* HYDE PARK * *
WILLIAM A. MOWRY, Editor
. . VOLUME VI : 1908 . .
The HYDE PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
. . HYDE PARK, MASSACHUSETTS . ,
Volume VI — 1908
WILLIAM A. MOWRY, Editor
THE HYDE PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
HYDE PARK, MASS.
HYDE PARK GAZETTE PRESS
OFFICERS FOR 1908
CHARLES G. CHICK
FREDERICK L. JOHNSON
HENRY B. HUMPHREY
Corresponding Secretary and Librarian
HENRY B. CARRINGTON
GEORGE L. RICHARDSON GEORGE L. STOCKING*
LLEWELLYN S. EVANS CHARLES F. JENNEY
FRED J. HUTCHINSON J. ROLAND CORTHELL
JAMES S. MITCHELL
HENRY S. BUNTON EDWARD S. HATHAWAY
ROBERT BLEAKIE WILLIAM A. MOWRY
JAMES E. COTTER RANDOLPH P. MOSELEY
HOWARD JENKINS STILLMAN E. NEWELL
DAVID PERKINS SAMUEL T. ELLIOTT
SAMUEL A. TUTTLE JOHN J. ENNEKING
FERDINAND A. WYMAN G. FRED GRIDLEY
HENRY B. TERRY EDWARD I. HUMPHREY
JOHN R. FAIRBANKS* JOSEPH KING KNIGHT
HENRY S. GREW HENRY B. MINER
CONTENTS OF VOLUME VI
MRS. MARY H. HUNT. Mrs. Hele?i A. Greenwood
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. D. Eldredge
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK. Harry G. Higbee
FRANK BOWMAN RICH
Erastus E. Williamson, Henry S. Bunion, Stilhnan
EDITORIAL. William A. Mowry
ELIHU GREENWOOD. Herbert Greenwood
CHARLES FREDERICK ALLEN ....
Samuel R- Moseley, G. Fred Gridley, Charles Sturteva?it
PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY SINCE 1S92 (continued)
Fred L. Johnson
MRS. MARY H. HUNT (Portrait)
MRS. HUNT'S HOME IN HYDE PARK
FRANK BOWMAN RICH (Portrait)
ELI 1 III GREENWOOD (Portrait)
Facing page 9
Facing page 41
Facing page 54
MRS MARY H. HUNT
MRS. MARY H. HUNT
BY MRS. HELEN A. GREENWOOD
President Hyde Park W. C. T. U.
Mrs. Mary Hanchett Hunt was born in South Canaan, Conn.,
July 4th, 1830, and died in Boston, April 24, 1906.
Through her mother she was a direct descendant of the English
cavalier, Edward Winslow, an early governor of Plymouth Colony,
also of the gifted and godly Thomas Thatcher, who was the first
pastor of the Old South Church, Boston,
She was educated at Amenia Seminary and at Patapsco Insti-
tute, near Baltimore, Maryland ; was a successful teacher of the
sciences, especially of chemistry and physiology, and in 1852 was
married to Leander B. Hunt of East Douglas, Mass.
In 1866, Mr. and Mrs. Hunt came to Hyde Park, which there-
after was Mrs. Hunt's home until 1893, when she removed to
A member of the First Congregational Church in Hyde Park,
Mrs. Hunt for several years was an earnest and efficient worker
and leader in many of its departments.
Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, but one,
Capt. Alfred E. Hunt, grew to maturity. He became a well-
known scientific man, an expert chemist and metallurgist, and
successful manufacturer of aluminum. In the prime of his
manhood, he died in 1899 from disease contracted during the
In 1874-5, in connection with some of the scientific pursuits of
her son while he was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Mrs. Hunt's attention was attracted to some British
scientific studies of the nature and effects of alcoholic drinks.
In them she saw the hope of saving the race from drink by in-
6 HISTORICAL RECORD
telligent conviction if only these and other facts about the true
nature of alcohol could be made known. To do this preventive
work on a large scale and effectively, she turned to the public
schools with the conviction that by teaching these truths in the
schools they would not only reach practically all the future citizens
of the nation, but would reach them in the formative period of
life before alcoholic habits had been established. Henceforth she
was under the impelling power of the prophetic inspiration which
became her motto : " If we save the children today, we shall have
saved the nation tomorrow."
In 1879, Mrs. Hunt brought her plan before the National
Woman's Christian Temperance Union Convention at Indianapolis
and was made chairman of the Committee on Temperance In-
struction in Schools and Colleges. The following year, 1880, the
committee system gave way to departments. Mrs. Hunt became
national superintendent of the department of scientific tem-
perence instruction, and for twenty-six years thereafter, until her
death, was the remarkable leader of a remarkable work. In 1887
she became the first superintendent of the same department of
the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and this
position too she held until the end of her life.
Upon her appointment by the National Woman's Christian
Temperance Union there began a unique and most magnificently
conducted campaign. A letter written from Germany in 1906,
by a Boston gentleman, expressed the opinion that " future
generations of Americans will believe what many foreigners seem
to think now, that Mrs. Hunt's success in the matter of scientific
temperance instruction embodies the most important piece of
constructive statesmanship which our day has brought forth."
Nearly three years, 1879- 1882, were spent arousing public
interest in the cause of temperance education from the public
platform, before school boards, colleges, normal schools, etc.,
before she thought it wise to inaugurate legislative efforts. Then,
in 1882, the first temperance education law in the world was
enacted in Vermont. Twenty years later, every state in the
United States and the National Congress had passed laws re-
MRS. MARY H. HUNT 7
quiring instruction in the public schools in physiology and hygiene
including the nature and effects of alcoholic drinks and other
narcotics. It was a wonderful tribute to the ability and persistent
effort of Mrs. Hunt, who, during these years, had been the recog-
nized leader of the movement which had the loyal support of the
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and, to a large extent,
that of other temperance organizations and of the churches. Very
many of the legislative campaigns were conducted by Mrs. Hunt
personally, whose wise generalship never faltered or hesitated.
The enactment of laws was in reality but the smallest part of
the work. A hitherto unknown and undeveloped study had to be
fitted into the school curriculum, adapted to grade, books had to
be prepared and teachers trained. Hence, along with the con-
stant legislative work Mrs. Hunt developed its practical educa-
tional application in the schools. As a basis of information as to
the facts on the subject, she gathered what is probably the largest
collection in the world of the results of scientific experimentation
and investigation on the alcohol question.
These facts under her guidance were gradually embodied in
school text-books for use by pupils of all grades. Courses of study
were devised which not only have been widely used in the United
States, but have been guides to other nations who are following
the leadership of the United States in this branch of educational
With a vision which took in the whole world, Mrs. Hunt's
eager mind reached out to the children of other nations, and
correspondence with government officials and temperance workers
opened the way to the extension of the principle of prevention
Her attendance at the International Congress against Alcohol-
ism, held at Brussels in 1897, under the honorary presidency of
the King of Belgium, is said by one familiar with European tem-
perance work to have been " epoch-making," because of the great
stimulus given the European temperance education movement.
She was made first vice-president of the Congress and received
special consideration not only on the continent but in London,
8 HISTORICAL RECORD
where noted British citizens, at whose head stood the late Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, met to do her honor.
Again, in 1903, Mrs. Hunt's presence at the World Congress
against Alcoholism was urged, and with letters from Secretary of
State Hay, Mrs. Hunt was received at this Bremen Congress with
the honors of an official representative of her country. Her
address was printed and widely circulated m Germany, and she
was honored by the Empress by a private interview at which
the Empress was an interested, sympathetic inquirer into the
American plan for temperance education.
A most significant result of this visit to Europe was the move-
ment started among British physicians which, in February, 1904,
led 15,000 medical practitioners of Great Britain and Ireland to
sign a petition asking that regular instruction in hygiene and
temperance similar to that of the United States be given in all
public schools of the kingdom. The work thus begun as a direct
outgrowth of Mrs. Hunt's addresses and conferences in England,
in 1903, is being pressed to a successful issue.
Mrs. Hunt's last days were spent at her home in Dorchester,
where, despite increasing weakness, she continued her work
managing it with her usual skill until the power of speech com-
pletely failed. But even in the last days she was greatly cheered
by learning that the plans she had carried out in America were
being adopted in Great Britain, Germany and other countries. As
a result of America's example, scientific temperance instruction is
being given to some extent in schools of Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, China, British India, South Africa, most of the European
countries ; on this continent, in Canada, Mexico, Chili ; and in
Cuba, Porto Rico and the Bahama Islands.
Mrs. Hunt was a life director of the National Educational Asso-
ciation, and edited and published the School Physiology Journal
She was an attractive and powerful platform speaker, whose
spoken message was in demand to the very end of her life, and
she probably addressed more legislative bodies than any other
person of her day.
MRS. HUNTS HOME IN HYDE PARK
MRS. MARY H, HUNT 9
An inspiring and successful leader, her own words were, "As
a leader of the mighty hosts of godly Christian Temperance
Union women, I have tried to follow the great Leader without
whose guidance our efforts would have been in vain." But her
leadership was not of a forlorn hope. The temperance education
laws that she wrote are not only on the statute books of the
national congress and all the states, but the teaching they require
has been and is being written into the lives of the millions of
children in the public schools and through them into the life of
" Her accurate knowledge, her clear vision, her forceful speech
and facile pen, her reverence for God's truth embodied in natural
law, her generous appreciation of her great and noble army of
intelligent and efficient co-workers, her humble piety and prayer-
ful faith in God, has placed her on record as one of the most un-
selfish and useful women of our time and has entitled her to the
lasting gratitude of every lover of mankind."
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS.
BY D. ELDREDGE
Read before the Meigs Memorial Association, 1906
Read before the Hyde Park Historical Society, 1906
I am here, my friends, at the request of the Meigs Memorial
Association, to present to you, as best I may, in their name, the
result of my labors in searching for and collating the facts in
connection with the history of old Camp Meigs.
I have brought to them several photographs, comprising por-
traits and camp views, subject to such disposition or future dis-
play as they may see fit.
Of the search, much of which has been confronted by and
surrounded with difficulties innumerable, I need not say that I
have, like the gleaner Ruth, gathered here a little, there a little, or
that where much was expected, little was found.
Crude in some parts, imperfect in others, I lay the facts before
By way of prelude, away back in the forties, it was my fortune,
as a very small boy, to live with my widowed mother, by the side
of the pond at Readville — then known as Dedham Lower Plains —
and to attend school very near the present site of the Damon
School. My teacher was Rebecca Bullard, now gone to her rest.
The house was near where the reservation apparently begins,
under the hill near the woolen mills. It required considerable
courage to cross the dam, for its roaring, to my boyish ear, was
Many of you readily remember John Farrington. I do, too,
vividly, for he was, at the period I have mentioned, employed in
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. II
the mill, then a wholly wooden structure and insignificant in size
compared with the mill of today. As I passed to cross the first
bridge, it was John Farrington's delight to project his body far
out from an upper window, and yell at me like a Comanche.
Frequently I turned and went back to mother, whose reassurance
of my safety again started me for school. A little later, in the
early fifties, I was a youth at Mill Village, now East Dedham,
and passed several years in that village, attending school, where
the Avery School now stands. As a result of my residence as
stated, I knew, practically, everybody, and became familiar with
the geography of the whole town.
Years after I had removed from the town, the civil war broke
out, and I became a minute part of Uncle Sam's great army.
This ends my prelude, only offered to show that I was, at least,
partially equipped to take pickaxe and spade and dig up the facts
concering Camp Meigs.
I early directed my attention to
THE MONUMENT AT DEDHAM.
This branch of my subject may not interest everybody, but my
research developed many items of value for preservation.
The Soldier's Monument at Dedham was erected by the state
to the memory of the sixty-four men who died at Readville. But
there this monument stood, calm, dignified, defiant, resisting all
my early efforts to find its history. It is decorated each Memorial
Day by the Post at Dedham, for which service the state pays the
Post a small sum. But when was it erected ? Who made it ?
Were there dedicatory exercises ; if so, when and by whom ?
Were these men buried there in the order of their death ?
Inquiry among the oldest inhabitants, and a letter in the local
paper, followed a little later by an advertisement, all failed to
produce anything satisfactory. A close examination of the State
Auditors' Reports revealed the cost of the monument, but did not
reveal the maker. Several critical examinations of the monument
itself failed to reveal anything, even remote. At someone's sug-
gestion, I took a fac simile of the lettering to a monument maker
12 HISTORICAL RECORD
in Boston, and he at once expressed his opinion that it was made
in Taunton, and by one D. A. Burt. This is really not of super-
lative value. The latest death lettered upon the monument is
that of Henry A. Gifford, of Co. C, 27th Mass., who died July 12,
1865, and his age is recorded as fifteen years. The earliest death
shown upon the monument was that of Thomas Tracy, and the
monument says, "Died Aug. 1, 1861, aged 33 years." No com-
pany, no regiment, because, although he went to camp to join the
20th Regiment, he met his death by drowning in the Neponset
River before his opportunity came to be actually enrolled as a
soldier, having arrived only the night previous. A very large
proportion of the 64 names are of colored soldiers, of the 54th
and 55th Infantry Regiments and the 5th Cavalry Regiment. I
find that six died of small pox and were buried in the rear of the
barracks that were erected first for the 44th Regiment, the spot
being near the tracks of the New York & New T England Railroad.
These bodies were afterwards removed to the cemetery at
In June, 1864, the state purchased the lot of Mr. Edward Stin-
son. It is long and narrow, being 15 feet wide by 165 feet long.
This was a part of a considerable purchase by Mr. Stinson, and
was next to the old cemetery itself, and practically became an
addition, so called, and now one can observe no line to indicate
where the addition begins. A study of the names shows that the
monument was not made until after the last death recorded
thereon, for the four sides are entirely symmetrical in having
exactly sixteen names each.
There were presumably a few other deaths at the camp, but
evidently relatives or friends took the bodies away. The receiv-
ing tomb was used prior to the time when the lot was ready, and
there were a few burials in the old cemetery, later removed to the
soldier's lot. I have made photographs of the monument — each
of the four sides — and these I also present to the Association.
The State paid $1,000 for the monument and its setting up,
and $450 for the lot. Finally it appears well established that
each grave had originally a marker of wood, bearing the name,
CAMP MEIGS, KEADVILLE, MASS. 1 3
etc., but time and weather so demolished them, that in 1892 the
lot was graded, the graves levelled and resodded, the markers cast
aside, and since then the entire lot is of one level, broken only by
the beautiful monument in the centre.
BEFORE THE WAR.
Again let us go back to the /jo's and to the land under con-
sideration. It was then called Sprague's Plain, and was one
general whole prior to the building of the Providence Railroad.
State musters were held in those far-off days, and it was here that
the "striped pig" is said to have made its advent, or more properly
speaking, it was here invented. To those who are uninformed, I
will explain that it was a ruse to cover the clandestine sale of
intoxicants. The tent which served as a cover to a bar bore the
legend " Striped Pig." About 1840 there appeared this verse in a
local paper :
In Dedham now there is a great muster,
Which gathers the people all up in a cluster;
A terrihle time, and what do you think ?
They've found a new way to get something to drink.
And now we come to the Civil War, and the occupation of
these acres by soldiers.
Mr. Ebenezer Paul, living near Paul's Bridge, owned the land,
it having been willed to him and another by his Uncle Isaac, who
died in 1852. The will was a peculiar one — really full of peculiari-
ties, but I only mention a few. The widow, Ebenezer's Aunt
Lydia, was quite fully protected in her rights as widow, and
apparently as having a " life estate." The boys were to milk the
cows and carry the milk to the house ; they were to cut wood for
the widow's use and carry it to the wood house and pile it up, and
in time to dry for use. They were to provide annually one and
one-half tons salt hay, and carry on the farm in the interest of the
These few points are sufficient for my purpose, in calling your
attention to what happened later.
14 HISTORICAL RECORD
It is related that the first that Ebenezer Paul knew of any
designs upon his land as a camping ground, was his sudden dis-
covery one morn of two or three men sitting under one of the
long rows of elms, a few of which are now standing, and his cows
gazing upon them with interest. Later, it is said, they came
and took the land, leaving him to apply to the State for compensa-
tion, which he did, and I am credibly informed that he received
three hundred dollars per year rental.
The first call for troops — insignificantly small as it proved — ■
was succeeded in May, 1S61, by a second, this time for 500,000,
and it was under this call that the first troops assembled " On
Sprague's Plain near Sprague's Pond in the town of Dedham."
I have quoted the language of the order of Governor Andrew
dated July 2, 1861.
When it became known that troops were to occupy this field,
the neighbors were apprehensive lest the cows would fall into the
hands of military separators, or that the morning examination of
the chicken coop would reveal the fact that many chickens had
been foully slain, or that their vegetables would be ruthlessly
removed from their beds at night; but nothing of the kind hap-
pened, for Col. Lee was a strict disciplinarian.
The first to arrive upon these grounds, — and they came within
a few days after the 4th of July, 1861, — were the 18th and 20th
Regiments, the latter commanded by Col. William Raymond Lee,
who is credited with having selected the spot. The ground over
which we now are was covered by the tents of the 20th, while a
little farther away from Milton Street, near the Elms, the 18th
pitched its tents.
Two companies for the 18th Regiment came from Dedham.
One company was purely local and the other was from Wrentham.
They had been quartered together in the hall of the old Agri-
cultural Fair Building at Connecticut Corner. They were escorted
all the way by the five fire companies of the town, and two brass
bands, creating quite a furor as they marched along.
The press announced the occupation of the Camp and said the
camp is fine. Col. Lee in selecting it had an eye to the comfort
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. 1 5
and health of the men. The field contains twenty-four acres and
is in the vicinity of Sprague Pond and Ncponset River. The soil
is light and no marshy ground. There will be ninety tents for
officers and men, and one kitchen for each company, built of
rough boards. The storehouse has already been built and fur-
nished with provisions. A well has been dug and water will be
pumped from the pond.
Another paper said the spot is the old Dedham Muster Field,
twenty-four acres, nearly square, perfectly level, and the camp is
within 50 rods of the station. The large storehouse is near the
kitchens, and they are in a row across the further end of the field
as one approaches from Boston. A deep tub has been set, into
which water flows from the middle of the pond, for cooking pur-
poses. Another account says on the left flank of the camp is
Sprague Pond, and in the rear Neponset River. Adjacent is a
field of thirty-four acres at the disposal of the (20th) regiment for
I have been somewhat minute in details, at this initial occupa-
tion, for several reasons not necessary to relate at length.
In connection with the accounts of the 18th Regiment, the
press announced that the camp would be called Camp Brigham,
and the 20th named it Camp Massasoit. This shows that each
regiment adopted a name for its own camp, and this method con-
tinued for awhile, until the general name of Camp Meigs was
placed upon the whole. The name Brigham was in honor of the
Commissary General of Massachusetts, Col. Elijah D. Brigham.
And now camp life is fully inaugurated on Sprague Plain. Two
regiments are in tents, and all the busy preparations for war are
going on. The drilling of squads, platoons, companies and regi-
ments ; the dress parade, the uniforms, the officers, and even the
individual soldier, all upon exhibition, for there are hundreds of
visitors daily. Later in the war there were thousands daily, a
constant, never-ceasing stream, and upon extra occasions, like
a review, it was a difficult matter for the camp guards to walk
Camp life goes on apace, The arrival of clothing, of arms, of
1 6 HISTORICAL RECORD
any sort of supply, created more or less excitement, and just the
same if such did not arrive when expected or desired. There
was then a general feeling among the men that each Company
had a right to choose its officers, but this idea became modified
as the war went on, and finally disappeared. But alas and alack,
when confronted with the facts that their wishes would not be
wholly met, they rebelled and indulged in verbiage replete with
adjectives and many violent parts of speech.
Of the two regiments under consideration, the accounts show
that the 20th regiment was the greatest sufferer. For when that
regiment was mustered in on the 18th of July, the men of Co. B
absolutely refused to raise their hands, because they had not been
assured that the officers of their choice would be commissioned*
The next day apologized, and on the 26th they were mustered in.
This records the first semblance of mutiny, and then not a very
serious matter. Later in the war it would have had a different
coloring, and been summarily dealt with.
Of the items of interest in this first encampment, many of
which might be related, a few only are selected. About the
middle of August, several men of the 20th Regiment went to
Sprague Pond, ostensibly to bathe, but really to desert. They
were captured at Mansfield. They were to join an Irish Brigade
in New York.
A hospital was established, a little removed from the noise of
the camp. The patients rested on comfortable couches and had
mosquito netting. About the middle of August it was announced
that the 20th Regiment had about 500 men and the 18th Regiment
These two regiments have now been uniformed, armed, mus-
tered in, and must be sent to war, The 18th left Readville on
the 26th of August, by rail for Stonington, thence by steamer
•' Commodore " to New York.
And on the 4th of September the 20th Regiment left. Appar-
ently these departures left the camp entirely vacant, but such
was not the fact. The men for the 24th Regiment began to
report at Readville about the first day of September, and not
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. IJ
many days thereafter there were three companies of cavalry
there, destined to become with others the ist Massachusetts
Cavalry. The three companies were from Boston, Springfield and
Bridgewater, in all about 300 men.
By the end of September, the men for the 24th Regiment had
become quite numerous, and they adopted the name of Camp
Hatteras, presumably from the general rumor that they were to
be a part of the force destined to make a descent upon the coast
of North Carolina.
On the first of October, the boys of the 24th raised and dedi-
cated a flag staff, and a salute of thirteen guns fired from a small
cannon from Sevastopol formed a part of the ceremonies. On the
19th of October, a newspaper said that stables had been com-
pleted for 600 horses, the rest will be completed this week, and
that the camp was near low, marshy ground.
The ist Massachusetts Cavalry had a taste of a local rebellion
on the 6th of November. On that day it became painfully
apparent to the men of the regiment, that their wishes as to
whom should serve as officers were being ignored, and they raised
a considerable rumpus, so that violent measures had to be used
to maintain order. When the trouble was at its highest point,
a call was made upon the 24th Regiment to assist in restoring
order. That regiment came upon the ground on the double quick,
but not early enough to take an active part in the proceedings.
Order was finally restored.
The Cavalry Regiment numbered 1,029 early in December,
and they had about 900 horses. The cold was such that small
stoves were issued, for use in the tents, which were of the Sibley
pattern (conical). On the 9th of December, the 24th Regiment
left for the seat of war, and the ist Cavalry left on the 25th, 26th
and 28th of December.
Of the horses issued to this regiment, said to be the most un-
ruly in the whole State, the bays were assigned to Companies A,
B, C, and D, the sorrels and roans to E, F, G and H, the blacks
to I, K, L and M, and the grays to the band.
We have now, in the narrative, arrived at the end of 1861, and
1 8 HISTORICAL RECORD
all the troops have departed, and the camp now a mere shell.
The only visible things are the sheds that were erected for the
horses, the tent floors left by officers, and the storehouse.
In my further relation of events, I shall not go so fully into
detail, for cogent reasons. Of the regiments now departed for
the seat of war, the 18th, 20th and 24th, and the 1st Cavalry,
much might be narrated. Men in each achieved distinction and
each regiment had an experience peculiarly its own. Capt.
Carroll of the 18th was wounded at the second battle of Bull Run,
August 30, 1862, and died upon the battle-field three days later.
