Dyer Memorial Library

Dyer Memorial Library A Resource for Local History and Genealogy.
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Historical Society of Old Abington
05/06/2019

Historical Society of Old Abington

ENDING THE SEASON ON A HIGH NOTE- our Historical Society of Old Abington May 5th conversation with Rick Wolfe from Canada was an unqualified success. Rick make the 11 hour trek with his restored 1901 Abington-built Lamson Motorbike - it's one of a kind and priceless. A contingent of the Lamson descendants were well represented in the audience and provided a wealth of new information, so the research and discovery continues. A HUGE shout out to the Abington Senior Center for opening their doors to us. The Dyer library could not have accommodated this crowd and we enjoyed the off-street parking, handicapped access, and all the benefits of larger facility ! We'll meet soon to start planning next season's Conversations and we welcome your ideas. What aspects of local history would you like to learn about? (Watch for this conversation on local cable and on YouTube...)

Historical Society of Old Abington
04/13/2019

Historical Society of Old Abington

ALUMINUM. Who knew? Maybe that was a precious metal back in 1938 and 1939. With the North and Center school de-commissioned and their fates uncertain the Town removed the dedication plaques and asked the HSOA if we wanted them. Sure. We'll take them. If the buildings get sold/saved/reused perhaps the new owners will want them, but for now they're safe, although we haven't see the plaques from North School...... yet...

Did you slide down the Snow Mound in Rockland Plaza on February 16, 1978? (Image is from the Rockland Standard newspaper...
04/02/2019

Did you slide down the Snow Mound in Rockland Plaza on February 16, 1978? (Image is from the Rockland Standard newspaper) ---- Join us this Sunday's HSOA Conversation topic, "The Blizzard of 1978". April 7th, 2:30 pm at the Dyer Memorial Library.

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo
03/29/2019

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo

Fire at “Pierce Parsonage”, March 20, 2019The historic name of 51 Randolph St. in Abington is “Pierce Parsonage”...
03/21/2019

Fire at “Pierce Parsonage”, March 20, 2019

The historic name of 51 Randolph St. in Abington is “Pierce Parsonage” because the original owner was the Rev. Willard Pierce. Rev. Pierce was the first minister of the North Abington Congregational Society. He had been a carpenter before he entered the ministry.

Rev. Pierce purchased his 1-acre house lot in 1841, just beyond the church, and immediately built on it. In 1842, he paid taxes on the house that was valued at $500. The Greek Revival, clapboard house originally had a colonnaded porch across the front and east side.

Rev. Pierce married Eleanor W. Everett in the mid-1820s and they raised 6 children in their home. All of them went to Abington schools and graduated from college. After their children left home, Rev. and Mrs. Pierce took in boarders.

Rev. Pierce died in 26 April 1860 at the age of 70 and his wife, Eleanor, continued to take in boarders. Rev. Benjamin Dodge, who followed Rev. Pierce in the pulpit, was one of those boarders. Eleanor Pierce died 21 June 1881.

In 1981, one hundred years after Eleanor W. (Everett) Pierce’s death and when the Abington Historical Survey was completed, the following people resided at “Pierce Parsonage”: Edward F. Smith - Sales Engineer, Dorothy E. Smith - R E Manager, Nancy Machinsky – Secretary, and Tracy Machinsky – Student.

*** Crowing Rights Quiz:
What years was Town Hall located in the Congregational Church near Pierce Parsonage?
***
The Dyer Memorial Library & Archives might have the history of your house! Visit us to find out!

NERGC | New England Regional Genealogical Consortium
03/06/2019
NERGC | New England Regional Genealogical Consortium

NERGC | New England Regional Genealogical Consortium

Home Member Societies American Canadian Genealogy Society, Inc.American French Genealogical SocietyCape Cod Genealogical SocietyCentral Mass Genealogical SocietyConnecticut Ancestry SocietyConnecticut Society of GenealogistsCT Professional Genealogists CouncilDescendants of Founders of Ancient Winds...

A cross post from the Historical Society of Old Abington
02/26/2019

A cross post from the Historical Society of Old Abington

HISTORY IS BEST WHEN IT'S SHARED... I may have coined that phrase. I certainly believe it. Posting Wayne Smith's photo of the buildings at 217/219 Centre Avenue (home of the Lamson Motorcycle) before 219 was moved to 59 Park Avenue sparked a lot of memories here on facebook, but the treasure trove was when Mary Jane Balentine down in Florida shared a series of 8 photos of the house raised up on cribbing and actually being moved. Wow. Can't thank you enough for sharing!

