Easton Historical Society

Easton Historical Society Easton Historical Society and Museum of Easton, Massachusetts. Our mission is to preserve, promote and interpret our town's unique industrial, social, cultural, architectural and environmental history

Weekly UpdateHi from a sunny but cool Easton!  It feels good to see the sun today, and with temps climbing into the 40's...
02/22/2020

Weekly Update
Hi from a sunny but cool Easton! It feels good to see the sun today, and with temps climbing into the 40's this weekend, spring must be close behind.

Below is a nice photo of one of the early trolleys that served Easton. Taken sometime before 1920, it shows a Brockton Street Railway trolley car at an unknown Easton intersection. The crew, who are all posing in the front of the car, would include a driver and a conductor. The men in the white shirts may have been mechanics who worked on the cars.

Trolley service in Easton began as early as the mid 1880's, with horse drawn trolleys being pulled over light rail. The earliest line ran from North Easton center to Main Street, Brockton. This helped to bring people back and forth to work, either in Brockton or to Easton. It also provided the means to take a party for a special trip, to see one of the shows at a Brockton theatre, or perhaps a "joy" ride to one of the small amusement parks that were just becoming popular. Electric cars replaced the horse drawn trolley cars by the turn of the 20th century, and trolleys were eventually replaced by busses following World War I.

As trolley service expanded, companies were formed to provide trolley service to Taunton, Stoughton, Canton, Mansfield, Plymouth, and other destinations. The lines became so extensive that one could literally travel by rail anywhere they needed to.

One interesting place connected with trolley service in Easton is Electric Avenue, a small side street off of Main Street on the way to Brockton. It was here that electric trolleys could park overnight, and some maintenance work could be done. A few sections of rail were kept to use as replacements when needed. As a child, I can remember Mr. Russ Erving who was a trolley car driver in his younger days.

I hope you enjoy the photo, and wish you all a good week and an early spring!
Frank

In 1880, Josiah Francis, and Sarah E. Waite Goward owned their house and three more, a tenement house, two barns, an ice...
02/21/2020
Center Street, Goward House, Josiah Francis, 63 Center Street, North Easton, MA, Drawing, 1891, Built, 1855, info, Easton HIstorical Society

In 1880, Josiah Francis, and Sarah E. Waite Goward owned their house and three more, a tenement house, two barns, an icehouse, a slaughterhouse, three tracts of land totaling twenty-one and one-half acres, five thousand dollars of stock in trade, and livestock. In 1880,
In 1886, Josiah Francis Goward and four business operatives established the Easton Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company at 36 Mechanic Street.
At one time, maps show Josiah’s real property holdings extended up to Sheridan Street. In William Chaffin’s book, History of Easton in 1886, a map showed a rear building on the property being used for a slaughterhouse. In 1890, Josiah formed partnership with Lemuel K. Wilbur to plan a large subdivision on a large tract, owned by Goward, ranging from the north side of Columbus Avenue to the south side of Wilbur Street. In 1890, the Gowards owned not as many houses, more barns, and five tracts of land bring developed in the areas of Sheridan Street, formerly called Old Meeting House Road. In 1895, a county map showed a large pond on part of the Frothingham Park where Josiah Francis Goward cut ice for his businesses.

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums . The development by Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation of the factory and village land use in a rather organic manner with a mix work-related classe...

Ames Free Library - North Easton, Massachusetts
02/20/2020
Ames Free Library - North Easton, Massachusetts

Ames Free Library - North Easton, Massachusetts

We are so pleased to see Easton history SHINE in this documentary about Blanche Ames Ames, premiering this weekend at Stonehill College.

Borderland: The Life and Times of Blanche Ames Ames was made by documentarian and filmmaker Kevin Friend, whose offices are located in Queset House.

Read the article, watch a preview of the film, and then check out the film. If you can't make it to the premier, there are other screenings coming up: March 22 in Mansfield and April 9 at Borderland.