Again, the 18th Regiment, in the Fall of 1861, was given a French
uniform complete, including, beside the French uniform, tents,
mess chests, etc. This singular event was said to have been
because of extraordinary proficiency in drill. I find that three
regiments only participated in this remarkable gift, one of each of
the three brigades of Gen. Fitz John Porter's division. The other
regiments were the 44th New York and the 33d Pennsylvania.
You ask what use could be made of such a gift, and well you may.
The gift was bestowed at Hall's Hill, Va. Much fun was created.
The men could not wear the uniforms nor use the accompani-
ments, being in active service, so they were soon boxed and sent
to the storehouse at Norfolk. Some succeeded in obtaining them
again, and many sent home parts of the gift. The company from
Middleboro is said to have obtained them intact, and wore them
on their arrival home, marching through Boston, attracting a deal
Our camp at Readville remains vacant, silent and solemn until
August, when under the call of 2d of July for 300,000, we find
at Readville the 9th and nth Batteries and the 42d, 43d, 44th
and 45th Regiments. The four regiments are nine months men,
and it is currently reported that they are to go together to North
Carolina, but such did not prove to be the case.
A 44th man thus expressed himself: "We arrived here the
29th of August, about 4 p. m., and here our trouble began. We
had either come too soon or the carpenters had been too lazy,
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. 19
for only three of the ten barracks were roofed and some were not
I will ask my hearers to mentally note that these were the first
barracks built, and in August, 1862, and on the west side, and
for the 44th Regiment. Simultaneously a set were built on the
east side for the 45th. He then continues: "So while the car-
penters were at work outside, we went at it inside, putting up
and fixing the bunk. A load of straw arrived at sunset."
I will here remark that the Quartermaster, Capt. McKim (now
Judge of Probate), employed William Bullard, of Readville, as one
of his agents to procure straw, hay, wood, etc. This 44th man,
who was quite prolific in language (and I feel thankful that he
was), said further : " We are on the ground between the Provi-
dence Railroad and New England Railroad, south of the junction."
It affords me pleasure to present this association with the other
photographs, one embracing these ten barracks, the first that
were here erected, and in the picture is also the Tower house.
Again the 44th man says: "The field is just east of the em-
bankment of the N. Y, & N. E. R. R. The barracks are nearly
at right angles with the railroad. Marched to the pond to wash
A letter of the 6th of September shows a friendly rivalry
between the companies in the matter of flag poles, and a letter
of the 13th admits that Company D's flagstaff is entitled to the
prize, and that the boys have christened the several barracks with
romantic names, such as " Squirrel's Nest," " Sleeping Beauties,"
" Penquin's Nest," " Damon and Pythias," " Siamese Twins," etc.
The 44th man says, " Our first night was a jolly one. Poor
devils who depend upon good sleep and a good deal of it for what
vitality they can muster, might probably have sworn. Not that
the boys were riotous, not even obstreperous, but simply jolly.
The inside musical performance opened with a barnyard chorus
by the entire company, and this was followed by a rapid and un-
intermittent succession of dog, hog, cat and rooster solos, duets,
quartettes, both single and combined, until the arrival of an officer,
who unfortunately had no ear for music."
20 HISTORICAL RECORD
On the 8th of September, 1862, I find the first mention of
" Camp Meigs," and in connection with the fact of the arrival at
Readville of a company from Dedham for one of the nine months
Regiments, This company started from Temperance Hall,
Dedham, and a procession was formed of all the five engine
companies ; next were young ladies from the grammar school, the
selectmen, recruiting committee, and citizens, the whole led by
the West Dedham Brass Band, and marshalled by Sheriff Thomas,
mounted on a rebel horse captured at Fair Oaks. They all
marched to Readville. They were formally received by Col.
Holbrook and men of the 43d Regiment.
On the 9th of September, Governor Andrew, by his Special
Order No. 790, appointed Brig. Gen. Richard A. Pierce, of the
State Militia, Commandant of Camp Meigs, Readville, as a
The 9th Battery having left for the seat of war on the 3d of
September, the troops at Readville found by Gen. Pierce to be
under his command were the nth Battery, 42d, 43d, 44th and
45th Regiments. Gen. Pierce established his headquarters near
the station, and appointed his staff, taking nearly all from the
The photograph of the barracks of the 44th was taken on the
25 th of September, 1862, and shows the flags at half mast. They
were thus because of the funeral in Boston of Lieut. Col. Dwight
of the 2d Mass., who had died of wounds. Six companies of the
44th attended the funeral. The barracks of the 45th are men-
tioned under date of the 27th of September by a 44th man, as
having been constructed with more regard for light and air than
were those of the 44th. This establishes the fact that the bar-
racks of these two regiments were built simultaneously or nearly
The first to leave after Gen. Pierce took command was the nth
Battery, Major Jones, who died recently in Boston. They left
on the 3d of October, and on the 22d the 44th left and on the 5 th
of November the 43d and 45 th left. This left the 43d in sole
possession, and they at once occupied the barracks vacated by
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. 21
the 44th, and a little later were pleased to receive the 47th
Regiment on the nth, from Camp Stanton, Boxford, where they
had been organized. They had been sent to Readville, where
they could be better quartered.
And now we have two regiments only, the 43d and the 47th,
both nine months regiments. At this time the weather had
become so cold that stoves were set up in the barracks.
The stay of either of these two regiments was short, for the
42d left on the 21st of November and the 47th on the 30th.
Again we are viewing a vacant camp ; again it is silent, solemn,
desolate, but not like the end of 1861, for now there are two sets
of barracks, one upon either side of the railroad.
The year 1863 starts in quite lively, the very first to organize
and start for the seat of war from Camp Meigs being the 13th
Battery, on the 20th of January, and this was soon followed by a
detachment of about 350 for the 2d Cavalry on the 12th of
February, and on the 9th of March the 15th Battery left, followed
on the nth of May by the rest of the 2d Cavalry.
Meantime the 54th Regiment had begun to form. This
regiment was the first colored regiment organized in a northern
state. Gov. Andrew received his authority to organize colored
regiments in January, 1863, and apparently the first to arrive at
Readville came on February 21st, and the twenty-seven men
were assigned to the barracks first occupied by the 44th. This
regiment had a unique experience. The twenty-seven men on
the 21st of February had increased to 324 by the 21st of March
and the regiment was filled and left Readville on the 28th of May,
being sent to the Department of the South to operate against
Charleston. Robert G. Shaw, who was made its colonel, was,
with other young officers, chosen because of their firm anti-slavery
principles, of their ambition, because they were superior to a vul-
gar contempt for color, and because of their military experience.
The presentation of the flags, by Governor Andrew, on the 18th
of May, was peculiarly impressive, the Governor taking occasion
22 HISTORICAL RECORD
to speak at length, and the occasion was otherwise marked. The
regiment went to the Department of the South, in which depart-
ment I was serving. They had been in the department but a short
time when they were called to battle upon James Island, and fol-
lowing this, were suddenly called to Morris Island, and engaged on
the evening of the 18th of July, 1863, in that memorable assault
upon Fort Wagner. This regiment was placed in the forefront.
My own regiment, the 3d New Hampshire, was also a part of the
assaulting column. In the thick of the fight Colonel Shaw was
killed, and next day buried in a trench, with the men whom he
had led to their death. The beautiful monument upon Boston
Common, opposite the State House, will testify to all genera-
tions to the valor of Colonel Shaw and his regiment. A school
was established shortly after the close of the war, in Charleston,
S. C, for colored children, in his honor, and named the Shaw Me-
morial School, and the city of Boston has also named one of its
schools in the West Roxbury District in his honor. And thus
the name and fame of Col. Robert G. Shaw are properly and ap-
The 54th Regiment had scarcely gotten away when recruits for
the 55 th, also colored, began to assemble at Readville.
The next day, after the departure of the 54th, May 28th, the
nth Battery, Major Jones, returned from the seat of war, their
term having expired. This marks the first return of the kind to
Readville, and we must now be prepared to receive returning
troops, as well as to bid God-speed to the departing. The 44th
returned on the 18th of June, the 45th on the 8th of July, the
43d the 30th of July, the 42d the 20th of August, and the 47th on
the 1st of September. Meantime the departures have been, on
the 21st of July the 55th Mass., which was sent at once to the
Department of the South and served with its mate — the 54th.
The other departures for the year were the 2d Heavy Artillery on
the 5th of September, four companies, and the two companies of
the same regiment on the 7th of November.
In July occured the trouble in Boston, New York, and other
places, called the " draft riots." Boston dealt at once with the
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. 23
case and in a manner producing the desired result. The Governor
ordered General Pierce to send the men then in camp at Readville
— men for the 2d Regiment Heavy Artillery and for the 2d
Cavalry — to proceed to Boston at once by rail to maintain the
peace of the city which was threatened with violence. Colonel
Frankle (now of Haverhill) was placed in command of these
Thus, it may be seen that the camp at Readville furnished
the armed force that suppressed this miniature rebellion in Bos-
Ion, denominated in history as the "Draft Riot," and the com-
mand to fire the gun that dispersed the rioters was given by an
officer from Readville.
Nothing further of interest occurred during 1863, and at the end
we find the 1st Cavalry, 4th Cavalry, 56th, 58th, 59th, nth Bat-
tery, 13th Heavy Artillery, and 5th Cavalry (colored.)
January 1st. But three camps now in Massachusetts: Camp
Meigs, 2,270; Long Island, 1,086; Camp Wool, Worcester, 300; a
total of 3,656.
On the 4th of February there were nearly 4,000 men in Camp
Meigs, and on that day General Burnside reviewed them, accom-
panied by Governor Andrew and General Devens, each with his
staff. A special train brought the reviewing party, arriving about
2 p. m. Jones' Battery fired a salute of thirteen guns.
The position of the troops was as follows: 4th Cavalry, 1st
Cavalry, Milton street; 59th Regiment, nth Battery, near
barracks; 56th regiment, 13th Heavy Artillery, near barracks; 5th
Cavalry, 58th regiment, west of railroad. Total 3,879.
THE STORY OF THE HOSPITAL.
In June, 1864, the barracks at Readville were ordered to be
turned over to the Medical Department for conversion into a hos-
pital. The barracks being in two .groups, one east of the Provi-
dence Railroad, and the other west of it, I assumed that General
Pierce exercised his judgment as to the scope of the order, and
turned over to the medical department only those upon the east
24 HISTORICAL RECORD
side of the railroad, consisting of quarters for two full regiments,
i.e., twenty barracks.
Barracks on the east side had been provided, up to that time,
for only two regiments, but the barracks at Lakeville, near Mid-
dleboro, for the 3d and 4th regiments, then entirely out of use,
were taken in pieces and removed to Readville by rail and there
set up again, Consequently there were forty barracks as well as
other buildings ready for conversion into a hospital. It shows
that the cook-houses and officers' quarters were placed at the
ends of the barracks, and thus forming porches, one at either end
of the forty barracks, now wards, with a capacity of 1,000 patients.
I find that the largest number was about 700 at any one time.
All the accessories, whether of material, of buildings, or of medical
officers, were supplied to make this a first class hospital, which
finally embraced a library, gymnasium and chapel.
Again in 1864, a movement was started and gained some head-
way to have sick and wounded men transferred from the various
hospitals to those in the states where they belonged by enlistment,
and the establishment of this hospital at Readville was apparently
in furtherance of that object. Dr. Frederick H. Gross was placed
in charge. He was a surgeon of large experience. He had been
with General Thomas, had been at Camp Parole, had been at vari-
ous other points where ordered and needed, and his selection for
this post was a wise one. At various times I find on duty with
him as assistant surgeons: Doctors S. W. Langmaid, F. H. Brown,
F. C. Ropes, George S. Stebbins, R. R. Clarke, J. G. Wilbur,
G. S. Osborne, and as hospital steward, H. H. A. Beach, now Dr.
Beach of Boston, and connected officially with the Massachusetts
General Hospital. Doctors Gross, Clarke, Osborne, Wilbur, and
Ropes have all died. As survivors, I find Dr. S. W. Langmaid, a
throat specialist of Boston; Dr. Stebbins, Springfield; Dr. Francis
H, Brown, Boston; Dr. Beach of Massachusetts General Hospital.
I also find a son of Dr. Gross — Dr. Hermon W. Gross, surgeon at
the Fore River ship yards, Quincy,
As to the work and capacity of the hospital, I find that in the
middle of September, 1864, 350 convalescents were sent to the
CAMP MEIGS, KEADVILLE, MASS. 2$
field, and a little later about 400. On the 13th of December, 1864,
there were 498 sick and 498 wounded, a total of 996. Early in
May, 1865, there were 478 patients, cared for by 78 attendants,
and on the 3d of June, 1865, there were 376 patients.
The guard duty, as was the custom, was by a company (13) of
the V. R. C, and there were received in all 4,080 patients.
Of the many operations at this hospital, one requiring more
skill than perhaps any other was that performed upon Private
Paran C. Young, Company B, 3d Massachusetts Cavalry and now
living in Provincetown, Mass. He had been severely wounded in
the neck at Cedar Creek. He arrived at Readville, January 2d,
1865, and was at once reported upon the dangerous list. Four
days later Dr. Langmaid performed tracheotomy upon him; and at
a moment when he was presumed by the attendants to be dead,
Dr. Langmaid knew better, and the result was that the man was
almost literally snatched from the grave. A silver tube was in-
serted, and in all these years Comrade Young has breathed through
it, and when he speaks, a hand is pressed in the proper place
to permit speech.
On July 1st, 1865, it was ordered, the war having ended, that
the hospital be discontinued, and the patients transferred to the
Dale General Hospital at Worcester, and these orders were car-
ried out with very little delay. The hospital having been discon-
tinued, the supplies, such as beds, bedding, clothing and medicines
were advertised to be sold at public auction on the 4th of October,
but owing to the inability of Dr. Edgar, the Medical Officer (de-
tained at Portsmouth Grove Hospital, R. I.,) who had special
charge of the sale, was postponed to Monday, the 9th, when the
sale took place. Mr. McGilvray, of Boston, was the auctioneer.
Having abruptly left my audience to trace the hospital, I now
return to Camp Meigs. It must be borne in mind that upon the
creation of the hospital, there became two distinct establishments,
the hospital, wholly east of the Providence Railroad, and the
camp, wholly west of said railroad. The latter comprised a set of
ten barracks only, and it was in and near these ten barracks that
all military operations were thereafter conducted, whether of de-
26 HISTORICAL RECORD
parting troops or of returning troops, and General Pierce had no
authority in or with the hospital.
During 1864 there were so many organizations departing and
others returning for muster out, that it is quite impracticable to
more than mention them.
In this year there were organized at Readville about 27 compan-
ies of 100 men each, designated as " Unattached," and known
by the numbers 1 to 27. These were, up to and including the
company numbered 13, for ninety days, then up to and including
No. 23 for 100 days, and Nos. 24, 25, 26 and 27 for one year.
These companies were all for service within the state, notably on
the coast, and were variously sent to Fall River, New Bedford,
Provincetown, Salem, Marblehead, Gallups' Island, Fort Warren,
Fort Independence and Gloucester. During the year 1864 the
following companies left Camp Meigs:
January 8th, 2d Heavy Artillery (six companies); February 5th,
nth Battery; March 7th, 13th Heavy Artillery; 20th, 56th Regi-
ment; 26th, 4th Cavalry (part); April 19th, 16th Battery; 24th,
4th Cavalry (part); 25th, 14th Battery; 26th, 59th Regiment; 28th,
58th regiment; May 6th, 5th Cavalry; August 1st, 60th Regiment
(100 days). Unattached Companies: 90 day men, 4th, 6th, 7th,
8th, 9th, nth, and 13th; iooday men, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th,
20th, 2 1st, 22nd, 23rd; one year, 18th (re-organized).
Returned in 1864: 6th August 6th Unattached; 27th October
6th Regiment (100 days); 12th November 17th Unattached; 16th
November 5th Regiment (100 days); 26th November 23rd Unat-
tached. Returned in I865: 12th May 18th Unattached; 12th May
26th Unattached; 1 2th June 5th Battery; 13th June 39th Massachu-
setts; 15th June 14th Battery; 16th June nth Battery; 19th June
36th Massachusetts; 29th June 1st Cavalry; 30th June 40th Mas-
sachusetts; 2nd July 33d Massachusetts; 2nd July 37th Massachu-
setts; 6th July 34th Massachusetts; 12th July 23rd Massachusetts;
19th July 27th Massachusetts; 22nd July 56th Massachusetts;
26th July 2nd Massachusetts; 26th July 58th Massachusetts; 28th
July 20th Massachusetts; 28th July 25th Massachusetts; 4th Aug-
ust 15th Battery; 9th August 57th Massachusetts; 9th August 59th
CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. 2J
It will be remembered that the medical supplies were sold on
the 9th of October. The sale of the property used by the hospital,
but actually belonging to the Quartermaster's Department, such
as 217 stoves, six army ranges, horses, harnesses, wagons, etc.,
were sold on the 23d of October by Samuel Hatch, auctioneer.
Next follows the sale of the buildings at Camp Meigs west of the
railroad, on the 4th of January, 1866, consisting of ten barracks,
ten cook houses, four officers' quarters, hospital building, guard
house, four stables, three forage houses, in all about 280,000 feet
of lumber, sold for $3,100.
On the 13th of January, 1866, the Dedham Gazette announced
that Mr. Ebenezer Paul had sold his entire farm to Charles A.
White for the sum of $20,000, including the old camp ground.
"We had hoped," said the editor, " that the ground would have
been consecrated to some public purpose."
Next came the Quatermaster's sale, 26th June, 1866, by Samuel
Hatch, auctioneer, of the hospital buildings, forty of them 73x22
and twenty 46x15, seventy-one buildings in all, embracing store-
houses, kitchens, laundry, etc. A conspiracy among the buyers
was checkmated by the Quartermaster. The buildings brought
from $50 to $400 each. The chapel, built and owned by the state,
sold for $480. Total sale, $12,895.94.
Although the sale of the land was in January, 1866, we do not
find the deed recorded until the 12th of April, 1867. The delay of
over a year in date and delivery of deed was, by inference, caused
by the peculiar will previously mentioned.
1884. January 1. Deed Francis Bryant to Readville Home-
stead Association 1,665 feet.
1890. Hamilton Park Association organized.
1894. Changed to Meigs Memorial Association.
1897. May 30. Flag pole and guns dedicated, Post 121 G. A.
1903. January 4. Name of Hamilton Park changed to Meigs
28 HISTORICAL RECORD
Let me say that Hyde Park may well be proud of its delightful
suburb, proud that so historic a spot is an integral part of the
town. Proud may the dwellers at Readville be, for here, beneath
our very feet, nearly fifty years ago, thousands marched up and
down and upon this plain. The rattle of musketry, the bugle's
blast, the rat-a-tat-tat of the drum, the clanking of the sabre, the
neighing steed and the roar of cannon became familiar sounds.
Here the very flower of the youth of this good old Common-
wealth of ours gathered themselves together as a mighty phalanx.
Here they learned the art of war, bade fond mother and father,
or wife, the sad good bye and marched away. Thousands never
came back; other thousands perished upon the battle-field, or in
the hospital or the dreadful southern prison. Yet other thousands
of the wounded and the sick were sent here to the hospital that
they might be near to those they loved and that they might be
May these memories, these facts, be kept green, and may the
Meigs Memorial Association slack not its hand, but see
to it that this and coming generations who make their homes here
shall know that this is historic ground, that here was the largest
military camp in New England, that soldiers went forth from here to
a war such as no man had ever seen. And to you specially, as mem-
bers of the Meigs Memorial Association, let me say, keep the sub-
ject of devotion to country before the people, fling the banner of the
free to the breeze from yonder flagstaff upon every proper occa-
sion, and keep bright the names of Meigs, and Shaw, and Carroll,
till the last member will have drawn the drapery of his couch
about him, and lain down to pleasant dreams. And finally, I offer
you one and all, this sentiment:
To the soldiers who went from Readville,
For all they were,
For all they did,
For all they dared,
All honor forever
And for aye,
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK
BY HARRY G. HIGBEE
The inherent love of nature, born in every man, gives itself ex-
pression in various ways. Some will stand transfixed before a
roaring cataract, lost in wonder at its mighty power. Others will
find a peculiar charm in the study of the flowers and trees, and
will be lured away by them to many pleasant and profitable hours
spent in the woods and fields. Still others will sit by the hour at
the seashore, watching the great waves come rolling and tumbling
in upon the rocks, or gathering the tiny shells and mosses which
abound along the beach. But whatever our particular hobby may
be in the study of nature, there is that same charm and fascination
which lures us on to investigate farther and farther into her hidden
secrets, until we are lost in wonder and admiration at the marvel-
lous works of the Almighty. The works of man are wonderful,
but his most noble achievement is as nothing, when compared
with the simplest flower, or the minutest form of animal life, in its
beauty and perfection.
Nature opens up to us like a great book. We have but to study
her in earnest and she will reveal to us many wonderful things.
This study broadens our minds. It presents to us new avenues
of thought, and new fields of pleasure; aside from the value of the
healthful exercise which it brings to us, by the outdoor life and
fresh air which comes from the pursuit of these studies — for
nature should be studied first hand, in the woods and fields, and
not from books, save only as a guide to identification, and to assist
in personal investigation.
Nature study is now considered as a part of the child's educa-
tion, and its adoption is becoming general throughout the public
schools. The study of birds is an important branch of this general
30 HISTORICAL RECORD
topic, as they are of great economical value to us in keeping in
check obnoxious insects as well as adding so much to the life
about us by their beauty and song.
In studying the bird-life of any given section, the topography of
the district must first be considered. There are many things
which affect the distribution of the different species, such as
climate, elevation, natural surroundings, and general habits of the
While Hyde Park is fairly well proportioned in the variation of
its geographical formation, its environment is not so good in this
respect as in the towns immediately surrounding us. Conse-
quently, not so great a variety of birds should be expected to be
found. Surrounded as it is mostly by hills, this territory forms
somewhat of a natural basin, being open on the northerly side to-
ward the sea coast, from which it is about eight miles distant. Its
elevation is slight, having no very high hills within its borders.
Its area is about five square miles and it contains no large ponds,
but the surface is pretty well broken up with swamps, small fields,
meadows, and rocky hills. About a third of the area is wooded.
The Neponset river, flowing through the town, is our only water-
way, save a few smaller streams, and gives us a direct outlet to
the coast. At the southern end of the town are large marshes,
extending for some miles through the towns of Milton, Dedham
and Canton; only a small portion of these meadows, however,
coming within our borders. Consequently, few water birds are
found here. To the west of us lies West Roxbury, entirely wooded
along our border. These woods were the haunts of the naturalist
Samuels, in the early sixties, and it was here that he procured
much of the material for his well-known book, the " Birds of New
England." To the north is Boston, and to the east Milton; both
mostly residential near the boundaries.
Within this section have been recorded, as far as I have been
able to ascertain, one hundred and fifty-one varieties of birds.
These might be divided roughly into six groups. Twenty-four
may be considered rare or accidental in this vicinity; thirty-three
may be classified as scarce; twenty-five are migrants, and are
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK 3 1
simply here for a short period in the spring and fall, on their way
farther north, or south, as the case may be. Of those remaining,
fifty-two are summer residents only, seven are winter residents
only, and ten are permanent, or all-the-year-round residents. Of
these one hundred and fifty-one varieties, I have observed person-
ally one hundred and forty-one, having kept records and notes on
the same for the past twelve years.
We will now take up in the order mentioned, these six groups.
