Dyer Memorial Library

Dyer Memorial Library A Resource for Local History and Genealogy.
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1921
06/12/2020

1921

The Dyer remains closed to the public at this time for the health and safety of our staff and community.  BUT WE ARE AVA...
06/11/2020

The Dyer remains closed to the public at this time for the health and safety of our staff and community. BUT WE ARE AVAILABLE FOR REMOTE ASSISTANCE! If you need our help, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (781) 878-8480.

In 1958, Colonel Joseph Murphy, Abington teacher, WW II veteran, and Dyer Library trustee among many other accomplishmen...
06/06/2020

In 1958, Colonel Joseph Murphy, Abington teacher, WW II veteran, and Dyer Library trustee among many other accomplishments, met Yoshiharu Fujisawa. Colonel Murphy was in Japan to deliver speeches and lectures on school press and journalism. Yoshiharu was his student interpreter. Colonel Murphy was so impressed with his new, young friend that he offered Yoshiharu a work scholarship for four years at Columbia College. Japan was still recovering form the devastating effects of WW II and Yoshiharu’s family could never have afforded to send Yoshiharu to an American university. Yoshiharu attended Columbia from 1959, graduating in 1963 and worked for Colonel Murphy while attending classes. Yoshiharu returned to Japan and eventually became the owner of four companies with annual sales of $200 million and 300 employees as of 1997. That year Yoshiharu wrote to the Dyer Library & Archives expressing his gratitude to Colonel Murphy for helping to make him “what I am today”. Yoshiharu made a contribution to the Dyer in Colonel Murphy’s name and his daughter made the trip to Abington to pay the family’s respects to Colonel Murphy by visiting his grave. You never know how far your influence goes!

Whitman,1957
06/03/2020

Whitman,1957

A station to station call in 1924 connected you to a certain telephone station outside your local area where you were wi...
06/03/2020

A station to station call in 1924 connected you to a certain telephone station outside your local area where you were willing to talk to anyone who answered that phone. These were toll calls that cost money - $.030 for a call from Plymouth to Boston. Person to person calls were more expensive as they required greater operator labor. Local calls were free. To call the E P Reed Lumber Company in North Abington in 1924, just dial 236.

:: Lorenzo Davis  – Civil War – MEMORIAL DAY ::Pvt., Co. I, 2nd Regt. Massachusetts Infantry b. 1820 - d. 3 May 1863POW,...
05/25/2020

:: Lorenzo Davis – Civil War – MEMORIAL DAY ::
Pvt., Co. I, 2nd Regt. Massachusetts Infantry
b. 1820 - d. 3 May 1863
POW, Winchester, VA, 25 May 1862 – Prisoner Exchange at Aiken’s Landing, VA on 13 Sep 1862
d. 3 May 1863, KIA at Chancellorsville, VA

Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.

Lorenzo Davis worked as a mason in East Abington, (Rockland, MA). Pvt. Davis enlisted into Capt. Underwood’s Co. I, 2nd Regt. Mass. Infantry on 25 May 1861.

The First Battle of Winchester.
25 May 1862 at the First Battle of Winchester, Pvt. Davis and ninety-one other soldiers from the Mass. 2nd Infantry were taken prisoner. His muster roll says he, “wandered in action.”

The First Battle of Winchester was a major victory in Confederate Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson's Valley Campaign, both tactically and strategically. The Union plans for the Peninsula Campaign, an offensive against Richmond, were disrupted by Jackson's audacity, and thousands of Union reinforcements were diverted to the Valley and the defense of Washington, D.C. Gen. Jackson’s victory solidified his reputation as the Confederacy's first hero. The town of Winchester was the most contested town in the Confederacy during the American Civil War (1861–1865), changing hands more than seventy times.

13 Sep 1862, Pvt. Davis was part of the prisoner exchange at Aiken’s Landing, VA and was returned to Co. I., 2nd Regt. Mass. Infantry.

