BROOKLINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 28, 1926
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY
The twenty-fifth annual meeting of the Brookline Historical Society was held in the Edward Devotion House, Brookline, on January 28, 1926, at 8 p. m., President William O. Comstock in the chair.
Members of the Brookline Historical Society and Friends
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this twenty-fifth annual meeting and remind you that on the twenty-ninth day of next April the Society will be twenty-five years old as a corporation in Massachusetts.
Our membership on January first of this year was as follows:
Annual members: 127
Life members: 23
We welcome our new member of Hl25, Charles A. Newhall, and thank Mrs . Emily C. Cobb for changing from an annual to a life member.
During the past year several members have been dropped for non-payment of dues and three have resigned. The deaths during the year were as follows:
Alfred Douglass. died January 1. 1925.
Miss Helen Frances Kimball. died January 2l.
Charles E. Osgood . died February 24.
James MacMaster Codman. Jr., died October 9.
William Cabot Gorham Salisbury, died October 20.
Mrs . Lucy M. Blossom, died November 14.
William Henry Lincoln, died December 2.
Miss Lulu Stacy Kimball. died December 22.
Dr. Moyses R. Simmons, died during the year.
Alfred Douglass was one of our life members, a retired New York merchant, who bought in 1909 an estate on Clyde Street, formerly belonging to Charles P. Gardner. He built a large house on this property and beautified the land, but owing to business reverses had to sell the place and died soon after.
Miss Helen Frances Kimball, also a life member of this Society, was a daughter of the late Moses Kimball, for many years owner of the Boston Museum on Tremont Street. Moses Kimball was also long a member of the Massachusetts Legislature and known as the "Watchdog of the Treasury." Miss Kimball came to Brookline with her father in 1886, and lived the rest of her life in the house at the corner of Kent Street and Longwood Avenue. She was a most estimable and charitable lady and had a large circle of friends. She joined our Society in its early days and faithfully attended its meetings. She died in her eighty-eighth year.
Charles E. Osgood was a Boston furniture dealer, whose store rejoiced in the slogan, "When in doubt buy of Osgood." He came to Brookline in 1909, buying a house on Abbottsford Road, later he moved to Jamaica Plain. He was greatly interested in the Harvard Church.
James MacMaster Codman, Jr., one of Brookline's best
known citizens, was the son of James M. Codman and Herritta
Sargent Codman. He had lived for many years on the
Sargent Estate and was greatly interested in Brookline
affairs. Mr. Codman had served as Selectman for a number
of years and will be greatly missed at our town-meetings and
at the meetings of this Society.
William Cabot Gorham Salisbury lived during his early life with his father, Dr. Stephen Salisbury, at the corner of Washington and Cypress Streets. This house was later moved to Brookline Avenue. Mr. Salisbury then lived on Garrison Road. He was at one time in the Real Estate business, but for man y year s had retired. He was a brother in-law of Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald.
Mrs. Lucy M. Blossom, wife of William L. Blossom, lived for many years in Brookline, formerly on Washington Street and later on Davis Avenue.
William Henry Lincoln was a well-known citizen of Brookline, especially to those of a former generation. He came from Boston at an early age and lived with his father, Henry Lincoln, on Still Street. He later built a house on Beach Road, at the corner of Kent Street. He was for many years in the shipping business, retiring some years ago. He was best known as a friend of Brookline's Schools, serving for many years on the School Committee. One of our Grammar Schools is named for him, and he gave a fund, the income of which is to be used for any worthy pupil of the Lincoln School. He was greatly interested in Trinity Church in Boston and gave a home for the poor of that city.
Miss Lulu Stacy Kimball, another of our life members, was a younger sister of Miss Helen Frances Kimball and had lived with her all her life. She was greatly beloved, being kind hearted and charitable, and will be greatly missed. She has remembered many worthy charities in her will. She was seventy years of age.
Dr. Moyses R. Simmons came to Brookline in 1909 and lived on Greenough Street, but moved from Brookline several years ago.
During 1925 the Society has had three regular meetings, the March and May meetings being combined in the April twentieth meeting.
The annual meeting was held at the Edward Devotion House on January 29th at 8 p. m. The officers for the year were elected and your president, William O. Comstock, read his annual report. Your treasurer, Edward W. Baker, read his report, and then spoke of the part Brookline would take, in conjunction with the other towns of Greater Boston, in the celebration of the Battle of Lexington and Concord at the coming one hundred and fiftieth anniversary next April.