Historical Society of Old Abington
02/21/2019

Historical Society of Old Abington

CONNECTIVITY - Wayne Smith, our guest for the March 3rd Historical Society of Old Abington conversation on Nurseries and Greenhouses (more coming on that) noticed that our May 5th conversation would be about the LAMSON MOTORCYCLE and knew that the motorcycle was produced at 217 Centre Ave (right next to the Abington T station), later the Littlefield/Wyman property. He gave us a bit of a history lesson noting that the house that stood on the lot had been moved to Park Ave and supplied a picture of it "pre-move". Sure enough, it's now located at 59 Park Avenue, and what's left of the original back building is now Martini Flooring. Who knew ? Thanks, Wayne !

NERGC - New England Regional Genealogical Conference
02/18/2019

NERGC - New England Regional Genealogical Conference

SNOW DAY! The Dyer will be closed on Tuesday,12 February 2018 due to the rotten weather. Be safe!
02/12/2019

SNOW DAY! The Dyer will be closed on Tuesday,12 February 2018 due to the rotten weather. Be safe!

NERGC - New England Regional Genealogical Conference
02/11/2019

NERGC - New England Regional Genealogical Conference

A reminder that the Early Bird registration deadline for NERGC 2019 is February 28. After that, Conference registration increases from $125 to $155. However, to avoid disappointment or frustration at the conference, don't wait until the last day of "Early Bird" to register. Due to room capacities, optional Workshops (additional cost above the Conference registration fee) have participation limits. Waiting may result in your workshop of choice not being available.

Did you know Rockland had a cricket club? The Rockland cricket grounds were located at the corner of Division and Belmon...
12/04/2018

Did you know Rockland had a cricket club? The Rockland cricket grounds were located at the corner of Division and Belmont streets. One could take an electric car from Brockton, Whitman, Abington and South Weymouth direct to the grounds. This particular Rockland Cricket Club booklet is for the 1896 season; the team played nineteen games from June to September. The club even had its own poem; the first stanza is as follows:
Hurrah! For the English ladies,
Whose favorite game is cricket;
May Rockland’s team the best one be,
And let them always get the wicket.

This booklet is just one of the many fascinating artifacts found at the Dyer Memorial Library in Abington.

Historical Society of Old Abington
11/30/2018

Historical Society of Old Abington

SAINT BRIDGET HIDDEN IMAGES - Wish that the glass negative collection had been scanned before St. B's published their 2013 150th Anniversary Book. Seems we had some stunning interior shots tucked away. Thanks to Wayne Norling they've been digitally scanned now and you can see some of them during the Historical Society's conversation with Robert Kelley Jr. on Sunday, December 2nd at 2:30 at the Dyer Memorial Library.

Altar at St. Bridget Parish, ca. 1890-1900Abington, MA
11/28/2018

Altar at St. Bridget Parish, ca. 1890-1900
Abington, MA

Historical Society of Old Abington
11/27/2018

Historical Society of Old Abington

THIS SUNDAY - our last conversation of the Fall Semester with be about the history of St. Bridget Parish with Robert J. Kelley Jr. as our guest. St. B's celebrated their 150 anniversary back in 2013. We typically have our church programs on-site, but they're busy with baptisms that afternoon so we'll meet at the Dyer Library, our usual haunts. As always the programs are free and open to all and followed by light refreshments.

The Dyer will be Closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, 22 November 2018. We'll be open on Friday, though! Are you ready for ...
11/21/2018

The Dyer will be Closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, 22 November 2018. We'll be open on Friday, though!
Are you ready for Thanksgiving?
In 1916, Norcross & Colburn on Union St. in Rockland had everything you needed to set a nice table.

The Dyer Memorial Library is CLOSED this Saturday, Nov. 10th in honor of Veterans Day.This Veterans Day marks the 100th ...
11/08/2018

The Dyer Memorial Library is CLOSED this Saturday, Nov. 10th in honor of Veterans Day.
This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I. The Dyer is fortunate to have Abington and Rockland WW I enlistment records for those who served in its collections. We also have panorama photos of the WW I Veterans taken at the "Welcome Home" events held by the towns. Was one of your family members a WW I veteran? Drop by the Dyer and we can help you find out. George P. Manley and Mildred Shanahan both served in WW I. Learn more about George and Mildred by clicking on the pictures.

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo
11/08/2018

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo

Historical Society of Old Abington
11/06/2018

Historical Society of Old Abington

CHAIRS, CHAIRS, CHAIRS! We seem to be on a roll when it comes to acquiring chairs this year. We were just given a porch rocker custom built for the famed late pugilist JOHN L. SULLIVAN about 1912. It was featured in Sharon Orcutt Peter's 2002 book "Images of America: Abington". The chair was acquired by the late Robyn Fernald, long-time chair of the Abington Historic Commission and donated by her daughter Kelsey Shaw.