The Battle of Chancellorsville, VA., April 30 – May 6, 1863.
30,764 casualties made Chancellorsville the bloodiest battle in American history—briefly. Nearly two-thirds of the battle’s casualties occurred on a single day—May 3, which produced more dead and wounded than the entire First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas). When the war ended in 1865, Chancellorsville ranked as the fourth deadliest clash of the Civil War, surpassed only by the battles at Gettysburg, Chickamauga and Spotsylvania Court House.

3 May 1863, Pvt. Lorenzo Davis was one of the 30,764 men killed in that battle.

Ultimately, while Chancellorsville was a huge Confederate victory, it is best remembered today as the battle in which Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson fell mortally wounded. Jackson's death was a stunning loss for the Confederacy that was felt for the remainder of the war.

:: John F. Steingardt  – Civil War – MEMORIAL DAY ::Corp.; Promoted 10 March 1863 to Sergeant, Co. C, 38th Infantry b. 1...
05/24/2020

:: John F. Steingardt – Civil War – MEMORIAL DAY ::
Corp.; Promoted 10 March 1863 to Sergeant, Co. C, 38th Infantry
b. 16 Aug 1829 - d. 2 Sep 1863
Died of disease at Regimental Hospital in Baton Rouge

Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.

John F. Steingardt worked as a shoemaker in an Abington factory before enlisting with his brother, Pvt. Joseph A. Steingardt. The brothers served together in Co. C, 38th Infantry under the command of Lt. George N. Bennett.

John F. Steingardt fought at the Battle of Fort Bisland in southern Louisiana on 12-13 April, 1863.

The Siege of Port Hudson.
From May 22, 1863 – July 9, 1863 Sgt. Steingardt fought at the Siege of Port Hudson, a Confederate fort located at a hairpin bend in the Mississippi River 30 miles north of Baton Rouge, LA. Controlling the Mississippi River was a part of both the Union and Confederate Army’s strategy. The Confederacy wanted to keep using the river to transport needed supplies; the Union wanted to stop this supply route and drive a wedge that would divide Confederate states and territories. The hills and ridges around Port Hudson represented extremely rough terrain, a maze of deep, thickly forested ravines, swamps, and cane brakes that also created a natural fortress.

The siege created hardships and deprivations for both the North and South, but by early July the Confederates were in much worse shape. They had exhausted practically all of their food supplies and ammunition, and fighting and disease had greatly reduced the number of men able to defend the trenches. Maj. Gen. Gardner negotiated the terms of surrender and on July 9, 1863 and the Confederates laid down their weapons, ending 48 days of continuous fighting. The Siege of Port Hudson had been the longest siege in US military history.

On 25 June 1863, John Steingardt was put on the “Disabled List”, but that was amended to “died of disease”. Lt. George N. Bennett, his C.O., wrote the following in Steingardt’s Disabled Report:

“… around 30 July 1863 -- During the siege of Port Hudson he was exposed most of the time and had the Diarhea [sic] which afterwards assumed the chronic form. He died in Regimental Hospital in Baton Rouge, La on the 2nd day of September 1863 from the effects of it.”

John F. Steingardt’s personal effects were delivered to his brother, Pvt. Joseph A. Steingardt, who had been discharged from the Army only eleven days earlier (22 Aug 1863) due to disability.

Bertha K. (Parker) Steingardt, John F. Steingardt’s widow, received a “Widow’s Pension” for her husband’s war service of $8.00 per month.

South Abington, now the Town of Whitman, MA, memorialized John F. Steingardt in the Memorial Day article, “South Abington: The Soldier Dead” printed in the Plymouth County Courier newspaper, May 29, 1885.