The page Borderland The Documentary will continue to post upcoming dates.

https://www.wbur.org/artery/2020/02/20/documentary-borderland-blanche-ames-suffragette-activist

Just how much of an impact the Irish had on North Easton is evident in their religious community. Early on, the dining h...
02/20/2020
Main Street, Immaculate Conception Church, 193 Main Street, North Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society

Just how much of an impact the Irish had on North Easton is evident in their religious community. Early on, the dining hall of the Ames Company was used to hold Mass on the rare occasion that a priest was able to come to North Easton and hold services for about 35 families. Prior to the chapel building, very occasional services were held in private homes. As the Irish population grew, and a larger space for more frequent services became necessary, the Ames Company gave a plot of land on Pond Street, and a Chapel was erected there by the congregants. At the time of the building's dedication in 1851, there were some 50 families attending Mass every two weeks. Within a year's time there were 100 families attending Mass. You can see from this how quickly the Irish population grew. Members of the Ames family would sometimes attend Mass with their workers, and indication of how much they supported them. The Irish population continued to grow, and so did the church with the erection of a new church on Main Street in 1865 (later St. Mary's Hall), followed by the current Immaculate Conception Church building erected in 1904
source: Easton Historical Society's Blog, Frank Meninno, Easton Historical Society
Immaculate Conception Church, 193 Main Street, North Easton, MA, 1905, MA, source, Easton Historical Society

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums , image Immaculate Conception Church, 193 Main Street, North Easton, MA, 1905, MA, source, Easton Historical Society . The development by Oliver Am...

On September 19, 1915, owners George and Jerusha H. Carr of 171 Washington Street sold the land for one dollar and other...
02/19/2020
Washington Street, Cali's Gardens, 4 Washington Street, North Easton, MA, 1960, info, Easton Historial Society

On September 19, 1915, owners George and Jerusha H. Carr of 171 Washington Street sold the land for one dollar and other good and valuable consideration paid by Clarence Steward Galligan. In the 1920's and the '30's, Clarence Steward Galligan was the proprietor of a florist business. Easton had operator-assisted phone service in the late 1930's and the '40's. Clarence Steward Galligan had the number of Easton 83 prior to the dial-direct service which came to Easton in 1957.
In the 1940's, Clarence worked at a chicken farm. Clarence Steward Galligan operated a greenhouse growing flowers and vegetables. In the early 1950's, owner was Clarence Steward Galligan, who was a farmer and florist who had a stand on the street selling his goods. On July 24, 1954, owner Clarence Steward Galligan for consideration paid transferred ownership to Peter M. and Ave Maria Cali, who opened a flower stand called Cali's Flowers. At the time of the transaction, records show that the conveyance was subject to zoning laws of the Town of Easton.

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums . The development by Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation of the factory and village land use in a rather organic manner with a mix work-related classe...

Friends of Borderland
02/18/2020

Friends of Borderland

Happy Birthday Blanche!

Blanche was born on February 18, 1878. Blanche was an artist, activist, inventor, author, suffragist, a mother and much more. Her legacy lives on at Borderland today.

To celebrate Blanche, her suffrage involvement, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment- we will provide many programs and events highlighting Blanche and the contribution made by other notable trailblazers - check out these events at: http://www.friendsofborderland.org/2020-centennial-celebration.html

Around 1900. Alfred B. Morse, together with William and Hobart Ames, built a steamboat which was used on several of the ...
02/17/2020
Central Street, Easton Machine Company, 7 Central Street, South Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society