First, I will give some records of those which I have classed as
rare, numbering twenty-four species as follows:
A dickcissel, or black-throated bunting, is recorded from Hyde
Park in 1878 and Readville 1879. The usual habitat of this
species, however, is in the middle states.
A prothonatary warbler was taken here on May 21, 1892.
A green-crested flycatcher was taken here with its nest and
three eggs in June, 1888, and is the only specimen of this bird
ever recorded from Massachusetts, being a more southern species.
The arctic three-toed woodpecker was abundant about Boston
in i860, and has been recorded from Hyde Park.
A saw-whet owl was taken here five or six years ago by Mr.
Fred Downey, of this town.
A dovekie, or little auk, was found dead in the Fairmount
district in 1902. A large flight of these birds was noted about
here in September, 1872, and were probably driven in by a severe
storm, as they are usually found only on the coast, and much
farther north than this latitude.
A Bicknell's thrush, a bird usually found from northern Maine
northward, was taken here on May 25, 1905, by Mr. Walter Zappey
of Roslindale. Mr. Zappey has also taken the following rare birds
here : Two alder flycatchers, which he took in the migrations of
1900, and a leach's petrel, which he found dead, floating in the
Neponset river about ten years ago. The petrels are all ocean
wanderers and this bird must have been blown in by a severe
A yellow-bellied flycateher was also taken here in the spring of
32 HISTORICAL RECORD
An orchard oriole was taken the same season by F. E. Webster,
others being seen at the same time.
American herring gulls, kittewakes, and common terns are
birds which I have rarely seen within our borders, being birds of
the coast and occasionally driven inland by severe northeast
The red-breasted merganser I have taken once on the Nepon-
set meadows. This is a common bird on the coast. I also ob-
served a least bittern on these marshes on one occasion. This
was probably a not uncommon bird here years ago.
The snowflake I have seen here but once. This was during the
severe winter of 1903-4, when I watched four of these birds for
some time, feeding in the road near the Grew School. Mr. Zappey
also observed a flock here about a week later. They are usually
common on the coast, where they spend the winter.
The Connecticut warbler, Tennessee warbler, mourning warbler
and bay-breasted warbler I have also taken here, but they are all
The Lincoln's sparrow I have observed only once, and the house
wren but once. This latter, however, was probably plentiful form-
erly, breeding in bird boxes until these places were usurped by
the English sparrow.
I have also one record of the English goldfinch. I took a speci-
men of this bird on August 3, 1897. It was in company with
another of the same species in the woods, and while it might
possibly have been an escaped cage bird, yet the plumage showed
no traces of it, and I believe that it was a wild bird, as it is known
that a number of these birds have been introduced in different
parts of the country.
Of the thirty-three species spoken of as scarce, the greater
number are migrants, and are rather irregular in their visitations
to this locality. These include such birds as the hairy woodpecker,
gray-cheeked thrush, black-throated blue warbler, Wilson's warbler,
and Blackburnian warbler. Others are found, perhaps fairly
abundant in nearby towns, but the conditions are not just right
for their habitat here.
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK 33
As an instance of this, the long-billed marsh wren is found
breeding plentifully on the Neponset marshes, but there being
but a small part of these meadows within the limits of our town,
the birds are therefore scarce here, as there are no similar con-
ditions in any other portion of the town. With the warbling
vireo the case is similar. This bird prefers the shelter of
the great elm trees, such as are common along the roadsides of
Milton. Here it hangs its pendant nest from the tip end of some
long limb, and among its wide-spreading branches it finds ample
food supply in the way of insects. Here it lives contentedly,
warbling its sweet song throughout the day. Similar conditions
would make these birds plentiful in our town. Other birds, as
the woodcock and the purple martin, were formerly plentiful, but
now, for various reasons, are scarce. Still others, as the pine
siskin, redpoll, and pine grosbeak, are irregular winter visitants,
appearing some seasons in considerable numbers, and perhaps not
again for six or eight vears.
The scarcity of birds is dependent upon many things and cannot
always be accounted for. A few years ago the bluebirds became
suddenly scarce and remained so for two or three years, causing
general alarm among bird lovers throughout the state, lest this,
the most loved, perhaps, of all the common birds, on account of
its endearing associations, should be doomed to follow in the path
of the wild pigeon, which formerly roamed over this country in
countless thousands, but is now practically extinct. Our fears
were, however, happily without foundation, for the bluebird has
re-appeared and is now as plentiful as ever. There was also a
general scarcity of birds of all kinds during the season of 1903-04.
Heavy storms prevailed during the spring migrations and in the
early breeding season, causing the destruction of thousands of
birds, especially those nesting near the ground. These conditions
prevailed generally throughout the state. Purple martins were
nearly exterminated in many places. The unusual severity of the
following winter was also destructive to bobwhites and rufied
grouse, making them scarce the following season. The result of
such conditions are entirely overcome, however, in a reasonable
length of time, and nature again resumes her former balance.
34 HISTORICAL RECORD
The English sparrow is doubtless responsible for the scarcity
of a number of birds which were formerly abundant about our
houses. They have been driven back to places where, perhaps, they
are more secure from their natural enemies. In this connection
we must also consider the individual variation in species. Birds
are like human beings. They have their likes and their dislikes,
and while all birds o! a given species follow, in a general way, the
same custom, they are capable of a remarkable adaptability to
change of circumstances; even, in some cases, changing their
entire mode of living to suit the surroundings. This of course,
would cause certain species to become scarce in places where
they were formerly plenty. An instance of this change is shown
by the breeding of the chimney swift, a bird which is supposed to
have formerly bred in hollow trees in the depths of the forest, but
now that the forests have been largely cut away in many places,
it has adapted itself to the change, by nesting in chimneys. Last
year I spent a month in the wilderness of northeastern Maine.
Here I found chimney swifts plenty about the lakes, where they
were probably twenty-five miles from a human habitation, and I
have every reason to believe that they were breeding here in the
forest, as they probably did centuries ago.
Another thing to consider is the extreme restricted locality of
some birds, while others are found over an extended area. In
this relation I will mention the prairie warbler. I know of only
two limited districts in Hyde Park where one would be likely to
find these birds, yet they cannot be considered scarce, as I could
nearly always find them by going to either of these places. The
yellow-breasted chat is a bird of similar habits and its range is
likewise extremely limited.
We must know, then, something of the nature and habits of a
bird to know where to look for it. These facts, however, apply
principally to the nesting habits, as in migrating many species are
often found associated in the same flock, which ordinarily have
nothing in common, and are also found in places totally unlike
their usual habitat.
This leads to the consideration of the migrating birds. I
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK 35
mean the birds which ordinarily simply pass through this locality,
going north in the spring, and again going south in the fall. Of
course nearly all the birds migrate from summer to winter
quarters. Even with those which we call permanent residents, it
is not always the same individuals which are present with us the
The migrating of birds has always been one of the greatest
problems of the bird student, and is today as unsolved in many
respects as it was a hundred years ago. Because it is so mysterious
it is therefore interesting and fascinating to study. Of these
great questions concerning migrations, I will not attempt to speak,
as this discussion in itself would make a lengthy document.
Our opportunity for studying the migrating birds is necessarily
limited to a very few weeks, and sometimes to a few days in
a season. Perhaps they are here one day and gone the next, and
it is difficult in the time we have, to become very well acquainted
with their songs and habits. Severe storms often drive migrating
birds far from their course, destroying many, and causing others to
wander to places outside of their usual range. The month of May
is the usual time of the spring migrations in this locality; from the
fifteenth to the twenty-fifth being the time of the greatest flight.
Most of our birds migrate at night, resting and feeding during the
day-time, and one may often hear the chirps of a passing flock on
a warm night in the spring or fall. The food supply has much to
do with the length of their stay. Also if the weather is not favor-
able the flight will be short.
Probably the most notable example of migration which we have
is the flight of the Canadian goose. They usually migrate in the
day-time, but often at night, like our smaller birds. Who does not
recognize the loud honk ! honk-a-honk ! of this noble bird as he
comes northward in the spring, the immense V-shaped flocks
stretching across the sky ? What a fine general is the old gander
at the head of the flock, to preserve such perfect order and to guide
them safely on their long journey northward to their summer
Our principal migrants here are some of the thrushes, sparrows,
36 HISTORICAL RECORD
and warblers, and of the twenty-five species mentioned, I will speak
of three as interesting cases.
The red-breasted nuthatch is a common migrant, especially in
the fall, and ocasionally remains throughout the winter.
The Wilson's thrush is not uncommon in the spring, usually
remaining here about a week. I have no doubt, however, that it
sometimes breeds in this locality, as I have found it nesting in
similar places nearby.
The blue-headed or solitary vireo is one of our spring and fall
migrants, though not very abundant, and on one occasion I ob-
served it nesting here. It was remarkably tame, I remember,
and allowed me to remove it from its nest with my hand. An
especially large flight of warblers was noted here in the spring of
1900, and prevailed generally throughout the state. This flight
lasted from the ninth of May to the fifth of June. Fifty-two
species I have classed as summer residents. These, of course, are
the birds with which we are most familiar, as our opportunity for
studying them is so much greater than with the others mentioned.
They represent many different classes and families. Some, as the
Baltimore oriole, red-eyed vireo, chipping sparrow, yellow warbler,
and robin, are social fellows, preferring to make their haunts about
our houses, or in the shade trees along our streets, and rarely
venture very far into the woods. Others, like the kingbird, purple
finch, least flycatcher, and bluebird, must be sought for in the
orchards and fields. Still others, like some of the hawks, bittern,
rails, swamp sparrow, and brown thrasher — birds which are more
shy and retiring, must be looked for in the deep recesses of the
woods and swamps, as they seem to avoid as much as possible the
society and haunts of man.
What an endless variety is here presented to us for thought and
study, or for pleasant recreation. You may watch the chimney
swift as it hovers over the top of a dead tree, breaking off the twigs
with which it builds its nest, never once alighting during the
whole operation ; or you may float down the river in a canoe
through the marshes just at dusk, and if you sit motionless as
a statue you will doubtless see the rails come silently out from
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK 37
among the rushes and run about on the mud flats in search of in-
sects, for they have been asleep all day and are just coming out
for their nightly jaunt and revelry ; but if you make a motion, how-
ever slight, back they will dart into the shelter of the rushes, only
to reappear, however, in a few moments. Or again, you may sit
by the hour some beautiful May morning on the side of a rocky
hill and watch the red-tailed hawk, as it soars majestically in ever-
widening circles, rising higher and higher, till it is finally lost to
vision in its dizzy height. One of these birds has been known to
soar for five hours without once alighting. Who would suspect
the great blue heron of such a trick as this ? Yet I one day saw
one of these great birds rise up from the marsh, and launching
itself into the air, it circled about, soaring with all the dignity and
majesty of a hawk, rising up until it was a mere speck in the sky
and finally disappearing altogether. Each bird has its own peculiar
habits, and how remarkably it is adapted in form and color to its
own particular needs. It takes a keen eye indeed to notice the
ovenbird sitting within its dome-shaped nest upon the ground
among the leaves, or to discover the ruffed grouse standing motion-
less in the swamp. Its protective coloration is perfect, blending
so well with all its surroundings. Watch the woodpecker on the
dead stub. What powerful muscles of the head and neck he has,
and what a sharp, strong bill to bore deep into the wood for the
insects there upon which he feeds. We find many things which
puzzle us in the study of these charming creatures. Why does
the wood thrush always adorn its nest with strips of old rags or
bits of newspaper, woven in among the twigs and roots ? Why
does the marsh wren build four or five nests, and then choose the
one which it likes best for occupancy ? These and many other
questions still remain for us to solve.
The arrival and departure of the summer birds may be looked
for at stated periods, but of course will vary somewhat in different
sections. A special instance is that of the Baltimore oriole, which
makes its appearance every year about the eighth of May, and in
the twelve years that I have observed it, has not varied more than
three days in the time of its arrival here. The spring of 1899 may
38 HISTORICAL RECORD
be noted as an early spring, many of the arrivals being much
earlier than usual. In some of the species the males arrive first,
being from a week to ten days in advance of the females. I have
noted this with the bluebirds, flickers and blackbirds. Others,
however, particularly the late comers, are already mated upon their
arrival here, and enter at once upon their domestic duties,
A few instances of birds failing to migrate are noticed, leading
us to believe that food and shelter may be more prominent features
in relation to this phenomenon, than is the climate or instinct.
There is a certain hill in East Milton which is densely covered on
one side with a thick growth of cedars, forming excellent shelter
from the cold and storms, and providing a certain amount of food.
At the foot of this hill is a spring which remains open throughout
the winter. Here, most any day in winter, may be found flocks
of robins, flickers, purple finches and myrtle warblers. A bittern
has also wintered here for a number of years. Would not more
birds remain with us through the winter if the food supply was
sufficient? A few of the hawks remain with us through the
winter, and occasionally flickers and song sparrows in small
Just before the departure of our summer birds in the fall, one
may often note large flocks along the roadsides, containing robins,
sparrows, thrushes and warblers. Thousands of swallows, too,
will fill the air, and suddenly in one night they will vanish. We
cannot find one the next day, and we are suddenly brought to the
realization that summer has really gone.
The varied songs, plumage, and nesting habits give us ample
material for study. I remember once finding a song sparrow
nesting six feet up in a cedar tree in a high field. Why it chose
this site instead of the usual ground nest in the middle of a
swamp, I do not know, but it certainly must have been more than
instinct, and I firmly believe, from the actions which I have ob-
served in many cases, that birds possess certain powers of reason-
ing. A peculiar trait I have noted in the ovenbird, is that it is
often heard to sing in the middle of the night, and I have also ob-
served this in the indigo bunting, and the swamp sparrow.
BIRDS OF HYDE PARK 39
Many of our common birds change their plumage in the fall,
donning a new coat for their winter wear which is sometimes en-
tirely different from that worn during the breeding season. Who
would take the bright-colored goldfinch which we see on our
thistles and sunflowers, like a very bit of the sun itself, for the
same bird as that sombre, olive-gray fellow, which we see feeding
with the flock in the birches by the roadside in winter? The
scarlet tanager, too, loses his brilliant coat in the fall, and ere he
leaves for his southern home, has donned a coat of dull olive-yellow
similar to that worn by his mate during the breeding season.
Our winter residents are somewhat erratic in there appearance
here. The slate-colored junco, tree sparrow, white-breasted
nuthatch, golden-crowned kinglet, and brown creeper, may be met
with most any winter's day in the woods, but the American and
the white-winged crossbills are irregular visitants from the far
north. During the severe winter of i903-'04 these northern birds
were much in evidence about here. Pine grosbeaks were also
abundant for the first time in ten years.
How you laugh as you watch the nuthatch, as he clambers about
the trunk of the tree in search of insects. He will jump broadside
around the trunk, or head first down its perpendicular sides, with
as much ease as he will either forward or backward. He appar-
ently pays not the slightest heed to the laws of gravity, or equili-
brium. You marvel, too, at the tiny golden-crowned kinglet, not
much larger than a humming-bird, and wonder how he can with-
stand the severe cold. But how happy he is, flitting gaily about,
finding his food among the pine and cedar trees, and now and then
giving vent to his contented feelings, with a faint but cheery
whistle. He is never still for an instant, and as he tips downward
on the end of a cone, you catch glimpses of his pretty golden
Adding our list of permanent residents to those which are
winter visitants only, we have about seventeen species of which
we might hope to make the acquaintance under favorable circum-
stances, in a winter's season.
There is probably more or less migrating of those birds which
40 HISTORICAL RECORD
we cal! residents. While the crow, for instance, is with us the
year round, it is found in much smaller numbers in the winter
than during the summer months. This is evidenced by the large
flocks observed in both the spring and fall migrations.
On the whole I consider the birds as plentiful in this locality as
they were ten years ago, and I have found their study a partic-
ularly fascinating one. Their acquaintance may be cultivated and
their presence encouraged about the house, by providing, food for
them, especially in winter and in severe weather, and they should
be protected by all lawful and proper means. It is not difficult for
anyone to find and study the birds. During a walk of about two
hours in the migrating season last spring, I observed forty-three
In conclusion, I would say that if you really want to know any-
thing about the birds of Hyde Park, go out into the woods and
fields at daybreak, and listen to their songs, or watch their home
life in their native haunts. Make them your friends, and you will
soon find that you have not only learned their habits and their
songs, but that you have added to your resources, to your health,
and to your pleasure, and that you are better prepared to go forth
to solve the difficult problems of the day's work.
FRANK BOWMAN RICH
FRANK BOWMAN RICH
At a meeting of the Curators of the Hyde Park Historical
Society, Mr. Erastus Edward Williamson, who was the postmaster
of " Fairmount" in 1864 and 1865, Mr. H. S. Bunton, and Mr. S.
E. Newell, were appointed a committee to prepare suitable reso-
lutions on the death of the late Mr, Frank Bowman Rich. On
behalf of the committee, Mr. Williamson reported as follows :
FRANK BOWMAN RICH
BORN FEBRUARY 18, i860
DIED JANUARY 17, 1907
Mr. President : —
The wise author of Ecclesiastes gave to the world a great truth
when he wrote that " There is a time to be born and a time to
die." The circumstances which surround one's birth have, in most
cases, wide influence in moulding the character and shaping the
destiny of the individual. The year i860 — the year of our de-
parted friend's birth — was one of tremendous unrest and anxiety
to the American people, both in the North and in the South. The
people of the North, and those of this ancient commonwealth in
perhaps a special sense, were filled with gloomy forebodings.
Civil war was soon to burst with almost the velocity of a meteor's
glare. The peaceful little village of Fairmount and Hyde
Park, with only five years' brief and unimportant history as a
settlement, was soon to be the close neighbor of a warlike military
camp, and, instead of its local energies being centered on the
development of the new enterprise of building here on the banks
of the "Neponset" a beautiful and flourishing town, its citizens
are watching with profound anxiety the dark cloud which was ap-
pearing in the nation's sky, and which was so soon to burst in the
most awful war-tempest. A dark pall hung not only over Massa-
42 HISTORICAL RECORD
chusetts, but over the entire country ; and this peaceful locality,
so lavishly favored by our Creator by its undulating scenery,
was soon to become the camping ground of the volunteer patriot
Fairmount was the eastern part of the county, barely seven
or eight miles from the State House, surrounded by the grandly
beautiful and historic territory of old Dorchester, Milton, Roxbury
and Dedham, including some of the finest suburbs of New
England's metropolis. One could stand on Fairmount Hill, and
the eyes could sweep across the lower harbor of Boston on the
east, to the Blue Hills, which shut the horizon on the southeast,
and away over the velvet-like valley of the Neponset to the south;
and over to the west and north were prosperous towns. With
such sourroundings, on the surpassingly inspiring spot on Summit
street, Fairmount, then a part of the rich township of Milton,
Frank Bowman Rich was born.
He had excellent parentage. His father, Henry A. Rich, a man
of sterling traits of character, born in 1833 in Hardwick, Mass.,
gave to our lamented friend, whom we hereby seek to honor, many
of his habits of industry and his disposition to take interest in
everything which had reference to his native village. His mother,
Harriet F. Bowman, was born in Warwick, Mass., in 1832. She
was of an intellectual cast of mind, and had received early
mental training as a teacher in the public schools. It will thus be
seen that the early childhood of the late Mr. Rich was guided by
honest-hearted and highly intelligent home influences. His
mother inculcated into the minds of her children studious habits
and a deep love for the little village of Fairmount.
Mr. Rich's boyhood days were passed as might be those of any
country-village boy. His was not the farmer-boy life — the best
possible early life — but it was life in the country, indeed, and a
beautiful country. He was scarcely more than five or six years
old when his inherent penchant for gathering interesting items
and clippings began to manifest itself, and before he was ten he
had gathered interesting and valuable books and documents which
bore on the local history of Fairmount, and works of authors
FRANK BOWMAN RICH 43
specially calculated to increase his love of home and native heath.
In this he was very methodical, a characteristic more fully de-
veloped later in life.
" The child is father of the man," says the familiar proverb, and
at school he was very industrious and proficient in his studies,
and in 1873, at the age of thirteen, he graduated from the Fair-
mount School, afterward attending the Hyde Park High School.
With this educational equipment, not especially remarkable, he
entered the Bryant & Stratton Commercial College, of Boston,
where he planned to fit himself for a purely mercantile career. But
few of the occurrences of the now five-years' old town of Hyde
Park escaped his attention. In this characteristic he inherited
the industry of his honored father in gathering historical facts and
in compiling day by day the most important happenings in this
rapidly growing village, so that in later life, when he began to
enter into the public affairs of the town, he was the best equipped
man in the whole surrounding section regarding the personal and
local history of the new municipality.
In 1879, when he was scarcely nineteen, he entered the whole-
sale dry-goods house of Lewis Coleman & Co., Boston, and began
what he fondly supposed was to be a purely commercial career.
In this he was to be mistaken. The immortal hymn by Cowper,
written more than a century previous, fitly applies to this period
in Mr. Rich's life.
" God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform."
I have received from the present postmaster of Mcdford, Mr. J
Henry Norcross, who hired Mr. Rich as a boy, the following
interesting letter, which pays fine tribute to the young man then
starting out in business life :
" Medford, M;iy 1, 1907.
E. E. Williamson, Esq.
My dear Sir :
It is quite difficult to give full and strong recollections of Frank
B. Rich of Hyde Park, as a member of the firm of Lewis Coleman Co., 9-19
Chauncy street, Boston. I hired him as a boy to learn the wholesale dry and
fancy goods business. This must have been nearly thirty years ago. I distinctly
44 HISTORICAL RECORD
bear him in mind as mature from the very start, applying himself very closely,
so noticeable as to receive quite rapid promotion, for he was earnest, ambitious,
and a hard worker.
J. Henry Norcross."
As befalls most of us, unforeseen conditions and circumstances
changed the whole course and trend of his earthly life. January
ist, 1886, after seven years' service with this firm, he tendered his
resignation, and conjointly with his only brother, established the
well-known dry goods business in this town under the firm name
of Rich Brothers. In connection with his other business relations,
he decided to establish a real estate and insurance agency, and in
this, also, success to a marked degree crowned his efforts.
Never for a moment did he abandon his favorite pastime — the
study of local history — continually gathering a fund of valuable
historical facts for the fortunate future historian of this fair inland
In 1879 an( l 1884 his alumni association made him its president,
showing that in these small affairs he was popular with his fellow-
pupils. Again in 1883 he was influential in organizing the Young
Men's Lyceum of Hyde Park, and was the first president of the
same. It was this year, also, that he became the president of the
Young Men's Republican Club, which really marks his entry into
political affairs in Hyde Park.
In connection with his business, in 1883 he was honored by Gov-
norer Benjamin F. Butler with an appointment as justice of the
peace, and he held that office by reappointment ever afterwards,
receiving commissions from Governors Brackett and Wolcott. At
the same he was taking great interest in the social life of Hyde
Park. In 1884 he was the chief templar of Energetic Lodge, 125,
of the Independent Order of Good Templars ; but his social obliga-
tions and connections did not turn him aside from his pursuit of
things nearest to his heart regarding the welfare and history of
his town. We find him, in 1885, treasurer of the Republican Town
Committee, and chairman of the Fourth of July celebration com-
mittee; and also, chief marshal of the parade, thus showing that he
was honored by those who had these public matters in charge.