Some of our Society took part in this celebration, held in the Devotion School, on Monday, April twentieth, by the town, and in the evening we held the Society meeting in the Art Gallery of our benefactor, Mr. FitzGerald, at 410 Washington Street. The story of Paul Revere and William Dawes, written by Edward W. McGlenen of Boston, was read by Vice-President Charles F. Read and it was finely illustrated by lantern slide views, many taken years ago. After this your President read a paper on Lieutenant William Dawes, whose grand-daughter was our former member, Miss Julia Goddard, and one of whose great grandsons is Vice-President Charles Gates Dawes. This paper was read before the Bostonian Society a short time after, and much interest was taken in the fact that after the ride, when Dawes was in Worcester, his sister Lydia's husband, John Coolidge, was with him in business as "Dawes and Coolidge," and that this John Coolidge was descended from John Coolidge of Watertown, the ancestor of President Calvin Coolidge. The account books of the firm of "Dawes and Coolidge," left by Miss Julia Goddard, are in the Massachusetts Historical Society collection, and the portrait of Lieutenant William Dawes, formerly in Miss Goddard's home, is now owned by Vice-President Dawes.
The Fall meeting of the Society was held in the Edward Devotion House on November 13th. This was the first meeting held since the custody of the house was taken by Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Lowe and members expressed their pleasure in the appearance of the rooms. The paper of the evening was a most interesting one by Mr. Edward W. Baker on the early historical town papers. He read a number of them that showed the great growth of the town since its former days. This was Brookline Day, the two hundred and twentieth anniversary of the separation of Brookline from Boston.
There were four meetings during 1925 of the Bay State Historical League and this Society was represented at all of them. The winter meeting was with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Ashburton Place, Boston. The subject discussed was "Will your locality observe the 150th Anniversary of Its Participation in the Alarm of April 19, 1775?" The spring meeting on Saturday, April 25th, was with the Arlington Historical Society, in the vestry of the First Parish Church. The subject discussed was "Should the League establish a Bureau of Speakers for local Societies?" Judge Parmenter gave an interesting account of the events in Arlington on April 19, 1775, and the members visited the Jason Russell house, the new home of the Arlington Historical Society.
The annual meeting on June 27th was at the Parson Capin House in Topsfield; the subject discussed was "The Relief furnished by the Towns to the Inhabitants of Boston during the Siege." At this meeting your President was elected Vice- President of the League. The fall meeting was at the birthplace of Count Rumford in North Woburn, with the Rumford Historical Society, on October 17th; the subject discussed was "What are ideal conditions for the meetings of a Local Historical Society?" There were so many present that the meeting was moved to the adjoining church. Refreshments were served at all these meetings and at those of our Society at the Edward Devotion House.
The Rider riding through Brookline on the 20th of April this year, representing William Dawes, was followed by Vice- President and Mrs. Dawes with escort in automobiles, and all witnessed a very interesting play on the stage in the Hall of the Devotion School. A full account of this great occasion was published in the Brookline Chronicle of April 23, 1925.
Roosevelt Day of 1925 was celebrated at the Brookline High School with perhaps greater success than the year before. Both afternoon and evening performances were fully attended. Mr. Baker, Mr. FitzGerald, and your President were again on the committee of arrangements.
The growth of Brookline has continued finely during the past year. For the last quarter of a century there is no better place to find record of many important facts in regard to the growth of Brookline as well as of its past history, than in the annual publications of this Society. To state further of Brookline's years growth the Herald
of January 17, 1926, in speaking of Coolidge Corner, says on authority of one of the local real estate dealers, that more than $3,000,000 worth of business property has been sold or taken on long term lease in that section within the past nine months. The particulars of such growth cannot well come within the scope of this paper, but its historical importance is evident.
Other Sesqui Centennials of events in the Revolution followed that of the battle of Lexington and Concord. The battle of Chelsea Creek was important, and its victory by the Patriots was one of the causes of the evacuation of Boston later by the British. The patriots removed the live stock from the harbor islands and shore opposite Boston to the hills, so that this food, that would have been used in Boston, could not be had. The Battle of Bunker Hill came next, celebrated mainly in Charlestown, and soon the Evacuation of Boston will be celebrated. These events all were of the greatest importance to Brookline, and Brookline did her part in them. The coming 17th of March should be celebrated, not only in Boston where all rejoiced that the British had gone, but in all the towns that took part in making them go. This Society will, I hope, have a meeting next 17th of March in commemoration of that event. Our ancestors, even after the troops left the town of Boston, must have felt very anxious for fear they would come back, reinforced in some way, and it was not till the 13th of June, 1776, nearly one year after the Battle of Bunker Hill, that the last British ships finally left the lower harbor, being compelled to do so by the Patriots.
William O. Comstock.
January 28, 1926