Monday, December 22, 2014

Middleborough Public Library in Snow, 1957

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa House, 1954

Certainly among the most fondly recalled memories for many adults are childhood visits to Santa, when with list in hand and nerves steeled we went with firm resolve to inform the jolly old man of all our Christmas wants and desires.

For a number of years in the early 1950s, the Middleborough Retail Merchants’ Association sponsored a Santa Claus who had an established “office” in one of the Center Street storefronts and “visiting hours” during which children could pay him a call with their list of wishes for the coming year. Each year, Santa’s arrival was announced in the local Gazette and he arrived courtesy of the Middleborough Fire Department upon one of their engines, sirens blaring and lights flashing.

Speaking directly to the community’s children in 1953 regarding the arrival of Santa Claus that year, the Gazette reported: “The Middleboro retail Merchants Association is very pleased to announce that a committee quite some time ago contacted the North Pole, and made arrangements to have St. Nick come to Middleboro …. We are very fortunate, children, to have Santa coming to Middleboro because he is extremely rushed at this time of year, and it is being done with the kind cooperation and needed assistance of many local people.” Santa arrived that year by means of Ladder No. 1 to a workshop decorated by Middleborough High School art students.

The popularity of this community Santa (and the lack of an available vacant store front the following year) prompted the proposal for a separate headquarters for the gentleman from the North Pole which ultimately led to the creation of the Santa House in 1954.

Under the direction of Alton Kramer, the Merchants Association in conjunction with the shop class of Middleborough High School constructed a small house on the grounds of the Middleborough Post Office at Center and Union Streets. “The proper artistic scenes for Santa’s stay here shortly after Thanksgiving for a two week period [were] arranged by students of Miss Sylvia Matheson’s art classes.”

To add to the festive atmosphere in the downtown district, colored overhead lights and decorations were strung across Center Street as a joint project between the merchants and the schools.

Santa arrived at his new home on Friday, December 10, 1954, and his appearance was described in the pages of the Gazette. “Santa Claus arrived here Friday afternoon at 3.30. Heralded by a police car with siren wailing, the old gentleman was seated in a chair atop Engine 1. He was dressed in the traditional red outfit trimmed with ermine. His luxuriant white beard hung down to his belt as he waved to the crowds of children dashing along the sidewalks trying to keep pace with the fire engine. The engine came down South Main street and turned up Center. It stopped in front of the Post Office lawn, where Santa’s holiday home had been completed several hours before his arrival. He jumped down very spryly for a chubby old timer, and waded through a mob of screaming children.” The initial line of children wishing to visit extended down Center Street “for some distance.”

The 1954 event proved enormously popular and was repeated for a number of years afterward, with the Santa House being set up on the first Sunday in December by members of the Merchants Association. Although the 1955 season curiously was to have featured Santa arriving at the Santa House by helicopter, these plans “were cancelled on orders from Washington” which no doubt wisely objected to a helicopter landing on its post office grounds. Instead Santa arrived in the local traditional manner of a fire engine, the delight of the children no less diminished by the absence of the helicopter.

Typically, hours at the Santa House throughout the era were set for Friday and Saturday afternoons as well as evenings for children to visit. Though the Santa House was a popular holiday tradition, it quickly lapsed. In 1971, Clint Clark eulogized that “the Santa Claus quarters, we remembered, was little more than a flimsy structure. But the path led to ‘Santa’ and that made it as magical and grand as a dream castle to the hundred of youngsters who came to confide their Christmas hopes.”

Better yet to remember the Santa House from its earliest days, from a time when Center Street was packed wall-to-wall (or store-to-store) with retailers, when residents would come to shop, to dine and simply to meet one another. The account from December, 1954, recalls an era when downtown Middleborough remained the heart of the community at Christmastime.

“Most of the lights strung across the streets by high school students had already been turned on. The trees along the sidewalk opposite Santa’s home were also lighted. Store windows were gay with holiday trimming and crowds of shoppers moved along the sidewalks. From one store a loudspeaker had been rigged and Christmas carols as old as time boomed out at the traffic-filled street.

