Our New Look

Don’t worry, you’re in the right place! We’ve just had a bit of a makeover here on Pique of the Week. We’re still the same blog, and our content is still here. But we’ve updated our appearance and added some new ways for you to browse our posts (by categories or by tags) located on the sidebar to the right. Let us know what you think!

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Hello to Autumn!

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Happy first day of fall! In celebration of the occasion, check out this postcard from around 1915. The message on the back reads: “We need you on Rally Day. Remember the date: October 29. Do not disappoint. Help us make this our best Rally Day. Cordially yours, Grace W. Cobb”. The postcard was not mailed, and the text was pre-printed, except for the date and the signature, which were written in.

 

Source: This image is from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).

Summer’s Last Hurrah

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As we enjoy the last week or so of summer, take a look at this fantastic image taken by Kingston historian and photographer, Emily Fuller Drew, showing the Bearse and Drew families enjoying a clambake. It was taken around 1925 and gets even more interesting the longer you look at it. Many of the people here are looking in down toward the right, and the man in the center is reaching his arm down as well. Could he be offering up a table scrap to the family dog? What do you think? Let us know.

 

Source: Image from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16).

New Exhibit: The Allerton Site

The Local History Room has a special exhibit for September! This month we’re featuring a selection of artifacts that were excavated from the Isaac Allerton Site on Spring Street back in 1972.

 

Photograph held by the Local History Room
Allerton Site, 1972

Orfeo Sgarzi had been about to begin construction on his new house when he and his architect, Christopher Hussey, discovered a scattering of artifacts. This led to an archaeological dig undertaken by a crew of archaeologists and volunteers from Plimoth Plantation, led by Assistant Director, Dr. James Deetz. Together, they found a number of important artifacts, including a seal-top spoon, a King James I farthing, a bale seal, an almost fully-restorable wine bottle, a stirrup, a pitchfork, the blade of a shovel, pieces of smoking pipes, projectile points, nails, shells, and an assortment of glass and ceramic shards, among others. Additionally, they uncovered the remains of not just one, but two house structures, the first having been built around 1630 and the second around 1650.

The Allerton Site is one of the earliest archaeological sites in the Plymouth Colony area, and at the time it was excavated, the 1630’s structure was the first earthfast or post-in-ground house to be discovered in New England. Stop by to check out this fascinating collection! It will be displayed in the lobby exhibit case for the entire month.

 

Source: This image comes from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7).

New Exhibit: It’s Been a Pleasure to do Business With You…

There’s a new exhibit in the Local History Room’s lobby display case featuring photos, artifacts, and ephemera from a selection of notable Kingston businesses, including H. K. Keith & Company Store, Toabe’s Hardware, Tura’s Pharmacy, Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes, and the stores of Myrick’s Block.

Old Railroad Station and Burges and Bailey Store, 1868
Old Railroad Station (left) and Burges & Bailey Store (right), 1868

It will be up until the end of August. Stop by and check it out!

 

Source: Image from Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4.

Throwback Thursday: Myrick’s Tin Shop

In honor of Throwback Thursday, let’s take a look back at a moment in Kingston’s past!

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Myrick’s Tin Shop, Summer Street, 1876

Over 140 years ago, William H. Myrick of Kingston entered the tinsmith’s business, and his first shop was located on Summer Street. Emily Fuller Drew, a Kingston resident and the creator of the lantern slide shown above, kept a card file of valuable information about the images she took. The file for this image reads:

55. Myrick’s Tin Shop & Cart, 1876

Building used previously as a finishing shop for augers by “Uncle” Nahum Bailey. Such work as did not require water power, such as filing and hand polishing, could be done here. All else was done at the Stony Brook Mill. The work, or the use of the building, antedates that at the Mill (1805). Later Myrick (Wm. H.) used, as shown, as tin shop and stove works. The tin car went the rounds of the outlying districts, serving the more distant farm-wives, bartering tinware and the like for eggs, fowl and other farm produce.

She expands on her description in her notebooks, explaining:

The tin cart was always a curious sight, especially when it started out in the morning from the shop. Tinware, brooms, wooden buckets and other wares hung from every conceivable spot, so that “those who ran” might see. At first only metals wares were carried, but soon all sorts of household conveniences were added, and they became small departments stores in themselves…Mr. Myrick built up quite a business, of tinware, later stoves and furnace heating equipment. He soon outgrew his small shop with metal ware and stoves alone; then he built in 1878 the block at the corner of Summer and Evergreen Street, which bears his name, and increased his business to correspond.

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Myrick’s Block, about 1878

As you can see, this building was a great improvement! Myrick’s store was on the second floor, while the post office, O. B. Cole’s Apothecary, Cantori’s fruit store, and Stegmaier’s Barber Shop were on the ground floor. The building even had a dentist, Dr. A. C. Woodward. In this image, William Myrick Sr. and William Myrick Jr. are both standing on the top steps.

Myrick’s Block was eventually moved from its location at 48 Summer Street to 78 Evergreen Street by Edgar W. Loring, Inc. for use in his wood, coal, and cranberry business around 1940. The building is now occupied by Kingston Sheet Metal.

 

Both of these images are part of the Jones River Village Historical Society’s collection here in the Local History Room. As always, if you have any questions or comments about Kingston history, you can send us an email at history@kingstonpubliclibrary.org. You can also visit the Jones River Village Historical Society’s website for current information about the Major John Bradford Homestead and the group, including membership and events.

 

 

Source: Text from Emily Fuller Drew’s lantern slide card file and notebooks; images from Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4. Scanned with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and digitized at the Boston Public Library in conjunction with the Digital Commonwealth)

 

For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at piqueoftheweek.wordpress.com.

New Exhibit: The Colossal Elephant!

We have a new exhibit up in the Local History Room’s lobby display case featuring well-known Kingston resident and capitalist, Horatio Adams, and an exciting prospectus he received for the construction of “The Colossal Elephant” at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

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This investment opportunity was featured back in 2011 on the blog, but something so unusual and interesting deserves to be shared again. Stop by to check it out for yourself!