coffee maker was in use for the first time. With some help from "a friend of a friend" we were able to purchase the percolator at near a 40% discount
There has been a fair response to our appeal to briny all members up to date in the matter of dues. We take this opportunity to remind all members that we now have a Membership Secretary who takes care of the records AND accepts dues money. She is Frances Podgurski and seldom misses a meeting. If you cannot see her at a meeting her mall address is 168 West Street. The next annual meeting is in May and the next date that dues are payable is September. The notices last month referred to dues from a previous year.
IN MARCH we will bring to you Mr. John Richardson of the Department of Natural Resources. His subject, a talk illustrated by excellent slides (we have previewed this lecture), is Borderland State Park, the Commonwealth's newest state park. Borderland is located in Easton and Sharon and is the former Oakes Ames estate . . . most beautiful to see. Date:- March 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Donations have came recently from Bob Ivaldi, Ruth Burnham, Alice Cherry, Linda Innes, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bulfinch of Easton, and a check has been received from the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Ins. Co. in appreciation of service rendered by the Society,
STOUGHTON GRENADIERS ... In the 1830s, when the railroad was being built lin the Attleboro, Mansfield, Sharon area, there was a riotous strike by the Irish laborers who demanded a daily portion of grog and higher wages. Marching from So. Attleboro to Sharon their forces increased to 300 and more. The high sheriffs of Bristol and Norfolk Counties were called in but determined that the violence was beyond their control. They summoned the STOUGHTON GRENADIERS and the Washington Rifle Corps of Attleboro. The presence of military force along the railroad prevented further disturbance and the leaders of the riot were arrested. (Nobody knows whether or not the strikers got their daily grog or the increase in pay.)
There have been only twelve presidents of this Society in its 79-year history. (One has served at two different periods.) The two founders of the Society, Elisha C. Monk and Newton Talbot, were its two first presidents. They have been succeeded by Henri L. Johnson, George W. Pratt, Charles S. Stickney, Gustav T. Winroth (the revival period in 1940s), John Flynn, Gustav T. Winroth (the survival period in 1950s), Thomas Chestnut, Carl L. Smith, Robert Benson and Mrs. Phyllis Batchelder. And who gets to be #13? Ye Ol' (Lucky) Ed.
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