“Overhead it was gray and a cold drizzle came down on the people, but no one seemed to mind or notice very much.

 “The Christmas season had arrived in Middleboro.”

Merry Christmas.

Santa, J. C. Leyendecker. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Church of Our Saviour Christmas Parish Fair, 1930s

Central Baptist Church Christmas Sale and Play, 1931

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Glamor of Ice Fishing, 1893

Ice fishing is often criticized by non-afficianados as, to say the least, boring particularly as it involves waiting hopefully in the cold for the spring of the red flannel flag. In December 1893, ice fishing on the Lakeville ponds was in full swing and one local resident looked to circumvent the dreariness of the task with an ingenious device as reported by the Middleboro Gazette.

   Ice fishing at the lakes has been the popular sport with our fishermen during the past fortnight, and many large strings are reported. Speaking of this sport, S. L. Young, of the west end fruit store, has contrived about the slickest arrangement for angling through the ice that has been seen hereabout, simple in its construction, yet effective. A wooden arm is set up securely in the ice at an angle, just over the hole, and the line is attached to a steel point in a lever which works upward easily upon a pivot set through the upper part of the open space in the centre of the arm. The unwary fish takes hold of the bait, and up comes the lever, upon one end of which is affixed a bit of red flannel; he bites more strongly and then a bit of wood hung just above the lever drops down and is caught in a ratchet arrangement in the lever, which is thereby suspended horizontally, and the fish is hung up like Haman and securely caught.

"Ice Fishing" courtesy of

Middleboro Gazette, December 22, 1893, p. 4.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Famous Trotting Ground

New Book Recalls Forgotten Aspect of Middleborough’s Sporting and Social History
Recollecting Nemasket, Middleborough’s local history press, is pleased to announce the publication of The Famous Trotting Ground: A History of the Fall Brook Driving Park.  Written by historian Michael J. Maddigan, the book richly documents the history of Victorian-era harness racing in Middleborough.
In 1878 a group of avid local sportsmen came together to establish a trotting park on Cherry Street in the Fall Brook section of Middleborough where they could race their fast horses. For thirty years harness racing would remain a noted pursuit at Fall Brook, drawing horsemen from throughout the region eager to show the abilities of their liveliest trotters and pacers. Though the Fall Brook track has now largely been forgotten, its story is one of the fascinating aspects of Middleborough’s sporting and social history, recalling a day when Middleborough was “one of the horsiest towns hereabouts.”

The Famous Trotting Ground: A History of the Fall Brook Driving Park takes the reader on a delightfully nostalgic trip back in time to an era before the automobile when speedy horses were the rage, when sleighs were raced on Main Street and when fast driving in Middleborough’s streets had to be prohibited.
Michael J. Maddigan is the author of several previous histories including Nemasket River Herring, South Middleborough, Images of America: Middleborough, Star Mill: History  & Architecture and Representatives of the Great Cause: Middleborough Servicemen & Their Letters from World War I.   His work regularly appears on-line and in local publications including the Middleboro Gazette.

Recollecting Nemasket is a local history press dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation, publication and promotion of the historical heritage of Middleborough and Lakeville. Its mission is to make local history more accessible by presenting it in a bold, exciting and professional way. 

Recollecting Nemasket wants the community to discover and be fully inspired by its past in order to realize a more meaningful and relevant future.

Recollecting Nemasket books are available at Maria’s in Middleborough as well as other local retailers and on-line at

Friday, November 28, 2014

Teachers of the South Middleborough School, 1882-1991

“Rock and South Middleboro schools are self-contained teaching units whereby the teachers are with the pupils from the moment they arrive by busses until they depart in the afternoon. The teachers teach the pupils, supervise them on the playground, and eat with them. Their instruction transcends the academic. Such close contact affords many lessons in good citizenship and a proper sense of moral and social values. A warm word of praise goes to these teachers for this vital aspect of helping boys and girls to grow.” Edward W. Sawicki, principal, 1958.
Clara F. Robinson (1882 or prior -1883)

Cora P. Lobdell (1883-1884)

