Thursday, February 12, 2015

South Main Street Snow, Easter 1915


South Main Street looking southwestward from Nickerson Avenue (right) and Webster Street (left). The street is virtually impassable save for the street railway tracks.

Another View from Easter 1915


The intrepid photographer that ventured out to capture the scene of Center Street covered by snow on Easter Sunday (April 4), 1915, also took this photograph of Peirce Academy with the Central Baptist Church in the background. (Thatcher's Row is just out of the image to the left). The Middleborough Post Office now occupies the site of the Academy building which at the time housed the district court for Middleborough.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easter Sunday, 1915



One of the more historically notable snowstorms in Middleborough's past was the blizzard of Easter Sunday 1915. Described by the Middleboro Gazette as one of the worst in years, the storm in early April dumped a considerable quantity of snow on the town leaving church-goers on April 4 to confront the remarkably un-spring-like scene in the photograph above. The view depicts Center Street taken from in front of what is now Santander Bank. Recognizable is the Glidden Building at the right of the view. Though little plowing has been done, the street railway has managed to clear its tracks and the owners of the T. W. Pierce hardware store (the building at the immediate right with the sign marked "SHOES") have shovelled the sidewalk in front of their building, now the site of Benny's. The image below shows nearly the same view without snow.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Horse Founders in Snow, 1886

   Prior to the arrival of the automobile, the arrival of winter snow meant the substitution of sleighs for carriages and the replacement of wheels with runners, with runnered vehicles gliding easily on hard-packed snow. Deep snows however were another matter and were sometimes difficult for horses to negotiate. In certain circumstances the snow could be downright dangerous.  Following a storm in February 1883, the Middleboro Gazette recounted one story - part ghost tale, part animal rescue - that spoke to the dangers heavy snow could present horses.

   Two young men came over from East Taunton, in a sleigh, last Sunday, and left the team standing on Benton street, near Cornelius Murphy's residence. The horse became restive, and finally went off on his own account. It was between nine and ten o'clock that night, when John Driscoll's boys were going to bed., on looking from the window over the meadow between the house and the river they saw some dark object moving, and having read about a 'ghost on School street,' were affrighted, and called for the father. The father advised them to go to bed, and not watch the dogs any longer. But they protested, and said they knew it was not dogs, until finally Mr. Driscoll went out, with stout stick in hand, to drive off the dogs, when behold he found a horse lying upon his side in a snow-bank tangled up in the harness. He sent for help, and the horse and sleigh that belonged to the Taunton boys was rescued from a position in which the horse would have soon died. He ran through Lincoln avenue, and up by Mr. Churchill's residence, and over an embankment of five feet depth, overturning the wall, breaking the sleigh, and tearing off his skin in several places. The only wonder is that he was discovered at all.

Illustration:
Old Sturbridge Village Sleigh Rally by Marcy Reed, 2013 
http://www.centralmass.org/media-center/releases/old-fashioned-horse-drawn-sleigh-rally-old-sturbridge-village-feb-2

Source:
The Middleboro Gazette, "Middleboro", February 13, 1886, page 4.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vandalous Pigs That Swim, 1895


Sadly Middleborough's cemeteries, like those elsewhere, are periodically the objects of vandalism.  In the early autumn of 1895, the Nemasket Hill Cemetery saw its grounds vandalized by unlikely perpetrators - pigs - who swam along the river.  The incident was recorded in the Middleboro Gazette of October 10, 1895.

A number of pigs created sad havoc in the Hill cemetery last week. They evidently swam the river, and several lots, some of the best, were badly torn up and considerable expense has been required to put them in proper condition again.

No record is given of either the pigs' owner or the fate of the transgressors.

Source:
Middleboro Gazette, "Middleboro", October 10, 1895, page 4.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lactart, 1880s

Who wants a big glass of Lactart?

Lactart (acid of milk) was a popular beverage flavoring produced by the Avery Lactate Company of Boston beginning in the early 1880s and was available in Middleborough at local grocers like Lucas & Bliss. It could also be found on draft at B. F. Tripp's candy store. Made from the lactic acid in milk, Lactart had a sour or acidic taste and was used as a natural drink flavoring in place of lemons or limes. As a product derived from milk, it was considered an ideal flavoring for dairy-based drinks. Alternatively, Lactart could also be drunk simply with water and sugar in  place of lemonade.

Lactart was also sold by druggists since the Avery Company touted it as a “healthful, invigorating, delicious” remedy and marketed it as a digestive aid “especially useful in dyspepsia, biliousness, nervous depression, wakefulness, headache, and all ills arising from a disordered stomach”. Lactart was also claimed to both prevent and relieve cholera, sunstroke, fevers, cold, coughs or croup, urinary difficulties and seasickness.

Although Lactart may sound unappealing today, it is in fact experiencing somewhat of a revival, being used in vintage drinks and sodas.


Illustrations:
Lactart Trade Card, Avery Lactate Company, Boston, MA, c. 1885

Lactart advertisement, Lucas & Bliss, Middleboro News, December 17, 1886.

Lactart advertisement, B. F. Tripp, Middleboro News, December 17, 1886. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Middleborough Public Library in Snow, 1957


Illustration:
Middleborough Public Library in snow, photograph by Clint Clark, 1957.