Old Group Photos: Someone Else’s Ancestors

Maybe you love to stare into the faces of those captured in long-ago photographs and search for a lost image of a long-dead ancestor.  Maybe you just like old photos. In our family, we’ve had an old group photograph from 1924 for … well, since it was taken in 1924.  The story behind the photograph […]

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Groton’s Castle of Broken Dreams – Bancroft Castle on Gibbet Hill

As far as hiking trails go in Eastern Massachusetts, Groton’s Gibbet Hill offers an interesting story, as well as spectacular views.  Pronounced “jib-bet” and meaning ‘gallows,’ the name for the hill off Groton’s Route 40 comes from another hill in England and was named by Groton’s English settlers when they first came to the area in the 17th […]

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Among the Artifacts: The Licensed Newsboy Badge

My fingers first brushed across the small metallic oval a few weeks ago. It was right next to Officer Lee’s Lowell PD badge.  This very different badge was light, too old to be plastic.  I figured it was probably aluminum.   As I slid out the drawer at the Lowell Historical Society’s archive, the flourescent […]

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If you were to walk . . . Boston’s Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, 1886

If you were to walk . . . Boston’s Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market 125 years ago, on the afternoon before Thanksgiving, you would encounter a large assortment of the city’s vegetable and meat merchants, selling their wares from the many wagons crowding the scene.  Today, although these merchants have long since moved on to […]

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In His Words: Charles Dickens’ Perspective on New England and Public Transport, 1842

We New Englanders have long called Boston “the Hub”.  And there’s a sense, just barely concealed, that we’re really referring to the hub of the universe, and not merely the hub of the state or region.   Undoubtedly, New England has a strong regional identity that includes the ubiquitous image of the “proper Bostonian” as well as a […]

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