:: George W. Folsom – Civil War – MEMORIAL DAY ::Private, Co. E, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artilleryb. 1840 - d. 22 Sep 18...
05/23/2020

:: George W. Folsom – Civil War – MEMORIAL DAY ::
Private, Co. E, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery
b. 1840 - d. 22 Sep 1864
POW Florence Stockade, Florence, SC
Burial: Florence National Cemetery, Florence County, SC, Memorial #: 200477406 findagrave.com

Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.

George W. Folsom – Civil War Soldier Private, Co. E, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. The son of Hiram and Susan (Curtis) Folsom, George was either attending or graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in 1859. Standing 5 ft. 5 in. tall and featuring a light complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair, George was a 22-year-old Abington, MA Mechanic when he enlisted at Boston on August 6, 1862 and was mustered that same day as a Private in Co. E of the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

Of note is the fact that at various times he owed the Company’s Sutler $8.00 in Nov. 1862 and $4.00 in Jul. 1863, or more than one-half and one-third of his pay respectively.
Taken as a prisoner at Petersburg, VA on Jun. 22, 1864 and sent to Lynchburg, VA on Jun. 29th, he was subsequently transferred to the Confederate stockade at Florence, S.C. where he died of disease on Sep. 22, 1864 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the prison cemetery.

Dec. 19, 1864 letter sent by George Folsom’s mother Susan to Massachusetts Gov. John Andrew, unaware that her son was already dead (Service record of George W. Folsom, National Archives, Washington, DC)

“Abington [MA] Dec. 19 /64
Gov. Andrew
Sir, Knowing of the interest, and kind care, you have ever taken of the Mass. Soldiers, a suffering Mother would plead for her only child, George W. Folsom, of Company E, 1st Mass. Heavy Artillery, who has been a prisoner since June 22 [1864]. His time expired the 5 of July. I have waited, Oh! so patiently to see his name among the paroled and exchanged; and am always disappointed. All have returned but my precious child. I was told yesterday, by one of his company who reached his home Saturday night, that about two months since he was sent with others to Florence or Columbia [S.C.]. After having served his time faithfully and well, must he starve and die in a rebel prison? Gov. Andrew give me back my boy, and the blessings of heaven ever rest on you and yours.
Very respectfully,
Susan H. Folsom”

Dec. 24, 1864 reply by the War Dept.
“It is impossible, at the present time to recommend special exchanges, except upon public reasons. Appd the Sec. of War,
E.A. Hitchcock”

The Dyer Memorial Library & Archives is always happy to receive donations of Abington/Rockland/Whitman memorabilia. Rece...
05/19/2020

The Dyer Memorial Library & Archives is always happy to receive donations of Abington/Rockland/Whitman memorabilia. Recently Shawn Reilly donated several items. Shown here is the 1993 commemorative t-shirt of the great Abington earthquake. Do you remember where you were?

Thanks to Diane Gillis for donating two 2005 AHS Football Superbowl posters to the Dyer. The Dyer is all about Abington,...
05/04/2020

Thanks to Diane Gillis for donating two 2005 AHS Football Superbowl posters to the Dyer. The Dyer is all about Abington, Rockland, and Whitman history - even recent history. The posters are great additions to our sports artifacts.

05/03/2020
Historical Society of Old Abington

Historical Society of Old Abington

JUST IN CASE there was any doubt, the Historical Society of Old Abington's visit to the Rockland GAR Hall on Sunday, May 3rd has been cancelled. We are attempting to reschedule it for Sunday, November 1st 2020. Stay healthy everyone !

A local family from days gone by. Charles W. Torrey (1831-1899) seated with his wife  Emma J.(Poole), and some of his ch...
04/30/2020

A local family from days gone by. Charles W. Torrey (1831-1899) seated with his wife Emma J.(Poole), and some of his children. You might recognize his home on the corner of Vernon and Union Street? ( now the Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home). A respected and successful businessman who sat on the Board of Trustees for Rockland Savings Bank. He also owned a Shoe Factory that was just behind his house. He later closed it and went into real estate. Perhaps you might not recognize his face, but perhaps the names? His daughter Nettie married Amos Phelps Insurance man - still in business today. His daughter Alice (standing in the photo), married James A. Tirrell, a local Attorney and State Politician. His son Harry S. Torrey, a town Selectman who lived on School Street, ran a local hardware store. A well known family from days gone by.