FRANK BOWMAN RICH 45
In 1887 he was elected a trustee of Hyde Park Public Library
and served in that capacity for three years. On the 15 th of March,
1887, he joined the Hyde Park Historical Society, which was or-
ganized at that time. All these things indicate his interest in
local affairs, and his ambition to be useful to his native town.
About this period the most interesting and important fact of his
life thus far occurred — his marriage, December 13, 1888, to Miss
Emma S. Young, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., and this marriage, which
was an exceedingly happy one, covered the period of eighteen
years, one month and four days. Three children were the result of
this union, and no happier family existed within the limits of our
He was soon after, in 1896, appointed a notary public by Gov-
ernor Greenhalge, and also became a member of Forest Lodge,
184, I. O. O. F., thus still further becoming connected with the
manifold social elements of the town, and it may be said that in
these fraternal organizations he found congenial companionships,
and was ever one of the most popular and most welcome members
of the several organizations to which he belonged. His patriotism
and public spirit were well-known and appreciated, and it is not to
be wondered at that in 1897 Timothy Ingraham Post, 121, G. A.
R. elected him an associate member, and the Grand Army boys
were always pleased to a high degree with his connection with
This year, as it proved, was to be a most important one in the
life of Mr. Rich, for he was to be chosen to the board of select-
men, the most important position in the government of the town,
and was re-elected to that office in 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1904
and 1905, seven terms in all, and was chairman of four boards,
those of 1898, 1899, 1904 and 1905.
He was also a member of Eunice Degree Lodge, 149, Daughters
of Rebecca, in connection with his Odd Fellowship, and a member
of Hyde Park Lodge, 138, Knights of Pythias, being a Past Chan-
cellor, and, also, a member of Uniformed Degree Rank of the same
When the Hyde Park National Bank was organized in 1904, he
46 HISTORICAL RECORD
was chosen a director, and took great pains to secure the first bill
issued by the bank, number one of the five-dollar denomination.
He served as a director till his death. His church connection
was with the Unitarian Society, and when the church edifice was
erected he became an active member and retained his interest
ever afterward, holding important positions.
Besides engaging in these various activities pertaining to the
town, he essayed to enter more largely into the public affairs of
the county, and aspired to become a county commissioner, for
whose duties he was amply qualified by experience and natural
aptitude ; and while he did not then succeed in securing the
coveted position, still, he made his name more familiar to the
district comprising our county, and became acquainted in a larger
field of political life.
All these official stations which he held, and the social position
he easily attained, gave evidence of the fine, popular traits which
he possessed, and had his span of life been lengthened, he would
have gained larger opportunity for his abilities. None of us who
followed him Patriots' Day, April 19, 1906, as he went from house
to house through the Fairmount district, will ever forget the rare
judgment he showed in narrating the history of the houses, nor
his apt references to the original occupants of the places. His
nature had a humorous side, and he could see the peculiarities of
temperament and the varied characteristics of the early settlers,
with whom he had associated as a boy and young man. Who of
us who knew him well can ever forget his bright, penetrating eyes
— the great human indicators — as they lighted up and fairly
sparkled while he engaged in conversation, or became earnest in
advocacy of anything dear to his heart ? Hyde Park has seldom
had within its borders a brighter or more comprehensive intellect
with reference to business intelligence and historic research; and
no man ever lived in Hyde Park who loved the town better, or
knew more of its people, both early and latterly, or was more
universally beloved, and few people would be so deeply mourned
at their taking off.
There is a very pathetic side to the sudden death of this dear
FRANK BOWMAN RICH 47
friend. We see him in the vigor of health and manhood starting
out on a bright morning in January, bidding his wife and children
an affectionate good-bye, on the very threshold of his door, and
even having them follow him down the walk, little dreaming that
it was to be the last earthly greeting.
Nothing could be more pathetic. He could well exclaim with
that writer of sweet songs, P. P. Bliss,
" I know not what awaits me,
God kindly veils my eyes.
* * * *
Oh blissful lack of wisdom,
'Tis blessed not to know;
He holds me with his own right hand,
And will not let me go."
On January 9, 1907, as he was walking the streets of Boston, in
Park Square, he was suddenly stricken with apoplexy, and died
January 17th following, at the City Hospital, Boston, never having
fully regained consciousness. Thus was brought to a close an
active, useful, industrious life. By some, it seems that such a
sudden taking off is " untimely," but we hesitate to declare any
death " untimely."
In June, 1865, when the whole northern section of our country
was in mourning for the death of Abraham Lincoln, Senator
Charles Sumner, one of the most distinguished orators of any
time in the world's history, began his marvelously eloquent oration
on Lincoln with these words, " In the universe of God, there are
no accidents, from the fall of a sparrow to the fall of an empire, or
the sweep of a planet ; all is according to Divine Providence, whose
laws are everlasting."
It was no accident that gave to the town of Hyde Park the
services of the industrious local historian and patriotic citizen,
whose memory we seek to honor, and in the light of what we
believe to be God's infinite wisdom, we cannot properly affirm that
his sudden and unexpected departure to another life was a mere
48 HISTORICAL RECORD
" All is of God ! If he but wave his hand,
The mists collect, the rains fall thick and loud ;
Till, with a smile of light on sea and land,
Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud"
The great mysteries of life and death are beyond our frail human
knowledge. But this we know, none return who cross with the
" For none return from those quiet shores,
Who cross with the boatman cold and pale :
We hear the dip of the golden oars,
We catch a gleam of the snowy sail :
And lo! they have passed from our yearning heart,
They cross the stream and are gone for aye.
We may not sunder the veil apart
That hides from our visions the gates of day :
We only know that their barks no more
May sail with us over life's stormy sea :
Yet, somewhere, I know, on the unseen shore,
They watch and beckon and wait for me."
We, therefore, his fellow citizens, desiring to place upon our
records our estimation of his life and character, do hereby adopt
this portrayal of his life-work, and the following preamble and
Whereas, in the infinite wisdom and providence of our Heavenly
Father, one of our highly esteemed fellow-citizens, who became a valued
member of this society at the time of its organization, March 15, 1887,
FRANK BOWMAN RICH, has been called suddenly away by death ;
Whereas, the Hyde Park Historical Society desires to make per-
manent record of its high regard for and deep appreciation of his many
social accomplishments and civic virtues, be if therefore
Resolved : Firstly : That In the death of Frank Bowman Rich, his
immediate family has lost a loyal and true husband, who loved and
honored his home, and whose affections centered in it; an affectionate
and indulgent father, whose profound love for his children called forth
the deepest expression of tenderness and the most earnest exhibitions of
paternal sacrifice; a brother, who always felt the right brotherly attach-
ment, and indicated it in all his family and business relations; our town
a citizen, who was exceedingly patriotic, and who loved with intensity
the place of his birth, where he had spent his life, and spared no pains
in preserving the precious record, both of persons and of places asso-
FRANK BOWMAN RICH 49
dated with it; a public servant whose integrity and uprightness were
never questioned nor doubted ; whose ability was conspicuous, and
whose industry and painstaking efforts on behalf of Hyde Park will be
an enduring and pleasant memory; our townspeople a friend, loyal and
confiding always, whose personal presence was an inspiration to good-
fellowship and sociability ; and lastly and comprehensively, we all are
bereft of a modest gentleman, of genial personality and bearing, whose
absence from our streets and from places connected with our social life
and activities is felt by all who knew him, and his demise is regarded as
a severe personal loss to his friends and to this community.
Resolved : Secondly : That the late Mr. Rich's example is an in-
centive to greater endeavors to build up our town and to augment a
patriotic interest in its history and well-being, and to preserve its
honorable transactions and local records for the generations to come.
Resolved: Thirdly: That this rehearsal of the dominant features
of his career, with the preambie and resolutions, be filed with the
records of this Society, and a copy be sent to the family of the deceased.
Erastus E. Williamson,
Henry S. Bunton,
Stillman E. Newell.
FICTION AND HISTORY
The American Republic is a nation of readers. Probably no
other nation in the world is composed of such omnivorous readers.
They may well be styled in the language of Horace, heluones
librorum — gormandizers of books. The remarkable increase of
publications — books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers — in-
dicates the rapid growth of this habit.
The question may naturally arise, Whence comes it ? What is
the cause of this wonderful growth of the reading habit ? Various
circumstances, doubtless, have contributed to this result, but it is
perfectly safe to affirm that the principal cause was our civil war of
1861-5. Throughout the entire country some one from almost
every family had joined the army and gone to the front. His
family and friends were anxious to know what battles were fought
and how it fared with the loved one. They therefore began to
take the daily newspaper. Before the close of the war the habit
of reading the papers was so fully established that it could not be
A few years before the war the writer was teaching in one of
the most intelligent villages in the Old Bay State. At that time
there were not half a dozen daily papers taken in the village.
Since then the population has probably doubled. A few years
ago, on a visit to that village, I inquired of the newsdealer how
many daily papers he sold. After looking at his books he informed
me that he sold on an average fifty copies of one of the Boston
dailies, one hundred and fifty of another and three hundred and
fifty of a third, besides local papers and other dailies.
This reading habit has caused a marvelous increase not only in
newspapers, but in magazine literature and the entire range of
books of all sorts and upon all subjects. Massachusetts leads the
world in public libraries free to all her inhabitants. It will at
once be obvious that a large proportion of readers will call for
light reading. Fiction will inevitably be the most popular, and
hence will constitute a great part of the reading of the masses.
The question, therefore, will naturally arise, What is the effect
of this light reading ? Much of the popular fiction is chaff, saw-
dust, no nourishment in it. It is in reality deleterious. The
general impression is that light reading tends to deterioration of
character. There is much evidence, however, to show that the
result is not always in that direction. Those who are really vicious
in character will deteriorate, but the majority soon tire of sawdust
and seek for something which has nutriment ; hence they will
refuse Mrs. Holmes, Mrs. Wood, and Oliver Optic, and will event-
ually read Mrs. Stowe, Hawthorne, Dickens, Scott and Stevenson.
After I left college an opportunity offered to buy a bookstore
and circulating library, the proprietor having died. I scorned the
proposition. A circulating library ! Dealing out fiction for
servant girls to read ? Not I. The business was bought by a
quiet, modest man, of good judgment and excellent moral character.
Many years after, I had frequent conversations with him relative
to the influence of novel reading. He assured me that he had
studied the subject carefully, that he had observed the character
of the book-takers and noticed the quality of the books taken from
time to time by the same persons. He became thoroughly con-
vinced that, where the character of the person was not already
bad, undermined, the general tendency was to leave the lower
grade of stories and take a better class of literature.
Now, What is, in general, the character of fiction ? Fiction is
often called stories, novels, romance. It is, in the main, imaginary
history and biography. Its character, in one respect, depends
upon how closely the narrative clings to nature. Walter Scott
was always careful to follow nature. Herein is one of his greatest
excellencies. It is related that on one occasion he and a friend
strolled around a castle ruin about which he was writing, and he
stopped here and there to note the kinds of flowers and shrubs
52 HISTORICAL RECORD
which grew there. His friend chided him and remarked that one
kind of rose would do as well as another in a novel. But the poet
author told him that we could not improve on nature, and it is
safer to follow the real facts in describing natural scenery.
The substance of most novels is imaginary biography and
history as the writer conceives it might be. The better class of
fiction, especially historical novels, naturally leads to the reading
of history, and that history is profitable which shows the progress
of mankind, the elevation of the human race.
Well-written history is one of the most beneficial departments
of human learning, and whatever aids and fosters history is com-
mendable. One important difference in the study of our own
country's history compared with the history of European nations,
is that the genesis of our story is not involved in obscurity and
mixed with myth and legend, as theirs almost invariably is. The
sources of history are the chronicles of each and every period. It
becomes necessary, therefore, that records should be kept of the
life of the people in every decade. This shows something of the
importance of the work of local historical societies, like ours. The
following illustration is clipped from a recent Boston newspaper.
It is full of suggestions as to the value of local history and of the
importance of preserving it.
PRESERVE LOCAL HISTORIES
" The history of a typical New England town is a history in miniature of New
England. When one of these old towns celebrates the centennial or some other
important anniversary of its founding and brings back its sons who have won
fame elsewhere to tell the story, a great deal is said that is of historic and literary
value, with a flavor of folklore in reminiscences and anecdotes which rarely gets
into more formal volumes. A good illustration lies before us in the collected
papers and records of the celebration of the bi-centennial of the founding of New
Milford, Ct. Men of national reputation in church and state have gone out
from that town. The late Pres. Noah Porter of Yale was once the pastor of the
Congregational church. One of the two sons of Connecticut whose statues are
in the Capitol at Washington was Roger Sherman of New Milford, whose career
was finely sketched in an address by Chief Justice S. E. Baldwin. Local
characters which would grace a first-class novel are described in some of the
addresses. The editor, Mr. Minot S. Giddings, has done his part well, and the
collection with illustrations makes a comely volume of over 300 pages. The
present and coming generations will know more and care much more about
their native town because this celebration took place and these records of it are
preserved. It is a wise investment for any town with a worthy history to com-
memorate it and to keep in the minds of its citizens the things which have given
it value. This is the more important for those New England towns whose native
stock has been in large measure supplemented by immigration, and whose chief
characteristic ■> in this way may be preserved."
It is plainly the duty of our local Historical Society to record
for future generations the current annals of our time, and of the
town to give a liberal support to the work of the Society.
BY HERBERT GREENWOOD
Elihu Greenwood was born in Sherborn, Mass., July 2d, 1807,
the son of Reuben and Catherine Greenwood. His mother was
Catherine Fuller, of Dover, Mass.
x^t the age of nineteen years he left home and walked to Boston
with nothing of this world's goods but the clothes he had on and
fifty cents in his pocket. He first obtained employment in the
ice business ; "later in the Faneuil Hall market, where he stayed
until he had saved money enough to purchase one of the stalls
(Nos. 99-101) in that market. He and his brother Bela remained
here until he bought the farm now bearing his name in Hyde
On November 10th, 1833, he married Miss Phoebe Haley Chad-
bourn, of Kennebunk, Maine, at the residence of her brother, Seth
Chadbourn, on Channing street, Boston, Mass. Seth Chadbourn
was a member of the firm of Chadbourn Bros., of Hawley street.
As a result of this union there were ten children, six boys and
four girls. They went to reside in Brighton, Mass., and remained
there until January 3d, 1842, when he purchased of Nathaniel
Crane a farm of seventy-five acres in the western part of the town
of Dorchester, Mass., now a part of the town of Hyde Park.
The old homestead is still standing at the corner of East River
street and Metropolitan avenue.
Mr. Greenwood, with his family, attended the Orthodox Church
at Milton Lower Mills, now known as the Village Church on River
street, next to the engine house, this being the nearest church at
that time. In the fall of 1863 he attended the Baptist Church in
Hyde Park and made a public acknowledgement of that faith
under the preaching of Lawyer Durant, of Boston, who was hold-
ELIHU GREENWOOD 55
ing services in Bragg's Hall with the Baptist and Congregational
churches. The following July 17th, 1864, he and his wife were
baptized in the Neponset river near the Fairmount Avenue
He was a member of the school board of the town of Dorchester.
He was a public-spirited man, especially in his actions. He, and
a friend of his, Mr. John Weld, of Jamaica Plain, were instru-
mental in having the County Commissioners lay out what is now
known as Harvard and Hyde Park avenues from Fairmount
avenue to Forest Hills ; in order that this should not fail, he gave
all the land required for this across his farm from Westminster
street to the brook this side of Clarendon Hills. He also gave
one-half the land for Metropolitan avenue from East River street
to Greenwood Square. He donated fifteen hundred dollars toward
the erection of the Baptist church, and was one of the building
committee of the same. A few years after his death his widow
donated eighteen hundred dollars to the Methodist Church. The
Greenwood School, Greenwood Avenue, and Greenwood Square,
were all named in honor of him.
He commenced life penniless, and died March 16th, 1871, leav-
ing a widow and four children and an estate valued at $80,000,
and not owing one cent to anybody, having paid 100 cents from
the cradle to the grave.
CHARLES FREDERICK ALLEN
RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY THE HYDE PARK HISTORICAL
SOCIETY, FEBRUARY 20, I9O4
Whereas, by a sudden and startling dispensation of Divine Providence to
which we bow in humble submission, while we cannot fathom its inscrutability,
one whom we all trusted and respected, and whom those of us who were per-
mitted to know intimately loved — has been removed from the sphere of his
earthly activities and influences, now
Therefore, the Hyde Park Historical Society, of which he was ever a devoted
and active friend and member, desires to give utterance to the general feeling of
sorrow at his removal, and to place on record some permanent expression of its
sense of bereavement and loss.
Mr. Allen was a monumental character, a man 01 sterling integrity, which
he inherited from a long line of upright and downright men and women of self-
sacrificing public spirit and fidelity; one who recognized the duties of citizenship
as no less imperative than its privileges are valuable, and who gave freely and
intelligently of his time, his influence, and his pecuniary resources for the public
In his business life he filled many and responsible positions, and always
with credit to himself and a broad-minded regard for the interests committed to
his charge; and as a friend and counsellor, his genius, devotion and honest
practical common sense made his advice valuable and his admonitions just and
effective. When, to all those strong and positive traits of character are added
the sweet graces of spirit and native kindliness of heart, which endeared him as
a personal friend and companion to those of us who were privileged to know and
appreciate him in the more intimate and sacred walks of life, in his home and
with his family, in prosperity and adversity — we realized in some adequate
degree, our great love, and that is not straining the oft-quoted sentiment of the
great master alike of ideas and their expression, to say of our beloved companion
and departed friend,
" He was a man take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again."
" He was an honest, loyal friend in joy
And sorrow just the same;
Unselfish as the light of day, and faithful
Even in words of blame;
"Thoughtful of others, courteous, kind,
Of noble heart and generous hand ;
No petty meanness stained his soul
And e'en his very faults were grand ! "
Samuel R. Moseley,
G. Fred Gridley,
A REVIEW OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE
SOCIETY SINCE W2
The annual meeting of the Society was held January 14th, with
an attendance of seventy- five members. President C. G. Chick
The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted in the
President, Charles G. Chick.
Secretary, Fred L. Johnson.
Treasurer, Henry B. Humphrey.
Curators, A. H. Brainard, George L. Richardson, G. L.
Stocking, George M. Harding, E. I. Humphrey, Charles F.
Jenney, Frank B. Rich.
Vice Presidents, David Perkins, Henry S. Grew, Henry S.
Bunton, Robert Bleakie, James D. McAvoy, Richard M. Johnson,
Willard S. Everett, Isaac Bullard, James E. Cotter, Stephen B.
Balkam, Samuel T. Elliott, John J. Enneking, William A. Mowry.
William J. Stuart, Ferdinand A. Wyman, Samuel A. Tuttle, Henry
B. Miner, Stillman A. Newell, Randolph P. Moseley, G. Fred
An invitation was received from the Hyde Park Current
Events Club to attend their public meeting held January 17th, in
the Unitarian Church at 8 p. m. Col. Taylor of the Boston Globe
addressed the club on " Modern Journalism."
A donation of programmes of different public exercises held at
the Baptist Church in Hyde Park was received.
Curator Charles F, Jenney read a paper on " Hyde Park One
Hundred Years Ago," giving many interesting facts about the
families and locations of prominent houses in the territory of
the present town.
Dr. Edward H. Baxter was elected a member of the Society.
58 historical record
At a regular meeting held this date, about twenty-two members
were present. President Chick addressed the meeting and paid a
tribute of respect to the memory of the late Stephen B. Balkam, a
vice president of the Society.
A committee of three was appointed to draft suitable resolutions
— James E. Cotter, J. King Knight, Samuel T. Elliott.
A donation of books and papers was made by Mr. H. F. Kenney,
of Philadelphia, through Mr. A. A. Folsom, of Boston.
In behalf of Mrs. Lora Pattee Jenney, Curator Charles F. Jenney
presented to the Society a portrait of Henry C. Stark and gave a
brief sketch of his life which is in manuscript and accompanies
the portrait. It is as follows :
HENRY CLIFTON STARK
Henry Clifton Stark, son of the late Clifton Stark, was born at
North Ipswich, N H. April 17th, 1849. He came to Hyde Park
with his parents about 1869, an d was educated in our public schools.
For many years Mr. Stark was associated with the hardware firm of
Fuller, Dana & Fitz, of Boston, Mass. He afterward was associated
with his father in the stove business in this town, finally succeeding
him in business. The store carried on by him is the one which is
now occupied by Charles Lewis, Esq., and William E. Smalling.
In the early 7o's Mr. Stark went West, and while there was
severely injured in a railroad accident, and it was many years before
he fully recovered from the same. A little later, however, he became
very active in business and political circles. In 1879 he was elected
a member of our board of selectmen, and was re-elected six times
thereafter, serving as chairman of the board ini88i, 1882, 1885 and
1886. Although a Democrat in politics, he was elected in a strong
Republican town, and received the support of our citizens irre-
spective of party.
In 1883 Mr. Stark was elected Representative to the General
Court on the Democratic ticket and served on the Committee on
Banks and Banking.
August 1st, 1885, he was appointed by President Cleveland,
REVIEW OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY 59
postmaster of our town and served until February nth, 1890.
During his adminstration of the postoffice the service was greatly
improved, the free delivery service being established October 1st,
1887. As a public recognition of his services as postmaster, the
citizens of Hyde Park, irrespective of party, tendered him a public
banquet in the Grand Army Hall on April 5th, 1888, which was
attended by about one hundred of our best known citizens.
Mr. Stark was presented by the chairman, Orin T. Gray, Esq.,
with a gold-headed cane suitably inscribed. Complimentary
remarks were made by many of our leading citizens, both political
parties being equally represented.
In later years and up to the time of his death, Mr. Stark was
engaged as a promoter in many large enterprises in Boston.
Pollen D. Lewis, wife of Charles Lewis, at present a resident of
Hyde Park, is the nearest surviving relative. Maria Pattee Stark,
Mr. Stark's widow, died October 3d, 1900, at their old residence,
213 West River street.
The crayon, which is this day presented to the Historical
Society by Mrs. Lora Pattee Jenney, wife of Edwin C. Jenney, and
neice of Mrs. Stark, was secured by Mrs. Stark in 1897, and hung
in her home up to the time of her death.
Mr. George L. Richardson read a paper on the history of Stony
Brook, giving a wealth of interesting details concerning mills,
factories, damages, and improvements along its course from source
October 26, 1901.
A regular meeting of the Society was held this date, President
Chick in the chair.
Mr. Charles D. Elliot, who was to have addressed the meeting,
was unable to be present on account of ill health, and Dr. William
A. Mowry kindly consented to take his place.
His subject was "Anti-slavery Days " and the cause that led up
to the Civil War. His remarks were deeply interesting and were
a real treat to those fortunate enough to be present.
Mr. Robert Scott, Jr., donated a portrait of his father, Mr. Robert
Scott of Dana avenue.
60 historical record
November 12, 1901.
A regular meeting of the Society was held this date, but as Mr.
Charles D. Elliot was still unable to appear and read his paper, the
meeting was adjourned to the annual meeting in January, 1902.
January 7, 1902.
The annual meeting of the society was held on this date, with
twenty members present. President Charles G. Chick in the
Last year's officers were all re-elected, except that Frank O.
Draper was elected vice president in place of Stephen B. Balkam,
Mr. James E. Cotter offered resolutions on the death of Mr.
Balkam which were adopted. A memorial sketch of Mr. Balkam
was printed in Vol. Ill of our Historical Record.