Charlotte Hezlitt (1884)

G. C. Humphrey (1884-85)

Carrie F. Sampson (1885)

Bertha I. Mason (1886)

Nellie F. Thomas (1886-87)

Luranna W. Thomas (1887-88)

Eleanor G. Shaw (1889)

Isa L. Deane (1889-90)

Helen G. Cutter (1890)

Mary E. Deane (1890-91)

Ada D. Anthony (1891-93)

Nellie T. Alden (1894-95)

Bessie B. Gibbs (1896)

Mary E. Deane (1897)

Bertha E. Vaughan (1897-98)

Veretta F. Shaw (1899-1902)

N. Louise Kimball (1902-1904)

Mrs. Marian Sisson (1905-06)
     Her “removal” was very much regretted.

Donna F. Luce, Quincy, MA (1906)

Miss Hattie M. Chace, Middleborough (1906-08)

Miss Joise L. Russell, Wareham (1908-09)

Miss Christina Pratt, Middleborough (September, 1909 –

Miss Clara Cushing

Miss Helen Prescott, Arlington

Margaretta A. Wallace (September, 1910 – August, 1912)
      “For years the popular efficient teacher of the South Middleboro school.”

Miss Irene J. Hatch (1912-18)
      She died in December, 1918. Previous to South Middleborough, she had taught at the Highland School in Middleborough. She “was interested in her school work and gave the best of her efforts to advance her pupils.”

Miss Frances L. Squarey (1918-20)
     She was the teacher at the time of the Armistice. “Too much cannot be said in praise of the patriotic entertainment she trained the pupils to give, which was really something fine.”

Miss Eileen/Elena Manley, Plympton (1920-21)

Henry Bengt Burkland, Middleborough (1921-25)
     Burkland is undoubtedly the best known of the South Middleborough teachers, thanks largely to his later role in the educational life of Middleborough. It is for Burkland for whom one of Middleborough’s elementary schools is named. 

Mrs. Veretta F. (Shaw) Thomas, South Middleborough (1925-28)
     She had substituted, previously, during Burkland’s absences.

Miss Madeleine A. Duncklee, Middleborough (1928-30)
     She resigned shortly after marrying Bernard J. Owens

Miss Elsie A. Cahoon, Harwich (1930-35)
     A graduate of Harwich High School and North Adams Normal School. She taught two years at Harwich. She “comes here well recommended.”

Miss Hazel Long, Middleborough (1935 -38)

Miss Mildred K. Bowman (September, 1938-41)

Miss Arlene Nolan (1941-43)
     She resigned to marry John Doran of New Haven, Connecticut.

Mrs. Edward Keith (1943)
     She resigned when her husband entered the Army.

Miss Phyllis E. Johnson, Newton (1943-44)

Elsie LeBlanc (1944)

Third and Fourth Grade 
Mrs. Elsie LeBlanc (1944-52)

Third Grade
Mrs. Laura B. Grota (1952-1953)

Mrs. Margaret Mitchell, Lakeville (1953-1973)

Miss Margaret M. Higgins (1973-1991)

Fourth Grade 
Mrs. Elsie LeBlanc (1952-1953)

Mrs. Veronica Hawkins (1953-1967)

Miss Margaret M. Higgins (1967-1973)

Mrs. Delina M. Majuri (1973-1974)

Second Grade 
Catherine Chausse (1974-1983)

Delina M. Toal (1983-1991)

Courtesy of George Eastman House 

South Middleborough School, 1935

Please visit the South Middleborough Protective Association's Facebook page and sign the petition to save this historic schoolhouse. Everyone signature counts. Also remember to "Like" their page.

South Middleborough School, photograph by Herbert L. Wilber, 1935. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

South Middleborough School - Sign the Petition

The South Middleborough Protective Association is undertaking a grass roots effort to preserve the historic South Middleborough School. Please visit the SMPA's Facebook page to sign up in support of their efforts. Every signature is critical to demonstrate support for this worthy project!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Middleborough Town Hall under Snow, 1920s

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Conservative Middleborough

Middleborough has always been a conservative town. Its ban on public swearing in 2012 achieved fairly widespread notoriety, but was not the first action of its kind. One hundred years ago, in a similar act aimed at maintaining a semblance of decorum among its residents, Middleborough police were tasked with ensuring that the slits in women's skirts did not exceed what was considered proper - 15 inches to be exact. At the time, the action attracted the attention of Chicago's The Day Book  which published the following notice on January 19, 1914.

