FRIDAY’S FINDS

June 5, 2021

Our Friday Find: We received a donation this week of a cool photo from the WWII era. The back of the photo reads: “John Henry Wilson and son, James, on Airplane Observation Patrol Post in Littleton Mass in December 1941 beginning of the War with the Axis.”

“The Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) was established by the federal government in early 1941 to organize volunteers nationwide to serve as airplane spotters, air raid wardens and fire brigades.

In December 1941 the Littleton Campfire Girls donated their camp building on Warren Street for use as a post for plane spotting. The building measured 10 feet by 10 feet and was moved by volunteers to the corner of Foster and Taylor streets. A wood stove was installed to provide heat in the winter.” (from “Littleton, Mass 1714-2014, Celebrating 300 Years of History”)

The Rev. John H. Wilson was minister of the Unitarian Church in the 1930s-1940s. In the 1940 census he lived on Foster street with his wife, Lucile and children John, Lewis, Jean and James.

Fun fact: Son Lewis Wilson was the first actor to play Batman on film in a 1943 serial!

May 31, 2021

 

Soon after the conclusion of the Civil War, cities and towns took to decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags. In May 1868, General John A. Logan, who was the second Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic from 1868 to 1871 and a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. after the war, designated the 30th of May to be a nationwide day of remembrance. Known as Decoration Day, northern states continued the tradition, and by 1890 they all had declared it a state holiday. Following WWI, the tradition grew and remembrances for all war dead became the norm. In 1971, Congress changed the observance from May 30 to the last Monday in May and declared it officially as “Memorial Day.”
The newspaper clipping is from the “Littleton Guidon” 3 June 1899 relating how Littleton observed the early holiday. The photos are of the G.A.R. (Civil War fraternal organization) soldiers on parade and the ceremony at Westlawn Cemetery in 2019.

 

May 28, 2021

Our Friday Find: Three descendants of Augustus P. Hager visited the Littleton Historical Society this week and donated photos and artifacts from the family. The Hager family lived at 338 King Street (Kimball/Morgan/Gruskowski) from 1858 to 1972. Leslie Augustus Hager was a Moxie salesman for 42 years and traveled extensively throughout the east coast in the Moxie Cadillac. Pictured here are two Moxie Cadillacs and the Moxie Horse mobile.

Are you a Moxie drinker? Moxie is…an acquired taste. My uncle once claimed it was the “blood of old schoolmarms.” Now owned by Coca-Cola, it is one of the first mass-produced soft drinks in the U.S. getting its start in Lowell in 1876. It is flavored with gentian root extract, which gives it its distinct taste.

 

May 22,2021

Our Friday Find: It is human nature…whether in exercise class, the movie theater, or church. We have a certain spot we always sit in. We can get very indignant when someone is in “our spot.” If you are nodding at this, you’ll like this find.

Pews at early meeting houses were sold to families to raise money for the operation of the church. They were purchased, sold, and inherited and were formally recorded at the Registry of Deeds.

Dated 9 July 1813

Samuel Reed, executor of Samuel Reed’s estate (his father), to James Kimball, yeoman, for the sum of $54.00 ”…the said pew being situate in the southerly part of said meeting house being the first pew on the easterly side of the door at the southerly end of said meeting house on the lower floor and numbered thirty nine”

Recorded at Middlesex Registry of Deeds

Stands to reason Mr. Kimball never had to shoo anyone out of his spot on Sunday morning.

 

 

May `4, 2021

 

Our Friday Find: one of our volunteers came across this class photo today. It is Miss Anna Woodbine’s 5th & 6th grade class taken about 1914 in front of the Union School. The school was located in what is now the front parking lot of the Reuben Hoar Library. Twenty-five girls and ten boys attended these two grades. There are some familiar names in the class list. I love how the boys are in ties and the girls in dresses with big hair bows obviously the fashion.

Back row: Miss Anna Woodbine, ?, Beulah Kimball, Hilda Lund, Edith Barber, Hazel Straight, ?, Marjorie Goddard, ? Goddard, Margaret Hartwell, Barbara Priest

Middle Row- Alice Pat Hager, Elizabeth Pickard, Charlotte Pickard (her sister), Hazel McNiff, Florence Wesley, Rose O’Banion, Hope Fletcher, Lillian Mannion, Hazel Bradlee, Leslie Rowe, Ruth Jewett

First row: ?, David Hall, Parkinson Oddy, Ted Leahy, Henry Ewing, ? Tom Mannion

Can anyone fill in the missing names?

 

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