Weekly Update

Hello all! The odd weather continues! Yesterday it was hot and terribly humid, oppressive, really! Today the air has changed yet again, stormy, but cooler and less humid. Got to love New England summers!

We are hosting the Easton Garden Club this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Garden Club is running a Summer Garden Tour, featuring five wonderful Easton gardens. Tickets can be purchased at the Society Museum either day. You can get your tickets here for $30. Last week's Open House was well attended and featured some recent gifts. One item in particular struck me as especially interesting. It is the handle of an old stage coach whip! The handle, pictured below, is ivory and is about 19" long. It belonged to stage coach driver Charles Phelan, who was born in 1833 and died in 1932. The family has had it in their possession for many years, and the late Roger "Pete" McNamara ( Charles Phelan was his great-uncle) took special care to make sure it would be saved. Charles Phelan lived on Bay Road near the Five Corners area, and the family was well known. When Charles became a stage coach driver has yet to be determined. We know that the mail was delivered by stage for many years, and a stage coach ran along Bay Road for close to 150 years. In colonial times Bay Road was the "King's Highway" and was an important connection between Boston and Taunton and points beyond. As a result, there were a number of inns on the road. Back in 1800 Easton's first Post Office was located in an inn on Bay Road. During the time that Charles Phelan was driving the coach, the Post Office was located at Kimball's Store on Bay Road opposite Highland Street. Years later it would move to the old Lincoln Drake Store (later Swift's Store) on Foundry Street. This whip handle, probably dating to about 1860, is a rare link to the days of stage coaches in Easton and the early mail delivery system. More history of the Post Offices in Easton can be found in the History of Easton, Ma. Volume 2. Thanks to Diane McNamara for donating such a special piece of Easton's history! Have a great week, Frank

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