Weekly Update

Greetings from balmy Easton! We missed out on the major part of the passing tropical system, with no wind and very little rain, but we still have all the humidity. Now it feels like a typical July day!

We received a good response from last week's email, so I'll follow that up with a few more advertising (or trading) cards.

Orville M. Tilden had some cards at one time advertising himself as a "Teacher of Music" at North Easton. He was born in 1848 and died on New Year's Day 1918. His two existing advertising cards used a floral motif, which was very popular in Victorian times. The basic calling card information is given on the front, and the back of the card is blank. You might recognize the Tilden name from our history, as there was a well known doctor (Dr. Frank E. Tilden) and a conductor (Francis Tilden) who was popular in town. I do not yet know where Orville fits in. He married Sarah (1852-1905) and they are buried in the Village Cemetery.

On the back of one of the Tilden cards is a list of arrangements that he may have been planning while meeting with someone. I can't tell myself from the pieces listed what the occasion might be. Perhaps you can shed some light on the music? Might it be party music for a wedding or other happy event, or something more solemn?

The other card is a bit of a mystery. George A. Roundy (1848 - 1937) evidently was an agent for special delivery services using the railroad. The initials on the card offer a significant hint as they stand for railroads: Boston, Springfield, and New York. I believe the initials R.P.O. stand for Rail Post Office, so he may have been a postal agent assigned to the railway, which not only carried mail but also served as a mailing station as well. You may have seen old postmarks which include "RPO" on it. That means the letter was mailed from a rail post office.

Not much is known about Mr. Roundy, who is buried in the Village Cemetery. The database developed and updated by the Easton Cemetery Commission (thanks to Fairis Bliss who has done a terrific job on this) lists Roundy along with two others: Benjamin (1796 - 1867) and Elizabeth Roundy (1824 - 1883). They are probably his parents.

Both of these cards date to the late 1870's and 1880's, and offer but a brief glimpse into the life of two former Easton residents.

Have an historic week!



Frank T. Meninno

Curator, Easton Historical Society and Museum 508-238-7774

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