The Berkley Historical Society

The Berkley Historical Society The Berkley Historical Society works to preserve the unique history of Berkley, Massachusetts.
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Preserving and Sharing the history of Berkley, Massachusetts.

Monday Moments from the Museum.......Hello!  We sure do miss seeing you at the BHS Museum on Tuesday during the turbulen...
03/30/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum.......

Hello! We sure do miss seeing you at the BHS Museum on Tuesday during the turbulent times of the pandemic. We hope you are all well and making the best of the situation. Thankfully we can still touch base via FB!

Another Blast from the Past class photo for your viewing pleasure. This is a Berkley Junior High School class at the old brick building that started as a school and then was repurposed as the Town Offices building. The building was demolished to make way for the new Town Hall and COA.
Who do you recognize in this photo of 1968-1969? The photo came to the BHS courtesy of Mr. Ernie Cardoza himself. 😊 Everyone is so somber! Did the photographer forget to ask, "Say Cheese" ?

Monday Moments from the Museum......We hope all our faithful followers are well and coping with social distancing. The M...
03/23/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum......

We hope all our faithful followers are well and coping with social distancing. The Museum will remain closed until further notice as we want to be compliant with directives of the State. However, we can still offer you a look at Berkley history via FB.

Today's feature on MMM is this lovely couple Frank and Lora Kostka. Quietly and methodically they have been uncovering a long forgotten and little known feature of the Dighton Rock State Park in Berkley. About 1 month ago they ventured on a walk through the Park for the first time and were intrigued by the terrace work they found near the Blue Trail. Frank, a Taunton native, is a retired civil engineer who worked for 30 years at the United States Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, MA . He has passion for nature and history. Over the course of the past several weeks, Frank and Lora are uncovering the terracing and finding clues to the activities that took place there when the area wasn't DRSP but rather a community of cottages alongside the Taunton River.
Stroll through the pictures below to see the before and after of the work they have done. There are several pictures but really......we all have time to look, right?

If anyone has information or stories told to them by family or neighbors of the cottage community that was here, we would love to have you share them as there is very little information at the BHSM. Thanks in advance to all .....enjoy the pictures.....and be safe by staying home!

PS: Frank has permission from the DRSP Rangers to do this work. He is not being paid....it is his hobby.

03/16/2020

Due to the current health crisis the BHS Museum will be closed indefintely. Qrtly mtg on 3/21 is cancelled . Ck email for news.

Monday Moments from the Museum.....January 15 thru May 1 is the burning season to rid your yards of fallen tree limbs, b...
03/16/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum.....

January 15 thru May 1 is the burning season to rid your yards of fallen tree limbs, brush, and agricultural clearing. It is necessary to obtain a permit from the Fire Department and the fee is $20. Below is the permit form used back in the day over 30 years ago. The old format does not have a number as is required today. And it is unclear if a fee was paid in order to have an open fire. Also, the permit was good for only 2 days. Do you have memories of spring brush burning? Share with us if you do.

Monday Moments from the Museum.......1973 Berkley Junior High Class 8AThe Museum is OPEN tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10 fro...
03/10/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum.......

1973 Berkley Junior High Class 8A

The Museum is OPEN tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10 from 10 am to 1 pm.....come visit and walk down memory lane as you see Berkley History on display. If you are new to town there is no better way to get acquainted with Berkley's beginnings and growth through the years. Admission is FREE and so is the coffee, tea and tasty treats. 😊

Monday Moments from the Museum....This is a postcard of the view of the Berkley shore on Assonet Neck from the Dighton R...
03/02/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum....

This is a postcard of the view of the Berkley shore on Assonet Neck from the Dighton Rock Park Resort on the Dighton shore. You can see the top of Whale Rock in the middle of the Taunton River which indicates the photo was taken at high tide.
The small boat on the right side of photo is bringing Park guests back from an excursion to the Berkley shore. Postcard Photo courtesy of Scott Carter.

The 2nd picture is included to give you a reference as to where the postcard photo was taken from; approximately where the green dot is. This amusement park existed between 1896-1921.

If you would like to learn more about the Park and see photos from its heyday , come to the Berkley Historical Society Museum tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3 between 10am and 1 pm and we would be glad to share them with you.

Simple, vintage games that kept children occupied for hours.  Which one was your favorite?
02/28/2020
8 Classic Playground Games That Remind Us Of Childhood

Simple, vintage games that kept children occupied for hours. Which one was your favorite?

