The Marlborough Historical Society

The Marlborough Historical Society The Marlborough Historical Society is dedicated to the historic preservation, education, and celebration of Marlborough, Massachusetts. www.HistoricMarlborough.org.

The Marlborough Historical Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to historic preservation, education, and celebration in Marlborough, Massachusetts. It is the only organization of its kind in Marlborough and depends on donations of time and money, memberships, purchases, and special events to fund ongoing preservation and education, free monthly programs, and special celebrations. Other than a few small grants for specific programs, the Society receives no city, state, or federal money. As an all-volunteer organization, 100% of your donation funds the Society's historic preservation and education.

Mission: The Marlborough Historical Society is dedicated to the historic preservation, education, and celebration of Marlborough, Massachusetts.

This is the turn of the century home of D. Curran, at the corner of Stevens St and Union.  Yes it's still there although...
06/01/2019

This is the turn of the century home of D. Curran, at the corner of Stevens St and Union. Yes it's still there although the road has taken up most of the front yard.

The Marlborough Historical Society's cover photo
04/27/2019

The Marlborough Historical Society's cover photo

04/10/2019
Museum in the Streets

Marlborough will soon be the first city in Mass to have a Museum in the Streets! Click link to see more info from Trustee and project chair Bob Fagone!

Soon the streets of Marlborough will become an outdoor museum. An international series of self-walking tours started by a historian in 1996 will soon launch ...

From the outside it appears cheerful but undistinguished, but inside the history shines - 31 Springhill off High St near...
03/02/2019

From the outside it appears cheerful but undistinguished, but inside the history shines - 31 Springhill off High St near the First Church. The building currently houses Drumais Salon but was built around 1868 as the Abel Howe shoe factory. It's full of gorgeous original floors and beams, and a 2 story atrium with lamps from St. Mary's Church. Current owner Christian Drumais has a great appreciation of its history, especially as the building will be 150 years old this year. According to our local expert Paul Brodeur "I believe the Abel Howe factory figured in the Shoe Strike story of the late 1890's. If memory serves, Rice and Hutchins made a deal to use the empty factory to make sneakers with the stipulation that there would be no union interference since it was a new type of shoe. The unions went along but felt betrayed when other types of shoes were shifted to this factory. Shortly after, the unions were locked out of the other factories, but this factory was unaffected by the lockout. Rice and Hutchins may have been the last operator of the factory."

Henry Knox trail goes through Marlborough...sounds like a fun weekend trip to follow it!
01/13/2019
Revolution250

Henry Knox trail goes through Marlborough...sounds like a fun weekend trip to follow it!

Rev250 resource of the day — On Jan 10, 1776, Col. Henry Knox crossed into Massachusetts with his “noble train of artillery” from the Lake Champlain forts. The Henry Knox Trail on Google Maps:

On this day in history...
01/10/2019

On this day in history...

Fun Fact: #OnThisDay in 1894, the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company installed the first battery-operated switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts. The company was short lived, but the telephone switchboard became an essential component of communications before the wireless age.

This business card, probably from the late 1870s, reads, “The connecting link between the traveler and his home” and “Every Bell Telephone is a long distance station.” Check out more objects from our library and archives at https://www.historicnewengland.org/explore/collections-access/

The lost Addison Brigham Homestead that used to stand at 112 Brigham Street on the southern edge of Marlborough.  Pictur...
01/06/2019

The lost Addison Brigham Homestead that used to stand at 112 Brigham Street on the southern edge of Marlborough. Pictured are Grace D Brigham and her grandson Roger Edward Brigham. Photo taken by Alfred E Brigham Jr (father of Roger). I'm guessing late 30's by the car but someone who knows the family (or cars) could tell us better.

Dec 30, 1794 Andrew Peters of Westborough surveyed in Marlborough in October and November and made a plan of the town da...
12/30/2018

Dec 30, 1794 Andrew Peters of Westborough surveyed in Marlborough in October and November and made a plan of the town dated this day. He laid down the old post road and concord road, ascertained the number of acres in the ponds, and the grist and saw mills in town His account was 11.25 cents. The committee of three, that assisted him, charged 37.91 cents. The plan of the town was made, agreeable to a resolve of the General court, dated June 26th 1794. (From Cyrus Felton's 600 Interesting Events) (fixed typo I had 1794 at top but swapped numbers in last line)

Merry Christmas to all, from the Marlborough Historical Society...
12/25/2018

Merry Christmas to all, from the Marlborough Historical Society...

