Two summer-related announcements.
First, the new exhibit in the LHR’s lobby display case features selected images of Kingston summers gone by. Just as we do today, past Kingston residents and visitors enjoyed the warmth of the brief New England summers. Stop by and have a look!
Second, the Local History Room will be closed for vacation July 15 to July 29. You can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a voicemail at 781-585-0517 x123 (be sure to leave all of your contact information).
As many of you know, the town is awaiting a new Harbormaster Patrol Boat, which is estimated to arrive around July 17th, and perhaps sooner. This purchase was authorized at this year’s special town meeting.
The Board of Selectmen have offered a “contest” to name the boat for the town. The person who submits the name chosen will be given a maiden voyage around Kingston Harbor on the boat, along with family and/or friends to the maximum allowed on the boat.
So, please submit your entries to me with a copy to Laurie, and pass along the info on this contest to others in your department, and/or in the town!
Here are some possibilities from the Local History Room. Submit your own to the Town Administrator’s office (see here for how to)
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.
Old Home Day is a small town New England tradition popular from the 1860s into the 1930s, and later in many cases. In Kingston, the town-wide event, which included clambakes, sports, dancing, singing and parades, was held annually from 1903 to 1908, again from 1933 to 1938, in the 1970s and the 1990s.
This month’s exhibit features programs and photos from some of these events.
And the tradition continues on September 8, Kingston’s new Old Home Day! To get involved, contact the Board of Selectmen now.