We just can't help but notice how kids these days won't get to play some of the most fun games from when we were kids.

If anyone is not familiar with the impact Katherine Johnson had on the fledgling US space program, watch the movie Hidde...
02/26/2020

If anyone is not familiar with the impact Katherine Johnson had on the fledgling US space program, watch the movie Hidden Figures. You will be scratching your head asking why this important part of history wasn't taught in school.

Monday Moments from the Museum.............Are you ready for another group photo?   This is apparently the 1971 BJH Base...
02/25/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum.............

Are you ready for another group photo? This is apparently the 1971 BJH Baseball Team. Or perhaps it is 2 teams because there are two different uniforms. Who can help out with more info on this team? Was 1971 a winning season? Who were the coaches?

The Berkley Historical Society Museum will be open Tuesday, February 25 from 10 am to 1 pm. Come visit us! The admission is free and we have coffee or tea for you. Maybe even some muffins......☺️ You will be surprised at the wonderful collection of Berkley history and memorabilia.

Monday Moments from the Museum......Another Blast from the Past...this time 1964 8th grade class at the Berkley Junior H...
02/17/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum......

Another Blast from the Past...this time 1964 8th grade class at the Berkley Junior High. This is a big class..28 students!
The BJH used to stand where the current Town Hall is now. To help identify each student, the backside of the photo is posted also. Click on each picture to enlarge.

Interestingly, the popular style of then is now "in" today.....count how many students are wearing plaid!

Monday Moments from the Museum......Berkley Junior High School 1970-71.  This is Class 7A. Were you in this class?  Come...
02/11/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum......

Berkley Junior High School 1970-71. This is Class 7A.
Were you in this class?

Come to the Museum tomorrow between 10am and 1 pm. It might be wet and blustry outside tomorrow but in the museum it will be warm and friendly. Come visit! You will be happy you did. 2 No. Main St. Berkley across from the Safety Building.

Monday Moments from the Museum......This photo came from the Berkley Rose Family to the museum  from Janice Rose.  It is...
02/04/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum......

This photo came from the Berkley Rose Family to the museum from Janice Rose. It is a quaint memory of family relationships. We are hoping someone may be able to identify the children in the buckboard and where the picture was taken. In the back ground there is a gas station apparently because the pegasus horse of the Magnolia Petroleum Co. back in the 1930s can be seen. Who can help solve this mystery?

01/28/2020

Tuesday > The day to visit the Berkley Museum 10-1
2 No Main St
So much to see!

Monday Moments from the Museum....Here is a fun blast from the past.  At Myricks Field.  This team was the Little League...
01/27/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum....

Here is a fun blast from the past. At Myricks Field. This team was the Little League Champions of 1955. The copy of the photo came to us badly damaged but it still a treasure because of the memories it represents. We contacted one of the players, Orin Holmes, to confirm that it was taken at Myricks Field and Orin shared this story about the team:

"We were undefeated at midseason, and the good folk of Myricks were miffed because of the fact that most of their players were on the bench. They split the team, and started their own Myricks squad. Because of the split, we lost our Myricks catcher, Eddie Stone, and Eddie Sylvester, a pitcher with a blazing fastball. I think the only game we lost was to Eddie Sylvester. But, we had Stewart White, who was a left-handed pitcher with a curve, and we easily won the championship. Bunch of country kids that played ball at every recess and all summer long. Buster Ashley played 2nd base and hit a ton of home runs, as did George Tabor, Ralph Barboza and Whitey.
By the way...back then the Myricks field was horrid....I think there were woodchuck holes in right field"

Click on the picture to enlarge and you can see the boys faces clearer. Someone wrote a number on each kid and then their name is at the bottom. Enjoy!

Berkley Cultural Council
01/26/2020

Berkley Cultural Council

Congratulations to all the 2020 Grant Recipients! Here is the schedule of events for the year. Click on the picture to enlarge and print to save. Check back here for actual dates of events coming up.

Monday Moments from the Museum..............Fifty-six years ago this month this classroom photo was taken.  Were you in ...
01/20/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum..............

Fifty-six years ago this month this classroom photo was taken. Were you in the 2nd grade then at Berkley Elementary School?

Come visit the Berkley Historical Society Museum tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan 21 between 10 am and 1 pm and see lots more of Berkley history. The Museum is toasty warm inside and coffee, tea or hot chocolate is ready for you.

