All posts by Dave Griffin

President, Maynard Historical Society
Member, Maynard Historical Commission

Hidden Treasures: Glenwood Cemetery Guided Tour – May 15

From May 14th to May 22nd a region-wide celebration of the natural, cultural and historic “treasures” located within the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, Hidden Treasures 2016 features a unique variety of regional treasures to explore during eight days of creative, community organized and presented activities offered free of charge.

Discover exciting and unexpected stories and places “hidden in plain sight” within the heritage area’s 45 communities.

Explore the region’s landscape, public monuments, historic buildings, cultural and natural features, objects and documents held in public collections.

Learn about the visionaries and experimenters who, since before the founding of the nation, lived within the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area creating new ideas about relationships to society and the natural world.

Connect with the shared stories and places that are part of your own and neighboring communities.

Find your place in the heritage area!

As part of this regional program, the Maynard Historical Commission and the Maynard Historical Society are sponsoring a guided walking tour of Glenwood Cemetery on Sunday, May 15th at 2pm.  The tour will be hosted by local historian Paul Boothroyd.  Glenwood Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Learn more about the other Hidden Treasures in our area.

Can’t make our event on the 15th?  There is a self-guided walking tour of the cemetery (and other parts of town).  Click here to learn more.

Maynard Then and Now Exhibit

2014B-022-0060

The Maynard Historical Commission, with a grant from the Maynard Cultural Council has created a wonderful exhibit now on display at the Maynard Public Library (on Nason Street) which runs through the end of 2014.

Featuring large prints from the Maynard Historical Society’s collection, paired with new photography by local photographer Erik Hansen, the exhibit juxtaposes today’s Maynard with scenes ranging from a few decades ago to over 100 years.

We encourage all history fans, or anyone just curious about Maynard, to visit this wonderful exhibit.

Special Program – June 12th – Thoreau on Slavery in America

Henry_David_ThoreauOn June 12th, 7pm at the Maynard Public Library, the Historical Society is pleased to host “Thoreau on Slavery in America

Historical interpreter Richard Smith will reprise Thoreau’s lecture “Slavery In Massachusetts.” This re-enactment in 2014 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act enacted on July 2nd 1964 . Designed for all ages, this program will bring to life Thoreau’s singular observations and concerns about social justice in a new nation. This presentation will conclude with a lively Q&A with Richard Smith about how and why Thoreau ideas and actions remains relevant today.

In the decades before the Civil War began, New England men and women participated in the abolitionist movement by joining the American Anti-Slavery Society, subscribing to a weekly newspaper, The Liberator, attending rallies, defying authorities and helping escaped slaves on their courageous journeys toward Canada. Henry David Thoreau supported the anti-slavery cause in both word and action. He and his family gave temporary sanctuary in their home to fugitives heading north. Thoreau wrote essays and delivered several anti-slavery public lectures. His most famous one was “Slavery in Massachusetts,” which he delivered at a famous rally in Framingham on July 4, 1854. Thoreau was also the first American to publicly support radical abolitionist John Brown with another renowned lecture, “Plea For Captain John Brown”.

This timely Thoreau program series has been presented state-wide by Freedom’s Way and the Maynard program is made possible by a generous grant by the Maynard Cultural Council.

Help spread the word: download flyer for the program.

Annual Meeting – May 12th – 7pm

Please join us on Monday, May 12th at 7pm for the Maynard Historical Society’s Annual Meeting.    The meeting will take place at the Senior Center main room, 15 Powder Mill Circle.

In addition to a review of the past year’s activities and election of officers – but we know that as fun as that might be, it really won’t draw an audience, so we will be bringing a very special artifact that has recently been donated to our collection: the draft of the petition for the town’s incorporation – from circa 1870.    The petition varies from the final one that was submitted to the State and ultimately created the Town of Maynard from Sudbury and Stow, and we’ll cover that a little bit.   Until recently this petition was part of a private collection, but we were thrilled when it was donated to the Society in 2014.   Come see what could be considered one of the earliest pieces of the Town of Maynard’s history.

While this is our Annual Meeting, all Historical Society meetings are open to the public and we invite you to join us whether you are a member or not.

Slavery in Massachusetts

When you think of the shameful history of slavery in the United States, Massachusetts doesn’t normally spring to mind.   By a bit of serendipity the Maynard Historical Society is pleased to host two events this year on this interesting topic, made especially poignant by this year’s observance of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.  When it comes to understanding one’s history, different points of view and interpretation of the records provides a more complete picture of what happened and we are pleased to be able to do that for this particular topic.