These are from the 1920s. I hope you can read them .I had to cut and paste the old fashion way.
04/29/2020

These are from the 1920s. I hope you can read them .I had to cut and paste the old fashion way.

In 1918-1919, the flu affected life in ways similar to today's COVID-19. Here are some headlines from the "Rockland Stan...
04/22/2020

In 1918-1919, the flu affected life in ways similar to today's COVID-19. Here are some headlines from the "Rockland Standard" about the flu's impact on local schools/towns.
This excerpt from the 1918 Abington Town Report relates the impact on Abington schools - from the Report of the Schools..."The year 1918 has been an eventful year in many respects. Not only has the great world's war in which we took so important a place disturbed the life of our schools, but the great unrest that prevails in our nation even today, supplemented by almost eleven weeks' closing of schools on account of the dreaded influenza, greatly contributed to undermine the usual good work carried on in our school department..."

Thanks to Carrie Bates the Dyer Memorial Library & Archives has some wonderful new additions to its Abington High School...
04/19/2020

Thanks to Carrie Bates the Dyer Memorial Library & Archives has some wonderful new additions to its Abington High School sports collection. Carrie's husband, Gordon, was a star athlete at AHS and is a member of the AHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Check out these sports programs from the 1940's and 1950's. Thanks, Carrie!

We are closed in accordance with the state order for non-essential businesses during this pandemic.  We plan to re-open ...
03/24/2020

We are closed in accordance with the state order for non-essential businesses during this pandemic. We plan to re-open on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

03/17/2020
03/16/2020
Historical Society of Old Abington

Historical Society of Old Abington

CONVERSATION CANCELLED - The Sunday April 5th Conversation on "The Business of Dying" (chatting with funeral directors from Quealy's , Magoun-Biggins' and MacKinnon's) has been cancelled in light of the pandemic. We will attempt to reschedule for Sunday, October 4th as the opening program for our 2020/2021 season. We are still planning on our Sunday May 3rd field trip to the GAR Hall in Rockland. Please stay tuned. Stay home. Wash your hands. Take your temperature....

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo
03/16/2020

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo

UPDATE 3/16/20: We will be closed to WALK-IN visitors during our normal business hours.  You can still visit BY APPOINTM...
03/13/2020

UPDATE 3/16/20: We will be closed to WALK-IN visitors during our normal business hours. You can still visit BY APPOINTMENT to do on-site research or view the exhibit (self-guided). Call or e-mail us to make an appointment.

The Dyer Memorial Library & Archives is closed to the public starting Friday, March 13, 2020 until further notice. We want you to know, first and foremost, that we sincerely hope that you are staying safe and healthy.

We will continue to answer your Abington, Rockland, and Whitman, MA genealogy and local history questions by *email* as quickly as we can. Thanks for your understanding and your patience.

Email us at: [email protected]

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo
03/13/2020

Dyer Memorial Library's cover photo

Historical Society of Old Abington
03/08/2020

Historical Society of Old Abington

DINE OUT TONIGHT ~ SUPPORT A NEW HISTORY PROJECT ... Aaron Christian's new Venturing BSA Summit Award Project involves installing historic markers at selected Abington buildings and homes. Join us for an inexpensive pasta dinner at the American Legion Hall on Washington Street will help make this a reality !

Historical Society of Old Abington
03/01/2020

Historical Society of Old Abington

The good folks at the Dyer Memorial Library and Archives have mounted a display in the Sam Dyer Room of Abington firefighting artifacts and documents in conjunction with the March 1st HSOA Conversation about Fires and Firefighting in the Old Town. C'mon in and have a look !