01/16/2020
City of Boston

Today is the Anniversary of the Great Molasses Flood in Boston. Watch this clip to get all the sticky details.

On January 15, 1919, a 50-foot tall tank full of industrial grade molasses ruptured, sending a 2.3 million gallon wave of molasses rushing through the crowded North End.

Read more about the molasses flood: https://bit.ly/3ac7hpQ
More videos from #BostonUncovered: Boston.gov/boston-uncovered

Boston City Archives

Today is Tuesday....the Berkley Historical Museum is OPEN....10 am - 1 pm at 2 No. Main St. Berkley. Across from the Saf...
01/14/2020

Today is Tuesday....the Berkley Historical Museum is OPEN....10 am - 1 pm at 2 No. Main St. Berkley. Across from the Safety Building. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Monday Moments from the Museum....Did you know.....?Between 1781-1850 there were 50 ships built in Berkley. Most of them...
01/14/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum....

Did you know.....?

Between 1781-1850 there were 50 ships built in Berkley. Most of them were built along the Berkley shore of the Taunton River in the vicinity of the Bridge Village. Dighton and Fall River were the ports of entry during that time and thus held the registry records. The list pictured on the left shows Berkley in 3rd place for ships built. Among the different types are: Sloops, Schooners, Brigs, Barks and Brigantines. The 2nd photo are samples of the ship types. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Monday Moments from the Museum.....Today we step back in history to a time when animals (horses and oxen) were used dail...
01/06/2020

Monday Moments from the Museum.....

Today we step back in history to a time when animals (horses and oxen) were used daily. Pictured below on the left are ox shoes. They were nailed to the cloven hoof of the ox to give them better traction and protect their feet from excessive wear. This pair is badly corroded as they were found in a field. The narrow end would be at the animal's toe and the broader end at the heel.

Oxen were/are used for plowing, transport (pulling carts, hauling wagons and passengers), for threshing grain by trampling, and for powering machines that grind grain or supply irrigation. They also could be used to skid logs in forests. Oxen were slower than mules or horses, but they had their advantages. They ate less, required less care, and they could pull heavier loads.

The horse shoe pictured is for a draft horse. It is possible that it was on a horse that may have been used in cutting ice from ponds and lakes and hauling the blocks back to shore for transport to an ice house. The raised heel cleat helped with traction. There may have been borium (tungsten carbide crystals embedded in a carrier material) applied to the toe (3rd picture) which would also have aided in traction on ice also.

Come visit the Berkley Historical Museum Tuesday, Jan 7 between 10 am and 1 pm and check these items out along with the rest of the Berkley history collection for yourself. It is toasty warm inside the museum and admission is FREE. So is the coffee, tea or hot chocolate! 😊

2 No. Main St. Berkley (across from the Safety Building) If your schedule doesn't permit you to come then, call and we can schedule a time that works for you.

History Camp Boston is a history nerd's paradise....You should attend the 2020 event.  Members of the Berkley Historical...
12/31/2019

History Camp Boston is a history nerd's paradise....You should attend the 2020 event. Members of the Berkley Historical Society went to the 2019 event and are going again because it was so great! Give yourself a gift and register today at https://historycamp.org/boston

Monday Moments from the Museum....The Battle of Rhode Island?  Yes, 244 yrs ago in December of 1776 during the Revolutio...
12/30/2019

Monday Moments from the Museum....

The Battle of Rhode Island?

Yes, 244 yrs ago in December of 1776 during the Revolutionary War, the British captured Newport and had taken over the rest of Rhode Island (ie Aquidneck Island).

What does this have to do with Berkley History? Nothing really except recently a Berkley resident donated a large quantity of musket ball ammunition found at the site of Fort Butts in Portsmouth, RI. The ammo would have been used in muzzle-loaders. The first picture below shows a sample of some of the musket balls at the Museum. They were made of lead, tin and tin mixtures and were of varying sizes. The second picture is of a muzzle-loader

Come to the Berkley Historical Society Museum on Tuesday , January 7, 2020 and you can see the collection for yourself. In the meantime, visit the website link below to read more about the Battle of Rhode Island and where it happened in Portsmouth, RI.

The Museum is closed tomorrow, Tuesday Dec 31,2019.