  How high may a slit skirt be slit?
   "Fifteen inches!"
   Such is the decree of those intelligent guardians of propriety, the police. Any longer breach in the skirt is considered a breach of the peace - at least in the puritanical minds of the good people of Middleboro, Mass.
   Chief of Police [Harry] Swift of more-than-moral Middleboro has shown that fifteen inches is the very ultimate maximum of leg that can be decently shown. And so he has turned loose on the streets the "slit-skirt censors" - a detachment of patrolmen armed with two-foot rules instead of clubs.
   But the rule is, in fact, unnecessary, for each censor has so delicate a sense of decency that he can tell at once, and infallibly, by the tingle of shame which passes over him that when he sees it, that a certain slit skirt is revealing a sixteenth of an inch more of limb than the first fifteen inches which alone can be gazed upon with perfect propriety.

It's not quite clear just how far the measure progressed or how long it lasted. The Boston Globe in February 1914 reported that the story had reached as far as the west coast where Chief Swift was the subject of at least one cartoon and news clipping.

The Day Book (Chicago), January 19, 1914, p. 9.
Boston Globe, "Middleboro Fame Reaches the Pacific", February 8, 1914, p. 16.

"See What's Here - A Slit-Skirt Censor" from The Day Book(Chicago), January 19, 1914, p. 9

Representative woman's walking suit from 1913 featuring a decorously-buttoned slitted skirt. Women in Middleborough showing an inappropriate amount of leg were subject to being cited for indecency.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Peirce Academy in Decline, 1876

The following letter, published in the Plymouth Old Colony Memorial in early 1876 was written in response to reports that Peirce Academy, Middleborough's noted college preparatory school located on Center Street where the Post Office now stands, was in decline. With the departure of Professor John Whipple Potter Jenks as the school's principal in 1872 and the establishment of Middleborough High School, enrollment in the once popular academy that had been founded in 1808 fell abruptly. Efforts were undertaken in the 1870s to establish an endowment fund for the school and though these met with some success the school was ultimately discontinued at the conclusion of the 1880 spring term in the face of declining enrollment.

Middleboro', March 31, 1876,

Mr. Editor: - As stated in your last issue, Peirce Academy began its Spring term with but twelve pupils. However, tall oaks from little acorns grow; and this little acorn is already assuming the proportions of a very small oak. This week closes with twenty names upon the roll. The school is equipped and ready to fit students for any college in the land, in the shortest possible time, and in the most thorough manner. Young ladies or gentlemen may find here the best of instruction, in any branch or branches, which they desire to pursue. French and German are taught by a competent instructor, a Frenchman, who was for some time a resident Professor in Germany. Excellent instruction is provided in music, piano or organ, in drawing, water colors, and in oil painting.
Peirce Academy is still alive and expects to be fully up to the times. The helping hand is always welcome.

You may hear from us again at some future time, meanwhile, if you hear of any who desire assistance in ascending the hill of knowledge, tell them that Peirce Academy stands ready to assist.

Yours truly,


Peirce Academy, stereocard, John Shaw, Middleborough, publisher, 1870s.
Peirce Academy is depicted from near the corner of Center Street and Thatcher's Row (which the columned front of the school building faces).

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lakeville Public Library, 1914

Lakeville Public Library, real photo postcard, 1914.
The library is depicted shortly before its completion.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Who's This Guy?