At 7pm on February 27th, in the Maynard Public Library, David Mark, a frequent contributor to the Historical Society program series will speak on this topic.  Here is David’s synopsis:

Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery (1641) and the first to end it (1783). Slavery began with the question of what to do with Indians captured in war. The answer? Sell them to the Caribbean colonies, and while there might as well bring back African-born slaves.

Slavery never took hold in the northern colonies as it did in the south mostly because there were no labor intensive cash crops. Instead, northern slaves were primarily prestige property for the upper class. The end of slavery in Massachusetts was hastened by the Revolutionary War. Wealthy Loyalists fled to British-controlled territory, often abandoning their slaves. The Continental Army initially opposed enrolling any Negro men, but soon allowed Free Negros to enroll, and also for slave owners to receive cash compensation for any slave freed to serve in the Army. With the Revolutionary War still raging on, Massachusetts passed a state constitution in 1780 with key wording: “All men are born free and equal…” Court cases soon confirmed this, and also made illegal selling Negros to states that had not abolished slavery.

 On June 12th, 7pm at the Maynard Public Library, the Historical Society is pleased to host Thoreau on Slavery in America

Historical interpreter Richard Smith will reprise Thoreau’s lecture “Slavery In Massachusetts.” This re-enactment in 2014 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act enacted on July 2nd 1964 . Designed for all ages, this program will bring to life Thoreau’s singular observations and concerns about social justice in a new nation. This presentation will conclude with a lively Q&A with Richard Smith about how and why Thoreau ideas and actions remains relevant today.

In the decades before the Civil War began, New England men and women participated in the abolitionist movement by joining the American Anti-Slavery Society, subscribing to a weekly newspaper, The Liberator, attending rallies, defying authorities and helping escaped slaves on their courageous journeys toward Canada. Henry David Thoreau supported the anti-slavery cause in both word and action. He and his family gave temporary sanctuary in their home to fugitives heading north. Thoreau wrote essays and delivered several anti-slavery public lectures. His most famous one was “Slavery in Massachusetts,” which he delivered at a famous rally in Framingham on July 4, 1854. Thoreau was also the first American to publicly support radical abolitionist John Brown with another renowned lecture, “Plea For Captain John Brown”.

 This timely Thoreau program series has been presented state-wide by Freedom’s Way and the Maynard program is made possible by a generous grant by the Maynard Cultural Council.  And to put the icing on the cake, Richard Smith is a Maynard resident!

We hope you avail yourself of these two unique programs.

Historical Society Meeting – June 17th – Schools

Maynard High School - 1970On Monday, June 17th, the Maynard Historical Society will present a program on the history of the Maynard Public Schools.  Starting at 7pm, the program will take place in the Maynard High School Library and will be one of, if not the last, public event to take place in the High School, which is slated for demolition this summer.

In addition to the program, we will have a number of artifacts and photographs related to the schools and our complete collection of yearbooks dating back to 1907.  The Society’s yearbook collection is very thin after 1965, so anyone who wishes to donate an MHS Screech Owl yearbook dating from 1965 to the present can bring it to the meeting and we will gratefully accept it into our archives.

Following the program you will be free to walk the halls of Maynard High School for the last time.   So join us on the 17th and take a trip down memory lane.

The meeting is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

What: Maynard Historical Society Spring Meeting
When: Monday, June 17th, 2013 – 7pm
Where: Maynard High School Library, 1 Tiger Drive

 

Happy New Year

We are ringing in 2013 with some updates to our online collection.   We are now running a new version of the Omeka software that we use to manage our digital archives.  What this means to you is that searching our archive is now faster and more accurate than ever before.

We’re still tweaking around the edges, but you’ll also see a new face to our online collection.   We also have a new page design.  One of the things we’re excited about is that the collection website now automatically adapts itself to whatever device you are using to access it — so it works great with regular computers and laptops, tablets and smartphones.

With over 1500 items currently available to the public and new items being added every week, we’re hoping you’ll enjoy these new capabilities to explore Maynard’s history.

If you haven’t tried poking around our great collection lately, give it a try.

Maynard Historical Society – Annual Meeting – Nov 29th

At long last we have a date and location for our next meeting.  The Historical Society will hold their annual meeting on THURSDAY, November 29th at 7pm in the Maynard PUBLIC LIBRARY.   (We have traditionally met on Mondays in Town Hall, so I’m trying to emphasize the different day and location…)

After a short business meeting and update on the Society we will have local author and history buff David Mark speak on the topic “Meet the Maynard Family.” Mark will talk about the Maynard family and the town that developed around their wool mill, which came to be named after Amory Maynard, the mill’s founder, while he was still alive (and was almost renamed “Assabet” twelve years after he died).

