Category Archives: News

Announcements and news from the Maynard Historical Society and other history-minded groups in the area

Special Society Meeting on April 26th – Russian Icons

On Monday, April 26 at 7:00pm, at the Holy Annunciation Church, 11 Prospect St, Maynard, the Maynard Historical Society will sponsor a lecture by the Russian Icon Museum of Clinton. We will learn about the history and art of Russian icons and their images, symbols, and forms. We will then tour the parish of Holy Annunciation Church, built in 1916.

Light refreshments will be served at the end of the meeting. The meeting is open to the public and is handicapped accessible. A suggested donation of $5 by non-church members is appreciated. For further information contact Peggy Brown: 978-897-1664 or email

For more information on the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, please visit their web site:

If you don’t know what a Russian Icon is or want to learn more about them, Wikipedia has a short introduction:

History of the Ice Trade on the Assabet River – March 25th

Join SVT, OAR, and the Maynard Historical Society on Thursday March 25, 7:00pm at Wolbach Farm for a talk about the History of the Ice Trade on the Assabet River. For much of the 19th century Boston was the hub of the ice export business, shipping ice as far as India. Thoreau writes in Walden of 100 men descending on Walden Pond the winter of 1846-47. Led by David Mark of Maynard, this talk will give you an in-depth history of the ice trade and ice houses on the Assabet River.

The Wayside Inn Antiques Show – May 14-16, 2010

Our friends down the road are having an auction, and we thought our readers would be interested.  If you are interested in sponsoring or attending this benefit auction for The Wayside Inn please read on and/or download the flyers (see the end of this post).

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn is a nationally recognized Massachusetts Historic Landmark, licensed as an Inn and tavern in 1716 and continues today to provide hospitality services along the former Boston Post Road.

Preview Party and Reception May 14, 6:30pm to 9pm $125 by advance registration and $150 at the door

General admission $10 Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16 10am to 5pm

A 501(c)3 not-for-profit 120-acre historic site on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wayside Inn offers rich educational public programming, with trained interpreters detailing a variety of colonial customs at several historic building locations. The village campus was originally conceived by former property owner Henry Ford, and is generally recognized as the first living-history museum in the United States. The Wayside Inn remains dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of its open campus, as well as the interpretation and operation of the old Howe Tavern; represented today by the multi-room facility known as the Wayside Inn.

In order to ensure the longevity of this landmark property we need your help. Please consider a sponsorship at any level, or attend the opening night reception to preview some of the most extraordinary antiques on the market while enjoying fine food and drink in a grand canopy tent housing 44 top-notch dealers.

For sponsor information and preview tickets please contact Kathy Quinton, Director of Sales , (978) 443-1776 x102 or Sponsor press kits are available at

Presenting Sponsor: SKINNER, INC. Auctioneers and Appraisers of Antiques and Fine art

Sponsorships range from $10,000 (Preview Party Sponsor) to $500 (Bronze) and Show Catalog Advertising ($250).

General Admission Preview Tickets for 6:30 Admission
• $125 pre-purchase • $150 at the door
Preview Party tickets are transferable and are good for admission all three show days. Sponsors are allowed early-admission to Preview Party, beginning at 5:30pm. General Admission to Preview Party begins at 6:30pm. Advertising rates include ad setup.

Wayside Antiques Show Insert (pdf file)

Wayside Inn Antiques Show Sponsor and Preview Info (pdf file)

History of Maynard, Massachusetts 1871-1971 now available online

Just over a year ago we released a digital version of the 50th anniversary (1921) history of Maynard by William Gutteridge.

After completing that project we sought a sacrificial copy of the 1971 history of the town so we could make that important document available to everyone.  Roy Helander was kind enough to donate one of his paperback copies and it sat in my “to do” box for several months — it’s a hefty book and it would take some time.  I needed a couple of pages scanned for an upcoming presentation, so today seemed like a good time to attack this project.   Armed with a microplane rasp I removed the adhesive binding and then carefully worked the pages off the staples that held the book together.  It was scanned at 200 pixels/inch – which makes for a nice file size and is reportedly a good resolution for OCR (optical character recognition).  I processed the file with Adobe Acrobat’ s OCR and it cranked away for a few hours. The results were pretty good (as OCR goes)!  So the text of this book is also searchable (I wouldn’t trust it 100%, but my random sampling implies that it works pretty well for casual searches.)