See you next year!!

http://www.rhodeislandsar.org/battleri.htm

12/30/2019

The Berkley Historical Society Museum will be closed Tues, December 31 Come see us next year! Tues Jan 7, 2020

Monday Moments from the Museum......This Reed & Barton sterling silver plated loving cup award was recently donated to t...
12/23/2019

Monday Moments from the Museum......

This Reed & Barton sterling silver plated loving cup award was recently donated to the museum by Bertha Swift Duehring. It is nearly 100 years old. This First Place cup was awarded to Lizzie J. Howland in 1921 for having the Best Bushel of Ears in the Field Corn category of the Bristol County Farmers Show. Bertha is Lizzie's grand-daughter.

Where was the Bristol County Farmers Show held? Our research has not been successful in finding the answer. Perhaps it was part of the Bristol County Aggie School? The reader of this post who knows conclusively where the show was held gets free admission to the Berkley Historical Society Museum! 😁

NewsFlash: The Museum is OPEN tomorrow, Tuesday, December 24 from 10 - 1 so you can get any last minute gifts needed. Save $10 on our Winter Special of the Berkley Historical Blanket/Throw.

We are at 2 No. Main St Berkley across from the Safety Building.

Monday Moments from the Museum.....This is a map of the original plan of the Town of Berkley in the year it was incorpor...
12/17/2019

Monday Moments from the Museum.....

This is a map of the original plan of the Town of Berkley in the year it was incorporated separate from Dighton in 1735. The blue line is the Taunton River from the Taunton boundary on the left to Berkley's boundary on the right slightly past Point St. The green line is the 'Country Road' which was the main way to get to Berkley from Taunton. The meeting house on the Common is circled in red. The original plan for Berkley did not include Assonet Neck or Myricks. The 2nd map is what Berkley looks like now. Assonet Neck became part of Berkley in 1799 and Myricks in 1879.

Just use smile.amazon.com and a select Berkley Historical as your charity! A portion of eligible purchases will be donat...
12/16/2019
m.media-amazon.com

Just use smile.amazon.com and a select Berkley Historical as your charity! A portion of eligible purchases will be donated to the museum. thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us at Berkley Beer, bought a ticket and didn’t even come, supplied items f...
12/12/2019

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us at Berkley Beer, bought a ticket and didn’t even come, supplied items for our raffle and helped us have a fun, successful event! Thank you Glenn, Kevin, Sandra, and the whole gang at Berkley Beer for your support, great talk and tour! What a wonderful, inviting, fun place. Please be sure to check it out if you haven’t already. Delicious beer, pizza and more!

Good people, great time at the Berkley Brewery hosting the Berkley Historical Society fund raiser.
12/12/2019

Good people, great time at the Berkley Brewery hosting the Berkley Historical Society fund raiser.

What a fun time!
12/12/2019

What a fun time!

We are excited for tonight! Fundraiser from 5-9 at Berkley Beer!
12/11/2019

We are excited for tonight! Fundraiser from 5-9 at Berkley Beer!

12/10/2019

Tickets will be available Wednesday at the door of the Berkley Brewery for the Berkley Historical Society Fund Raiser 😁

12/10/2019

The boy scouts still have some trees at the Common. The museum will be open 10-1 and we will accept payment for a tree. $25

12/10/2019

Come get your Tickets today for the BHS fund raiser at Berkley Brewery at the Museum! Open 10-1 or call to RSVP.

Monday Moments from the Museum.....We have a good collection of interesting written history of life in Berkley during it...
12/09/2019
History of the town of Berkeley, Mass. : Sanford, Enoch, 1795-1890. [from old catalog] : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Monday Moments from the Museum.....

We have a good collection of interesting written history of life in Berkley during its early days after being incorporated as a town in 1735. One of the sources of information is the book "History of the Town of Berkley" by Enoch Sanford published in 1872. Within the book the author shares stories of some of Berkley's early public figures. Here is one such story that may bring a chuckle or two. The story is copied as written in the book.

"In the Westerly part of town was a good lady who went by the name Aunt Beck. On her premises was found a hen's egg on which was written in indelible ink this sentence, 'woe to the inhabitants of Berkly'. She thought it portended some calamity as it was a time of contention in the town and said she would show it to the minister. As soon as he came that way she brought it to him that he might interpret. On examining it he said it is not from any heavenly messenger, for the word Berkly is spelled wrong. This reply relieved her of much fear."
(end of story)

The westerly part of town would include the Bridge Village situated in the Berkley Dighton Bridge area. Whether Aunt Beck lived in the Village is not known. The minister at the time was Thomas Andros who started his service to Berkley in 1788 and lived in a house on the corner of Porter and Locust St near the Common. The house is no longer there. It was torn down in 1960's and there is a monument at the site of the house.

