A lovely little launch

George Shiverick aboard
George Shiverick aboard “Alice,” his personal launch named for his wife, date unknown

Yes, the Local History Room is full of old stuff, but sometimes we get new old stuff, new to us anyway.  One of our recent accessions is a small trove of photographs, most not well identified, of boats built by George W. Shiverick in his shop on the Jones River. This unique collection was donated by Shiverick’s grand-daughter.

This particular snapshot stands out because it’s labeled in the hand of former Frederic C. Adams Librarian Ethel J. Shiverick (George’s daughter-in-law, in case you didn’t know) as follows:

Geo. W. Shiverick aboard “Alice,” personal boat, named for wife. EJS

We have so few paper fragments of this legendary boat-builder’s life and work, that a photo of him in his very own boat is just special.

Source: George W. Shiverick Collection AC8

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

Advertisements

Name the Town of Kingston’s new boat!

Kingston’s Town Administrator wrote yesterday

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)

Chesperus, owned by Chester Fuller (or possibly his talking dog).

Chester Fuller and dog aboard the 'Chesperus,' 1898
Chester Fuller and dog aboard the ‘Chesperus,’ 1898

Arteola, owned by Charles Drew, in a photo from Old Home Day, 1908.

Arteola, at Delano's Wharf, 1908
Arteola, at Delano’s Wharf, 1908

Matchless owned by Captain James (or John) Drew.

Matchless, by William Ames, 1890
Matchless, by William Ames, 1890

Tiger, the only steamer built in Kingston, built by Edward Ransom in 1898, owned by him, A.J.Hill, C.A. Ransom and Henry S. West.

Steamer Tiger, 1898
Steamer Tiger, 1898

Kittiwake V, built by George Shiverick for Henry M. Jones.

Kittiwake V, 1905. Photo by N. L. Stebbins Photo, Boston, Mass.
Kittiwake V, 1905. Photo by N. L. Stebbins Photo, Boston, Mass.

Herculean, built in 1839 by Joseph and Horace Holmes, owned by Joseph Holmes.

Ship Herculean of Kingston, Benjamin Cook, Master, 1840

Ship Herculean of Kingston, Benjamin Cook, Master, 1840

The 7 foot figure head weighed in at 800 pounds, heavy enough to cause the ship to leak. It was repurposed as a garden statue, where it stood among the shrubs for many years.

Figurehead of the ship Herculean, no date
Figurehead of the ship Herculean, no date

Finally, though there is no painting or photo, Independence, for the very first ship of the U.S. Navy, built in Kingston and seen here on the Town Seal, designed by Helen Foster.

Kingston Town Seal
Kingston Town Seal

 

The only steamer built in Kingston

In the spring of 1898, noted Kingston ship-builder Edward A. Ransom launched the largest vessel constructed on the Jones River since 1874, the steamer Tiger.  She was, in the words of Henry M. Jones, author of Ships of Kingston, “a handsome vessel” of 30 tons with an overall length of 53′, a beam of 14′ and a draft of 6′.

Steamer Tiger, ca. 1898
Steamer Tiger, ca. 1898

Here she is moored in front of Ransom’s boathouse, with the Bradford Homestead just up the hill.  Ransom and his co-owners, A.J. Hill, C.A. Ransom and H.S. West,* used the Tiger for fishing and lobstering for several years, then sold her to the Churches of Tiverton, R.I., who used her as a porgy steamer.

* A handwritten annotation in the archivist’s copy of Ships of Kingston tells us that West was the father of Kingston Town Historian Margaret Warnsman.

Source: Ships of Kingston,  Henry M. Jones (The Memorial Press of Plymouth, Massachusetts: 1926)

Dog blog: I like this picture

This is one of those pictures that just jumps out at me. I don’t know too much about it, but I really like it. The caption simply reads “Chester Fuller and his dog near Delano’s Wharf, 1890.”

Chester Fuller and his dog near Delanos Wharf, 1890
Chester Fuller and his dog near Delano's Wharf, 1890

I wish my dog would sit up like that, but she’s knock-kneed and goofy so she just falls over.

August 28, 1908 and 2008

August 28, 1908 and 2008

Two photos and a program — dated exactly one hundred years ago today — inaugurate the Pique of the Week, a blog by  the Local History Room volunteers and staff.  As we begin to put our Kingston photographs online, we will post things that stand out, answer a question, or like today’s picks, just catch our fancy.  So what happened 100 year ago today? Old Home Day!

These late summer celebrations began in New Hampshire in 1899; other New England states and some Canadian towns quickly adopted the practice, which flourished into the early 1920’s. While the events might include parades, pageants and picnics, as well as sports, dances, bonfires and clambakes, a sense of nostalgia, shared history, and local pride always took center place.

https://piqueoftheweek.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/eve-98-0009-lhr.jpg

Both photographs are actually postcards printed by D.T. Burrell in 1908, almost immediately after the events.  The first shows Dr. Arthur Holmes ferrying at least 16 people to Delano’s Wharf, partially visible at left.  On the other side, “Mama” wrote to Mrs. Lesler Ward in Dorchester, Mass. on Sept 11, 1908, “This is Dr. Holmes boat, you can see him standing up in it.”

https://piqueoftheweek.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/eve-98-0008-de.jpg

In the second, we see Delano’s Wharf fromthe shore, with people gathered for the festivities, maybe watching the boat races or waiting for the traditional clambake to start.  A sailboat pulls up to the Wharf and dories scoot around the Bay.

In Kingston, the 1908 celebration featured a parade that began with a bicycle brigade (cycling was still a new sport in 1908).  It boasted 22 floats including a yacht under full sail contributed by the Kingston Yacht Club. The parade ended at the Town Green with refreshments for the children on the floats and a band concert. Later in the week, there were water sports, a yacht regatta, a clambake and a dance on Friday.  Kingston’s Old Home Day celebrations continued through the 1930s and included a revival in 1996.

Sources: Vertical Files collection;The Encyclopedia of Local History, Carol Kammen and Norma Prendergast, Editors (AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA: 2000).