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

Postcards from South Worthington

by Evan Spring

This is the second in a series of four postcard exhibits from the WHS archives.

By the mid-19th century South Worthington was a distinct “mill hamlet,” with at least a dozen homes and various industries clustered around the local power supply: a rapid elevation drop in the Little River. The photographs of South Worthington below date largely from 1907 to 1913, a “golden age” of postcard writing and collecting triggered by advances in printing technology and distribution. In … Continue reading

Postcards from the Corners

by Evan Spring

This is the first in a series of four posts featuring postcards of Worthington.

Over the years Worthington has generated enough different postcards to fill a small shoebox in the Worthington Historical Society archive. If this sounds surprising, consider that Worthington has long been a summer refuge for northeastern urbanites separated from friends and family. Also, postcards were hugely popular in the early decades of the 20th century, particularly during the “postcard craze” of 1907 to 1913 … 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