Hello history lovers! I hope this finds you staying high and dry! We are in the midst of lots of April showers, the streams are running very high and quite fast. I can even hear the old Poquanticut Brook behind my house rushing through the woods on its way to New Pond.
Our monthly open house is this Sunday from 1-5 p.m. at the Society Museum, the former Old Colony Railroad Station. I am choosing some really interesting items and papers for you to discover, items that are rarely on exhibit. One such item may be five hundred years old! Another is certainly three hundred years old. I have included a variety of papers with interesting signatures, some contain old Easton names, and another reveals the cost to own a pew at the local meetinghouse. That's right, a "pew tax" as it was sometimes called. I may include if possible, one of the oldest known photos of an Easton resident. One particular item is a ledger book from the first O. Ames Company Store. It is dated 1824 and 1825, and includes the accounts of Easton residents and their purchases. At this time the store was located at 92 Main Street in the old white house between Sundell's Garage and Sullivan Avenue. Clients include Randall's, Dailey's, Manley's, Reed's and even Seele's, who came down from Rockland Street to purchase goods. Some of the items would be things you might expect the store to carry - flour, molasses, rum, cloth, ribbon, crackers, etc. But they also sold saltpeter, spelling books, and reading books as well. There is a lot to discover in this one volume! A few entries are included below. I hope you can join us for an interesting afternoon, have some coffee and goodies, and of course good conversation. And don't forget to send in your "Chowder and Chatter" reservation! Frank Ames Company Store account book August 19, 1824 Daniel Reed 1 gallon molasses, 26 cents 1 1/4 pound of butter, 18 cents September 11, 1824 Bethuel Drake 1 peck of rye (flour), 18 cents November 26, 1824 Nathaniel Guild 1 pound raisins, 11 cents 1/2 pound of salt peter, 8 cents January 15, 1825 Rev. Luther Sheldon 1/4 pound pimento, 10 cents 2 ounces cloves, 16 cents 2 ounces nutmeg, 33 cents 1 ounce candy, 4 cents 1 pint gin, 16 cents 2 pounds raisins, 22 cents
Frank T. Meninno
Curator, Easton Historical Society and Museum