What a mustache!

The following is a portrait of Frederick G. Brackett (1854-1941). In 1889, he purchased the house at 126 Brookdale Street, built by the Chandler family around 1790, along with the sawmill located off Hall’s Brook just east of the house.

Portrait of Fred Brackett, undated
Portrait of Fred Brackett, undated

Brackett continued to operate the mill (which burned down in 1924) and started a cranberry business with Samuel Lowe on the east side of Brookdale Street.

Brackett's Pond, mill yard, and sawmill, c. 1920
Brackett’s Pond, mill yard, and sawmill, c. 1920

And he had an enormous mustache.


Sources: Images from the Local History Room Image Collection IC7 and the Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16.

Happy Father’s Day

Photograph held by the Local History Room

In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, here is a sweet moment captured by Kingston historian and photographer Emily Fuller Drew of her niece, Norma, jumping into the waiting arms of her father, Clarence Drew (Emily’s brother).


Source: Image from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16.

June 1924

Group of children from the Center Primary School
Center Primary School students, June 1924

This photo from June 1924 shows an especially happy bunch of schoolchildren from the Center Primary School, renamed the Faunce School later that same year in honor of Walter H. Faunce, a former teacher, superintendent of schools, and town selectman.


Source: Image from the School Photograph Collection IC5. 

Memorial Day

Memorial Day parade leaving Evergreen Cemetery

Take a look at this snapshot of the 1946 Memorial Day parade as the procession, led by marshall Winfield Keene, exiting Evergreen Cemetery.


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection IC7.


Letter from a mother to her daughter on the day of her wedding

Note from Hannah Thomas Brewster Adams to Hannah Thomas Adams, likely January 1, 1857
Note from Hannah Thomas Brewster Adams to Hannah Thomas Adams, likely January 1, 1857


On January 1, 1857, Hannah Thomas Adams married Azel Washburn, a 27-year-old fisherman. Her mother, Hannah Thomas Brewster Adams, wrote her a note which reads:

To Hannah on the day of her marriage

Dear and only daughter in part Farewell! Ever since your birth you have been with me and an object of my greatest care and attention, Now we part! One roof no longer shelters us, our homes are not the same—You go to a new sphere of action new cares, connections and dutys [sic] attend you without doubt new anxieties and troubles—May you conduct with prudence and discretion performing every part conscientiously as far as in your power—

We are left alone, as when we commenced life together—But not the same as the hoary? head, the dim eye, and feeble step plainly tell. May we each and all live peacably [sic], be provided for comfortably, perform each and every duty faithfully, and at last receive the welcome reward of faithful servants of our Lord

From your Mother


Source: Letter from the Helen Adams Collection MC23. 

A carriage ride on the beach

A man and two women in a horse-drawn carriage on the beach
Rev. Sidney Robbins with two unidentified women in a horse-drawn carriage on the beach, date unknown

Who’s ready for a day at the beach? Maybe not like this, but the weather sure looks nice here!


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection IC7.

Childhood Hours by Cousin Benja

Portrait of Benjamin Mitchell, c. 1860
Portrait of Benjamin Mitchell, c. 1860


Benjamin Mitchell (1827-1865), who wrote as Cousin Benja, is featured in this month’s exhibit. He spent all of his life in Kingston and composed poetry and essays primarily about nature, God, and the spirit. The following poem is included in a collection of his works, Poems and Letters, compiled by his sister after he died.


Childhood Hours

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
When I was young, and free
To roam among the woodland bowers,
By mountain side and lea!
To chase beneath the noonday sun
The golden butterfly;
And sail my boat upon the tide,
Beneath the sunset sky.

Oh, give me back my mountain hours,
When not a care I knew;
With heart as gay as summer flowers,
And light as evening dew!
To trace along the hidden path,
That winds by rock and stream;
And pluck the daisy from its bed,
Among the mossy green!

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
My schoolmates young and gay;
To roam again in quest of flowers,
The pleasant fields of May!
And then at noon to sit and chat,
Beneath the greenwood tree;
And eat our bread and butter there,
And call it “taking tea!”