“Alewife or Branch Herring,” by Sherman F. Denton, chromolithograph. From Fish and Game of the State of New York (Forest, Fish and Game Commission, 1901).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Star Mill Herring Harvest, 1910

The manner in which herring were harvested from the Nemasket River changed radically over the course of the first half of the twentieth century and witnessed the disappearance of the picturesque scene of men using great hand nets to scoop vast numbers of up-running fish into waiting barrels. The image captured above was taken at the Star Mill by George Morse in 1910. Within a generation, seine nets would be employed to gather as many fish as possible with the harvest being deposited into waiting trucks rather than the crates and barrels seen here.

Image: Herring Harvesting at Muttock, George Morse, photographer, 1910.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Muttock Herring House, Late 19th Century

The taking of herring by the town of Middleborough inevitably required facilities to process and preserve the fish, either through smoking or salting. In time herring or fish-houses were established near the two principal fishing pools at Muttock and the Lower Factory. In these houses fish were smoked and salted, and kept there for distribution to town residents who were eligible for free fish. According to Muttock resident James A. Burgess his father “every year cured and dried 30,000 herring for the people of the town.”

The drying process involved first cleaning the fish by removing the scales and viscera, then pickling the eviscerated fish in brine. The longer the fish were pickled, the longer they could be preserved. Following brining, the fish would be rinsed in cold water and left to dry in a spot out of the sun where preferably there was a breeze. Then, the fish would be hung on sticks which were passed through the fishes’ eye sockets. Frequently, children would be engaged in the task of placing a dozen fish on a stick in preparation for smoking, earning a penny for each completed stick. The sticks would then be suspended in the herring house for curing. The length of curing varied, though generally five days was the rule for those fish intended to be preserved for a long period of time. Fish were smoked until they turned an even bronze color.

In 1807, Maria Eliza Rundell, in her A New System of Domestic Cookery, an early American cookbook, outlined the method for smoking herring.

Clean, and lay them in salt and a little saltpeter one night, then hang them on a stick, through the eyes, in a row. Have ready an old cask, on which put some sawdust, and in the midst of it a heater red-hot; fix the stick over the smoke, and let them remain 24 hours.

Alternatively, the fish could be salted, a process that consumed enormous quantities of salt. During 1857, the large fishery on Martha’s Vineyard utilized so much of the article processing herring for the southern market that “about all the salt on the Vineyard is used up”. In 1883, the Town of Middleborough paid grocer Matthew H. Cushing the then large sum of $44.10 for salt with which to preserve its catch that year (over three cents per hundred fish).

The Muttock herring house where herring were preserved was located on the right bank of the river where the parking lot for Oliver Mill Park is now located, and rent was paid annually to the Sproat family which owned the property wheron the house stood. Three dollars was the sum set by the Sproat family, an amount paid for a number of years by the town as “rent of land for fish house.” In 1889, the Town of Middleborough paid Henry H. Sproat $6.00 for two years’ rental but following her husband’s death, Katharine A. Sproat seems to have raised the rental price considerably. By 1897, the town was paying Mrs. Sproat $10 annually for the privilege of using her land. Additionally, the town was responsible for the upkeep of the herring house, and in 1876 it made repairs to the building.

There is little history of the final demise of the Muttock herring house. It was stated to have been destroyed by fire, and the fact that no rental payments were made by the town to the Sproat heirs following 1901 indicates that the building was likely destroyed about this time, a period when the entire Muttock site was falling into general disuse as a fishing pool.

Image: Nemasket River at Muttock showing the herring house where fish were processed on the right. Remains of the dam which are still extant today can be seen at the left.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Star Mill Herring Harvest, 1950s

Fishermen gather the seine net from which herring will be transferred into waiting trucks by means of a smaller purse net. The platform on which the man at the left is standing was located on the east bank of the river directly in the rear of the former Star Mill and formed part of the town's municipal seining pool. The site was obliterated during the 1960s when the Nemasket River was relocated to accommodate the expansion of Winthrop-Atkins.