This is the old Washington Street School  The first schoolhouse in this area was behind what’s now the old central fir...
12/22/2018

This is the old Washington Street School The first schoolhouse in this area was behind what’s now the old central fire station. In 1865 this Italianate Washington Street School was built off Bolton between Washington and Rice Streets. It was replaced on this site with the current Bessie Freeman School in 1916, which was an elementary until 1981. It is now used for the district office and early childhood program. Don't forget to 'like' our posts so they continue to show in your feed!

This had the typical number of windows for the time. Gas pendant lights and sconces were coming into fashion at the time and would have lit the school rooms adequately to their view. 'Fashionable town houses constructed in the 1860s often had a central pendant gas light (that is to say a gas light attached to the ceiling) in each of the principal rooms with a ventilation grille above, cunningly disguised in the deep recesses of the ceiling rose. Gas 'wall brackets' were used in place of the sconce, and some staircases were lit by newel lights attached to the newel post. The largest pendant fittings had several burners and were known as gasoliers." http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/lighting/lighting.htm

Here's a big old house near the west end of Lincoln at the corner of Silver Street, taken around 1960.  I believe it was...
12/17/2018

Here's a big old house near the west end of Lincoln at the corner of Silver Street, taken around 1960. I believe it was built as some sort of rooming house or tourist hotel between 1855 and 1875 but we don't have much info. It would have had a nice view of Lake Williams before the trees and houses grew up around it. And yes, it's still there!

The Marlborough Historical Society
12/13/2018

The Marlborough Historical Society

Our own trustee emeritus Paul Brodeur spoke with WGBH!  "When I started researching Richard’s question, I thought this...
12/13/2018
Massachusetts Has A Northborough, Southborough And Westborough. Why No Eastborough?

Our own trustee emeritus Paul Brodeur spoke with WGBH! "When I started researching Richard’s question, I thought this would be a light, fun tale about how a few area towns got their names. Well, Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?” And in the complex story that is America, if you scratch the surface a little, you’ll often find the answer is, “More than meets the eye.” "

The answer is a tale of colonial expansion and the division of large swaths of land into smaller ones. But there is also a more complicated side to the story.

12/10/2018
Thank you to all who stopped by our booth in support of historic preservation in Marlborough, and to everyone who came o...
12/08/2018

Thank you to all who stopped by our booth in support of historic preservation in Marlborough, and to everyone who came out for the lighting of the town tree and great music! It was a brisk night so the holidays were in the air!

The Marlborough Historical Society's cover photo
12/03/2018

The Marlborough Historical Society's cover photo

Remember to shop local whenever possible, so our hometown stores don't disappear like these...   Although I was surprise...
11/25/2018
Six Historic Downtown Department Stores - New England Historical Society

Remember to shop local whenever possible, so our hometown stores don't disappear like these... Although I was surprised that FW .Woolworth.s and J.J. Newbury's weren't on the list.

New England's downtown department stores were once more than shopping meccas. They were part of a city's identity and an elegant experience for everyone.

Support your community this holiday season! Our fundraising calendar for 2019 is about the "Cruisin' the Main" - driving...
11/19/2018
2019 Marlborough Historical Society Calendar

Support your community this holiday season! Our fundraising calendar for 2019 is about the "Cruisin' the Main" - driving up and down old Main Street with your friends in cool old cars, seeing buildings long gone and still present.

This is a great item to bring along as a hostess gift for holiday parties and as gifts for family members who moved away. It's still just $10! Thank you so much to the sponsors who have made this project possible.

Thanks to everyone for their support of history preservation, education, and celebration.

The 2019 Marlborough Historical Society Calendar, "Cruisin' the Main," is now available. The year's calendar features old Main Street and invites you to reminisce about driving up and down the old Main Street with your friends in cool old cars, seeing buildings long gone and present.

Shop local and support your community this holiday season!! Our fundraising calendar for 2019 is about the "Cruisin' the...
11/17/2018

Shop local and support your community this holiday season!! Our fundraising calendar for 2019 is about the "Cruisin' the Main". This is a great item to bring along as a hostess gift for holiday parties and when visiting family who've moved away. It's still just $10! They've been delivered to the local shops below but we'll also have it available for sale online shortly! (I'll make another post with the link when available). Thank you so much to the sponsors who have made this project possible.

Freedom is not free...
11/12/2018

Freedom is not free...

