Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mary Sproat's Green

The earliest known depiction of the 1871 Green School is this oil on canvas painting by Middleborough artist Mary Sproat (1837-88).  To read more about the image, visit Green School History, the companion blog to Recollecting Nemasket.

Untitled, Mary Sproat (1837-88), oil on canvas, private collection.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Green School History Updated

Thanks to the efforts of many within the community and the contributions of residents and former pupils alike, the Green School has been preserved as one of the few remaining one-room schoolhouses in Middleborough.  The image below captures a number of the pupils at the school in September, 1938.  Additional images from the same year may be found at Green School History.

First and Second Grade Students, Green School, Middleborough, MA, photograph, September, 1938.
Photograph courtesy of The Beauty of Middleborough.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all the readers of Recollecting Nemasket and best wishes for a happy, safe and healthy New Year.

Church of Our Saviour, Center Street, Middleborough, photograph, mid-20th century.
The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour at the corner of Center and Union Streets is captured following a heavy  snowstorm which has covered the building.  A lone shoveler at the right of the image is hard at work clearing the steps of the church.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Snow

This unidentified Middleborough letter carrier braves the snow to deliver mail about 1900.  He wears the blue-gray double-breasted winter overcoat which was authorized by U. S. Postal Laws and Regulations in 1893 (though he appears to be missing a button as well as the badge from his woolen cap).  Underneath, he wears a heavy sweater to protect him from the cold.  Secured to his top overcoat button is a long chain on the end of which was most assuredly a whistle.  Not until about 1912 were urban customers required to provide a mail slot or mailbox for delivery.  Consequently, early letter carriers were required to knock and wait at doors, or whistle, a circumstance which delayed them considerably on their rounds.  The leather postal satchel is filled, requiring the carrier to secure letters outside the bag with a leather strap.  At a time when most residents knew their letter carrier by name, one thoughtful homeowner seems to have provided the intrepid mailman with a bit of cake according to the caption he wrote in the margin of the card.

Real Photo Postcard, c. 1900.
Included in a collection of other images of Middleborough, the post card is believed to depict a Middleborough letter carrier, though he remains unidentified.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Boston & Middleboro Retail Clothiers

During the late 19th century, retailers relied upon a number of means of advertising, including colorful trade cards which were distributed to customers.  The Boston & Middleboro Clothing Company which was located on South Main Street in the American Block was one such company and was noted for the seasonal cards it gave to customers each winter such as the one seen here.

Boston & Middleboro Clothing Company, lithographic advertising card, c. 1890