Around 1900. Alfred B. Morse, together with William and Hobart Ames, built a steamboat which was used on several of the ponds in Easton. Alfred B. Morse afterwards built automobiles and patented such articles as slipping disc clutches, valve in head motors, and engine oiling systems; in fact, he was a pioneer in the automobile industry.
From 1902 through 1914, Alfred B. Morse built in the Easton Machine Company located at Seven Central Street about forty-eight automobiles. The first Morse was a two-cylinder runabout. Alfred’s focus was to produce a high-performance car with exceptional durability and economy of operation. After more experience, the four-cylinder Morse car were offered in four body styles. In 1910, the cost for the runabout car was around thirty-nine hundred dollars.
source: Massachusetts Historical Commission
info, Easton Historical Society
Central Street, Easton Machine Company, 7 Central Street, South Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums , image, From 1902 through 1914, Alfred B. Morse built in the Easton Machine Company located at Seven Central Street about forty-eight automobiles....

Update:Hello again,Last week I sent a photo of the former Bank and Post Office building.  Frederick L. Ames sends along ...
02/14/2020

Update:
Hello again,

Last week I sent a photo of the former Bank and Post Office building. Frederick L. Ames sends along the following to add to that posting:

Frank, A little bit more on the old Post Office building. The architect was Richardson's son in law, George Foster Shepley. He designed it as an amalgam or bridging of the architecture of the two buildings that dominate the Rockery area: the Richardsonian Oakes Ames Memorial Hall and the yellow brick Neoclassical Oliver Ames High school building. While the old Post Office building has the distinctive Richardsonian features (that fit nicely) of the brownstone arch, the walls of Easton granite, and a terra cotta tile roof like the Hall has; the design itself is in the Neoclassical style of the high school. Note how symmetrical the design is, just like the high school building. Richardson's buildings are almost always asymmetrical. He was the master of designing buildings that were "balanced" without the use of symmetry. The Hall is a good example of that. Ironically the only exceptions in his designs are his train stations.

Thanks, Fred!
Frank

Weekly Update
Greetings, and a Happy Valentine's Day to all of you history lovers!

We had a very busy open house last week, which featured items from Easton's own Olympic Gold Medalist, Jim Craig. It was nice to see so many people come out, spend some time with us, and reminiscence about that 1980 Gold Medal winning team that brought so much patriotism and pride in the midst of the Cold War.

As announced last week, we now have Easton Historical Society coffee cups available, and new this week, cloth tote bags are in stock! These draw string bags, which we ran out of during the recent holidays, are available for $6 each, 2 for $10, or free with a $25 purchase from our Museum store!

The Old Colony Civil War Round Table has an exciting talk coming up next week discussing letters from a local soldier. The flyer is attached for you to check out.

And finally, below is a photo of the former North Easton Post Office and Bank building. We get a lot of questions regarding this building, which sits across Main and Barrows Street from the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall and opposite the Rockery. Built in 1905, it housed the former post office on the left, and the North Easton Savings Bank on the right. From the 1930's to about 1960, the Easton Town Offices were located on the second floor. Many people believe it to be one of our H. H. Richardson buildings, and there is a close relationship to the other Richardson buildings in North Easton. It was designed and built by Richardson's successor firm of Shepley, Ruttan, and Coolidge nearly 30 years after Richardson's death in 1886. However, it hits the mark, fitting in very nicely with the neighboring Richardson buildings ( the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall and the Ames Free Library).

Have a great week,
Frank

Historically known as the William A. Smith's General Store later known as McMenamy's Hamburger House was built in 1895. ...
02/14/2020
Washington Street, William A. Smith's General Store, McMenamy's Hamburger House, 181 Washington Street, North Easton, MA, 1805, image, 1925, info, Easton Historical Society