Mr. Robert Bleakie donated a volume, the "Annals of Hawick,"
A vote was passed allowing Mr. Harry Iligbee to make a copy
of the photograph of the hermit's house that stood in Grew's
Mr, Charles D. Elliot read a paper on "John Winthrop and his
house on the Mystic" This was a highly interesting paper and
delighted those who heard it.
May 1, 1902.
A meeting of the Society was held this date in Weld Hall.
Sixty members were present. This meeting was called to com-
memorate the thirty-fourth anniversary of the town. The board
of Selectmen, the ministers of the various churches, and Repre-
sentative E. Q. Dyer were invited to be present. Mr. Gordon H.
Knott, whose name is closely identified with the early days of
Hyde Park, was invited to attend, but was unable to come.
President Chick addressed the meeting, recalling incidents in
the town's early history, and spoke of the great improvement in
the town and of the large increase in population.
General H. B. Carrington, in behalf of Mr. Henry S. Grew,
presented to the Society a portrait of Mr. Henry Grew, who lived
on the beantiful Grew estate on West Street.
REVIEW OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY 6 1
Mr. Charles F. Jenney, in behalf of Mr. Robert H. Vivian, pre-
sented a funeral badge worn in Boston on the occasion of General
Zachary Taylor's funeral.
Mr. Jenney suggested that the society should procure suitable
show-cases to hold articles of this sort, so that they may be more
accessible to the members.
The speakers of the evening were then introduced, the first
being Horace E. Ware, Esq., who spoke for the Milton part of the
town (that part of Hyde Park which was originally in Milton). He
spoke of the old mill on the Neponset river, and especially the
powder mill which was built on the site of the Webb mill at Mil-
ton in 1674, and was blown up in 1774, after which another was
built almost opposite.
Mr. Thomas F. Temple represented the Dorchester part of the
town, and spoke of the Thompson who owned Thompson's island
in the harbor, which was afterward granted to the town of Dor-
chester, and rented for twenty pounds a year for the benefit of
a public school. He set forth the claims of Dorchester to the
first church, first free mill and first public school in New England.
Mr. Temple was town clerk of Dorchester in 1868, when Hyde
Park was formed.
Mr. Julius H. Tuttle spoke for the Dedham part of the town,
and of the work and influence of historical societies, such as the
Hyde Park and Dedham societies, in encouraging the study of
October 28, 1902.
The regular fall meeting of the Society was held, with an
attendance of fifty members.
Rev. Carleton A. Staples, of Lexington, Mass., spoke on the
subject, " How the news of the battle of Lexington was received
in England." Mr. Staples, well versed in colonial history, was
greatly enjoyed by those present.
On motion of Mr. Charles F. Jenney, it was voted to appoint a
new committee on publication. The chair appointed Dr. Wm. A.
Mowry, Frank B. Rich and Fred L. Johnson. President Chick
spoke of the revival of interest in the Historical Record, and
62 HISTORICAL RECORD
as funds would be needed to carry on the work, suggested that a
loan exhibit of historical relics collected from the families of the
town would be appropriate and interesting.
It was voted to appoint a committee of five to confer with a
similar committee from the Current Events Club of the town to
arrange for an exhibition of this kind, both societies to share
expenses and proceeds equally. The chair appointed Mrs. S. A.
Tuttle, Mrs. J. E. Cotter, Mrs. Chas. A. Fisher, Mrs. R. P. Mose-
ley and Mrs. W. W. Wilde.
Received a picture of the house of Gordon H. Knott, taken in
the '60s, and a group picture of the School Board of 1902.
January 6, 1903.
The regular annual meeting called for this date was adjourned
to the 19th inst.
January 19, 1903.
An adjourned annual meeting was held this date, with Presi-
dent Chick in the chair. Twenty-five members were present.
After the reading of the usual reports, the Librarian was in-
structed to examine the files of local newspapers which we have
on hand, and confer with the Treasurer about means to bind
those which are complete.
All the officers of the Society were re-elected for the ensuing
year except the following: J. Roland Corthell elected Curator in
place of George M. Harding, who was elected Vice President in
place of J. D. McAvoy.
Mr. J. H. Crandon spoke to the Society on " Colonial and
Revolutionary Social Life," more particularly in Boston. He was
very interesting and held the close attention of the audience.
March 23, 1903.
The meeting called for this evening was postponed to the 31st
inst. on account of the weather.
March 31, 1903.
A postponed meeting of the Society was held this date, with
Vice-President Henry S. Bun ton in the chair.
Curator Charles F. Jenney made a report on the proposed dedi-
REVIEW OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY 6$
cation of a memorial stone on the nineteenth of April at the site
of the first house built in Hyde Park, and solicited donations to
the amount of fifty dollars, nineteen having been pledged already.
Mrs E. D. Swallow, of the Ladies' Committee, reported on a
social and reception to be given in Weld Hall on the evening of
the nineteenth of April, recommending that guests as well as
members wear continental or colonial dress.
President Charles G. Chick read a valuable and interesting
paper on " The Spark that kindled the Revolution."
April 20, 1903.
The Spring meeting of the Society was held this day, and con-
sisted of a walk to the East River Street district in the morning,
and a reception arranged by the ladies in the evening at Weld
Hall. A party of twenty members and their friends assembled
at ten o'clock in the morning at the Library building, and under
the guidance of Curator Charles F. Jenney walked to River Street
station, stopping at a number of interesting historical houses and
locations on the way. Mr. Jenney gave a description of each
point of interest, and by the time the party had proceeded half
the distance it had increased to sixty people.
The chief object of this walk was to dedicate a memorial stone
erected near the site of the first house built in the present con-
fines of Hyde Fark. This stone is a granite slab placed at the
northwest corner of the paper-mill yard and on the inner line of
the sidewalk. The success of this effort was very largely due to
Curator Jenney, who studied the records and prepared the his-
torical matter which was necessary. President Charles G. Chick
also added to the pleasure of the event by his historical address.
In the evening a Colonial Reception was held in Weld Hall.
The receiving party were in costume and consisted of President
Charles G. Chick and Mrs. Chick, Gen. H. B. Carrington and Mrs.
Carrington, and Mr. and Mrs- F. L. Johnson. A large number
were present and took part in the enjoyment of the evening.
October 12, 1903.
A special meeting was held, and forty members were present.
64 HISTORICAL RECORD
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Rice, of Hyde Park, presented to the
Society an old seraphine made by J. G. Pearson, of Worcester,
Mr. J. Roland Corthell, of Readville, presented the records of
the Readville Improvement Association.
The records of the Butler Club, dated September 7th, 1871,
were received by the Librarian.
Mr. Frank Smith, of Dedham, read a very interesting paper on
the early settlers of Dedham, Mass. Mr. Smith sketched the life
of the settlers from every standpoint — religious, social and politi-
cal, giving a very full description of their home life and habits.
The paper was well written and well read, and showed the results
of a great amount of research by the author.
November 16, 1903.
A special meeting of the Society was held, about twenty mem-
bers being present.
After the transaction of routine business it was voted to repair,
tune, and otherwise put in order the seraphine in the collection
of the Society.
Mr. George L. Richardson read a paper on " Going West in
1820," being the exoe^iences of a party of gentlemen travelling
from New Englandto Cincinnati. Ohio, and thence to Arkansas
by water. Travel in those days was slow and tedious, but the
opportunity to see the country and get acquainted with the people
was unsurpassed. Along with the unavoidable hardship was a
great deal of sociability, which is almost impossible in these
days of quick transit and short journeys.
Mr. Frank B. Rich reported that Mr. A. L. Goding and his son
had recently visited Hyde Park, after a long absence. Mr. Goding
lived here from 1857 t0 1861, occupying the house opposite the
present post office, on East River street. Here his son was born
May 1, 1858. They afterward lived in the house on the southeast
corner of Harvard Avenue and Winthrop street. Dr. F. W.
Goding, the son, now of Newcastle, N. S. W., requested to be
admitted a member of the Society,
Cbe f airmoum Bulletin
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE
FAIRMOUNT IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION
FAIRMOUNT, APRIL, 1906
IN COMMEMORATION OF THE
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE SETTLEMENT OF FAIR-
MOUNT, HYDE PARK, MASS.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULL ETIN.
HYDE PARK S OLDEST INDUSTRY
TILESTON & HOLLINGSWORTH CO.
Paper Ng Ng Ng
FOR OVER A CENTURY
HYDE PARK, MASSACHUSETTS, U. S. A.
The oldest industry in Hyde Park is the Tileston & Hollingsworth Co. The
extensive paper making plant of this concern, located near the River street station
on the Midland R.R., has been for nearly seventy years in the possession of the
Tileston and Hollingsworth families.
The Neponset River, on which this mill is situated, has a long history in con-
nection with mill sites and privileges. In 1634 a grist mill stood on the site of the
present Walter Paker chocolate mills. The first mill dam at the site of the Tileston
& Hollingsworth Co. in Hyde Park was erected in 1684. It was for a saw mill, and
granted by the town of Dorchester to John Trescott. In 1 783-1784 a grant of
land was made by the town of Dorchester to George Clark, a paper maker of Mil-
ton, one of the conditions being that his mills should be on the north side of the
river so that Dorchester would get the taxes. Clark built a mill and made paper
here for some years. In 1786 William Sumner bought one-half the mill and he
afterwards came into possession of the whole. Sumner died Jan. 30, 1836, and the
mill was sold by his executor to Tileston & Hollingsworth, Sept. 19, 1836.
There was then two mills on the property, a cotton and a paper mill. About
1837 the cotton mill was burned and replaced by a paper mill, and in 1850 the old
original paper mill was torn down and replaced by a modern structure. Additions
to the plant have been frequent and the machinery today is modern throughout. A
fair indication of the advance made by the Company is shown by the fact that in
the first year of Hyde Park's incorporation the firm paid less than $700 in taxes.
.Now they pay nearly $7,000 in taxes. In addition to their Hyde Park mills the
firm have a number of others.
The firm of Tileston & Hollingsworth began business in 1801 in a mill on the
\eponset River in Mattapan. It was composed of Edward Tileston of Dorchester
and Mark Hollingsworth of New Jersey. Poth were practical paper makers. In
1831 Edmund P. Tileston and Amor Hollingsworth, their sons, were admitted to
the firm and a third generation has since succeeded them. Four of the second
generation of Hollingsworths were paper makers owning mills in other Massachusetts
towns, and the reputation of the early members of this firm has been well sustained
by their descendants. The Hyde Park mills make a specialty of natural and
calendared paper for fine book and illustrated work, the paper for some of the
biggest magazines being produced here.
The company was incorporated in 1887, the present officers being A. I..
Hollingsworth, President, II. M. Whitney, Vice Tres. and George F. Child, Treas.
T1IK KAIRMOL'NT ML'LLETIN
HYDE PARK BUSINESS MEN
From the Oldest Store of
any kind in Hyde Park
MARK E. NOBLE
FRANK B. RICH
REAL ESTATE and INSURANCE
GEO. C. KETCHUM
GEORGE T. BRADY
REAL ESTATE AND INSURANCE
Secretary and Treasurer
Hyde Park Co-operative Bank
FALLON'S DRUG STORES
THOMAS F. FALLON, Prop.
Ladies' and Gentlemen's Tailor
41 Fairmount Avenue
Ladies' and Gentlemen's Tailor
115 Fairmount Avenue
One Price Hat and Trunk Store
C H. CRUMETT
REAL ESTATE AGENT
12 West River Street
PETER J. WEBB
62 W. River Street, Hyde Park
and 1 Beacon Street, Boston
W M. D. WARD
JEWELER AND OPTICIAN
Silverware, Cutlery, and Stationery
FRANK W. GLEASON <S CO.
Plumbers, Steam and Gas Fitters
Connected by 52 Fairmount Ave.
L. M. BICKFORD
HYDE PARK STEAM
93 Fairmount Avenue
HYDE PARK RENOVATING
AND CLEANSING COMPANY
J. W. McMAHON, Mgr.
52 Fairmount Avenue
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
MANUFACTURERS OF HYDE PARK
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THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BECKERBRAINARD MILLING MACHINE CO.
Works at Hyde Park, Mass.
Ill 1865 A. II. Brainard invented a bench vise known afterwards as the Union
vise, of which over 40,000 were made and sold by the Union Vise Co. of Boston.
This vise of cast iron had its front jaw and base in one piece, the rear jaw having
tenons on each side and traveling in grooves on the base. In its experimental
stages these grooves and tenons were finished on a planer. The time required to
fit the jaws of a four-inch vise occupying the time of a good hand just about a
whole day. Mr. Brainard's first attempt to save time and expense on this part of
the vise was to rig up a milling attachment for an engine lathe. He fitted to the
ways of the lathe a saddle having a circular prolongation dropping between the
ways. This projection or cylinder was bored out to receive a corresponding cylin-
der cast in one piece with the bed above, which received a carriage having a move-
ment of about eighteen inches at right angles with the lathe spindle and operated
by a screw and crank. Primitive as was this device it demonstrated at once the
superiority of milling irregular surfaces over planing, and search was begun at once
for a suitable milling machine. He began studying up something to meet his re-
quirements, when, in a small shop in New York City he happened to find a machine
in use in which the work table was connected to a knee which travelled vertically
upon the face of a standard or column. This attracted his attention and after care-
ful examination he interviewed the maker, offering him an order, provided he
would make such changes and improvements as Mr. Brainard suggested. These
changes he was very reluctant to make, but finally agreed for a liberal consideration.
This machine proved a valuable auxiliary for a short time, while the tools for
manufacturing the vise were in progress, but as the front jaw and base needed to be
grooved on both sides it was early apparent that a double machine was a necessity
for economical production. Therefore a milling machine with two independent ad-
justable heads was designed, or what would now be termed a duplex machine, which
proved a remarkable success, meanwhile being busy perfecting designs for a better
and more powerful milling machine which was as successful as the duplex. While
giving much time and study to perfecting the standard machine, it was two or three
years before he thought of building milling machines for the market. When the
project of building machines for sale was seriously entertained he was opposed by
some of his stockholders, one of whom, the treasurer of the company ami the lar-
gest stockholder inquired rather sarcastically, " Who wants milling machines," con-
cluding his remarks by assuring Mr. Brainard that he would never live long enough
to sell one. The experiment was tried and truth compelled him to say that his
efforts for the first year resulted in the sale of one milling machine only. The
second year the sale was increased to nine, and by the winter of 1.S70-71 the milling
machine business had assumed such proportion that the vise business was dispos< d
of to the Backus Vise Co. of Millers Falls, Mass., which was soon afterwards merged
into the Millers Falls Co. In April, 1871, the works of the Union Vise Co. were
destroyed by fire, and in June, 1871, the Brainard Milling Machine Co. was organ-
ized for the purpose of making milling and kindred machines alone. In 1899 the
plant was again destroyed by fire, after which a new factory was erected upon the
present site and the company was reorganized and consolidated with the John
Becker Mfg. Co. of Fitchburg, the name being changed to The Uecker Brainard
Milling Machine Co. Eugene N. Foss is president and A. L. I <>\ t joy is treasurer
and general manager.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
MANUFACTURERS OF HYDE PARK-1906
THE B. F. STURTEVANT CO.
More than forty years ago B. F. Sturtevant established in a small way a busi-
ness for the manufacture of blowers, at 72 Sudbury street, boston. With the growth
of the business increased facilities were provided until it became necessary to move
to a new site at Jamaica Plain, where, as the years passed, buildings were added
and equipment increased. In 1890 the business was incorporated under the name
1!. F. Sturtevant Co. The present officers are John Carr, President; Eugene N.
Foss, Treasurer and General Manager; Elmer I'. Howe, Clerk.
Within ten years the capacity of the extended plant was taxed to the limit, and
the purchase of nearly twenty acres of land in the Readville district of Hyde Park
was scarcely consummated when a serious fire visited the plant at Jamaica Plain.
This disaster served to hasten the clearing of the new site and the erection of one
of the most complete machinery manufacturing plants in New England. Arranged
and designed with the utmost care, it presents opportunities for economy in manu-
facture and internal transportation equalled by few.
The foundry covers nearly an acre and a half of floor space. From the foundry-
most of the castings pass direct to the machine department, with its 100,000 square
feet of floor space; or to the testing and electrical building, with a floor area of over
60,000 square feet. Here they are worked into engines, motors, generators, fuel
economizers, etc. Of engines alone the output is nearly one thousand per war.
Large orders upon rigid specifications have been executed for the U. S. Navy De-
partment, both for electrically and steam driven fans and for very high grade elec-
tric generating sets for lighting our warships and cruisers. A large majority of the
ships of our Navy are equipped for forced draft with Sturtevant blowers.
The building devoted to the manufacture of blowers, heating, ventilating and
drying apparatus comprises nearly three acres of floor space. Here fan wheels
ranging from six inches to 20 feet in diameter are built, and a room 30 feet in
height is provided for setting up the large fan casings. Steam pipe is cut up by
the million feet for the .Sturtevant heaters used in connection with the fans.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN
MANUFACTURERS OF HYDE PARK-1906
The B. F. STURTEVANT CO.,-Cont.
The power plant, with its thousand horse-power of boilers and its interesting
collection of Sturtevant apparatus, is situated at some distance from the main
buildings, and connected therewith by a tunnel in which are carried all steam and
air pipes, electric wires and the like.
A pattern building measuring So feet by i 50 feet, a forge shop 40 feet wide by
100 feet long, a wash and locker building of similar dimensions, and an independent
paint and oil house, complete the manufacturing plant.
The office building, measuring 45 feet by 125 feet, five stories in height, is
occupied as the general headquarters for the entire business. In the light and airy
basement is located a restaurant and a complete printing plant. The balance ot the
building is occupied by the production, advertising, correspondence, accounting and
drafting departments, requiring for their conduct a force of nearly 200 employees.
The total number employed in office and works is rapidly approaching the 1 500
mark. Every care has been taken for their material welfare. Each man is pro-
vided with individual locker and washing facilities, and the " Sturtevant Special "
train carries employees directly to and from the works to points between Readville
The market for the products of the II. F. Sturtevant Co. is world wide. The
American business is conducted through a primary system of branch houses in New
York, Philadelphia and Chicago, and a number of resident agents located in other
The European business is handled by the Sturtevant Engineering Co., of
Eondon, with its subordinate offices in Clasgow, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.
Representatives in Japan, China, Australia, etc., carry this business to the utter-
most parts of the earth.
HALF A CENTURY OF PROGRESS.
< inly fifty years ago Eairmount orchards were converted into home sites ; but
what a wonderful progress the world has shown in that period ! Compare our rail-
road facilities: Eifty years ago a dummy car on the New England Road, operated
by the patrons themselves, making one trip each way daily, and four trains on the
Boston & Providence constituted the service. Today we have on the two roads one
hundred and twenty-one trains daily, besides two electric lines within our limits and
one just beyond, with fifteen minute service connecting us with Boston.
lust consider for a moment the telephone, not dreamed of fifty years ago, now
transmitting our voices hundreds of miles and bringing our friends to us, no matti 1
how widely separated. Conceive if you can of doing without this little instrumenl
now, which enables us in a moment to summons the doctor, make known our wants
to the grocer or the butcher. Measured by the telephone service alone you can
judge of the development and prosperity of Hyde Park. Tin lust telephone was
installed in [882. There are now over 750 subscribers to the service and the busi-
ness has so grown that the New England Telephone Company are about to erect .1
new building on the site beside the Methodist church.
The Fairmo\ii\t Bulletin
Published in the interest of good government
By the Fairmount Improvement Association
VOL. II. FAIRMOUNT. APRIL, 190* NO. 1
You can't fire without ammunition : You can't publish a book without getting
a bill from the printer. To the professional and business men whose generosity
makes it possible to publish this little souvenir, the editor stands hat in hand and
bows his thanks.
The Bulletin acknowledges its indebtedness to Mr. Frank B. Rich for valuable
information given in the writing up of Fairmount history. Mr. Rich is a " ready-
reference library " on things that " have been " in our town and he is always willing
to impart his knowledge to those who seek it. His father, Henry A. Rich, began
early to collect data on Fairmount and Hyde Park happenings, and at his death,
through his family, the Historical Society received a valuable collection of scrap
books, historical pictures and documents. The future historian of Hyde Park will
gratefully acknowledge the years of patient labor spent by Mr. Rich in accumu-
lating this mass of valuable historical data.
This is the sixth number of The Fairmount Bulletin. This little pocket
monthly has been published as a pure labor of love, to arouse interest in Fairmount
and to preach good citizenship and loyalty to the town in which we live. Early
scrap books abound in printed matter which the Twenty Associates and later the
Real Estate and Building Co. issued. They believed that the town was a good
place and they were not afraid to say so. It is just the same today : Hyde Park is
a good place : it has its failings, but show us a town that has not. We are not
living in the millennium ; we are living in the strenuous twentieth century where we
are all more or less inclined to let the other fellow correct the abuses of the body
politic. But it is clearly the duty of every citizen to give enough of his time and
talents so that the community of which he forms a part is better for his living in it.
Mr. John Appell has earned the title of the " Historian of Fairmount," as it
is mainly through his patient researches and his ability as a writer, that this issue
is so replete with valuable historic data. The labor involved in editing and as-
sembling facts and figures after the lapse of fifty years can only be appreciated by
one who has tried it.
The patience of our townspeople in the matter of the grade crossings at Fair-
mount avenue and Bridge street is to be rewarded in the outcome of this long
extended struggle. All parties are now in agreement on plans for both crossings
that will be the best possible solutions, and the decree of the Commissioners is
looked for at an early date, the revised and final plans for Bridge street now being
The town will owe to Mr. C. F. Jenney a deep debt of gratitude not to be paid
in money for the careful and able manner in which he has handled this grade
crossing problem. With so many divergent interests to satisfy, it is really remark-
able that the ultimate results are so absolutely in accord with Hyde Park's desires.
His uniform courtesy and patience have been reciprocated by those he has been in
conflict with and his steady persistence has won for the Town's best interests a
Not a little dissatisfaction exists at the long delay in building the foot bridge
at Glen wood. The great need of this structure, the large territory to be benefited
by it, the unanimity with which the town authorized its construction, and the readi-
ness with which the N. V., N. H. & H. Railroad cooperated in the matter, led us all
to expect prompt and ready action on the part of the Town. Over a year has
elapsed and the only indications of any progress are the stone abutments for the
River bridge. It is hoped that the present Board of Selectmen will push this matter
to a quick conclusion as a large number of our citizens are suffering from need of it.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
Particular interest attaches to the lives of these men inasmuch as they were
not only the first settlers of Fairmount, but the projectors and promoters of the
Town of Hyde Park. The matter contained in these sketches has been obtained
only by laborious research and has never before been printed. It is historically
correct in detail as the data has been collected either from the parties themselves
or their direct descendents, largely by the late Henry A. Rich.