Recently the Dyer Memorial Library was given the 1901 Wedding Chair of Grace and Ronald MacDonald (no not THE Ronald McDonald, and there are no floppy red clown shoes to go with it.)

Earlier this year the Congregational Library in Boston donated a chair to the HSOA that belonged to Abington's first minister Sam Brown, c. 1712 and we recently learned that another Sam Brown chair is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in NYC.

The Dyer Memorial Library was thrilled to receive the gift of a tall case clock from Susan Macdonald Baskin & James Bask...
11/01/2018

The Dyer Memorial Library was thrilled to receive the gift of a tall case clock from Susan Macdonald Baskin & James Baskin.

Susan is a descendant of Joseph Cleverly of Abington (b.1797, d.1888). This clock has been passed down through generations of Cleverly, Dyer and Macdonald families and has now returned home to Abington.

The Cleverly Clock was made by John Bailey of Hanover, known as one of the best 18th C clockmakers in MA. Bailey founded a clockmaking dynasty that flourished well into the 19th C. The Cleverly Clock lives in the Marietta Room at the Dyer.

We also received one of Grace Dyer & Ronald Macdonald's Wedding Chairs that happened on June 27, 1901 in Abington. Grace Dyer was Susan Macdonald's grandmother.

We wish to thank Richard Hills of Hills Antique Clock Shop for moving and installing the Cleverly Clock at the Dyer.

Don't miss the HSOA Conversation this Sunday, Nov. 4th, at the Dyer! Learn the behind the scenes information about the m...
10/31/2018

Don't miss the HSOA Conversation this Sunday, Nov. 4th, at the Dyer! Learn the behind the scenes information about the making of the documentary film, "21 Years - A Folded Flag".
Richard Fitts, one of Abington's finest, grew up in Abington and was MIA and killed in Laos in 1968. The film is about his family's devotion to finding his remains. This is a FREE program.

The work of Minister/Architect Edward Lawrence Hyde was featured in December of 2017 in an HSOA Conversation at the Whit...
10/28/2018

The work of Minister/Architect Edward Lawrence Hyde was featured in December of 2017 in an HSOA Conversation at the Whitman United Methodist Church. Architect/Historian Doug Ulwick has just discovered another church apparently by Hyde in Hull, MA that appears to have be cloned from the former Whitman church.

THE MATCH GAME - The architectural historian in me got REALLY excited yesterday when I saw a picture of the Saint Nicholas United Methodist Church in Hull and realized it was a twin to the old South Abington (Whitman) Methodist Church (now demolished) designed by Reverend Edward Lawrence Hyde in 1874-76 when he was assigned to the newly formed church. I've studied Hydes work on the South Shore and on the Vineyard and lectured on it. I had never previously read about the Hull church, but it's pretty clearly from the same set of plans. I've written to the folks in Hull to learn more.

ABINGTON IN THE NYC MUSEUM SCENE - United Church of Christ Historian Bob Vaillencourt shared with a us a letter from the...
10/28/2018

ABINGTON IN THE NYC MUSEUM SCENE - United Church of Christ Historian Bob Vaillencourt shared with a us a letter from the late Town Historian Martha Campbell to Phyllis Wheatley written in 1961 about a chair belonging to Abington first minister, Sam Brown, that was in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. Just checked their website. They've still got it. They acquired it in 1909. We're aware of a couple of Sam Brown Chairs kicking around (the HSOA just picked one up from the Congregational Library in Boston earlier this year) but none of them look like this.

THE STORY BEHIND THE MAKING OF THE DOCUMENTARY, "21 Years- A Folded Flag" will be shared by Rudy Childs and Richard A. F...
10/27/2018

THE STORY BEHIND THE MAKING OF THE DOCUMENTARY, "21 Years- A Folded Flag" will be shared by Rudy Childs and Richard A. Fitts Jr. in a conversation with The Historical Society of Old Abington on Sunday, November 4th at 2:30 at the DYER MEMORIAL LIBRARY on Centre Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will follow. (The 90 minute Documentary will be aired at the Abington Public Library on Saturday, November 10th at 2:00)

VOLUNTEERS WITH STRONG BACKS NEEDED - at 1:00 on this Friday, October 26th, we need help moving boxes of books from the ...
10/23/2018

VOLUNTEERS WITH STRONG BACKS NEEDED - at 1:00 on this Friday, October 26th, we need help moving boxes of books from the first floor out to a truck where a book seller will take them away. Might take about 30 minutes at most. Can you lend a hand? Please leave word at the Dyer Library by phone (781) 878-8480. Thanks in advance!