Image: Star Mill Herring Harvest, 1950s. Photo courtesy of the Middleborough Public Library

Monday, July 28, 2014

Colonial Alewife Laws

Beginning in 1735 colonial laws in Massachusetts sought to protect the spawning runs of river herring that appeared in the commonwealth's rivers each spring, ensuring that adequate passage was provided for their upstream run. The Herring River in Sandwich was the first river in Massachusetts whose herring population was specifically protected. The Nemasket was the second. In 1749 the first law specific to the Nemasket River herring was passed and it governored the means and manner in which herring could be taken. The law also established strict penalties that were to be meted out to violators, including the whipping of children and servants, confinement in public stocks or imprisonment. 

ACTS OF 1749-50, CHAPTER 12


WHEREAS there are great quantities of the fish called alewives, that pass up the rivers and brooks in the town of Middleborough to cast their spawn; and notwithstanding the penalties annexed to the many good and wholesome laws of this province already made to prevent the destruction of alewives, yet many ill-minded and disorderly persons are not deterred therefrom, — Be it therefore enacted by the Lieutenant- Governour, Council and House of Representatives, 
    [Sect. 1.] That whoever shall presume to take any of the said fish in the aforesaid rivers or brooks, or any part thereof, by any ways or means whatever, at any other place than at the old Stone Ware, so called, in Namasket River in said town, and at such place in the brook called Assawampset[t] Brook, in said town, as the inhabitants thereof shall vote and order, such person shall forfeit the sum of forty shillings; and the scoop-net or other instruments with which such person may take the said fish, shall be forfeited. And whereas some persons who may disguise themselves, and others who may be unknown, may take or attempt to take the said fish at other places than at the aforesaid Stone Ware and Assawampsett Brook, and may refuse to discover their names, places of abode and occupations, by which means the prosecution of such offenders may be prevented, and the good design of this act be defeated; and there being some passages of said rivers and brooks that are much narrower than others, and by reason thereof the course of the said fish may be more easily stopped by canoes and other obstructions, — Be it therefore further enacted, 
    [Sect. 2.] That if any person or persons, who maybe unknown, shall take or attempt to take any of the aforesaid fish in any other part place of said rivers and brooks than those before mentioned, it shall be in the power of any of his majesty's justices of the peace of the county of Pl[i][y]month, on his own view, to examine such person or persons concerning their names, places of abode and occupations; or in case no justice of the peace may be present, then it shall be lawful for any sheriff or deputy sheriff of said county, or constable of the aforesaid town, or two or more persons who may be present at their so taking or attempting to take the said fish, to convey such offender immediately before any of his majesty's justices of the peace for the said county, to be examined as aforesaid ; and on such offender's refusal to give an account of bis or their names, places of abode and occupations, such justice may commit him or them to his majesty's goal in said county, until [l] they give such account, unless such offenders will forthwith pay the aforesaid penalty' of forty shillings. And whoever shall presume to fasten or keep any canoe or canoes or other obstructions within or nigh any narrow passage, or the middle of said river[s] or brooks, so that it may be reasonably thought that the course of the said fish may be thereby obstructed, such person or persons shall forfeit the sum of ten shillings for every hour such obstruction shall continue ; and in case it doth not appear how it might have been made, then it shall be in the power of any justice of the peace of said county to order it to be removed. And be it further enacted, 
    [Sect. 3.] That no person shall be disqualified as a witness in order to any conviction upon this act, by reason of his or her being an inhabitant of said town. And be it further enacted, 
    [Sect. 4.] That when any children or servants shall offend against this act, or any part thereof, they shall be punished by whipping, not exceeding five stripes, setting in the stocks not exceeding two hours, or imprisonment not exceeding twenty-four hours, at the discretion of the court or justices before whom the conviction may be, unless such offenders, by themselves, their parents or masters, or others on their behalf, shall forthwith pay the forfeiture aforesaid : such parents or masters being notified of such conviction forty-eight hours before said punishment be inflicted. 
    [Sect. 5.] All the penalties and forfeitures in this act mentioned to be disposed of, one moiety to the use of the poor of the said town, and the other moiety to the informer, to be recovered on information or complaint before any justice of the peace of the afores[ai]d county, where the penalty may not exceed forty shillings. And such justice is hereby impow[eired to issue his warrant for apprehending such offender or offenders, and upon conviction, to restrain or commit the offender or offenders to his majesty's goal aforesaid, until [l] the fine imposed for such offence be satisfied, or cause the same to be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods, returning the overplus, if any there be. And where the penalty may exceed the sum of forty shillings, then it may be recovered by action, bill, plaint or information, in any court proper to try the same. And be it further enacted, 
   [Sect. 6.] That the manner, rules and methods of conviction of offenders against this act, may be the same as are directed and provided in and by an act made in the twelfth year of the reign of his late majesty King George, [e][i]ntitled "An Act in addition to and for rendring more effectual an act made in the tenth year of the reign of King William the Third, [e][i]ntitled ' An Act for preventing of trespasses.'" 
    [Sect. 7.] This act to continue in force for the space of three years from its publication, and no longer. [Passed December 23,* 1749 ; published January 9, 1749-50. 
    [The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay to Which are Prefixed the Charters of the Province, with Historical and Explanatory Notes, and an Appendix. Volume III (Boston: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1878), p. 483]. 