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
The dearest to my heart;
When I could sit in Nature’s bowers
And see the day depart.
When I could view the Queen of Night
In lovely beauty dressed,
Casting her silver rays of light,
To make the earth look blest!

Oh, give me back my childhood hours,
Where memory loves to dwell—
Too dear they are to be forgot,
I ever loved them well;
But childhood hours, and halcyon scenes,
Will ne’er return again;
And I must learn to leave my boyhood dreams,
And live like other men!


Source: Cousin Benja. Poems and Letters. Plymouth: Memorial and Rock Press, 1866. 

On this day in 1912…


Unidentified man ("Father"), three partially identified women "Mother, Annie, Grace"), and dog called Lead in James Rickards's wood lot

Here’s a snapshot taken 106 years ago. On the back, this image is captioned:

March 30, 1912
On James Rickards woodlot.

According to census records for 1910, James C. Rickard owned a farm in Plymouth, where he lived with his wife, Lydia. The four people in this photo, however, remain unidentified.

Any ideas?


Source: Image from the Loring Photograph Collection (IC15).

Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes

Interior of Ye Kyng's Towne Sweetes candy store
Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes, Home Made Chocolates and Bonbons, Kingston, Mass., c. 1930


Around 1907, Carrie W. Hall and Sarah DeNormandie Bailey began a candy business called Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes, which they operated out of the house owned by the Hall family at 215 Main Street (below). Miss Hall managed the manufacturing, while Mrs. Bailey managed the sales. By 1910, they employed 8 women year round and up to 13 during the busy summers. Not only did they sell candy, but also other small items, like baskets or baby socks, made by Kingston women. They opened tea rooms in the two parlors.


Exterior of house at 215 Main Street, Kingston, MA
215 Main Street, 1972


In 1920, their growth necessitated moving to a second, larger location: the building which was previously George E. Cushman’s store at 193 Main Street (below). They sold their candies not only in this shop, but also in stores across Southeastern Massachusetts. During the time that Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes was at this location, Isaac and Dorothy Hathaway took over operation of the business.


Exterior of George E. Cushman's Store at 193 Main Street
193 Main Street when it was still George E. Cushman’s store, c. 1902


Ye Kyng’s Towne Sweetes closed sometime between the late 1920s and early 1930s, and the building was left vacant until George Cushman’s son, Charles, converted it into apartments.


Sources: Mary Hathaway Collection (MC21). Images from the Mitchell Toabe Papers (MC18), the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7), and the Jones River Village Historical Society Collection (MC29).     


Kingston High School girls’ basketball team, 1951

Kingston High School Girls' Basketball team, 1951
Kingston High School Girls’ Basketball, 1951

Row 1 (sitting): Joecille Ayer, Sylvia Bailey, Judy Glass, Eva Villani (Co-captain), Mary Borghesani, (Co-captain), Shirley Marshall, Lilias Ford, Mary Lawrance

Row 2: Rose Cazale (Co-manager), Barbara Bearce, Anne Corrow, Nancy Bearce, Barbara Basler, Elizabeth Zwicker, Ann McGrath, Adrienne Gorn (Co-manager), Mrs. Stratton (coach)

Row 3: Margo White, Sally Farrington, Patricia Bailey, Althea Cherry, Lillian Maglathlin


The  entry from the 1951 edition of The Independence, Kingston High School’s yearbook, reads:

Hail to the “Champs”! Under the coaching of Mrs. Daphna Stratton, the girls’ team clinched the South Shore League Girls’ Championship with twelve wins and one loss.

The loss of one point to Marshfield tied us for first place honors in the South Shore Division. A play-off at Duxbury proved that our girls knew how to play. They romped over Marshfield with a score of 35-29. Hanover and Kingston each led its division. A play-off for the title was a memorable occasion for everyone. Trailing behind at the third quarter, Kingston exploded with fourteen points to Hanover’s three, making the final score 40-36.

This closed a very happy year for all. We lose four team members, two forwards and two guards. Best of luck next year. For our sake please keep that championship!


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7). Quote from The Independence (1951), part of the Kingston School Collection (PC12).