Archive for the ‘Research’ Category
Today I am blogging about a fun summer day with Bessie that features a few activities that I’m sure we can all relate to. Enjoy!
July 1st 1896
Today I went on a picnic to Lakeview with Miss Jenkin’s Sunday school class. We started at half past eight and got there about half past ten. Before dinner most of the girls rode in the flying horses three or four times. We ate dinner in the piazza. We had a great variety of things to eat and a plenty of everything. After dinner I rode in the flying horses twice and the second time I caught the brass ring and so I had another ride free. We went around the lake on the steamboat. I didn’t take money enough and so I borrowed ten cents of Annie Johnson and ten of Ethel Coleman and Miss Jenkins treated me to my rides on the steamboat and on the flying horses. We started home a little after three but we didn’t get there till about half past five for we missed a car and had to wait half an hour in Lowell. I was very tired and so I went upstairs directly after supper but I came downstairs again for Miss McLaulin and Miss Robinson and May Locke came in.
I really like this entry because once, I caught the brass ring at a carousel at Martha’s Vineyard. At some carousel’s if you grab the brass ring, you win a free ride! I think it’s cool that Bessie and I shared similar experiences, even though we live in such different time periods. Also, Bessie certainly had a lot of friends!
Below is a picture from Andover Historical Society that shows young children picnicking near Haggett’s Pond, which was a popular spot for picnics until the town started using it for drinking water. Rules prohibiting swimming, boating, and other water activities, were set into place.
Doug Cooper, a researcher at the Historical Society found this information about Haggett’s Pond:
“In 1889, Haggett’s Pond was named as the official water supply for the town and swimming was no longer allowed. The prohibition was routinely ignored by people and cows alike. (Joan Patrakis. “What Our Ancestors Did For Summer Fun). In 1908, the state of Massachusetts took further steps to protect the pond from pollution so that nobody got sick from drinking bad water. (Report on Water Supply & Sewerage pg. 26 [1984.10] ). The state regulations helped bring an end to organized activities at the pond.”
In another one of her entries, Bessie mentions having a picnic at Haggett’s Pond with some friends.
Consider this painting of Victoria opening the ceremony. In the foreground are some officers dressed in purple coats, and wearing hats in much the same style as the one on display. Could one of these attendants depict the Lord Mayor himself, standing at a respectable distance from her majesty?
“The Devil Made Me Do It!” Crime and Punishment in Early New England is the title of author, historian, and former Andover Historical Society educator Juliet Haines Mofford’s new book. I ordered my advance copy last month, and started reading as soon as it arrived. Julie is an engaging and entertaining author who mined Massachusetts’ historical archives for fascinating stories about New England’s original criminals.
“Whether it was Sabbath-breaking, blasphemy, or public drunkenness, colonial laws were strict and frequently broken, and those who broke them could expect swift punishment….Some of the ways that seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century New England communities dealt with murder and mayhem seem brutal to modern sensibilities.” For example, rebellious children were often taken away from their parents and “bound out” as servants to other households. “….such as Andover’s Mary Lacey caught outside past (the public) curfew (of 9:00 pm) got accused of nightwalking and ‘refusing to shun bad company.’ …… she was sent to live with her uncle’s family.”
Through December, The Devil Made Me Do It will be available by special order through the Andover Book Store and will be in stock in the store starting January 2012. The book can also be purchased now online.
Congratulations, Julie, on another terrific local history book!
This October the Andover Historical Society celebrated our first Bewitched in Andover: A Series of Eerie Events. During our month of Halloween inspired events, the Benjamin Abbot House at 9 Andover Street was opened for a one-day special guided tour. Over 100 visitors stopped in to take a tour of the house and learn about the family who once lived in it. The Abbot house passed down through ten generations of Abbotts over a period of three centuries. Originally, owned by Benjamin Abbot, an accuser of Martha Carrier during the infamous Salem Witch Trials, the house was finally sold and left Abbot hands during the Great Depression.
Fortunately, over the course of its ownership, the house at 9 Andover Street has come to be cared for by preservationists who have cared for this Andover treasure.
To learn more about the Benjamin Abbot House and other homes in Andover visit the Andover Historical Society and explore our extensive research files and photographs.
Join us this Christmas Season for more Andover Historical Society events. Visit our online calendar to learn more.
After enjoying our Friday evening Cocktails from the Crypt program, visit the Society’s library to learn more about Andover’s historic cemeteries
Historic cemeteries have been described as “History written in stone.” Cemeteries are a tangible link to the past and are a unique way to explore local history. Explore these natural places to learn about who lived here and shaped the Andover we know today. By studying the ages, names, symbols, and epigraphs in cemeteries, we can learn about our town’s cultural, religious, and historical background.
As the seasonal changes of fall appear in the falling leaves and the dropping temperatures, eerie events are taking place at the Andover Historical Society.