Mark will also speak about William Knight – Amory’s forgotten partner – about how much water power the mill actually generated, where the wool came from, where the bricks came from, and who is buried (and not buried) in the Maynard family mausoleum.

The meeting is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments and some social time will follow the formal meeting.

Our Special Annual Meeting – Mar 26th

Please Join The
Maynard Historical Commission and Maynard Historical Society
For a House History Workshop

At the Historical Society’s March 26th Meeting
7:00 PM
1st Floor, Maynard Town Building
195 Main Street, Maynard, MA

On Monday night, March 26th, the Maynard Historical Society will provide a forum for three local homeowners to describe how they researched the history of their early 20th-century homes.

  • Ellen Duggan will discuss her family homestead on Park Street, built by the family in 1924 and continuously occupied by the family since then.
  • Lee Caras will describe her research on her family’s 1916 Joshua Fairchild Graham house on Great Road, including locally available source materials.
  • Peg Brown will cover her Grant Street home, its origins as part of mill built and owned tenement worker housing ca 1903, and the eventual sale to the public of the homes in this classic neighborhood.

After the workshop the Historical Commission will announce several new programs and research tools to promote awareness and appreciation of Maynards historic areas and homes.  These will spotlight historical sites, buildings and homes in Maynard through a Program of Markers, Plaques, and Certificates, Walking Tour Maps and MACRIS reference materials now available at the Library. 

THESE INCLUDE:

A new program which provides for the purchase of:

  • Historical Markers for important sites and buildings (by the Commission);
  • Historical Plaques for Maynard homes built before WWII (by homeowners);
  • Certificate Awards for noteworthy historic restoration or renovation of Maynard properties (by the Commission).

The Markers and Plaques will carry Historical Commission certification.  They are intended for permanent attachment to the house, building or location to promote the historical importance of the structure for all to see. Samples will be shown at the meeting with application forms available.

At the meeting, the Commission will present the first Historical Marker, commemorating Riverside Hall on Main Street, site of Maynard’s first Town Meeting.  It will be displayed at Gruber Brothers Furniture, current owners of the building, along with a photograph of the original building.

A new Walking Tour program highlighting the many historic properties in Maynard has been in development for the past year under Peg Brown, long time member of both the Historical Society and the Historical Commission (former chair).  This work, now supported by a generous grant from the Maynard Cultural Council, will eventually consist of five separate tours with printed guides and maps, to be available at the Library and other locations in town.  They will give townspeople and visitors reasons to spend more time in Maynard.  TheseTours, and the Rail Trail when completed, combined with the many eating and retail establishments in town, should create a powerful economic boost for the Town.

The top new research tool is the recently-completed MACRIS database of Maynard structures and properties available for general use at the Library.  This is Maynard’s section of the Massachusetts Cultural ResearchInformation System, which provides facts and photos of historic sites and properties.  In time this will be accessible on the Historical Commission section of the town website.

The Commission has also developed a list of historically prominent properties in Maynard, which can be used as a tool for nominating new Historical Marker, Plaque and Certificate Awards, and for prioritizing the Commission’s efforts around preservation concerns.  This list will evolve over time, and suggestions for additions are welcomed.

Finally, ANNOUNCING the launch of Maynard 2021

 

In just nine short years Maynard will reach the 150th anniversary of its incorporation.  The Historical Society and the Historical Commission jointly announce the launch of a community wide focus on celebrating and planning for this major milestone in Maynard’s story.

For additional information, contact Dave Griffin, President, Maynard Historical Society (davebets@mac.com), or Jack MacKeen, Chair, Maynard Historical Commission (jmackeen@verizon.net)

Monthly Meeting – Feb 27

For our February 27th meeting the Maynard Historical Society will have
David Mark read from his recently published book “MAYNARD: History and
Life Outdoors.” The book is available in local stores, and will also
be for sale at the meeting.

Mark brought his years of experience as a writer and scientist to create
this fact-populated collection of short essays gathered into twelve
theme-linked chapters. Much of the content was originally published as
his column in Maynard’s newspaper, the Beacon-Villager. More recent
columns are at www.maynardlifeoutdoors.com.

The Maynard Historical Society meets in the lower level of Maynard Town
Hall, 195 Main Street. The meetings start at 7:00 pm and are open to the
public. A social hour with light refreshments follows the meeting.
Meetings are open to non-members, and there is no charge.