Historically known as the William A. Smith's General Store later known as McMenamy's Hamburger House was built in 1895. On September 15, 1893, the family of the late Jason Tinkham, of 187 Washington Street, including widow Betsey Tinkham, Mary E.Tinkham Bird, David Blish and Minnie Tinkham, Sarah F. Tinkham Tilden and her husband Orville M. Tilden, Lillie A. Tinkham Hopkins and her husband, Augustus A. Hopkins and Ida M. Tinkham Dewyer with her husband, N. Henry Dewyer sold the small lot to William A. Smith. William A. Smith married Hattie Idella Rice Smith in the same year. In the mid 1940's, William A. Smith 's widow, Hattie Idella Rice Smith, transferred ownership to her son, Harold Wood Smith. In 1945, Hattie Idella Rice Smith passed away.
In 1954, Harold Wood Smith sold the property to Francis J. and Edith F. McMenamy. Later in the early 1950's, Francis J. McMenamy opened the building as a meat butcher shop but two years later opened what was known as the McMenamy's Hamburger House. Later, the business was run by his daughter, Karen Carter and her husband, Al Carter with their son, Steven.
Washington Street, William A. Smith's General Store, McMenamy's Hamburger House, 181 Washington Street, North Easton, MA, 1805, image, 1925, info, Easton Historical Society

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA. www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums . The development by Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation of the factory and village land use in a rather organic manner with a mix work-related class...

We have received word that we have been chosen to participate in Shaw's Supermarkets "Give Back Where It Counts" reusabl...
02/13/2020

We have received word that we have been chosen to participate in Shaw's Supermarkets "Give Back Where It Counts" reusable shopping bag program! We will receive $1 for every reusable "Give Back Where it Counts" shopping bag purchased at Shaw's Easton during the month of March

Frothingham Memorial Park is a memorial to Louis Adams Frothingham, who served in the U. S. House of Representatives fro...
02/13/2020
Ames Frothingham, Mary Shreve, Frothingham Memorial Park, 15 Park Street, Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society

Frothingham Memorial Park is a memorial to Louis Adams Frothingham, who served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1921 to 1928. It was dedicated to the Town of Easton September 27, 1930 by his widow, Mary Ames Frothingham. Born in 1867, Mary Ames, the daughter of Frederick Lothrop Ames, grew up at "Langwater" with her brothers Oliver, F. Lothrop, and John S., and sister Helen. She devoted much of her life to charities including the Ames Free Library, the Red Cross, and Christmas parties for the children of Easton from 1914 until her death in 1955. The basketball court was added in 1941. A white and green cottage was built at 18 Day Street for the caretaker John C. Mason, who managed the Park and ensured it stayed in the best condition. He lived in the cottage rent free in exchange for taking care of the Park and providing instruction for the children and teens using the Park. Also, he was the history teacher, Athletic Director and Faculty Manager at Oliver Ames High School and held all these positions until his sudden death June 6, 1961. Then, Frederick A. Coe became the Park Superintendent until 1972, when Robert "Buddy" Wooster assumed the responsibility. In the early 1950s Easton's Little League was organized, and most games were played there until 1972. In 1979, Principal Duncan B. Oliver moved the Oliver Ames High School graduation ceremonies to the Park which allowed for a larger audience of proud parents and friends.
Ames Frothingham, Mary Shreve, Frothingham Memorial Park, 15 Park Street, Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums , image, The Vintage Merry Go-Round from yesteryear. (This photo probably around the late 60s or 7Os. This and all the original playground equipmen...

Thank you for the great photo, Ralph Carroll
02/13/2020

Thank you for the great photo, Ralph Carroll

Old Colony Railroad Station, Easton Turnpike Station, South of High Street, West side of Turnpike Street, Eastondale, MA...
02/12/2020
aaa, Eastondale,

Old Colony Railroad Station, Easton Turnpike Station, South of High Street, West side of Turnpike Street, Eastondale, MA, circa 1885, info, Easton Historical Society
Building was razed in 1938 and the image was taken in 1914
image source: Looking Back at Easton Massachusetts, 1989

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA. www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums , Old Colony Railroad Station, Easton Turnpike Station, South of High Street, West side of Turnpike Street, Eastondale, MA, circa 1885, info, East...

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Our mission is to preserve, promote and interpret our town's unique industrial, social, cultural, architectural and environmental history

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