Well, well, well, that’s the Point

The Point, at the junction of Main and Summer Streets, 1886
The Point, at the junction of Main and Summer Streets, 1886

One of the many lantern slides collected by Emily Fuller Drew for the Jones River Village Historical Society, this image shows the Point, where Summer Street peels away from Main Street. It was the center of Kingston before the railroad came through.

The index card of Emily’s notes on this slide reads:

20. “The Point,” jct. Main & Summer Sts. 1886

Main Street was formerly the Bridgewater Road; Summer was in early day called the Boston Road. Where they joined or separated, was called the “Point.” The well which was built by Samuel Foster, Benjamin Samson and Joseph Stacey on Mr. Stacey’s land was called the Point Well and, as time went on, the Old Point Well. The Rev. Samuel Glover, minister of the Baptist Society lived at #39. His son Henry was born there. In memory of his early days in Kingston. Mr. Henry Glover in his later and wealthier years, gave the Town of K a drinking fountain for dumb animals to be placed at The Point and a sum of money to maintain it. (Mr. Glover also gave funds for the present Baptist Church and a fund to maintain it.)

Emily’s “#39” refers not to an address, but to another lantern slide.

Samuel Foster house, 25 Summer Street, 1922
Samuel Foster house, 25 Summer Street, 1922

The corresponding card:

39. Samuel Foster house (front) 1922

In 172_, Samuel Foster bought of Maj. John Bradford a piece of land, part of the Bradford farm, joining the land of John Brewster, #135, and lying on the east side of Boston Road ( Summer St.) Here Foster built a house in which he lived __ years. In 175_, he sold the place to Wrestling Brewster, son of Deacon Wrestling and built a second house, a much larger and more pretentious house, nearer the junction of Green and Summer Streets, the present Harry Cook house (east side of Summer St.).

And, #135 refers to…

135. John Brewster house, Main and Linden Streets, 1922
135. John Brewster house, Main and Linden Streets, 1922

This was one of several houses on Main and Summer Streets that were demolished in the early 1920s…oh, we could follow Emily’s references around for days! But let’s stop there and go back to the Point. The well in the first lantern slide was replaced in 1888 with this public watering trough or as Emily put it, “drinking fountain for dumb animals.”

Henry R. Glover Watering Trough, 1997
Henry R. Glover Watering Trough, 1997

Here’s the benefactor himself, Henry Rogers Glover (1814-1893), “in his later and wealthier years.”

Henry R. Glover, seated portrait, circa 1890
Henry R. Glover, seated portrait, circa 1890

According to his obituary (thanks Cambridge Public Library), he was a manufacturer and wholesale dealer of mattresses and curled hair, and further, “He has always been rich.”

Sources: Jones River Village Historical Society Collection MC29 and Lantern Slides IC4; Mass. 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

Advertisements

Evergreen Cemetery Pond

Evergreen Cemetery Pond, 1876
Evergreen Cemetery Pond, 1876

 

84. Evergreen Cemetery Pond, 1876

Naturally a damp, spring spot. When cemetery was planned [in 1853], the spot was drained and curbed as shown. Later the pines were cut down or broke down from winter ice, and the spot was landscaped. Mr. Edgar Reed gave the granite seat on the north side of the pond.

 

Source: Text from Emily Fuller Drew’s lantern slide card file; image 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.

Dam!

The Elm Street dam may go the way of its upstream relative, the dam at Triphammer Falls just off Wapping Road, which was removed in 2011.  The question of dam removal is a complex one, made doubly so in Kingston and other New England towns by the age of many of the dams.

To find out more about the issue, take a look at the FAQ and other information about dam removals posted by American Rivers, a non-profit focused restoration and conservation of rivers across the country; and at the Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Fund run by Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Here are some photographs of the Elm Street dam when it was new, sometime in the 1920s.

The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird
The new Elm Street dam, circa 1925, by E. Bird

 

 

Source: Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16.  Negatives 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.

Twin lights at the Gurnet

Twin lights at the Gurnet, circa 1920
Twin lights at the Gurnet, circa 1920

Though not in town, the lighthouse at the Gurnet — formally known as the Plymouth Light Station — is familiar to many Kingstonians.

The Massachusetts legislature authorized the first lighthouse on the Gurnet in 1768;  it burned to the ground in 1801.  The federal government replaced the original with a pair of towers, which served for the next 41 years.   Our photo shows the twin wooden towers built in 1842 to replace the earlier pair.  The two lights stood together until 1924, when the northeast tower was taken down.