Thank you so much to Tom Kelleher and everyone who came out for his presentation on Taverns and Tavern Life at the Rice ...
10/24/2018

Thank you so much to Tom Kelleher and everyone who came out for his presentation on Taverns and Tavern Life at the Rice Homestead last night!

10/23/2018

I checked and rain's moving through but should be gone by meeting time. See you tonight for Tom Kelleher's presentation on Tavern and Tavern Life!

Battle of the Red Horse TavernSudbury MilitiaCome to the historic Wayside Inn on October 27, 2018 for an experience like...
10/19/2018
Battle of the Red Horse Tavern

Battle of the Red Horse Tavern

Sudbury Militia

Come to the historic Wayside Inn on October 27, 2018 for an experience like never before. Start the day by listening to colonial music, talking with re-enactors, visiting sutlers, observing cannon firing demonstrations and more. Then watch as the Colonial and British armies battle for control of the Red Horse Tavern.

Eighteenth century taverns were important in the Colonies as a place to hear the news and other current events, engage in commerce, conduct militia drills and provide respite for weary travelers. The Red Horse Tavern, sitting along the Boston Post Road, the major east-west route to and from Boston and New York, was crucial in that anyone or anything travelling into or out of Boston to/from the west would have to pass by its door. Which ever side controlled the Tavern could control the flow of supplies, troops and information.

The Redcoats are determined to wrest control, no matter the cost, while the Colonists will do all they can to stop them and send them back to Boston.

Who will control the tavern? Come and find out.

Visit http://www.sudburyminutemen.org/redhorsetavern.htm for more information.

Peter Rice Homestead, fall 2015
10/19/2018

Peter Rice Homestead, fall 2015

Please join us at 7pm this coming Tues, October 23rd at the Rice Homestead as Tom Kelleher tells about tavern life in th...
10/19/2018

Please join us at 7pm this coming Tues, October 23rd at the Rice Homestead as Tom Kelleher tells about tavern life in the old days. Taverns were as numerous as churches in early New England, and played at least as large a role in the public life of the community. From typical food and drink to the common topics discussed and kind of songs sung by the fireside, this talk will look at what it was like inside the “public houses” that dotted the highways and center villages of virtually every town in New England.

Tom Kelleher is currently Historian and Curator of Mechanical Arts at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. In over thirty years at that premier living history museum, he has worked as a costumed historical interpreter, trainer for the cooper shop, supervisor of the mills, coordinator of historic trades, research historian, program coordinator, and manages staff training, and much more...

10/08/2018
Edifice Guild & Atelier

A thought for the day...

House

by Isabel Fiske Conant

He who loves an old house
Never loves in vain,
How can an old house,
Used to sun and rain,
To lilac and to larkspur,
And an elm above,
Ever fail to answer
The heart that gives it love?

Its neglected garden
Only waits to start
In answer to the tending
Of some homeless heart…
A new house, maybe,
For its first tenant longs,
But not till it's an old house,
Can it sing old songs.

FamilySearch
10/03/2018
FamilySearch

FamilySearch

October is National Family History Month! Need some ideas on how to celebrate? Check out this article form ThoughtCo. for a list of ten projects you can do to preserve and explore your family history.

Thank you so much to Richard Gnatowski and everyone who came out last Tuesday for his talk on 18th century agriculture i...
10/02/2018

Thank you so much to Richard Gnatowski and everyone who came out last Tuesday for his talk on 18th century agriculture in Sudbury, Marlborough and the surrounding area.

09/06/2018

Our archiving office will be closed today due to heat.

We are collecting stories and memories of cruising Main Street for next year's calendar, it could be who you hung out wi...
08/17/2018

We are collecting stories and memories of cruising Main Street for next year's calendar, it could be who you hung out with, the stores you remember, what kind of cars you drove (or wish you drove) etc. Specifically, I'd love folks to EMAIL to [email protected] rather than posting here (to keep the stories fresh as you each change the calendar pages each month!) I'm trying to finalize by Labor Day weekend.

Someone asked me for a photo of the Curtis Orchards.  I thought you might like this aerial photo from 1960 showing the ~...
08/10/2018

Someone asked me for a photo of the Curtis Orchards. I thought you might like this aerial photo from 1960 showing the ~1775 Maynard/Curtis house at the corner of Hosmer and Stevens, and the surrounding farm and orchards.