George W. Currier was born in Meredith, N. H., Jan. 28, 1821. He was
brought up on a farm, attending the district school winters until he was 19 years
old. At the age of 21 he started to learn the carpenter's trade and later went to
Boston to live. In December, 1852, he married Miss Eliza Kelsea of Boston, also a
native of Meredith. He moved to Fairmount May 1, 1856, living temporarily in
the present Stephen Tucker house on Brush Hill road until his own house was com-
pleted Nov. 1 of that year. His house was the first built of the Twenty Associates
and was located at the corner of Fairmount avenue and Beacon streets. The frame
was raised May 15, 1856. It is better known as the old "Carlton" house and was
torn down in 1905. Mr. Currier took entire charge of the building of the twenty
houses for the Associates, which were all built from one set of plans and exactly
alike. His wife died on June 19, 1857, her's being the first death in the new settle-
ment. She was buried in Mount Hope cemetery. She left two children, Frank L.
born in Boston Dec. 5, 1853 and Clara E. born in Boston, June 5, 1855. Sept. 23,
1858 Mr. Currier married Mrs. Eliza A. Vaughn, a native of Maine. Nov. 15, 1857,
he was chosen Trustee and Treasurer of the first religious society organized in
Hyde Park. In 1862 he moved to California, and later to Virginia City, Nevada,
where he died Oct. 26, 1887, and was buried in Masonic ground. His son, Frank
L., died Feb. 26, 1885. His daughter, Clara E., married Mr. Philo Knapp of
Virginia City, Nevada, Aug. 22, 1877, and they have one child, Albert, born
Nov. 26, 1886.
Alpheus P. Blake the " father " of Fairmount was a New Hampshire boy,
born in Orange, N. H. in 1832 and removed at an early age to Pittsfield in the same
state. He was only 23 years of age when he organized the Twenty Associates. His
conception of the settlement was unique. There was no village in Fairmount for a
nucleus ; he planned to start his colony on virgin ground. He figured that every
one of his companions could save from 15 to 20 per cent, on the cost of their houses
if one contract was made for them ; the element of first cost entered into all his
transactions. He was a shrewd leader with unbounded faith in his undertakings.
After his experience with Fairmount he became the guiding spirit in the affairs of
the Real Estate and Building Co. He organized the Boston Land Co. He was
prime mover in the building of the Revere Beach & Lynn R.R. and at one time
head of the New England Brick Co. He now resides at Winthrop, Mass., and long
ago obtained a competence.
Enoch E. Blake was born in Pittsfield, N. H. July 4th, 1835. He was the
son of John Blake, who was born in Pittsfield in 1802. His mother was born in
London, N. H. July 4th, 1804. Enoch and his brother Alpheus came to Boston in
July 1 85 1. He first found employment in the market and then in a hotel, and he
also had a newspaper route, and later he was assistant Sexton of Park St. Church,
and also had charge of Niles Block on School St. In 1856 he joined the Twenty
Associates and built the house at the corner of Fairmount Avenue and Beacon St.
In Sept. 1859 Mr. Blake married Miss Emma E. Coon. She was born in Exeter,
Me. June 8, 1839. They had one child, Blanche L. Blake, born in 1873 and died
March 1, 1876. Mr. Blake's wife died Sept. 13, 1895. Mr. Blake kept a grocery
store in Hyde Park from 1859 to 1863 and was also Postmaster of Fairmount under
President Lincoln, also charter member and deacon of the Congregational Church,
and Station Agent of the Providence Railroad. In 1866 he commenced work for
Mr. Crocker in Chatham St., Boston in the wholesale fruit business. In 1872 the
firm became Crocker and Blake. He has now (in 1906) a large store on Commercial
St., the firm name being Blake, Scott and Lee. He has nine brothers and sisters.
Hon. Daniel Warren was born in Upton, Mass., April 16, 1820. He was
educated in the common schools of Upton and then learned the trade of a trunk-
maker. He was married Jan. 28, 1846 to Miss Mary E. Goodridge of South Dan vers.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
They lived in Boston until 1856 then moved to Hyde Park. Mr. Warren died May
26, 1867. He was a member of Massachusetts Senate for the year 1855, and
Assistant Treasurer of the Mercantile Savings Institution of Boston. He organized
the Fairmount Sabbath school at the house of A. P. Blake, June 28, 1857 and was
chosen Superintendent. The Sabbath school was presented to the Methodist
church June 2, 1867. Mrs. Mary E. Warren, his widow, broke the ground and
turned the first sod for the foundation of the Methodist church, corner of Central
avenue and Winthrop street, June 2, 1873. Their son, James L. Warren was the
first babe born in Fairmount, Nov. 30, 1856. Another son, George B. Warren, is
now the Cashier of the State National Bank in Boston, with which he has been
connected many years.
Dwight B. Rich was born in Hardwick, Mass., May 2, 1826, and until 16
years of age went to school in his native town. He then worked on a farm, and
when 20 years of age came to Boston to live. He soon found employment — and
since that time until his death has been in various kinds of business. He built the
house No. 247 Fairmount avenue, corner of Summit street in 1856, and was a resi-
dent of Hyde Park for more than 20 years. He was for several years superin-
tendent of the New England Brick Co. of Cambridge, later was general agent of the
Gary Improvement of Chelsea, and kept the Highland Park Hotel (now the
Soldiers' Home ) one season ; he was also identified with the Boston Land Co.;
North Shore Land Co.; Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad ; Director of the
Real Estate and Building Co. of Hyde Park ; Trustee of the Fairmount Land Co.;
General Agent Florida Land Co. He died at Orange Park, Florida, Oct. 23, 1882.
His remains were brought home and interred in the family lot in Milton, Mass.
His wife had never been able to obtain all the particulars concerning his death, so
started on a trip to the South and was on board of the ill-fated steamer City of
Columbus, which was wrecked off Gay's Head, Martha's Vineyard, in January,
1884. Over 100 lives were lost, Mrs. Rich among them. Her body was recovered
and was buried in the family lot in Milton.
David Higgins was born in Standhope, Prince Edward Island, April 21, 1828,
died in Hyde Park April 8, 1897, aged 68 years, 11 months, 9 days. He came to
Boston from the Provinces in 1853, and to Fairmount in the spring of 1856, and
drove the first nail in the first of the twenty houses, on the corner of Fairmount
avenue and Beacon street. Feb. 22, 1857, he was married to Miss Antoinette M.
Hagerman, in Boston, and came immediately to Fairmount to live. The first school
in Fairmount was in the parlor of his house. He sheltered the ministers who came
to preach in the new schoolhouse after one was put up. He was a brother of Mrs.
John Lawson, an early resident. Mr. Higgins was a master builder and built many
of the houses in the early history of the town. He served in the 6th regiment in
the Civil War. Was one of the charter members of the Baptist church. He was
buried in Fairview.
William H. Seavey was born in Georgetown, Me., Mar. 5, 1823, was brought
up on a farm until the age of 10 years. In 1833 his father, Thomas B. Seavey, was
appointed keeper of the Monheagen Island Lighthouse ; he then moved to that
place with his family, which consisted of his wife, Mrs. Keziah Seavey, and five
children, Hinckley, Reuben, William H., Sarah and Eliza. Mr. Seavey became a
schoolteacher; was master of the Elliot school, Boston, in 1855, and was principal
of the Girls High and Normal, Boston, from 1856 to the time of his death, which
took place April 27, 1868. Mr. Seavey built the house, 186 Fairmount avenue in
1856; he moved into it in June, 1861, and lived there until the spring of 1866, when
he sold it to Benjamin F. Radford. He married Miss Mary Louisa Munroe of Bos-
ton, May 27, 1S61 ; had one child, William Munroe Seavey, born in Hyde Park,
March 29, 1862. Mr. Seavey took great interest in building and developing Hyde
Park. His funeral took place April 30, 1868, at 1 p.m., the very day and hour that
the town was organized.
John C. French was born in Pittsfield, N. H., Mar. 1, 1832, where he spent
his boyhood on the farm; attending and teaching school in winter until 1851, when
he moved to Boston. In 1855 he joined the Twenty Associates and in 1856 he built
the house which was occupied for so many years by Theodore D. Weld. He mar-
ried Miss Annie M. Philbrick of Deerfield, N. Ii., in 1858, by whom he had three
children, Lizzie A., Susie P. and George Abraham. In 1859 he sold his house to
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
James Bennett. He was at one time a Boston schoolteacher and was always greatly
interested in educational matters. In 1866 he moved to Manchester, N. H., where
he became president of the N. H. Fire Ins. Co., and The Manchester Shoe Co., also
a director of the Merchants National Bank, and a trustee of the Guarantee Savings
Bank and of the Manchester City Library. He was the son of Enoch French of
Pittsfield, N. H., and a cousin of Leroy J. French, so long a respected resident of
Samuel Salmon Mooney, one of the Twenty Associates and founders of the
town of Hyde Park, was born in Lunenburg, N. S., July 30, 1822. He came to Bos-
ton in 1842, and learned the trade of hairdresser and barber, and for nearly twenty
years kept one of the largest and most stylish barber shops in Boston, located at
198 "Washington street, between Winter and Franklin streets. He was married
May 3, 1849, in Saco, Me., to Miss Anna Maria Gilpatric of Kennebunk, Me. He
had two children, Emma M., born at Saco, Me., April 15, 1850, and Charles S. (the
second boy baby born in Fairmount), April 15, 1858, and died in East Watertown,
Mass., Feb. 6, 1895. Mr. Mooney moved his family to Hyde Park in the fall of
1856; during the summer he boarded on Brush Hill road and his family were in
Maine. He was present at the raising of the first house May 15, 1856. He built
the house No. 260 Fairmount avenue, corner of Summit street, and was a resident
of Hyde Park until 1862, then sold his house and moved to Portland, Me. He
owned the barber shop at the United States Hotel and later was in the coal and
wood business. He moved to Cambridge, Mass., in 1885 and died there Jan. 27, 1887.
Hypolitus C. Fisk was born in Berlin, Mass., Feb., 1827. Was married in
Augusta, Me., Jan. 15, 1850. Moved to Hyde Park with his family in the fall of
1856. His daughter, Miss Helen A. Fisk, was married Dec. 17, 1878, to Marshall
T. Burnett by Rev. Francis C. Williams. Mr. Burnett died May 19, 1897. Mr.
Fisk was a member of the firm of Sleeper, Fisk & Co., wholesale milliners, Boston.
Mr. Fisk now resides with his daughter, Mrs. Burnett, at 12 Pond street, and is the
only one of the Twenty Associates now living in the town.
William H. Nightingale was born in Dorchester May 14, 181 6; died in
Hyde Park Jan. 13, 1878; was married in July, 1838, to Miss Abby Harding, who
was born in Chatham, Mass., Sept. 6, 1822. Mr. Nightingale came to Hyde Park in
May, 1856, and worked during the season on the houses of the Twenty Associates
and was present at the raising of the first house and moved his family to the town
in November of that year. He, with his son, James H., served faithfully in the
army during the rebellion, while his wife worked for the Union cause at home. His
son, James H., died in Hyde Park, April 12, 1880; his wife also died in Hyde Park
December 19, 1893.
William Estabrook French was born at the old French farm in Dunstable,
Mass., June 4, 181 7, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Andrew Bates,
Sept. 15, 1894, on Huntington avenue, Roslindale, aged 77 years. At the age of 17
he went to Boston and learned the trade of a mason. With money saved from his
day's wages he attended the academy at New Hampton, N. H., in the year 1837-
1838, and during the following winter the academy at Hancock, N. H. In 1843, ne
went into business in Boston as a contractor and builder. He was married April
10, 1845, to Miss Eliza Ann Wright of Concord, Mass., who died in Nov., 1862,
leaving three daughters, Anna E. French, born Aug. 4, 1848, who married William
Anderson of Bridgewater in Nov., 1881 ; he died in 1889; Ellen Wright French, his
second daughter, was born June 6, 1851, and married Andrew Bates, May 6, 1877.
William E. French was a member of Mass. House of Representatives from Boston,
1855, when the Twenty Associates were organized to start the village of Fairmount,
now Hyde Park. He joined the company and erected in 1856 the house No. 185
Fairmount avenue. Mr. French never resided in Hyde Park, for, at the time of
building here, he had several contracts on hand which he could not leave.
Ira L. Benton was born in Andover, Vt., Nov. 21, 182 1. In early life he was
an apprentice to his father, who was a village blacksmith. At the age of 14 he was
captain of a military company and attended the State muster. Taught singing
school in Andover, Ludlow and Cavendish, Vt. In 1846 he moved to Boston, fol-
lowing the trade of his father, and perfected himself in his musical studies. In
1850 he joined the Handel and Haydn society. During his residence in Boston he
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN. 13
was a member of the following church choirs : Bowdoin square, Park street, Old
South and Winter street churches. April 27, 1857, he married Mrs. Martha A.
Farnum of Nashua, N. H., and on his wedding day came to the new settlement of
Hyde Park to live, and occupied his new house, No. 237 Fairmount avenue. In the
early days of the town he taught singing school and was a leader in many successful
concerts that were given for church and social purposes. He died in Hyde Park
April 8, 1 89 1. His wife died Aug. 18, 1896. The interment of both was at Nashua,
N. H. His only son, Charles O. Benton, died Jan. 19, 1886, aged 27 years; his in-
terment was in the old cemetery in Milton.
John S. Hobbs, the son of Eben and Mrs. Nancy Stinson Hobbs, was born in
Camden, Me., Feb. 4, 1828. He was one of eight children : Charles F., George P.,
Josiah S., John S., Oakes P., Sarah E., Caroline M. and Nancy S. John S. Hobbs
worked on a farm and drove a team until he was 22 years old and attended the dis-
trict school during the winters until he was 19 years old, he then came to Boston
and secured a situation in a butter, cheese and fruit store on Merchants row. Later
he worked in a lime, cement and plaster store and in a short time he had a store of
his own. In 1855 he joined the Twenty Associates and in the spring of 1856 they
commenced building of the houses in Fairmount. Mr. Hobbs built house No. 268
Fairmount avenue ; afterward it became the home for many years of Mr. Seth
Blackmer and family. Mr. Hobbs was never married and did not occupy his house ;
his home for many years was at the Marlboro Hotel in Boston and his place of
business was at 102 State street, a dealer in lime, cement, plaster, hair, coal, etc.
He was an honorable and upright man. He died at Hotel Osborn, 57 Cushing
avenue, Boston, Oct. 8, 1893, aged 65 years, and the interment was at Camden, Me.
John Newton Brown was born in Candia, N. H., Aug. 7, 1824, and died in
Roxbury, Mass., Nov. 18, 1880. He worked on a farm and at carpentering until he
was 23 years old. After graduating from the Bridgewater Normal school he taught
school in New Bedford and Roxbury for several years, and then went into the fire
insurance business in Boston, in which he continued until his death. He was
married in Roxbury in 1853 to Miss Elizabeth M. Hunt. He built the house at No.
282 Fairmount avenue ( occupied for a long time by J. F. Hodges, and now owned
and completely altered by Hamburger) but never lived here. He was one of the
first directors of the Real Estate and Building Co. in 1857 and took a deep interest
in the building up of Hyde Park, always attending the meetings of the Company up
to his death. In 1858 he was one of the Trustees of the Hyde Park and Fairmount
Steam Car Company. He was also a director of the Revere Beach & Lynn R.R.
Jesse W. Payson was born Nov. 6, 181 5, in Hope, Me., and died in Hyde
Park Sept. 17, 1889. He was educated in the common schools of that town, and in
the Waterville Institute. As an author of writing books his name became a house-
hold word in this country. He it was who first gave to students a scientific analysis
of script writing, and he originated the lithograph copy for common school writing
books. From 1 861-1877 Mr. Payson was a member of the Faculty at the Polytech-
nic Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y. As professor of penmanship and bookkeeping he
taught thousands of pupils, among them many of the distinguished men of the
country, including President Eliot of Harvard College, and ex-Mayor Seth Low of
New York. He was the Secretary and one of the Directors of the Park Bank in
Brooklyn for several years. Mr. Payson was the author of a popular series of
works on bookkeeping, and was called as an expert to adjust accounts in important
cases. Mr. Payson's skill in writing brought him many medals, including one given
at the Centennial in Philadelphia. He was a man of generous impulses, and ad-
vanced in his christian views. At the twentieth celebration of Hyde Park anniver-
sary in 1888, he responded to the toast "The Twenty Associates." Mr. Payson's
first wife died at Union, Me. His second wife, well known in the world of letters,
died in Hyde Park in 1906. He had two children, W. H. Payson, now of San
Francisco, and Mrs. Matilda Cushing, a former Fairmount school teacher, who
married again, moved to Maine and is now deceased.
Alphonso J. Robinson was a native of Meredith, N. H. He was born Jan.
31, 1821, and was the son of Col. Noah and Nancy Wadleigh Robinson. The sub-
ject of our sketch was one of a large family ; he had nine brothers and sisters. He
graduated from Dartmouth College in 1848 and taught school for several years,
becoming a professor of mathematics in a military academy. He was a man of fine
i 4 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
literary abilities and wrote a number of school books which were successful in his
time, among them being the Colton series of geographies used in the schools some
forty years ago. Mr. Robinson was a very reticent man, was never married, and
only lived in Fairmount a few years. After his school teaching days he studied for
the bar and practiced in Boston. He became attorney for several railroads and the
Mercantile Savings Institution. While in Hyde Park he took a deep interest in
local affairs and was first President of the Fairmount and Hyde Park Choral Society-
He died in Lowell April 24, 1889.
John Williams built the house No. 281 Fairmount avenue in the summer of
1856, and moved into it with his family in October of that year. The house was
afterwards sold to Benjamin F. Leseur who occupied it nearly forty years. Mr.
Williams was a son of Thomas C. and Eliza Williams, the eldest of six children,
and was born in Warren, R. I. Feb. 6, 181 5. In 1838 he married Miss Elizabeth
P. Freeborn of Portsmouth, R. I. One child, Abby, was born to them April 15th,
1842, who was married to Samuel N. Piper Nov. 7, 1867 and who taught the
Fairmount School during the years of 1863-4 and 5. Mr. Williams was collector
for the Boston Gas Light Co., and for several years held a government position in
the Navy Yard at Charlestown. He was a director in the United States Loan Fund
Association in 1853-4 and a Trustee of the first Religious Society of Fairmount in
1857. He was also Treasurer of the Twenty Associates. Mrs. Williams died at
the home of her daughter, Mrs. Samuel N. Piper, corner Highland Street and
Fairmount Avenue, October 9, 1879.
Amos S. Angell was born at Deer Isle, Me., May, 1830, and died Mar. 9,
1902, at 112 Berkeley street, Boston. He was buried at Deer Isle, Me. At the age
of 15 he began a seafaring life, and served as seaman and first officer until he was
20 years old. He was then commander of a vessel and continued so until 1858.
During one of his at-home seasons in 1856 he joined the Twenty Associates. Upon
his arrival in Boston in 1858 from a two years' voyage (between Boston and South
America, England, Havana, Cuba, Pensacola, Fla., and New York) he gave up his
vessel and went to Fairmount where his parents resided, corner Fairmount Ave.
and Pond street. He sold out his interest in his vessel and bought out Weeman &
Storey, the first grocers in Fairmount, on site of Savage's old store. He conducted
this business two or three years and then sold out and again followed the sea until
1872. In the meantime his family, wife and one child, died and were buried at
Deer Isle. In 1873 ne returned to Hyde Park and lived with his parents until 1874.
In 1874 he came to Boston and entered into the house painting business, continuing
in that business until about 1900, when he was stricken with Bright's disease.
Mr. Angell was well educated and at one time in his early years taught school in
his native town. He was Fairmount's second Postmaster.
John E. Abbott is the only one of the Twenty Associates whose life is prac-
tically a sealed book to the historian at this late day. He and his brother Russell
were interested in the Fairmount Land Co. Mr. Abbott was in the tailoring busi-
ness in the old Mercantile Building on Summer St., Boston. In this building were
the offices of the Fairmount Land Co. and Real Estate and Building Co., and prob-
ably this fact brought him into contact with the promoters of the Fairmount Settle-
ment and led to his being one of the Twenty Associates. Mr. Enoch E. Blake
remembers him as being in the tailoring business in Boston up to about 1870. He
then lost track of him and a few years after heard of his being in the same business
in Portland, Maine.
HYDE PARK AND FAIRMOUNT CHORAL SOCIETY
Ordinarily a musical society and shade trees are not linked together, but Fair-
mount is said to be indebted to the above society for the beautiful shade trees
standing up and down Fairmount avenue and on other streets in our town. This
society was organized in 1858. Its first officers were Prof. A. J. Robinson, Pres. W.
F. Gary, Sec. and Treas. Wm. A. Blazo, Wm. Rogers and Ira L. Benton, directors.
Mr. Benton was chorus conductor.
They gave six public rehearsals each year, to the delight of the village inhab-
itants. One grand concert they gave brought in money enough to carry out their
plan of shade trees for Fairmount's highways.
tempi /md /'rem. /Van o/Lana'jo//Qirm.
First Plan of Falrmount.
To Clarence G. Norris we are indebted for the tracing and enlargement of this map, and to
the Historical Society for the use of this cut and the three views of Fairmount.
16 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
THE FIRST TWENTY HOUSES.
The Twenty Associates had a well-defined plan in settling Fairmount. After
their land was purchased they had Civil Engineer Breck of Milton map out the
entire section and locate the streets. Fairmount avenue, named after the new
settlement itself, was selected as the street upon which their own twenty houses
were to be built. An architect was engaged to make a set of plans and it was
agreed that the entire twenty houses were to be exactly alike. By this plan a large
saving in plans and materials could be effected and the work carried forward much
more expeditiously. Another important reason for this was to avoid all feelings of
jealousy that one man's house was better than another's, and it was a wise arrange-
ment. The question has also frequently been asked why these men, some without
families and none of them with any money to spare, built such large houses. The
answer is mainly this : A. P. Blake, who was the master mind in the enterprise, said
it would make a more imposing looking community and bring others to join the
settlement. And it did.
A brief record of these first twenty houses will be of value to the future his-
torian and the present status and location will be of interest to the many men and
women who have come to Hyde Park in recent years.
The first house built was on the corner of Fairmount avenue and Beacon street,
which was then known as Water street. The ground for this house was broken
May i, 1856, and the frame raised fifteen days later. The house has been better
locally known as the Carlton house, through its purchase by Rev. Mr. Carlton, who
was pastor of the Congregational Society, which worshipped at that time in " Braggs
Hall," then situated where Palmer's paint shop now stands on Fairmount avenue,
near the railroad crossing. A number of other tenants have occupied it since, and
each year added to its rack and ruin, until finally after being deserted for over a
year and the target for small boys and firebugs, who made several attempts to de-
stroy it, it was purchased by George M. Peabody with the sole object of ridding the
neighborhood of a menace and eye-sore. He in turn sold it for less than he paid
for it to Frank Rogers who tore it down and used the material in constructing an-
other house in the " Corriganville " section. The land on which it stood is still in
possession of the Carlton family, John F. Carlton, son of the minister, residing at
Sandwich, Mass., being the owner. This house was built for George W. Currier,
who was a contractor and had charge of building the twenty original houses. When
this house was raised there were present David Higgins, a carpenter on the con-
struction work ; the late Henry A. Rich, who, although not a member of the Twenty
Associates, was connected with the enterprise from the very beginning and was
master painter on the houses ; his brother, Uwight B. Rich, one of the Twenty, and
William F. Badger, who, although not one of the Twenty, was a close follower. He
had the contract for all the stairs in the twenty houses, and was so charmed with
the locality that he built his house on the opposite corner within a year and brought
his bride there in June, 1857. Others present were John Lawson, David Higgins'
brother-in-law, and William H. Nightingale, all three of whom were carpenters
on the houses ; besides a number of the Associates who were not active participants
in the construction work.