You can read this fascinating narrative of Berkley History at this website: https://archive.org/details/historyoftownofb00sanf/page/n7

Or come to the Berkley Historical Museum on Tuesday, December 10 between 10 and 1 to see more Berkley history up close. We look forward to seeing you. 😊

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Address

2 North Main St.
Berkley, MA
02779

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 13:00

Telephone

(508) 823-7327

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Since 1975, The Berkley Historical Society actively works to preserve and perpetuated the history of Berkley, Massachusetts through a collection of documents, relics, records and any other material containing historical facts and biographical anecdotes related to Berkley history. The BHS shares with members and residents to foster fellowship and cooperation in the preservation of historical sites and landmarks. The BHS remains a non-profit, non-commercial social organization. New members are always welcome in this pursuit.

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Photo of my dad, his older brother, who was born in Canada, my dad's father, born in England, standing in the front yard of their house in Berkley. My dad first generation in US...and first generation starts in Berkley.
Photo of my mom holding my brother with my two other brothers. She was pregnant for me..I was born not too long after this picture taken, May of 1949.
Address of house He was born in
My dad on the front porch, house in Berkley He was born.
I'm not sure if you can use these photos. My father, George Watkins was born in Berkley, September 1920, and I've been trying to locate a picture of the house. Well my son brought some old photos to me last night and in them, was a picture of my dad and his older brother, Roy sitting on the front steps of that house. Although, not the whole house, the address was written on the back. So I thought I'd share. My father was the first born in the US, and born in Berkley. I'm sharing a couple more of my mom standing on the front porch at the green house I was brought back to after I was born. You have her ribbons won at the Michigan State Fair. In these pictures she holds my older brother, and was pregnant with me. My other two older brothers were there as well. There is one more of my mom sitting on the front porch of the house holding me. If you can use fine, if not that's fine as well. Joan "Watkins" Fox Sparks.
Took a class on tombstone cleaning at the Westport Historical Society. My wife and I are interested in proceeding to clean tombstones in Berkley. We need to ensure there will/are no surviving family that would have objections. We will contact the cemetery board prior... hope this is appreciated and welcomed.
I just thought I would share something about growing up in Berkley in the 50s and early 60s. There was no Little League. We played baseball on the common when it was baseball season, but often did not have enough kids for a game. So, we played basketball. As far as baseball went I played shortstop and did some pitching for the Jr. High team. I didn't play until eighth grade as I had a paper route. First time I played in a game that was umpired was eighth grade. i did manage to hit .444 for the season. Not bad for a kid that never had any coaching until eighth grade! Basketball on the old blacktop court was another story.for another post.
My wife ( Sarah White ) and I attended this. I think this would be great for Berkley. Thoughts? We could "train" all interested....
Found this in the state digital library. Taunton had land within the boundaries the town of Berkley. This goes back to the 1735, their Is a list of family’s that had land with in the boundaries Berkley that their land belonged to Taunto. Chap. 0039. An Act to set off certain lands belonging to the town of Taunton, and to annex them to the town of Berkley. Sect. i. 13E it enacted by the Senate and house of Reprefentatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That all the lands belonging to Simeon Burt, Abner Burt, Edmund Burt, and the heirs of Stephen Burt, deceafed, which belong to the town of Taunton,but lie within the bounds of the town of Berkley, with allthe buildings {landing on the same,be,and they arehere-by set off from the town of Taunton, and shall be annexed to, and made a part of the town of Berkly : Provided however, That the said Simeon Burt, Abner Burt, Edmund Burt, and the heirs of Stephen Burt, shall be holden to pay their refpedlive proportions of all llate, county, town, and parish taxes assessed upon them, and due to the said town of Taunton, prior to the date of this act. Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That there shall be taken from the town of Taunton, and be added to the town of Berkly, three cents in the flate valuation, which shall be the rule for affefling the said towns for flate and county taxes, until there shall be a new valuation taken. [This act passed Feb. 6, 1810.]
Bucksworth 1976
The Berkley Historical Commission is in need of new members. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Commission (appointed by the Town Selectmen) please contact me: [email protected].
1728 map of Taunton and part of Berkley now. S. Burt for Seth Burt father of Stephen Burt.