Two people, one house and a clerihew

This is the Reverend Augustus Russell Pope (1819-1855), minister of Kingston’s First Parish Church, or as it was then known, First Congregational Society, from 1844 to 1849.  The biographical piece linked above lauds Pope’s work in Kingston, particularly his work with the Town’s schools.

Reverend Augustus Russell Pope, seated portrait, circa 1845
Reverend Augustus Russell Pope, seated portrait, circa 1845

This is Lucy Ann Meacham Pope (1820-1870), the Reverend’s wife, who was originally from Cambridge. They married in 1843, just after his ordination.

Lucy A. Meacham Pope, head and shoulders portrait, circa 1845
Lucy A. Meacham Pope, head and shoulders portrait, circa 1845

This is the lovely home they built at 4 Elm Street in 1844; it now houses Hope Floats.

Reverend Augustus Pope House, 4 Elm Street, 1998
Reverend Augustus Pope House, 4 Elm Street, 1998. Photo from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

So, portraits of a couple who briefly lived in Kingston and a later photo of their house: is there more to this story?  Why, yes, there is.

It’s always helpful to have full names and important dates for the people in the pictures; since neither of the Pope was a native Kingstonian, some research was required.  That process produced an interesting scrap of a much larger history. A few years after Pope left Kingston for a ministry in Somerville, he received Patent Number 9,802 for “Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Alarms.”

And as sometimes happens when deep in the research, a clerihew popped out.

Augustus Pope
Gave us all hope
And saved us from harm
With his burglar alarm.

Sources: Jones River Village Historical Society Lantern Slides IC4; Massachusetts Historical Commission/ MACRIS Digital Photographs IC13

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

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Saturday’s cemetery tour postponed

The tour of Evergreen Cemetery planned by the Jones River Village Historical Society for this Saturday, October 4, has been postponed.

As a small consolation, here are few interesting tombstones, headstones, gravestones, or as the Thesaurus of Graphic Materials from the Library of Congress would have it, Tombs & sepulchral monuments from Kingston’s Old Burying Ground.

 

Priscilla Wiswall   June 3, 1724
Priscilla Wiswall June 3, 1724
Lydia Drew  Dec. 27, 1800
Lydia Drew Dec. 27, 1800
Sarah Sever  Aug. 25, 1756
Sarah Sever Aug. 25, 1756
William Drew  May 10,1795
William Drew May 10,1795
Peleg Wadsworth  Feb. 24, 1790
Peleg Wadsworth Feb. 24, 1790
Henry Davis  May 10, 1802
Henry Davis May 10, 1802
Sarah B. Loring  July 12, 1851
Sarah B. Loring July 12, 1851
Charles Littel  July 25, 1724
Charles Littel July 25, 1724

A different Charles Little lies here.

 

Source: 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: Iconic Buildings of Kingston

Delano's Wharf block, 2001
Delano’s Wharf block, 2001

As part of the celebrations for Kingston’s 275th anniversary in 2001, the Friends of the 275th commissioned a set of blocks depicting eight iconic Kingston buildings: the old Town House, the Center Primary school (now called the Faunce School), the Pumping Station, the passenger station (now the restaurant Solstice), the First Parish Church, the Major John Bradford House, the now-gone Kingston High School, and Delano’s Wharf, shown here from the rarely seen bay side.

Red Cross swimming lessons behind Delano's Wharf, circa 1945
Red Cross swimming lessons behind Delano’s Wharf, circa 1945

The blocks, along with photographs from the Local History Room, as on display this month in the Library lobby.

 

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

Now appearing, for the first time since…well, almost forever.

Old Meeting House, Kingston, Mass. Built 1798. Demolished 1851.
Old Meeting House, Kingston, Mass. Built 1798. Demolished 1851.

This is the Second Meeting House, which stood where the First Parish Church now stands on Main Street, next to the Training Green. It served not only as the second building to house the First Parish, but also as the center of Kingston’s town government before the original Town House was built. We know a few things about it.  There is the drawing above.  There are written descriptions. Doris Johnson, in Major Bradford’s Town, gives the specifics of the 1798 “plans for a structure 60 feet by 55 feet and 25 feet high, with ‘projectments to be 10 feet added’.”  Further, she quotes Sarah Bailey in Civic Progress.

This was the large meeting house with the two belfries known to this generation only by pictures…It was unique in its exterior form, but inside it was a typical New England meeting house with high pulpit and sounding board, galleries on three sides, and square pews with doors and the seats that were raised while the congregation stood during the long prayer.

Mrs. Bailey’s generation may have known the Second Meeting House by pictures, but viewers in this century knew only the one drawing and the words.

Until last week…

Second Meeting House, no date (but before 1851)
Second Meeting House, no date (but before 1851)

Part of a large new collection, the heavy celluloid negative from which this scan was made is a copy because film negatives did not appear until the 1880s, but the building was demolished in 1851.  This image might even have been made before 1841, when the Old Town House was built: it would have stood to the right and behind the Second Meeting House in this view. That may be the sum of what we will ever know about this negative. Still for all the questions and all the unknowns, we now have a photograph that once disappeared into history, but has now emerged.

Now and then, then and now

All the recent snow reminded me of this photograph taken from Green Street.  It dates after 1883, because the Soldier’s Monument is there, but before 1928, when the trolley stopped running.

Training Green and First Parish Church in the snow, no date
Training Green and First Parish Church in the snow, no date

Once I found this one, I walked a little ways down Green Street to see if the view was the same.

Training Green and First Parish Church in the snow, 2010
Training Green and First Parish Church in the snow, 2010

Not exactly.

‘Tis the Season…

Sunday School Christmas, 1949
Sunday School Christmas, 1949

Christmas and Santa Claus are meant for children.  This Christmas party was  held in 1949 at the Beal House on Main Street for the Sunday School of the First Parish Church.  Frank Randall served as Santa and Helen Williams, the director of the Sunday School, stands to his right.  Some of the excited children have been identified.  Do you know any of them?

How times have changed: that is a REAL evergreen tree decorated for the holiday!

Happy 100th Birthday to St. Joseph’s

October 19 marks the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Parish in Kingston.

St. Josephs Church, circa 1906
St. Joseph's Church, circa 1906

This postcard shows the Church’s first building at 261 Main St. Mailed from Middleboro and postmarked 9/21/1906, the card was sent to Miss Nellie McGinn who lived in Brighton, MA.  Built in 1882, the building was originally a mission chapel of St. Peter’s church in Plymouth, At that time, St. Peter’s served Catholics in Carver, Plympton, Duxbury, Hanson, and Marshfield in addition to Kingston and Plymouth.  The earliest Catholic Masses in Kingston were celebrated sometime in the 1850’s for one of the first Irish families who were tenants living in the historic Bradford House on Landing Road. The mission to St. Peter’s was created in 1873.

Today, this building houses St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Church.

The name St. Joseph’s was adopted later, perhaps when the independent parish was established in 1908.  The present-day St. Joseph’s was built further up Main Street at 272, and was dedicated on December 1, 1935.  This 2008 shot shows Our Lady’s Hall, the new parish center dedicated on May 13, 2006.

St. Josephs Church, Parish Center and Rectory, 2008
St. Joseph's Church, Parish Center and Rectory, 2008