Mr. Currier moved into the house in 1856, and in about seven months his wife
died there. Her death was the first in the new settlement and the funeral was most
pathetic. There was only a narrow footbridge over the Neponset River then and
the coffin had to be carried over this narrow way to the waiting cortege on the
opposite side of the river. Mr. Currier's spirit was broken by the death of his wife
and he moved from Hyde Park in 1862. Dr. A. H. Chapin, Hyde Park's first phy-
sician, resided in this house for a short time.
On the opposite side of the avenue, on the corner of Water street, Alpheus J.
Robinson built his house. This one of the Twenty enjoyed the title of " Professor."
I ic was proficient in music and was the president and leader of the Hyde Park and
Fairmount Choral Society, which was organized in 1858, a brief sketch of which
appears elsewhere in this Bulletin. Prof. Robinson's house is better known today
as the Washburn house, and its exterior is much changed with additions.
The third house going up the hill was constructed for Enoch E. Blake, brother
of Alpheus P., a long-time resident here, postmaster in rS6i under President
Lincoln, and who afterwards moved to a more up-to-date place on Albion street.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN. 17
This house is now a part of the Peabody estate and has been moved back from the
street to make room for the more modern house on the corner. Mr. Blake is one
of the three known living members of the Twenty Associates, and now resides in
The next house in line was the one built for John E. Abbott. Mr. Abbott
never occupied it. The house is but little changed and is now and has been occu-
pied for a long time by Prof. Luther (J. Emerson, the noted composer.
Directly across the street from the Emerson house is the one built for W. E.
French, who was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1855. For many
years this place was known as the "Sumner house." In 1905, Charles H. Haley
bought the place and has made a wonderful change in its appearance. It is now
made over into a double house and all resemblance of its original form has been
Crossing the street again was the house of William H. Seavey, a prominent
man in those days, and master, for many years, of the Girls High and Normal
School in Boston. Mr. Seavey lived here until 1866, when Benjamin F. Radford
bought the place, and to the present generation of Hyde Parkers the place is known
by his name. Mr. Radford made a beautiful estate of it. With its fine face front
wall and its raised flower gardens, the citizens of the town have always been proud
of it. Mr. Radford himself took keen delight in his house and grounds and lived
there for nearly thirty years. In 1893 he built two new houses on Franklin Terrace
for two of his children and gave up his Fairmount avenue home early in 1894 when
he retired from active business. He passed away in November, 1894, while residing
with one of his children, widely mourned by the community for whose service his
time and talents were always ready. After Mr. Radford's death the place was pur-
chased by Charles H. Haley, who remodelled it and built a three-story apartment
house on the Warren avenue side of the lot. The main house has been occupied as
a boarding house since the alterations were completed.
Next to the Seavey place was the house built for William H. Nightingale, who
was a prominent grocer on Washington street, Boston, in 1855. In the early '6o's
it was for a time the home of Thomas Hammond, one of Hyde Park's first post-
masters. Later the home of Samuel E. Ward, a Boston banker, and after his re-
moval it became the property of Henry N. Bates, the present owner and occupant.
This place has been kept in good condition and the house modernized by extensive
piazzas and porches.
Following along on the same side of the avenue the next house was that of
John C. French. Mr. French did not reside here long and sold the house to Thomas
Bennett, who made extensive alterations so that today it looks different from any of
the original twenty. Mr. Bennett sold to Theodore D. Weld, the noted abolitionist,
in March, 1864. The house, during the lifetime of the Welds, was a mecca for men
and women who labored for the freedom and advancement of the human race. Mr.
Weld died here February 4, 1895. His wife, Angelina, passed away here in 1879,
and her sister, Sarah Grimke, also a noted worker in the anti-slavery cause, died in
the same house in 1871.
Across the street from the French, or more popularly speaking, the " Weld "
house, was the home erected for Hypolitus C. Fisk, who is the only one of the
twenty pioneers who still lives in Hyde Park. Mr. Fisk has retired from active
life and is spending the sunset of his days with his daughter, Mrs. Marshall T.
Burnett, whose home is on Pond street, in the rear of the old homestead erected by
her father in 1856. The Fisk house has had many transient tenants in recent
years and is but little changed from its original construction.
Next to the Fisk house was the home of Hon. Daniel Warren, a prominent
man in the early days, a member of the Massachusetts Senate from Boston, just
previous to his coming to Fairmount. While Mr. Warren's house was getting the
finishing touches he brought his family here, and yielded to the kindly entreaties
of Mr. Fisk to stay awhile in his house until Mr. Warren's was more comfortably
finished. It was in the Fisk House that James L. Warren was born, Nov. 30, 1856,
the first baby in the new settlement of Fairmount. The Warren homestead is still
in possession of the family and now occupied by Weldon S. Martin.
Next to the Warren house was Ira L. Benton's place. Mr. Benton was a resi-
dent of Hyde Park from 1856 until his death in 1891, but lived most of his life
while here on Winthrop street and on Harvard avenue, near the centre of the town.
18 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
He was one of the conspicuous members of the Twenty from the beginning. In
his youth he learned the blacksmiths trade, and worked at it off and on. He
had a good voice and was foremost in all musical events in the early days of
the town. This house was for some time the home of Geo. H. Rand, a Boston tea
merchant, who died in 1896, his widow continuing to reside there until her death,
some five or six years later. The house is now occupied by Arthur L. Russell.
Adjoining the Benton place was the house built for Dwight B. Rich, a brother
to Henry A. Rich, and one of the hardest workers in the new colony and to whose
determination and bull-dog tenacity credit must be given that the enterprise was
not abandoned. Mr. Rich lived here about twenty years and was interested in
many land companies in other sections. The place is now better known as the
Melville P. Morrell honse.
Across the street was the home of David Higgins, and still occupied by his
widow. This is the only house of the twenty which has its original tenant. Mrs.
Higgins was married to David Higgins Feb. 22, 1857, and her honeymoon trip was
a carriage drive from Boston through the thinly settled country to the new home
which Mr. Higgins had labored on for months to prepare for his bride.
Next to the Higgins house was the home of Alpheus P. Blake, the President
and ruling spirit of the Twenty Associates. This house was burned to the ground
in 1896 while occupied by Jas. T. Hawkins, a builder who now resides in Norwood.
On the opposite corner what is now and has been known for many years as the
Bidwell place, was the home of Samuel S. Mooney, who conducted a number of
successful barber shops in Boston. At the time of his residence here he conducted
the barber shop connected with the old Marlboro Hotel, then situated on Washing-
ton street between Winter and Franklin streets.
Next to the Mooney house, John S. Hobbs built a house which he never occu-
pied. He was a successful Boston merchant, a bachelor, and never resided here.
The Blackmer family have lived on this estate so long that their name is the only
one connected with it by the present generation.
Adjoining the Hobbs' house comes Jesse Wentworth Payson's place. His
widow has kept it all these years and only recently died. Mr. Payson was a man of
distinction in his time. He was the originator of penmanship books as used in the
public schools today and a member of the old publishing house of Dunton, Payson
& Scribner, predecessors of the famous publishing house of the Scribners of today.
The house is practically unchanged.
Across the street from the Mooney or Bidwell place was the home of Captain
Amos S. Angell. Mr. Angell was the brother of Mrs. Dwight B. Rich. The house
has been known for many years as the " Raeder " place. In this house, previous to
the ^Raeder occupancy, lived Capt. Horatio G. Raynes, a noted blockade runner
during the war, and strange stories are told of his hiding there while the govern-
ment was seeking him for scuttling a ship load of slaves.
Again crossing the street we come to what is now known as the Hamburger
place. This estate has been entirely modernized and bears little resemblance to
its former self. This house was built for John N. Brown, for many years a Boston
insurance agent. Mr. Brown was only nominally one of the Twenty Associates, as
he never came here to reside, but always took an active interest in the enterprise.
Previous to Mr. Hamburger's purchase, the family of J. F. Hodges occupied it.
Opposite this was the last house of the Twenty and the one farthest up the
hill. It was built for John Williams, Treasurer of the Twenty Associates and for
whom Williams avenue was named. The house has undergone extensive altera-
tions, is now and has been for many years the home of the Leseur family.
TID-BITS OF LOCAL HISTORY
The first store in Fairmount was kept by George Pierce, in a little building
which stood just about where the residence of the late Mr. Giles now stands. It
was only there a little while and then the building was moved down Summit street
almost opposite Mount Pleasant street, and it still stands there, the little house on a
steep bank, the second from Williams avenue.
The long white house on Summit street, directly in front of Mount Pleasant
street, was built by the late Henry A. Rich. He brought his bride there and his
children were born there. It was his home for some fifteen years. Mrs. Rich for
a time taught school in the old Fairmount school.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN
HYDE PARK PROFESSIONAL MEN
Hyde Park, 1874-1906
JAMES E. COTTER
412 Sears Building
CHARLES G. CHICK
28 State Street
EDWARD S. FELLOWS
Room 64 Rogers Bids.
209 Washington Street
Telephone, 2697-2 Main BOSTON
Hyde Park, 1875-1906
FERDINAND A. WYMAN
ATTORNEY AND COUNSELLOR.
617-18*19 Old South Bldg.
294 Washington St., Boston
HENRY B. TERRY
Settlement of Estates a Specialty
Offices: Union Block
21 Central Avenue
Telephones S Main 10
r ( Mam 11
PHILIP P. COVENEY
15 State St., Boston
JOHN A. COULTHURST
90-91 Albion Bldg.
1 Beacon St.
62 W. River St. BOSTON
OLSTIN M. HIGGINS
9 Neponset Block
CHARLES F. JENNEY
35 Congress Street
1102-1105 Monks Bldg. Boston
EDWIN C. JENNEY
FREDERICK G. KATZMANN
505-6 Barrister's Hall
Hyde Park Boston
WILBUR H. POWERS
209 Washington Street
4 Pond St., Hyde Park Boston
Telephone 3576 Main
CHARLES F. SPEAR
16 State Street
32 Pierce St., Hyde Park Boston
GEO. E. M. DICKINSON
TEACHER OF VIOLIN
Studio, Room 9
Orchestra Masonic BlocK
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
Banquet and Entertainment
Under the auspices of the
Historical Society and Fairmount Improvement Association
Thursday Evening, April 19, 1906
REV. SAMUEL G. BABCOCK
HOT CHICKEN PIE MASHED POTATOES
SHRIMP SALAD CHICKEN SALAD
CREAM PUFFS FROZEN PUDDING
ICE CREAM ASSORTED CAKE
w. K. HOWE, Caterer
Committee on Hall and Decorations.
Mrs. E. E. Badger, Mrs. James F. Mooar, Mrs. Clarence U. Meiggs, Mrs. John
C. Hurter, Mrs. Charles F. Spear. Mr. Charles A. Boynton, Mr. Edwin E. Bartlett,
Mr. Harold Mason, Dr. John A. Morgan, Mr. Arthur T. Rogers.
Reception and Entertainment Committee.
Mrs. Wilbur II. Powers, Mrs. Charles L. Alden, Mrs. Fred L. Johnson, Mrs.
Samuel E. Blanchard, Mrs. L. P. Winchenbaugh, Mrs. Archibald MacGregor, Mrs.
Samuel T. Elliott, Mrs. F. W. Sawtelle, Mrs. David Higgins, Mrs. Clara Raeder,
Mrs. Louise M. Wood, Mrs. Annie H. Weld, Mrs. David W. Lewis, Mrs. A. E.
Swallow, Mrs. George W. Hanchett. Mr. William J. Webber, Mr. Charles F.
Jenney, Mr. Charles G. Chick, Mr. Charles L. Alden, Mr. Frank B. Rich, Mr. Clif-
ford H. Bullard, Mr. Wilbur II. Powers, Mr. Edward E. Badger, Mr. Archibald Mac-
Gregor, Mr. Harry J. West, Mr. Lester P. Winchenbaugh.
Press and Program Committee.
Joseph W. Harpan, John Appell, Samuel E. Blanchard, John W. McMahon,
George H. B. Beals.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
Post -Prandial Exercises
CHARLES G. CHICK, Toastmaster
OPENING REMARKS CHARLES G. Chick
VOCAL SELECTION Beethoven Quartette
" The Birth of Fairmount "
ONE OF THE TWENTY Enoch E. Blake
BOYHOOD RECOLLECTIONS - - - George B. Warren
IN THE SIXTIP:S E. E. Williamson
VOCAL SELECTION - .... Beethoven Quartette
"Development and Growth of Hyde Park"
DEVELOPMENT Rev. Peri.ev B. Davis
GROWTH Edward I. Humphrey
VOCAL SELECTION Beethoven Quartette
u Maturity of Hyde Park"
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX .... Edwin C. Jenney
OUR MANUFACTURES A. L. Lovejoy
VOCAL SELECTION Beethoven Quartette
"The Future of Hyde Park"
INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS C. II. Gikford
ORCHESTRA SELECTIONS I ", mifff Syne ' Dickinson's Orchestra
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
HYDE PARK PROFESSIONAL MEN
General Practitioner 1870-1906
Medical Examiner, District No. 2,
Norfolk County, 1872-1906
HENRY R. HITCHCOCK
Associate Medical Examiner
2d Norfolk District
31 Oak Street
MERTON L. BRIGGS, M.D.
X-RAY AND ELECTRO THERA-
PEUTICS A SPECIALTY
Office hours: 9 A.M., 1-3, 6-8 P.M.
Telephone 3J Centra , Avenue
JOHN A. MORGAN, M. D.
2-4. 7-9 P.M.
Telephones: 353-2, 173-5
DR. CHAS. FRANCIS STACK
2 to 4, 7 to 9
139 West River Street
JOS. KING KNIGHT, D.D.S
9 to 12; 1 to 5
16 Maple Street Telephone
145 W. River St.
P. R. COPELAND, D.D.S.
SAMUEL T. ELLIOTT, D.M.D.
551 Boylston Street
DR. F. B. STEVENS
New Bank Building
DR. J. P. RATTIGAN
Connection Cleary Square
FREDERICK W. DODGE, M.D.
Until 9 A.M. and 1-2.30. 6-7 P.M.
155 West River Street
LUCY B. HALL, M. D.
2 to 4 P. M.
5 French's Block
GEO. L. RICHARDSON
29 Pine Street
E. A. W. HAMMATT
Mem. Am. Soc. C. E.
CONSULTING ENGINEER. CIVIL
AND HYDRAULIC ENGINEER
Connection 10 Neponset olock
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN. 23
HYDE PARK LAND COMPANIES.
The Twenty Associates were but one of many organizations who purchased
large tracts of land for development in the territory which comprises Hyde Park.
These land companies or groups of individuals are important links in Hyde Park's
history and a brief sketch, incomplete as it is, is still worth recording.
Previous to the purchase of Fairmount by the Twenty Associates, a settlement
had been planned beyond the Providence Railroad, which had been opened for
traffic in 1834 as far as Dedham Plains, later called Readville. On June 26, 1847,
Samuel W. Swift, Enoch Baldwin and Cheever Newhall bought about 200 acres in
what is now known as the Sunnyside district, and transferred it shortly after to
Charles A. White. On Sept. 1, 1853, this same property was conveyed to W. P.
Barnard, Rev. Henry Lyman and O. D. Ashley as trustees for the Hyde Park Land
Co., a name given by Rev. Mr. Lyman. Among those who formed this early group
of pioneers are known to have been, in addition to the three named above, Gordon
H. Nott, Albert Bowker, S. O. Mead and W. A. Cary. The holdings of this com-
pany were quite extensive and ran down through what is now the business section
of the town as far as Walnut street and included Mount Neponset.
In 1854 a few surveys had been made and in 1855 Gordon H. Nott had dug the
cellar for his house (still standing) and moved into his new home in 1856. Rev.
Henry Lyman commenced his stone house in 1855 and moved into it in 1856. This
house, now better locally known as the Col. Bachelder place on Gordon avenue, is
today, 1906, said to be in the hands of a real estate syndicate, who are to build a
modern settlement of three-story apartment houses on the estate and use the old
stone house for cellar foundation stones. Progress, however, was decidedly slow
on that side of the Providence Railroad, in spite of the fact that Rev. Mr. Lyman
raised money enough from the landowners in that section to build in 1858, the first
railroad station in the present town of Hyde Park. This little building was erected
on a steep bank alongside the railroad track, nearly opposite the present Hyde
Park station. Lyman Hall was situated in the upper story, where religious ser-
vices were held for a time. But very few houses were built in this section, in fact
for nearly ten years this settlement lay dormant, the new village of Fairmount
making rapid strides in the meantime.
The Fairmount Land Company and Twenty Associates.
Organized Sept. 5, 1855, by A. P. Blake, David Higgins, Dwight B. Rich, John
Williams, Daniel Warren, George W. Currier, J. Wentworth Payson, H. C. Fisk,
Samuel S. Mooney, John E. Abbott, Amos S. Angell, Enoch E. Blake, Ira L.
Benton, John N. Brown, J. C. French, William E. French, John S. Hobbs, A. J.
Robinson, William H. Seavey and William H. Nightingale.
This company, with A. P. Blake as president and John Williams as treasurer,
bought about 100 acres of land at $200 per acre, from the rear ends of the Milton
farms of Timothy and Nathan Tucker, the land running practically from Prospect
street down to the Neponset river. The deeds for this property were dated Nov.
23, 1855. Each member of the company agreed to erect a homestead and was to
have 35,000 feet of land for himself, — 137 feet frontage and a depth of 250 feet.
The twenty houses were to be alike and the total expense, exclusive of grading and
digging wells, was about $60,000, which was divided between them. After these
twenty houses were built and the settlement had assumed a civilized basis many of
these pioneers turned their eyes to what is now the central part of Hyde Park and
purchased land there, and in 1859 the Fairmount Land Company and Twenty Asso-
ciates was merged into a new company called the Real Estate and Building Com-
pany, which received a corporate charter in 1861.
The Real Estate and Building Company.
The land holdings of this company were like an octopus. They had sections
of land in every direction of Hyde Park. One of their early maps shows that in
the section between the Neponset river on the one side, the Providence Railroad
on the other, Lincoln street at one end, and Stony Brook and the Sumner estate in
Clarendon Hills at the other, the land was practically all theirs, the Greenwood
Farm being the only sizable plot which they did not control. This section alone
represented two communities, Hazelwood and Clarendon Hills. The company also
24 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
had other large tracts in Fairmount, in the Corriganville district and on the hill
near the water tower. Part of their holdings were purchased from the Hyde Park
Land Company. Their charter was granted February 6, 1861, for a period of twenty
years. In 1864 it was broadened and they received authority from the Legislature
to purchase 500 acres additional anywhere within a radius of two miles from the
woolen mill. In 1880 the charter was extended for five years ; in 1885 for ten years
more, and in 1895 it expired and the company was required by the general law to
wind up its affairs inside of three years. On May 1, 1899, the last undivided piece
of property belonging to the company, a house and land on Bradlee street, Claren-
don Hills, was sold at public auction. All the rest of the company's holdings were
divided between the company's stockholders.
Hyde Park Associates.
Organized Jan. 1, 1887. Membership was limited to forty-two. Owned parcels
of land on Fairmount in the neighborhood of Beacon street, and on Fairview avenue
near the cemetery. A co-operative investment enterprise. Is in existence today.
Greenwood Farm Tract.
An old landmark. What was left of this farm was plotted out into seventy-
three house lots in April, 1894. The land extended from East river to Westminster
street and from Metropolitan avenue to Huntington avenue. A new street was
opened up through the farm and named Lexington avenue. Jefferson street was
planned to run across it diagonally, but has never been completed.
A tract of land bounded by the Neponset River on one side and running up to
East River street. The streets in this territory are Mattakeeset, Monponset, Mas-
sasoit, Wachusett and Osceola streets and Holmfield avenue. This tract was
developed in May, 1894, by the Blue Hill Terrace Co. and was a very successful
A section of Readville, lying between West River, Milton and Readville streets.
Placed on the market in July, 1896, by the five associates, comprising Charles F.
Jenney, Edwin C. Jenney, Henry B. Terry, H. E. B. Waldron and Mrs. Henry C.
Stark. Gets its name from a large growth of Pine trees on the land. The lots
sold very well for the first two years, but very little has been done in the past five
years and many lots remain unsold.
This land runs along Wood avenue and extends towards Rugby. Opened up
by the Blue Hill Terrace Co. in 1894. Not a large tract and the lots and houses
are rather small.
A large tract near River street station, adjoining the Boston line, in fact part
of the settlement is in Boston. Wood, Harmon & Co., real estate promoters, who
have opened up many tracts of land throughout the country, put this section on the
market April, 1894. It was opened up with a great blare of trumpets and nearly all
the lots sold, but it has never gone much beyond the first spurt. A fine new station
of the N. E. R.R. was erected on the land by the promoters, but this was soon
closed by the R.R. Company for lack of patronage. One peculiar feature of this
section is that every street in it commences with " R," and the streets are called
roads instead of streets or avenues. These roads are named Regent, Radcliffe,
Ranson, Ralston, Roseberry, Rutledge, Ruskin, Roanoke, Ridge, Rock, Roland and
Sergeant Blake Farm.
Near River street station. Contained about 12 acres. Was put on the market
July, 1 87 1. Blake street in this section derives its name from this farm.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN. 25
People's Land Co.
A section partly in Boston. Mapped out May 1, 1893. The land lies along
Newburn and Chase streets in the Clarendon Hills section.
Named in honor of John Shepard, head of the house of Shepard, Norwell Co.,
Boston, who owned the land and turned it over to Leslie C. Swift, a real estate
dealer, to develop. The land adjoins the New England R. R. at River street
station. It was put on the market in 1899, but nas not been a very successful
A more euphonious name for a tract of land which is part of what is better
locally known as " Corriganville." The land runs from Washington street partly
into Milton, adjoining the Van Brunt and Hunt estates and James Tucker's lands.
The streets included in it are Wolcott road, Cottage street and Van Brunt street.
The tract was named Glenwood Heights and opened up in 1897. Many small
houses have been built on it by working men who were ambitious to own their own
homes. Boston capital was back of this venture.
The Metropolitan Land Co.
A company formed to develop a big tract in the Clarendon Hills section-
Placed on the market in 1877. Most of the land was in Boston and the Hyde Park
section of it contains thus far few houses. This company was really only one of
the subsidiary companies of the Real Estate & Building Co., formed because their
own charter did not allow them to own any more land than they already had.
Blanchard Farm Tract.
In Readville near the Cotton mill. Cut up into house lots in 1893 by Charles
F. Jenney, Edwin C. Jenney and H. C. Stark. The land adjoins the Pinehurst
tract. Blanchard street was constructed and run through the tract, and Norton
street continued across it.
The Reddy Tract.
A section facing East River street near the Paper mills. Opened up April it,
1896, by Thomas F. Reddy a Boston speculator. Four new streets were added to
Hyde Park's topography by the laying out of this plot. Frazer, La Fevre and Rosa
streets and Reddy avenue. Many houses were constructed and the section has been
a most fruitful one for foreclosure sales.
Grew Farm Tract.
In July, 1905, a section of this big tract, owned by the Grew family since 1846,
was mapped out for house lots. Summer street was extended through to West
street, and the land from Austin street down to the Providence Railroad and ex-
tending up to West street was placed on the market.
Hamilton Park. Readville.
This land is part of the old camp ground. It lies between Prescott street and
the Neponset river and from the trotting park down towards Milton street. Placed
on the market in 1896 by a company of which George L. Litchfield was the head.