Historical Society of Old Abington
10/13/2018

Historical Society of Old Abington

WE'VE GOT NEAT STUFF - The Dyer Memorial Library will be open on Saturday October 13th from 1:00-3:00 as part of Oktoberfest. Special displays have been assembled on a wide variety of local history topics. Stop in - it's FREE ! (we have a pair of John L. Sullivan's boxing gloves - I think in fact we have two....)

This "Old Abington" House206 Adams Street, AbingtonGeorge Cleverly was the original owner of the home on Adams Street. T...
10/07/2018

This "Old Abington" House
206 Adams Street, Abington
George Cleverly was the original owner of the home on Adams Street. The structure has always been used as a residence and was part of a group of homes known as “Palace Row”. Mr. Cleverly was the son of Joseph Cleverly (78 Adams St.), a shoe manufacturer. George contracted with architect Samuel N. Turner of Hannover to erect this new house in 1883. Part of George Cleverley’s lot was sold to William Lyon (188 Adams Street). George Cleverly was a grocer and later became an insurance agent.
The house may be referred to as Queen Anne-Greek Revival. It has a portico shed-roof bay window on the ground floor and a two-story half hexagonal bay window on the south end. Some of the clapboard still shows the two shapes of shingles on the barn gable, with semi-stick style of décor in the peak.

KICKING OFF OUR SEASON - Sunday, October 7th at 2:30 at the Dyer Memorial Library, Les Molyneaux will talk about "Thomas...
10/01/2018

KICKING OFF OUR SEASON - Sunday, October 7th at 2:30 at the Dyer Memorial Library, Les Molyneaux will talk about "Thomas Drew's South Shore". The HSOA Conversations are free and followed by light refreshments.

"Thomas Drew (1845–1913) was a country storekeeper in the town of Hanover, Massachusetts, with a fascinating photography avocation. While he used his camera skills to create postcards and souvenir china of local scenes to sell in his South Hanover store, he also found time to preserve the images of family, friends, and South Shore landmarks on his glass-plate negatives. Drew's adult life was spent in a home on the banks of the Indian Head River in Hanover, almost across from his general store. His darkroom was his kitchen; his portrait studio, a burlap tarp hung outside. In his free time, he traveled the South Shore capturing scenes of interest to him, among them the shipwreck of the Helena in Scituate, the Stetson Shrine in Norwell, Hira “Bill” Bates's gunning stand on Oldham Pond in Pembroke, the Phillips beach cottage at Brant Rock, and his father's general store at Harding's Corner in Hanson."

Accomplished (Old) AbingtoniansColonel Joseph Murphy (1899-1986) grew up in Abington, graduating from Abington High in 1...
09/20/2018

Accomplished (Old) Abingtonians
Colonel Joseph Murphy (1899-1986) grew up in Abington, graduating from Abington High in 1916. Murphy went on to graduate from Bridgewater Normal School with a teaching degree in 1919. He received his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1926, staying on as an administrator at the university. Among other jobs, Colonel Murphy taught at Bridgewater State College, West Bridgewater High School, Hunter College, Abington High, and in European schools during summers. While teaching at AHS, Colonel Murphy founded the literary magazine ABHIS (many editions may currently be found at the Dyer). He served as Director of Public Relations at Catholic University in D.C. from 1931 to 1941.
In 1942, Colonel Murphy was made a captain in the Army Air Corps, serving in Italy as an educational officer responsible for all schools on US military bases south of Rome. Upon returning to the states, Colonel Murphy organized and directed the Southeastern Massachusetts League of School Publications and later the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association, where he remained as a consultant until 1979.
In 1951, Colonel Murphy was called from retirement to serve as the executive director of the Air Force ROTC in Washington, D. C. Colonel Murphy was also part of a group of Army Air Corps officers that planned the US Air Force Academy.
Colonel Murphy received numerous awards as a result of his many accomplishments including: the Papal Cross, honorary degrees from universities in Vienna, director emeritus americanus from Columbia University, and election to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame of Journalism.
Colonel Murphy also served as a trustee of the Dyer Memorial Library.

Address

28 Centre Ave
Abington, MA
02351

General information

Located in Abington, MA, the Dyer Memorial Library is a resource for local history and genealogy. Tue, 1-5 pm Wed, 1-5 pm Thur, 1-5 pm Fri, 1-5 pm

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 13:00 - 17:00
Thursday 13:00 - 17:00
Friday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(781) 878-8480

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