Florence Berry Bates and the Worthington Health Center

The following transcript, from the WHS Annual Meeting of 2014, has been lightly edited for readability, with some contextual information added in brackets. We thank Pat Kerouac and Jared Jordan for their help assembling materials for the accompanying exhibit, which was prepared by WHS board member Diane Brenner.

Diane Brenner: Florence Berry was born in 1892 in Abington, Massachusetts, which is near Plymouth. Her family were shoemakers, they worked in shoe factories. And her mother, of the Moseley family, had … Continue reading

Worthington and the Civil War

By Diane Brenner (with contributions by Pat Kennedy and Mark Clinton)

A previous version of the following exhibit was mounted at the Worthington Historical Society building in June 2015 to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The exhibit was accompanied by a presentation by David Pollard on Worthington’s hero at Gettysburg, Brigadier General James Clay Rice. (Pollard’s presentation is not yet online.)

This exhibit is divided into the following eight sections:
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Night of the Living Dead II at North Cemetery

by Pat Kennedy and Diane Brenner

On the evening of Saturday, August 29th, 2015, as the full moon rose, dozens of onlookers strolled through Worthington’s North Cemetery and encountered six of its permanent residents standing by their graves. These dead Worthingtonians were in a talkative mood, and their memorable words are chronicled here below.

North Cemetery, on Cold Street near its eastern junction with Rte. 143, is Worthington’s largest cemetery at 3.5 acres. In 2004 it was listed on the National … Continue reading

The Ruins of Ringville

By Dave and Cath Whitcomb, with photographs by Kate Ewald

On September 28, 2014 – a glorious fall day – a contingent of amateur historians and interested residents followed David Whitcomb of Witt Hill Road on a tour through industrial ruins of the Ringville section of Worthington, Massachusetts, at the convergence of Watts Stream and Ward’s Stream.

The headwaters of Watts and Ward’s streams spring from the foot of Knowles Hill, the second-highest point in Worthington, at an elevation of … Continue reading

Night of the Living Dead at Center Cemetery

by Pat Kennedy and Diane Brenner

On the evening of August 9, 2014, as the full moon rose, WHS vice president Pat Kennedy led about 30 onlookers around Worthington’s Center Cemetery on Sam Hill Road. As the group would shortly discover, several residents of the cemetery had taken a break from eternity to tell their stories to the living.

Pat began with some background:

“In 1765, when Worthington began the process of incorporating, there were about sixty settlers and their … Continue reading

The Brown Family Bottles

 

by Diane Brenner, with photos by Kate Ewald

Ben Brown grew up in Worthington and has been collecting old bottles since he was five. His enthusiasm encouraged his father, Harold (“Brownie”) Brown, to begin collecting as well. The photographs below show only a part of Ben’s collection, which was catalogued for a 2007 exhibit at the WHS building.

The Brown bottle collection – all excavated from Worthington soil – includes some marvelously beautiful objects that provide a window on … Continue reading

Shays’ Rebellion: Trouble in the Hills

by Richard Mansfield

The Declaration of Independence stated, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” For the first ten years after the Declaration, it would be the job of the state government in Boston to protect the “forms” which generated … Continue reading

Lyder Frederickson, Hilltown Artist

by Jim Dodge

Frederick Lyder Frederickson was born in 1905 in Mandal, a harbor on the southern tip of Norway. When Lyder was a teenager he helped his uncles on a sailing ship transporting lumber south to England. He once told me about a beautiful day when the schooner was under full sail and how he climbed way up the ship’s rigging to the very top of the mast. Lyder was a strong athlete, a gymnast in his high school. … Continue reading

18th-century Virginia Court Documents Found in Worthington Attic: Stolen by Union Troops in 1862?

by George H. Bresnick

The countryside around Stafford, Virginia – bordering the Potomac River, and now part of the Washington metropolitan area – was devastated by the occupation forces of the Union Army in November, 1862. So severe was the physical damage and the loss of population that it is said that the land and the populace around the township of Stafford Courthouse didn’t recover fully from the War until almost 70 years later.

Two-thirds of the documents in the … Continue reading

Recollections of Emerson Davis

Introduction by Diane Brenner

Emerson Jewett Davis (“Emmy”) was born in North Adams, Massachusetts on February 17, 1888, the sixth child in the Davis family. His father, Raymond Harrison Davis, was a Vermont-born architect/carpenter; his mother, Harriet Emeline Wilson, was originally from Groton, Massachusetts. Emerson was preceded by Orrin (b. 1876), Ida (1878), Walter (1880), Mary (1882) and Rockwell (1886). Three years after his birth, his mother bore a set of twins, Harriet and Harrison (1891).

In 1902, at the … Continue reading