Historical Society of Old Abington
03/01/2020

Historical Society of Old Abington

THE GREAT ROCKLAND FIRE OF JULY 1890 will be one of the topics for the Historical Society of Old Abington's March 1st Conversation. Join us at the Dyer Library at 2:30. The Program is free and open to the public.

Historical Society of Old Abington
02/27/2020

Historical Society of Old Abington

SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY - The Historical Society of Old Abington starts up the Spring Semester of "Conversations". The topic is "Fires and Firefighting in the Old Town". Our guests are AFD chief John Nuttall and deputy chief Ron Howe. The folks at the Dyer Memorial Library and Archive have assembled a companion exhibit in the Sam Dyer Room. Join us at 2:30 for the free conversation and stay after for light refreshments. We're encouraging folks with mobility issues to use our side door - there's only one step!

The latest acquisitions to the Dyer! Our 12th & 13th donated items for 2020. The 12th item is a photo of M. N. Arnold Sh...
02/11/2020

The latest acquisitions to the Dyer! Our 12th & 13th donated items for 2020. The 12th item is a photo of M. N. Arnold Shoe Company outing on August 17th 1929 at Paragon Park, Nantasket. This photo was found while antiquing in Townsend, MA. The 13th item is a collection of Old Town Football programs, newspaper clippings, photos, and member lists. Gems like these are always welcomed donations to the Dyer.

The DML&A wishes everyone a Happy Valentine's Day --- a little bit early!❤️ Loving Greeting: My love and heart are yours...
02/05/2020

The DML&A wishes everyone a Happy Valentine's Day --- a little bit early!
❤️ Loving Greeting:
My love and heart are yours in every place
May Good Luck towards you never change its face ❤️

Address

28 Centre Ave
Abington, MA
02351

General information

Located in Abington, MA, the Dyer Memorial Library & Archives 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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Comments

Does anyone have any information on an auto repair shop "Westy's" which was run by two brothers, Clyde West and Harold West? Here is a photo of a plaque to jar your memories!! Small sign on right notes Sunoco gas sold there. Any help appreciated, including dating cars pictured. There were my great-uncles; my mom grew up in the same home with them and the automobile repair and restoration bug continues through the generations....thank you!
Another local resident.....
The Abington High School 1956 Yearbook may have a typo.The Abington vs Plymouth game may have been played on October 20th, not on October 7th.October 7th was a Sunday and Abington High had played on October 6.
The Dyer's third accession of 2020! Rockland's Centennial - 1974
Abington Celebrates! at the Dyer this Saturday! Visit us and find out about Priscilla Tisdale, the Adams Street School and Principal, Charles F. Frahar! We will also have some nifty items for sale!
Do you have any information on the Anti Slavery society of Abington or the activities held at the grove? I found this gem and would love to explore it more. Sojourner Truth came to Abington! I also would love to pin point the year. Thanking you in advance. https://archive.org/details/narrativeofsojou7231gilb
Jenifer Armstrong Zinck is a professional genealogist with more than a decade of research experience. She frequently speaks and presents workshops on topics including beginner and intermediate genealogy, online resources, genetic genealogy, and technology for genealogy. Jennifer is a graduate of the Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program, CAFG Forensic Genealogy Institute, ProGen 13, SLIG, and IGHR. She is currently instructing the Forensic Genealogy module for the Genealogical Research Certificate Program.
Do your research methodology skills need a tune up? Register today for this all-day seminar with Dr. Thomas Jones. Breaking down brick walls are his specialty! http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eeuwukp64e836282&llr=sdcbuz8ab
MGC WILL HELP YOU MEET YOUR GENEALOGY GOALS FOR 2018. Register today for our 2018 Seminar ~ featuring a DNA track with Jennifer Zinck, an all-day track with Dr. Thomas Jones, and a variety of other talks. http://www.massgencouncil.org/2017/2018-seminar/