The current tower stands 39 feet tall, 102 feet above water; it is wood framed and shingled. The light flashes an alternating single, then double white every 20 seconds, with a red sector marking the Mary Ann Rocks.  In 1977, the light was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest freestanding wooden lighthouse in the United States.

In 1997, the Coast Guard moved the remaining tower 140 feet north, away from the eroding cliff. Two years later, the light was turned over to the nonprofit  Project Gurnet & Bug Lights Inc., which manages the two.

Sources: Photo from the MC21 Hathaway Collection; text from the “Plymouth Light” Wikipedia entry, a report from the Coast Guard Historian’s Office, an article on Lighthouse Friends, and the Project Gurnet site noted above.

 

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

New exhibit: Clang, clang, clang went the trolley

Map of the Brockton & Plymouth Street Railway, n.d.
Map of the Brockton & Plymouth Street Railway, n.d.

From 1889 to 1928, trolleys ran through Kingston, every half hour or so, reaching Brockton to the west and Manomet to the east.  The line was run by three companies in succession: the Plymouth & Kingston, the Brockton & Plymouth, and the Plymouth & Brockton (and if that last one seems familiar, that’s because they still run buses between Logan Airport and Provincetown).  There’s not much left of the street railway, but you can stop by the Library to see photos of some of the trolleys in the exhibit case this month.

Source: OC2 Vertical Files – Trolleys. “Brockton & Plymouth Street Railway” by O.R. Cummings. In Transportation Bulletin, No. 59, July-August-September 1959. Inserted between pages 2 and 3. 

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

Digging out

Brockton & Plymouth Street Railway Company snowplow, circa 1915
Brockton & Plymouth Street Railway Company snowplow, circa 1915

The trolley ran through Kingston from 1889 to 1928, and while the traffic definitely increased in the summer, the cars ran all winter too. In 1922, when the Brockton & Plymouth (successor to the Plymouth & Kingston and predecessor to the Plymouth & Brockton) owned the line, the rolling stock included three snowplow cars. One is shown here, scanned from a glass plate negative copy of an earlier photographic print.

Lonesome train on a lonesome track

Train crossing the Jones River, no date
Train crossing the Jones River, no date

Without a date, it’s hard to know if this train belonged to the Old Colony Rail Road, or the Old Colony and Fall River, or the Old Colony and Newport (you can imagine that Fall River was a little peeved when that happened), or the New York, New Haven and Hartford, or some other corporate conglomerate name for the railroad that ran through Kingston starting in 1845.  It is the bridge that crosses the Jones River, so it is at least fixed in place.

“Motors of such power and design”

Special Town Meeting

At a special Town Meeting held May 28, 1906, the following votes were passed:

Voted that the committee chosen by the Town to settle with the City of Brockton* be authorized to purchase for the town an electric motor or motors of such power and design as in their judgment shall be suitable, and install the same at the pumping station.

New pumping station machinery, 1906
New pumping station machinery, 1906

Voted, That the Committee chosen to settle with the City of Brockton be authorized to contract with the Plymouth Electric Light Co. for the extension of the lines of that company to connect with the pumping station.

Voted, That the committee chosen to settle with the City of Brockton be authorized to purchase such additional pumps and other machinery, and other apparatus as may in their judgment be necessary for the proper operation of the pumping station.

New pumping station machinery, 1906
New pumping station machinery, 1906

At a meeting held June 29, 1906, the following vote was passed:

Voted, In order to provide money to be expended for the improvement of the water works, including power therefor, as voted at the special town meeting held May 28, 1906, that the Treasurer be, and hereby is, authorized to borrow a sum not exceeding five thousand, five hundred dollars, and to issue therefor the notes of the town each for the sum of five hundred and fifty dollars, bearing interest at a rate not exceeding 4 1/2 per cent. per annum, payable semi-annually, dated August 1st, 1906, and payable on at the end of one year from said date, and one at the end of each year thereafter until all are paid. The said notes are to be signed by the Treasurer, and countersigned by a majority of the Selectmen.

* This committee  had been appointed in 1905 and “authorized to settle all claims which the Town has or may have against the City of Brockton for the taking the water of Silver Lake.”  Members included the Water Commissioners — George B. Holmes, Edward G. Brown and Truman H. Fuller — along with Charles H. Drew and James L. Hall.

Source: IC-7 LHR General Photographs; Annual Town Reports 1905 and 1906