 [This act, having been “found useful and beneficial”, was extended by the legislature in 1753 to the end of the next session of the General Court. See Laws of 1752-53, Chapter 17, “An Act for Reviving and Continuing of Sundry Laws that are Expired or Near Expiring.”] [The Acts and Resolves, Public and private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay to Which are Prefixed the Charters of the Province, with Historical and Explanatory Notes, and an Appendix. Volume III (Boston: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1878), p. 647]. It was again extended see Province Laws, 1760-61, Chapter 21.

ACTS OF 1764-65, CHAPTER 10


WHEREAS, in and by the act intituled "An Act to prevent the unnecessary destruction of alewives in the town of Middleborough," made in the twenty-second year of his late majesty King George the Second, all persons are prohibited taking or catching alewives within the town of Middleborough, save at the old Stone Ware, so called, in Namasket River, and at such place in Assawampset Brook as said town should appoint; and whereas the prohibition aud restriction aforesaid has been found inconvenient; therefore, — Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and House of Representatives, 
    [SECT. 1.] That during the season wherein alewives shall pass up said Namasket River, to spawn, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, it shall be lawful for the inhabitants of said town of Middleborough to catch alewives at or near the place where the slitting-mill now stands, on the said river, on the Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of every week; liberty of taking fish there being first obtained from the owner or owners of said mill. Provided, nevertheless,— 
   [SECT. 2.] That it shall be lawful for said town, at a legal meeting of the inhabitants, to dispose of and grant, for that year, the sole priviledge of catching alewives, on the da3's of the week abovementioned, at or near the mill aforesaid, (liberty therefor being first obtained of the owners as aforesaid), to such person or persons as shall ofier most for the same, and give sufficient security, forthwith, for payment of the sum offered, at such time and in such manner as the inhabitants of said town shall assign and order, either by themselves, at a town-meeting, or by such as they shall appoint and authorize for that purpose. And he it further enacted, 
   [SECT. 3.] That no purchaser of the priviledge aforesaid shall receive for any alewives that may be there caught, more than one shilling for each hundred of said fish, and so pro rata, for any less or greater number. And be it further enacted, 
    [SECT. 4.] That any purchaser of the priviledge aforesaid, who shall take or catch any of said fish at or near the mill aforesaid, or shall allow or connive at any other person taking any such fish there, at any other time than that limited for that purpose as aforesaid, and every other person whosoever that shall catch any such fish on any days other than those herein beforementioned, whether the priviledge aforesaid shall have been disposed of to any particular person or persons or not, shall forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds, and costs of suit, to him or them who shall sue therefor in any court proper to try the same. [Passed June 14. 

ACTS OF 1765-66, CHAPTER 24 


WHEREAS an act made in the fourth year of his present majesty's reign, intitled "An Act in addition to the act intitled 'An Act to prevent the unnecessary destruction of alewives in the town of Middleborough,' " has been found useful and beneficial, and is now expired, — Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council and House of Representatives, That the said act, in all and every article, clause, matter and thing, be and is hereby revived, and shall be in full force until the twentysixth of October, which will be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven. [Passed October 31]