Sunday, May 26, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Rick Wilcox

The former Police Chief in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rick Wilcox describes himself thus: “Old retired guy who loves researching local history.”

written articles

The ox, the ass and Judge Byington’s gate: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Laurel Cottage, Part I

A who’s who of 19th-century American authors who rented or visited Laurel Cottage includes Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Nathanial Hawthorne and the English poet Matthew Arnold.

Going out on a limb with the Laurel Hill Association, 1868

The opening lines of Margaret French Cresson’s 1953 100th anniversary history of the Laurel Hill Association, with the heroine on a white horse, give the often-told and possibly apocryphal tale of the catalyze that created the oldest continuously operating village improvement society in America in 1853.

Larceny and treason in the early Republic

Not long after that encounter with Burr, letters from Barnabas to Mary began to include details of the suspected attempt by Burr to cede the Louisiana Purchase and create a country over which he could rule.

The Stockbridge Civil War park and monument at the Red Lion Inn intersection

The [Civil War] soldier’s monument was built in 1867. Williamstown was the first to build one in Massachusetts, Stockbridge the second.

Roundabout history at the Red Lion Inn intersection

In the middle of the intersection, on what started out as a quiet Sunday morning 241 years ago, there was a call to arms.

Stockbridge fever and the history of the Stockbridge Water Company

In April 1863, the first water bills went out for a five-month rental and ranged from a low of $2.50 for Louis Pepoon to a high of $10 for H. Heaton Jr.

Annals of crime: Forbidden words

In 1795, had President Trump uttered what he is said to have said about immigrants from Haiti and Africa, he would have been fined. At the time, of course, his relatives were in Russia.

Stockbridge Mohican wisdom on a life well-lived: A conversation with Mohican delegation in London, 1766

‘Your state of society is an endless source of wretchedness… in a state of society like yours those who labour most enjoy the least, and thou who labour not at all have the greatest number of enjoyments.’ -- Stockbridge Mohican Sachems Daniel Nimham, Jacob Cheeksaunkun, Solomon Uhhaunauwaunmut, John Naunauphtaunk, as recorded by John Trusler during their visit to England

LOOKING BACK: Is Stockbridge at an intersection?

It is not without some irony that the town of Stockbridge, which harbors such an incredible history, has failed on so many occasions to preserve the symbols of that history.

Part II. Stockbridge Town Hall saga: 1884 Town Offices

The brick Dutch Colonial Revival building currently housing Yankee Candle and The Image Gallery provided offices for the Board of Selectmen, TownClerk, assessors and the Police Department for almost 80 years.

Part II: 1904 Stockbridge Town Hall

Basketball, invented in December of 1891, quickly grew in popularity and Stockbridge was not immune. In 1910, voters authorized the raising of the main floor of Town Hall 12 to 15 inches to create a basketball court for the William High School team. It cost $500.

LOOKING BACK: Stockbridge Town House debate led to separation of church, state

The Town House was built by subscription, rather than tax levy, in part because of the town’s poor financial condition.
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