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Pique of the Week is now on the Kingston Public Library website!

The Kingston Public Library has a new website!  If you haven’t had the chance to take a look already, please do. We’ve been working very hard to bring you a dynamic, intuitive, and informative site. Beyond its fresh appearance, it has many great features, one of which is our ability to post new content on a regular basis. This means that the Local History Room page now has a feed for Pique of the Week, where our past blog posts have been brought over. You can also peruse our current and past exhibits.

Going forward, new Pique of the Week entries will be posted on the Kingston Public Library website.

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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!

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: Tura’s Pharmacy

Tura's Pharmacy, November 1979
Tura’s Pharmacy, November 1979

From the 1870s until last October, Kingston had a drugstore on Summer Street. Tura’s Pharmacy has a long history, and it’s on display in the Local History Room’s exhibit case this month. Stop by the Library and check it out.

New exhibit: Laddie: A Christmas Story

Just for the holidays! Stop by the Library and see Laddie.

Laddie convinces Santa, 1928

This is Elspeth Hardy’s first grade class at the Faunce School (then called Center Primary) in 1915.


In 1928, she would help another group of students write a book, as she explains in the preface.


New exhibit: It’s National Library Card Sign-up Month

Do you have a library card?

Kingston Library Association card, 1872
Kingston Library Association card, 1872

If not, please stop by the Library and get one, and take a look at this month’s Local History exhibit featuring some older library registers and cards.

Source: Frederic C. Adams Library and  Kingston Public Library Collection MC22

For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at

Here come the First Comers!

Plymouth Tercentenary Pageant, 1920
Plymouth Tercentenary Pageant, 1920

In 1920, the South Shore celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival in a six-month frenzy of Pilgrim-related activities, including a sprawling outdoor pageant — more detail here — featuring Kingstonians like Emily Fuller Drew in full Pilgrim dress.

In 2020, just five short years from now, the 400th anniversary will be upon us, and the planning has already begun. The next meeting of the Kingston Historical Commission (June 10, 7:00 p.m. at the Kingston Town House on Evergreen Street) will feature a presentation from Plymouth 400, the group coordinating Plymouth’s commemorative events.

If you’re interested in this century’s version of a marching Viking horde, stop by to find out what’s in the works and what part Kingston can play. (Long-time Kingston Town Clerk George W. Cushman is listed in the pageant program as one of the Norsemen; maybe the incumbent can be persuaded into costume…)

March of all explorers who came before the Pilgrims in 1620, Plymouth Tercentenary Pageant, 1920
March of all explorers who came before the Pilgrims in 1620, Plymouth Tercentenary Pageant, 1920. Photo by E.P. McLaughlin, Plymouth

Source: Jones River Village Historical Society Collection MC29

For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at

Rock bowl?

Rock formation in the woods, circa 1925
Rock formation in the woods, circa 1925
Rock formation in the woods, circa 1925
Rock formation in the woods, circa 1925

These two negatives have no accompanying information whatsoever, but the intriguing rock formation may be the result of the glaciers that covered the area about 23,000 years ago, and could well show one of the “punch bowls” Emily Fuller Drew wrote about in her 1933 notes on places around town.

The Punch Bowls have almost disappeared, from the top of Stony Brook Hill. They were of glacial origin, huge bowls or “scouts” in the sandy glacial “dump”. Five of them where located within a short distance of Prouty’s Garage. The largest was where A.S. Parker’s Ice Cream stand is, north of Prouty’s Garage. This was used as a public dump for years, without making much impression on the hollow, then the stumps and trunks of the beautiful elm trees taken from Stony Brook Hill when the highway was “improved” were thrown there, and later material was brought from other place and the great bowl entirely filled in to make the yard which goes with the Parker place.

Two others, twin bowls, stood on the east (right hand) side of Tremont Street, beyond Prouty’s Garage. One of these was filled in, and the new construction caused by the widening and straightening of the road at that point completely obliterated it. The other, not noticeable from the highway because it is masked by a good growth of pine trees, probably still exists. A shallow one is being used as a public dump behind the “Garden of Allah Coffee House”, in the development called “Fort Payne”. The fifth is behind the house of Mr. Charles Childs at the top of Stony Brook Hill. All these Punch Bowls, almost perfect shape, were caused by the swirling of ice and water in the glacial period, of which Kingston has other interesting evidence.

Source: Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16

For more, visit the Kingston Public Library, and the Local History Room, and the full blog at