Is now a prosperous community. A small public park is in this settlement.
THE FAIRMOUNT SCHOOL.
The Fairmount school had its first session in the parlor of David Iliggins
house in 1857. It was moved in 1858 to the new hall erected by George Pierce, on the
corner of Highland street and Fairmount avenue. This building was afterwards
moved across the street and stood for many years where the residence of Archibald
R.Sampson now stands, and was moved to the rear lot when that house was built.
The Hyde Park Baptist church also had its earliest preaching services in this hall,
then known as Fairmount Hall. In 1871 the present Fairmount school building
was erected. For a few years it was called the Blake school in honor of A. P.
Blake, but agitation by some citizens to preserve the old name of Fairmount in con-
nection with the school finally prevailed and its original name again attached to it.
26 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATIONS OF HYDE PARK.
One of the factors that is today making for the betterment of the Town in a
great measure is the Improvement Associations which have been formed. While
organized primarily for local benefit, they are all conducted on such broad lines
that their effect is to arouse a more general interest in public affairs, and to direct
more intelligent action on the part of our citizens. A brief history of each organi-
zation in our town today, follows :
Fairmount Improvement Association.
This association owes its inception to the following citizens, who met at the
home of Edwin E. Bartlett on Dana avenue, Jan. 16, 1903: Charles A. Boynton,
Edwin E. Bartlett, John W. McMahon, Albert Atkinson, Robert Scott, Edward M.
Underhill, Joseph G. Hamblin, Arthur T. Rogers, John Burns, John B. Chadbourne,
Joseph Fallon, James McGrath, Joseph W. Harpan, J. W. Griffiths, Martin O'Grady,
E. M. Merrill and Lester P. Winchenbaugh. The organization was perfected at a
meeting held in Badger's Hall on Jan. 21, 1903, when a constitution and by-laws
were adopted and the following officers elected: President, L. P. Winchenbaugh ;
vice-presidents, William H. Norris, Edward S. Hay ward, E. E. Badger; secretary,
E. E. Bartlett; treasurer, Edward W. Cross. Executive committee: George W.
Bent, Charles A. Boynton, Oscar Bursch, Wilbur H. Powers, John W. McMahon,
William B. Foster, Fred G. Katzmann. Advisory Committee: Dr. W. G. Adams,
Hugh J. Stockford, Howard M. Hamblin.
The objects of the association are set forth in Art. II. of the constitution, which
reads as follows : " Objects, the organization of residents and tax payers of the
Fairmount district for co-operation in obtaining public improvements in this vicin-
ity ; for arousing increased interest in the general affairs of the town ; for inducing
a more intelligent understanding of public expenditures ; a more careful scanning
of town warrants, and a more general attendance at town meetings."
Any resident or tax payer of the Fairmount district over 18 years of age is
eligible for membership.
The association from the start has steadfastly kept out of politics and devoted
its entire influence and energies to the betterment of local conditions. Many of the
improvements noted during the past three years can be credited to the efforts of
this organization, notably the improvement of Dana avenue, the Garfield avenue
and Neponset avenue drainage, the Glenwood avenue foot bridge (now building),
and the improved sanitary conditions at the Fairmount school. The abolishment
of the grade crossings at Fairmount avenue and Bridge street, which has absorbed
a large part of the attention of the association for the past two years, is in a fair
way of being settled in a manner very satisfactory to our citizens.
The present officers of the association are: President, L. P. Winchenbaugh;
vice-president, E. E. Badger; secretary, J. W. Harpan; treasurer, E. W. Cross.
Executive Committee: George W. Bent, James A. Tilden, C. A. Boynton, J. W.
McMahon, J. J. Keane, W. H. Powers, W. D. Preston, John Hood, E. E. Bartlett,
Alfred Foster, Oscar Bursch.
Hazelwood and Clarendon Hills Improvement Association.
Date of organization Jan. 26, 1903. The officers were George H. Rausch, presi-
dent ; A. D. Wheeler, vice-president; H. E. Whittemore, secretary; W. E. Nor-
wood, treasurer. Board of Directors were E. H. Gallup, J. F. Hay ward, Geo. B.
Jeffers, W. E. Robinson, F. C. Stone. Present officers are John A. Keefe, presi-
dent ; Edward H. Gallup, vice-president; J. Frank Hayward, secretary; William E.
Norwood, treasurer. Present Directors are George Jeffers, Alden D. Wheeler,
George H. Rausch, Jervis E. Horr, Stephen Murphy. Regular meetings last Tues-
days in each month except July and August.
The particular work of importance to the Town, the inception and carrying out
of which is to be credited to this Association thus far, is the subway at the Hazel-
wood Station. The officers and founders of this organization feel well repaid for
their efforts by the local improvements secured and the increased interest mani-
fested in public affairs by the members.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN. 27
Readville Improvement Association.
Organized June 18, 1902, with the following officers : President, J. R. Corthell ;
vice-president, H. E. Astley ; treasurer, Dr. S. T. Elliott ; clerk, George S. Cabot ;
financial secretary, Albert Davenport ; directors (beside the above), E. S. Alden,
Geo. H. Clapp, Calvin H. Lee, James F. Pring, W. J. W. Wheeler, R. W. Wright.
The present officers are H. E. Astley, president ; Benj. Clough, vice-president ; Dr.
S. T. Elliott, treasurer ; H. A. Pellett, clerk ; Albert Davenport, financial secretary ;
directors: J. R. Corthell, R. W. Wright, F. C. Putney, J. W. Storer, G. Aldrich, F.
L. George. Its present membership is 84. The association aims to better the
conditions of the community's life in every possible way. It believes in the broad-
est scope for its activities. Its motto is " Nothing too small ; nothing too great for
our consideration, provided it touches the life of our village." The association
picks up waste paper from the streets. It appeals to the districts' representative
in Congress to vote for laws which will benefit all the people of the country. It
seeks to cultivate a deeper and finer social spirit and aims to provide intellectual
and aesthetic entertainment for the community in the way of lectures, concerts, etc.
To enumerate the material results of its four years of activity would be weari-
some. Better and cleaner streets ; better lighted streets ; public recreation grounds ;
better train service; new fire alarm boxes; historical tablets; nuisances abated;
unsightly buildings removed ; better police protection ; protection to shade trees ;
financial aid to worthy causes. These are but suggestions of what the association
East River Street Improvement Association.
In March, 1901, a meeting of the citizens of the East River Street section was
called by Mr. John G. Ray to take action to procure a new school for the district.
After town meeting, at which the necessary preliminary steps were taken, another
meeting was held at which Mr. Ray presided. Mr. John G. McCarter thought it
would be wise to organize permanently and be known as the East River Street Im-
provement Association. Thirty-two members signed at once. At the next meeting,
constitution and by-laws were adopted and the following officers elected : President,
John G. McCarter; first vice-president, P. Fitzgerald; second vice-president, E. L.
Barrett; secretary, H. E. Whittemore ; treasurer, H. L. Smith; directors, C. B.
Whitney, John G. Ray, Samuel Hodges, B. Corliss. Mr. McCarter served four
years as president, and at the time of his death was treasurer of the association
He died in November, 1905, beloved by all who knew him. The present officers
are president, Edw. L. Barrett ; vice-president H. Moir ; treasurer, Gorham E.
Stanford; secretary, C. B. Whitney; financial secretary Edgar McLeod ; directors,
F. W. Lowd, O. Anderson, E. Hodgdon and Samuel Hodges. The present mem-
bership is about 70, and the immediate efforts of the association are directed to
obtain a bridge over the Neponset at Holmfield. The utilization of the present
Fairmount bridge, when it is abandoned, has been suggested and meets with gen-
eral favor as that district should be provided with inter-communication with Milton
better than now exists.
HYDE PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Organized March 15. 1887.
The formation of this society so early in the Town's history was a fortunate
event. Through its effort and inspiration much valuable data connected with the
early life of the Town has been collected and preserved. In this work it should be
sustained by all public spirited citizens. The present officers are : President,
Charles G. Chick; Secretary, Fred L. Johnson; Treasurer, Henry B. Humphrey;
Corresponding Secretary and Librarian, Henry B. Carrington.
Curators: Above officers and Charles F. Jenney, S. P^vans, George L. Stocking,
Frank B. Rich, George L. Richardson, J. R. Corthell, A. F. Bridgman ; Editor
Historical Record, William A. Mowry.
28 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
the: celebration of 1900.
Patriots' Day, April 19, 1906, was chosen to celebrate the semi-centennial of
Fairmount on account of being a holiday and near enough to the actual date of
The celebration was under the joint auspices of the Hyde Park Historical
Society and the Fairmount Improvement Association. The beginning of the anni-
versary exercises were on Wednesday evening, April 18, in Weld Hall, where, amid
practically all the historic records of which the young town can boast, interesting
speakers recounted the early struggles and ultimate triumphs of those master spirits
who put Fairmount on the map and builded the village on the hill.
On the morning of the 19th, at 9 o'clock, the members of the Historical Society
and Improvement Association and many citizens congregated in front of the Public
Library building for a pilgrimage to the historic places on Fairmount. This feature
of the clay was under the leadership of Ex-Selectman Frank B. Rich, whose father-
the late Henry A. Rich, was present when the first house was built and who had the
contract for painting many of the first houses. The principal address by Mr. Rich
was made on the site of the Currier house, corner Beacon street and Fairmount
avenue, the first house built in the new settlement. The party next visited all the
old houses, Mr. Rich giving a brief history of each.
In the afternoon Weld Hall was open for the reception of visitors, who wished
to meet together for " Auld Lang Syne's " sake.
In the evening there was a grand Banquet with music and many addresses, the
program of which appears on another page.
The committees having the celebration in charge were as follows : For the
Historical Society — Charles G. Chick, Charles F. Jenney, Charles L. Alden and
Frank B. Rich. For the Fairmount Improvement Association — William J.
Webber, chairman; Harold Mason, secretary; Archibald MacGregor, treasurer;
Dr. John A. Morgan, Clifford H. Bullard, Samuel E. Blanchard, Charles A. Boynton,
Arthur T. Rogers, Edwin E. Bartlett, John W. McMahon, Joseph W. Harpan, John
Appell, George H. B. Beals, Wilbur H. Powers, Edward E. Badger, Harry J. West
and the President of the Association, Lester P. Winchenbaugh, ex-officio.
Ladies' committee — Mrs. Wilbur II. Powers, chairman; Mrs. Samuel E.
Blanchard, Mrs. Archibald MacGregor, Mrs. L. P. Winchenbaugh, Mrs. Fred. L.
Johnson, Mrs. E. E. Badger, Mrs. David Higgins, Mrs. Clara Raeder, Mrs. Louise
M. Wood, Mrs. David W. Lewis, Mrs. A. E. Swallow, Mrs. C. L. Alden, Mrs. John
C. Ilurter, Mrs. George W. Hanchett, Mrs. Samuel T. Elliott, Mrs. F. W. Sawtelle,
Mrs. C. F. Spear, Mrs. C. U. Meiggs, Mrs. Annie H. Weld and Mrs. J. F. Mooar.
THE FAIRMOUNT AVENUE BRIDGE.
As the Fairmount grade crossing is now in a fair way to be abolished within a
year, a brief record of the present Fairmount avenue bridge over the Neponset river
is in order. This was the first important public work after the town was incorpo-
rated. Benjamin F. Radford, Martin L. Whitcher and William J. Stuart were the
committee on construction. The bridge was commenced in Sept., 1868, and finished
in January, 1869. In their statement of expenditures we find that $8,000 was appro-
priated. For the bridge itself, $2,799.60 was paid ; for stone and granite about
$1,300; for laying stone $1,363.37, and the balance of about $2,400 was paid for
labor and incidentals. The committee certainly did their work well, and had $21 1.04
unexpended balance of their appropriation.
30 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
THE TUCKER FARMS.
Practically all the land on Fairmount was Tucker farm land. The history of
Milton could not be honestly written without frequent mention of this family. The
original Tucker, from whom eight generations have sprung and left their impress
on Milton life and history, was Robert Tucker, who was born in 1604, in England
near a place called Milton. He sailed from Weymouth in England in 1635, and
settled in Wassagusset, and through his influence had that settlement name changed
to Weymouth in honor of the place in the old world from which he had sailed.
In Nov., 1663, he purchased three tracts of land, containing in all about 117
acres, on " Brush Hill," and was one of the original incorporators of the town of
Milton. The evidence seems to point strongly to the presumption that Robert
Tucker had much to do with naming the town " Milton," following his previous
action in the adjoining town of Weymouth by giving a name connected with his
own early life in the old world. He was the first town recorder, also selectman for
many terms, and represented the town in the General Court.
The great Blue Hill of 3,000 acres was owned by Boston in Robert Tucker's
time, and history records that in order to bring this territory into Milton four citi-
zens purchased the tract and one of these four was Manassah Tucker, son of Robert,
but by a decision of the General Court only half of the tract was made a part of
Milton, the other half going to Braintree.
Through successive generations Manassah Tucker's share of this land descended
to Ebenezer Tucker, his son, later by him to his son, William, and he afterwards
transferred it to his nephew, Ebenezer, Jr.
Thirteen deacons have been in the family since Robert's time, and a generation
of Tuckers without a pillar of the church has been a rarity.
Nathan Tucker, one of the grantors of Fairmount, died P'eb. 6, 1869, at the age
of 80 years. Timothy Tucker, the other grantor, was a Milton selectman for seven
terms, and died from an accident in 1864. His daughter, Mrs. William Oxton, still
resides in the Timothy Tucker homestead, corner of Williams avenue and Brush
Other portions of Fairmount have come from Tucker farms ; the land west of
Dana avenue coming from the Dana Tucker farm. There was in the early '50's a
heavy growth of timber along Dana avenue, and a big cornfield where Neponset
avenue now lies.
SOME OLD FAIRMOUNT HOUSES.
About six months after the houses of the Twenty Associates were completed,
six others were built from one set of plans : The Badger house now occupied by
Edward E. Badger, son of William F. Badger, who was the original builder; the
Hanaford house, where the Baptist church was organized, and now the home of
Archibald MacGregor ; the Hurter house on Water street, the home of Col. William
Rogers in the early sixties, who was a distinguished man in those days, a member
of Gov. Andrew's staff and the moderator of Hyde Park's first town meeting ; the
Putnam house, corner of Fairmount avenue and Highland street ; the Eustis house
on Warren avenue ; and the sixth one was on Beacon street near Warren avenue, of
late years owned by Henry N. Bates, and remodeled.
William A. Smith, Eben Cobb, Daniel B. Clement and Thomas Hill came to
Fairmount in 1857 and purchased lots. Mr. Smith built in 1858 the house now
occupied by his daughter, Mrs. A. M. Kendall, at No. 62 Williams avenue. Mr.
Clement built the same year what is now the Bloom house on Pond street. Mr.
Cobb built some years later the house still occupied by his family at No. 231 Fair-
mount avenue. Thomas Hill never built upon his lot but went to California where
he became very distinguished as an artist, so much so that the State of California
in recognition of his talents built him a studio in Yellowstone Park.
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN
HYDE PARK BUSINESS MEN
55 Fairmount Avenue
MEATS AND PROVISIONS
26 Fairmount Avenue
BOSTON CASH MARKET
J. H. WETHERBEE, Prop.
3 Bank Block
H. L. COOKE
MEAT AND PROVISIONS
431 Hyde Park Avenue
A. H. STROUT. Prop.
141 Fairmount Avenue
R. E. BENTLEY, Prop.
89 Fairmount Avenue
FRANK THAYER. Prop.
Ill West River Street
From the Oldest Provision Dealer in
H. S. HOLTHAM
59 Fairmount Avenue
138 Fairmount Avenue
Cor. Gordon Avenue and West
E. D. SAVAGE
HAY. GRAIN, AND GROCERIES
117=119 Fairmount Ave.
BENJAMIN E. PHILLIPS
HOUSE AND SIGN PAINTER
14 Central Ave.
3 Dell Ave.
G. W. MORSE & SON
PAINTERS AND PAPERHANGERS
34 Fairmount Avenue
D. S. KENNEDY
Fine Harness and Horse
Furnishing Goods . . .
63 West River Street
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
HYDE PARK BUSINESS MEN
1874, S. B. Balkam, Agent; 1877, S. B. Balkam
1882, S. B. Balkam Co.; 1901, Wm. H. Harlow
WILLIAM H. HARLOW
LUMBER AND COAL
Yard, Cor. Pierce and West Sts.
TILESTON CHARCOAL CO.
A. G. TILESTON. Mgr.
r^^^i ~v-*~a J Walnut Street and
Coal Yard j Har i ow - s C oal Yard
F. W. DARLING CO.
27 Beverly Street
DR. SAMUEL A. TUTTLE BOSTON
FRANKLIN C. GRAHAM
10 Harvard Avenue
A. RAYMOND, Prop.
HACK. BOARDING AND LIVERY
391 Hyde Park Avenue
PERIODICALS AND STATIONERY
BOOTS. SHOES AND RUBBERS
20 Fairmount Avenue
HYDE PARK ICE CREAM
WILLIAM K. HOWE. Mgr.
West River Street
G. MARGOLIUS <S CO.
50 Fairmount Avenue
R. J. RENTON. Prop.
101 = 121 Fairmount Avenue
WILLIAM MAHONY, Prop.
125 Fairmount Avenue
GEORGE B. DOWLEY
CLOTHING and FURNISHINGS
107-109 West River Street
IS IF -i i
THE FAIRMDUNT liULLETIN.
HYDE PARK BUSINESS MEN
"The Old Reliable"
Established in Dedham, 1813
Established in Hyde Park, 1868
A Weekly Newspaper that goes
into the homes and is loyal in
every movement for the better=
ment of the town and its inhabi-
SAMUEL R. MOSELEY
Editor and Publisher
ALBERT S. FERRY
HYDE PARK ICE COMPANY
5 Everett Square
A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER
" If it happened in Hyde Park
you will find it in the Times "
frank p. McGregor
Editor and Publisher
F. L. GEORGE
NOTARY public and justice
OF THE PEACE
Insurance and Real Estate
Telephone Wolcott Square
Hyde Park, 59 Readville
G. W. BENT & CO.
93 CAUSEWAY STREET
MAKERS OF HIGH GRADE
Brass and Iron Bedsteads
and Fine Bedding
For Sale by all First Class Dealers
of Hyde ParK
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN. 35
MANUFACTURERS OF HYDE PARK-1906
ELECTRIC LIGHT CO.
435 HYDE PARK AVE.
We will furnish TO OUR CUSTOMERS on short
notice AT WHOLESALE PRICES
ELECTRIC LAMPS OF ALL KINDS
ELECTRIC STOVES AND OVENS COMPLETE
ELECTRIC FLAT-IRONS ( only 3k per hour )
ELECTRIC COFFEE PERCOLATORS
(One quart of pure coffee in ten minutes for Jc.)
We do not have to explain the advantages of the
above over the old style COAL OR GAS STOVES,
and consider the following:
Just Press a Button, We Do the Rest
NO DANGER FROM SUFFOCATION
NO BLACK CEILINGS
NO TARNISHED SILVER
NO DANGER FROM MATCHES
NO IMPURE AIR
And most important "NO MORE EXPENSIVE."
If your house is not wired for electricity we will be pleased
to call and give you estimates on the same.
Information as to rates, etc., will be gladly given at the office,
435 Hyde Park Avenue. "Tel. 205"
36 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
MANUFACTURERS OF HYDE PARK 1906
JDcbrjom & t)yi>c Park (ftae & OH.
The Dedham Gas Light Company was established
in 1853 to supply gas to the residents of Dedham.
It started with but few miles of mains and less than
one hundred meters. The price charged was $5.00
per thousand cubic feet.
In 1868 the mains were extended to Hyde Park and
the Company reorganized under the present name.
The price then charged was $3.50 per thousand cubic
The mains have been extended from year to year
and we now have over thirty=two miles of mains,
covering all of the principal streets of both towns and
over 1600 meters.
The price of gas has been steadily lowered as fast
as the consumption would warrant and is now $1.20
per thousand cubic feet gross, with a discount for
prompt payment of from 10c to 30c per thousand cubic
f eet, making the net price 90c to $1.10, average price
$1.00, per thousand cubic feet, and is the lowest
price made by any Company in New England sup=
plying towns of equal size.
That gas is by far the cheapest and most satis=
factory light is best told by the fact that over ninety
per cent of the stores of Hyde Park and Dedham are
lit by gas and nearly as large per cent of the resi=
dences are using gas for lighting.
There are also over 1000 gas cooking ranges in
use in Our territory and we have demonstrated beyond
a doubt that gas for cooking is the cleanest, quickest
and cheapest of all fuels.
We are now showing a very extensive line of
water heaters, that heat the water for bath or house
hold use instantly and at a small consumption of gas.
We also have a large and varied line of room heaters
at from $1.00 up. Just the thing for spring and fall
Gas is a household necessity and should be in
every house. If you are not supplied, let us submit
estimates. You will be surprised at the low cost of
DEDHAM AND HYDE PARK GAS AND EL. LT. CO.
Office, 41 West River St.. Hyde Park L. B. JOHNS, Superintendent
THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
ANUFACTURERS OF HYDE PARK-19O0
38 THE FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
HYDE PARK FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 1906
HYDE PARK SAVINGS BANK
The early settlers in this neighborhood, not having the advantages of a
Savings Bank, were obliged to take their exercise by walking up Fairmount.
This was good, but walking to the Savings Bank is better, because of the added
benefit derived from having a definite object in view. To-day there are over five
thousand who do more or less walking to the Bank, and the amount to their credit
is more than $1,275,000.00. Are you among the number?
The bank has paid dividends amounting to $419,948.81 since its incorporation.
Open an account in the
HYDE PARK CO-OPERATIVE BANK
Capital May 5, 1886 . . . $314. OO
Capital March 7, 1906 . . $321,119-16
THOS. E. FAUNCE, Pres. GEORGE T. BRADY, Sec. and Treas.
" American Homes are the Safeguard of American Liberties.'''
HYDE PARK NATIONAL BANK
15 HARVARD AVENUE. HYDE PARK, MASS.
Capital, $100,000 Surplus, $4,000
FRED L. CHILDS, Pres. ARTEMAS S. RAYMOND. Vice Pres.
ARTHUR E. SMITH, Cashier
ALBERT C. CASE GEORGE P. ERHARD
President and Treasurer Vice-Pres. and Asst. -Treas
I5he Geo. W. Stafford Company
SILK AND COTTON LOOMS,
DOBBINS, WARP STOP MOTIONS
and WEAVE ROOM SUPPLIES
WORKS AT READVILLE
lill. FAIRMOUNT BULLETIN.
KENNEDYS NEW BLOCKS AND OCCUPANTS
HYDE PARK'S GREATEST
j& j& & j& &
Grew from an acorn planted in Hyde
ParK twelve years ago. Hyde ParR
and the loyalty of its citizens
KENNEDY'S CLOTHING AND
COMPLETE HOUSE FURNISHERS
465 Hyde Park Avenue
J. A. KEZER. Prop.
GROCERIES. PROVISIONS. MEATS
AND SALT FISH
ROBERT W. KARNAN
J. E. FARRELL
HARDWARE AND PAINTS
T. M. TAYLOR. Prop.
CIGARS AND TOBACCO
Kennedy's Block Telephone
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
014 078 658 5