Throughout October, the Andover Historical Society is hosting Bewitched in Andover, a series of eerie events. Starting October 1st with a session called GhostHunting 101 and a lecture on The Witches of Andover by Kimberly Whitworth, we are in the midst of this buffet of spooky local history.
Join us tomorrow night for An Evening with Kathleen Kent including a book reading and signing with well-known author of the The Heretics Daughter, from 7:30-9:00. The book reading will take place from 7:00-7:30, reservations are required. Kathleen Kent has released in paperback her newest publication The Traitors Wife. The Andover Bookstore will be selling copies of all of Kathleen Kent’s books.
Coming up next Tuesday, a new program for children, Tea with Sarah Carrier: A 1692 Andover Girl. Like the beloved American Girl Doll stories, the Andover Historical Society is sharing stories of real Andover Girls of the past. The first Andover Girl will be a 1692 girl, Sarah Carrier. She was only 7 years old when her mother was imprisoned during the Witchcraft Hysteria. Even Sarah was imprisoned and accused of being a witch. During this special spooky tea party, girls will learn about what it was like to live in the Colonial era. They will make special crafts, learn about the past, and try foods that the Carriers may have eater. The Andover Girl Tea will take place Tuesday, October 18th, 3:30-5:00. Reservations are required.
Next Saturday, Tour of the Witch’s House at 9 Andover Street the Benjamin Abbot house. The home of witch trial accuser Benjamin Abbot will be open for tours during this one-time special event. Benjamin Abbot accused Martha Carrier of witchcraft, along with others, after an argument with Martha regarding land. A sore grew on Benjamin’s side and did not start to mend until she was taken away by the sheriff. Tours will include history of the ten generations of Abbots who lived in the second oldest home in Andover, history of Andover and the witch trials. Tours will take place on the hour and half hour from 1 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the last tour taking place at 3:30 p.m.
The final event to end Bewitched in Andover is a lecture on the history of West Parish Cemetery by Jim Batchelder. Make reservations to join us for Cocktails from the Crypt. Drinks will be served at 7:00 p.m. and an informative lecture will start at 7:30.
Call to make reservations at the Andover Historical Society 978-475-2236.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Sweetheart at the Andover Historical Society.
On Monday, February 14th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., guests are invited to treat their sweethearts to a romantically entertaining afternoon Tea Party with delicious fare, warm tea, and delightful historical love stories. Guests will hear the written words of a young Andover man struck by cupid’s arrow while also viewing pieces from the Society’s collection dating to the era of Victorian elegance. This specialty program is based on a true love story to enjoy on Valentine’s Day.
Costumed interpreter and Merrimack College student Tommy Doucette will read from the diary of the love-struck David Bates Douglass. Douglass, who lived in Andover in 1878, kept a diary for the months of January, February and March of that year. In his private journal, Douglass wrote of little else but his love for his future bride, Abby Morton. Historical Society staff will provide additional details and background about 1870s Andover. Always touching, often comical, this local love story is sure to touch the heart of anyone attending the Sweethearts Tea at the Andover Historical Society.
Tickets-$25 per person
or purchase tickets online at our website.
Don’t worry you didn’t miss it! Mark your Calendars and come to the Andover Historical Society next week.
The Andover Historical Society’s much anticipated Andover Stories presentation, William Wood, Father of Shawsheen Village by Don Robb has been rescheduled for February 8th, 2 -3 p.m.
Have you ever wondered why there are so few garages in Shawsheen Village? Or why the area is divided into “Brick Shawsheen” and “White Shawsheen”? And what ever happened to the dream of William Wood.
Don’t miss this Andover Story!
Andover Historical Society
97 Main St.
Andover, MA 01810
Historical Society volunteer Holly Heinzer recently transcribed a letter that was given to the Society. The letter, written in 1888, is from Mrs. S.M. Bryant to her friend Mrs. Jackson. After Mrs. Bryant finished her letter, Mr. Bryant filled in the remaining spaces with his own note to Mrs. Jackson. The Bryants had moved to Andover from “West Galway” five weeks before the letter was written. Both Bryants mention Rev. Olgilvie a new minister who had recently come to West Galway. There is a West Galway, New York, just north of Schenectady, but we haven’t uncovered any evidence to indicate that is the town Mrs. Bryant was referring to.
There is a Reverend James P. Bryant listed on Morton Street in the 1891 Andover street directory. We’re not sure if this is our Mr. Bryant, but the location on Morton Street and proximity to Phillips sound about right. If anyone would like to help do some more research into the Bryant family, please let us know!
Letters like this give a wonderful glimpse into in another era. Mrs. Bryant describes the familiar challenges of moving to a new community, unpacking and decorating a new a home, dealing with schooling for her child, learning where local services such as shopping and churches are, differences in prices and cost of living, and worrying about her son not making friends or meeting a girl soon enough.
A full transcript of the letter appears after the jump.