On a day like today in the 1940s or early 50s, and I never realized the shed at left is as old as it is...  Update:  it ...
08/03/2018

On a day like today in the 1940s or early 50s, and I never realized the shed at left is as old as it is... Update: it is believed to be after Hurricane Carol in 1954 based on the cars and memories posted of the flood when Hardiman Brook overflowed.. Per Michael Callahan "the brook and the sewer both caused the flood on Maple St.after Hurricane Carol. I remember seeing the water blowing out of the sewer manholes after the storm. A few years after this the City dug a better channel for the brook. Unfortunately, Bob Bonazolli was killed during the job when a cable snapped on a backhoe. There is a plaque just before the brook goes under the Dennison." (Don't forget that FB will hide our posts and photos from your feed unless you interact with them, so please like, comment, and share!)

A few of our windows have been battered by storms over the last few years and with peeling paint and crumbling glazing c...
07/29/2018

A few of our windows have been battered by storms over the last few years and with peeling paint and crumbling glazing compound it's led to a a few cracked panes - time to restore not replace! The first steps in restoring 200 year old windows - take them out carefully, then remove all the cracked glazing and all the panes of glass. Over the next while we'll scrape, clean, sand and harden the wood, abd tighten the frames. Then we'll reglaze the existing window panes one by one - a task familiar to anyone watching Rehab Addict on DIY channel. We know we have to replace a few panes but hoping only a few, since the old glass gives such wonderful wavy character. These windows have 6 small panes in the top window, and a square of 9 panes below. From the style (number of panes, width of the muntins, handmade glazing points) they date from at least the first half of the 1800s, and may be original to the that part of the house.

A few of our windows have been battered by storms over the last few years and with peeling paint and crumbling glazing compound it's led to a a few cracked panes - time to restore not replace! The first steps in restoring 200 year old windows - take them out carefully, then remove all the cracked glazing and all the panes of glass. Over the next while we'll scrape, clean, sand and harden the wood, abd tighten the frames. Then we'll reglaze the existing window panes one by one - a task familiar to anyone watching Rehab Addict on DIY channel. We know we have to replace a few panes but hoping only a few, since the old glass gives such wonderful wavy character. These windows have 6 small panes in the top window, and a square of 9 panes below. From the style (number of panes, width of the muntins, handmade glazing points) they date from at least the first half of the 1800s, and may be original to the that part of the house.

07/22/2018

On this date in history: July 21, 1911: "Knocked Across Street by Lightning: Four young men at Fairmount felled by Bolt. Many others felt effect of severe storm. The long looked for rain arrived on Thursday night in the form of a lighting and thunder storm which did considerable damage while it lasted.. Dark clouds earlier in the evening were followed by vivid lightning flashes and crashes of thunder causing no little alarm among the large crowds of people that were on the streets and when the rain commenced to fall about 8 o'clock they ran in terror for places of shelter." Clipping from a local paper but I'm not sure which one.

07/05/2018

The office will be closed today due to the heat...

Don't forget - Vikings, tonight at 7pm at the Rice homestead...
06/27/2018

Don't forget - Vikings, tonight at 7pm at the Rice homestead...

Thank you so much to all the trustees and volunteers and everyone else who came out on this summery Saturday for Tool Ti...
06/16/2018

Thank you so much to all the trustees and volunteers and everyone else who came out on this summery Saturday for Tool Time on the Farm!

Thank you so much to all the trustees and volunteers and everyone else who came out on this summery Saturday for Tool Time on the Farm!

Come join us Saturday for a new Father's Day weekend activity: "Tool Time at the Farm."  Much of what we'll have out con...
06/15/2018

Come join us Saturday for a new Father's Day weekend activity: "Tool Time at the Farm."

Much of what we'll have out concerns farming, and so I'm sending along a few things from my own house on Concord Road, which used to be a 100-acre farm. When we bought the house about 13 years ago, that first summer an elderly couple pulled in to the drive and shared with us some very interesting history, including the old photo, invitation, and newspaper article here.

It turns out that there was a fire that caused the barn to burn down in 1916, and when it was rebuilt the following year, the family sent out quite an invitation for a barn warming party, which was then written up in the local paper.

I'm not sure if our event Saturday will be quite as festive as the barn warming--"Never has the Virginia Reel been danced with such vigor"-- but it will certainly be fun, and you'll have the chance to see and learn about many old tools.

Come join us at the Peter Rice Homestead this Saturday, from 11 am - 2 pm.

-- Lee Wright, Trustee

https://www.facebook.com/events/1714644311953520/

Address

377 Elm St
Marlborough, MA
01752

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 12:00
Thursday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(508) 485-4763

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