So here we are in February 2010 and the second major history of Maynard is now available on any computer in the world.  (I wonder if the 3rd one will even make it to paper?)

If you look at the book the last page is 234, but due to the way it was published pages with photographs weren’t numbers.  The actual page count is 366, not counting the cover pages.  So this is a substantial work and full of wonderful details about Maynard.  It is the current bible for town history buffs and we hope you will take advantage of this electronic copy.

You can download it from the Maynard Historical Society web site.  The file is just under 100 megabytes:

The History of Maynard, Massachusetts 1871-1971 (pdf, 95MB – right-click to download)

The book was published by the Maynard Historical Commission and encapsulates the work of numerous people, many in the Maynard Historical Society, in anticipation of Maynard’s Centennial celebration.  1000 copies were printed (400 hard-bound and 600 soft-bound).

Maynard Memories #51 is out

The first issue in 2010 of Maynard Memories, the bi-monthly newsletter of the Society, has been published.  Those of you receiving it via mail should have it soon.  Those that elected to receive it electronically had it delivered on Monday.

Maynard Memories #51 has an in-depth article on the history of the Marble Farm by David Mark.  David, along with Peg Brown, made a presentation to the Society in November on this very topic and we appreciate his taking the time to write up an article — especially for those who could not attend.   Over the years the Marble Farm was the home of the Marble, Whitney, and Parmenter families and David’s article dips into their genealogy as well.

As always, thanks go to our newsletter editor, Nancy Wasiuk, and to Bobby Stakus for mailing it out to our members.

Old Manse Program on Sunday, Jan 17th

Songs of the Abolitionists

Anti-Slavery Programs at Concord’s Old Manse

On Sunday, January 17, at 2 pm, visit The Old Manse and experience the inspiring music of the 19th century anti-slavery movement. From the 1830s through the Civil War, rousing Anthems, Marches, Hymns of justice, and plaintive Ballads were all employed in the effort to gain emancipation for the slaves.

Come “Help the chorus on!” as Deborah Anne Goss shares a tuneful and varied selection of “’Songs of the Abolitionists”’ in the guise of fictitious, but fact-based, abolitionist Deborah White. Miss White sheds the restrictions of early 19th century Boston to sing alone in public and tell her 21st century audiences about the importance of music and verse to the anti-slavery movement.

The program includes 19th century refreshments, including the famous “Brooks Cake” often served at Anti-Slavery Society meetings by Concordian Mary Merrick Brooks, a leader of the local abolitionist movement.

Deborah Anne Goss is originally from Vermont and has a BFA in Acting from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts Theatre Division. Historical projects have been a favorite part of her career. As one half of the a cappella duo “The Proper Ladies” with Anabel Graetz, she has toured both coasts and performed throughout New England with their arrangements of popular songs of 19th Century America, highlighting the culture, social movements and personalities of the nation’s past. She has studied and taught classical, jazz and pop vocal technique as well as performing in both dramatic and musical roles.

Reservations are suggested. Adults $12, TTOR members $10. For more details and reservations, contact The Old Manse at 978.369.3909 or email us at

Also on Sunday, January 17, at 1 and 3 pm, a special anti-slavery themed tour of The Old Manse will explore the movement in Concord through the involvement of The Manse residents—one of Concord’s most influential families. While enjoying this historic and fascinating home, learn how Concord transcendentalists influenced the antislavery fight for freedom, why Concordians were divided over John Brown and his activities to free the slaves, and what famous abolitionists visited the Old Manse.

Tour admission is $8 or free with paid admission to “Songs of the Abolitionists.” Reservations suggested.

A property of The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR), The Old Manse is located next to the Old North Bridge at 269 Monument Street in Concord.

Old Manse Open House this weekend (Oct 10-12)

If you are looking for something to do this holiday weekend, consider heading over to the Old Manse in Concord.  It will be open from 11am-6pm through the weekend.

Our own Maynard Historical Society Board member Diann Strausberg will be there performing on Saturday: hear about revolutionary Concord through the life stories of two real women who lived at the Old Manse on the day of the Concord Fight, April 19, 1775.  Two historians recreate Phebe Emerson Ripley (Diann Strausberg) and Ruth Hunt (Camille Arbogast), the minister’s wife and a neighbor’s daughter who joined the household under an indenture agreement.

This unique historical intepretation will be only on Saturday (Oct 10th) at 12:15, 2:15 and 4:15 PM

Tickets for the performances are $10 and space is limited.  Reservations suggested: 978-369-3909

The Old Manse runs the entire weekend.  For more details on the Old Manse visit:

For the Old Manse Fall Festival information try this:

Help support local history: Vote at Maynard’s Special Town Meeting

Maynard residents can directly help support the preservation of local history by voting in favor of Article 7 (Community Preservation Funds Appropriation) at the Special Town Meeting on May 19th.

There are 3 historical preservation projects included in this article.  One of the projects is a grant to professionally survey the historical collection of the town and to begin the process of creating a digital catalog of the collection.  The project is a joint effort of the Maynard Historical Society and the Maynard Historical Commission.   Our proposal to the Community Preservation Committee was enthusastically supported and we hope to get the same support from the community on the 19th.

If you are resident of the town, please consider attending Special Town Meeting (and Annual Town Meeting for that matter) and voting in favor of Article 7.

Thank you,

Dave Griffin
President, Maynard Historical Society

Several large items moved from Town Hall

Today we moved a number of large items that were still at Town Hall.  A painted fence, a wall-sized photograph of a 1966 “Digits” little league team, some 3×6 blow-up panels of old Mill scenes (from Digital in Marlborough), and the 13 foot long “Asparagus Farm” sign which was recovered from the barn before it was demolished to make way for a housing development a number of years ago.

Maynard’s Town Hall is undergoing renovations and we wanted to keep these important artifacts out of harm’s way.

My thanks to Paul Boothroyd for keeping an eye on these items and coordinating the move; Jack MacKeen for his help removing them from the walls they were bolted on to or hung from; Fred from Town Hall for getting us a trailer to safely haul the stuff to the Paymaster Building (and helping load/unload the items); and Bob Larkin / Frik and Frak for providing use of their trailer for the move.  Walking down Main Street with these things would have been really awkward!

Maynard Historical Society Podcast #12


Our podcast this week (back from a short hiatus) covers a project that has been ongoing with the collection the past month or so.  We are working on creating subcollections to make research of the collection easier for folks who will visit us in the future.  Deciding what deserves a subcollection requires thought and discussion.

We recently decided to create a “school photographs” subcollection – organizing the photographs by class year.

Here are some examples of the “forensic history” photographs: these photos come to the collection with little or no information other that what we can see.  We will eventually tie together photographs, town records, and other information to “fill in the blanks”.

Maynard Historical Society Podcast #12

By examining the backgrounds we determined that the following two photos that they originated at the original Nason Street School which existed from 1892 to 1916.



The stairway in the following photo means that it was at the Bancroft Street School (which later became the Coolidge School).  We’ll eventually be able to use dress styles to pin the age to a decade or so.


The entryway in the following photograph pins this to the Main Street School (1902-1952).


This photograph was also taken at the Main Street School, but was harder to identify.  We used the patterns of the brick and window stones to determine it was Main Street.   The photograph itself contained a two additional clues on the back that will be useful in the future for further identification: it was a 2nd grade portrait and the teacher was Miss Garvey.  But that’s all we know right now.


As we continue to catalog and cross-reference photographs and other documents, this sub-collection will provide relatively easy access to relevant photographs to anyone who wants to see school-age photos of a person given their birth date or graduation year.