BROOKLINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 27, 1927
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY
PRESIDENT'S ANNUAL ADDRESS
Members of the Brookline Historical Society and Friends
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting of our Society. Our membership is as follows:
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this twenty-sixth annual meeting of our Society. Our membership is as follows:
Annual members: 124
Life members: 25
We welcome the new members of 1926. Our member, Mrs. Edith C. Baker, has become a life member this year, and Gardner G. Peabody, jr., has joined as a life member. The following have become members :
Miss Annette L. Crocker
Dr. Harold Bowditch
Daniel J. Daley
William Read Buckminster
Edward B. Richardson
Mrs. Charles F. Pierce
Mrs. David S. Knowlton
Two members have resigned in 1926 and the following eight members have died :
Albert L. Lincoln, died March 6, 1926.
Frank B. Thayer, died March 16th.
Charles A. WW, Spencer. died March 24.
Michael Driscoll, died June 11.
Desmond FitzCerald, died September 22.
Seth Nichols, died November 26.
Henry W. Lamb, died December 8.
Galen L. Stone, died December 265.
We all have met with a great loss by the death of so many men in Brookline, men whose lives have been of the greatest benefit to the town, and this report ca n give but a brief and inadequate word of them.
Albert Lincoln, though born in Boston, came to Brookline as a boy and had lived here the rest of his life. He was a well-known lawyer, loved and respected by all who knew him. He was for a number of years a Selectman and was in t ha t office during the exciting time of the widening of Beacon Street. He took great interest in the town's welfare, and was president of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society and an active member of the Friendly Society.
Frank B. Thayer was born in the South End of Boston, but had lived here for the past thirty years. He was employed in the house of Wellington, Scars S: Co.
Charles A. W. Spencer. the well-known printer, had been a resident of Brookline for over forty years, and was a part owner and publisher of the Brookline Chronicle
. For many years he printed the town reports and circulars, and for t he past twenty-five years had printed the Annual Rep orts of this Society, bound sets of which are in several libraries. Having been long on the publication committee, I can testify to his great ca re and helpful endeavor in that work done.
Michael Driscoll was a life-long resident and respected citizen of Brookline. For fifty years he was the Superintendent of Streets and also a member of the School Committee, for many years its Chairman. He wrote a very interesting paper on the old Heath School.
Desmond FitzGerald came to Brookline more than fifty years ago, having been born in Nassau, Bahama Islands. He gave the town his services as a member of the Board of Health, a member of the Park Board, for many years its Chairman, and for fifty-one years was a member of the Board of Trustees of Walnut Hill Cemetery. All this service he gave without pay. He was a Civil Engineer, and for many years had charge of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the Water Department of Boston. He was much interested in art, and his beautiful gallery, which had always been open to the public, was one of the most interesting and beautiful places to visit. Mr. FitzGerald stood upon our membership list as a benefactor, and the Society has had most enjoyable meetings in his art gallery, where he would welcome us with our lantern slides and lecturers with the greatest cordiality.
Seth Nichols had a large and beautiful estate in Princeton on the slope of Mount Wachusett. This he claimed as his legal residence, though at one time he owned a house on Buckminster Road and lived in Brookline a considerable part of the year.
Henry W. Lamb came to Brookline from Boston as a young man and had always been interested in our town. For many years he was a director and treasurer of the Brookline Union, now the Friendly Society. He was a member and later President of the Trustees of the Brookline Library and a town meeting member. He was always prominent in Brook line affairs, and is greatly missed.
Galen L. Stone of Hayden, Stone & Company, Bankers. was a benefactor in this community, a resident here since 1890. His beautiful place on Buckminster Road has been greatly admired. His recent purchase of the White Estate on Boylston Street has been of the greatest benefit to the Brookline Hills district, for he has improved the property, making it, as it faces the park reservoir, one of the most beautiful of Brookline places. He owned also real estate on Chestnut Hill Avenue. Would that he could have lived longer to enjoy these beautiful places and continue his help to the community. He was of a retiring-nature and his many gifts were made without ostentation.
During 1926 the Society has had four regular meetings, in January, April, June, and November. All were held at the Edward Devotion House.
The Annual Meeting was on January 29 at 8 p, m. Mr. Edward W. Baker read his treasurer's report, which was accepted, and the President, William O. Comstock, read his annual report. The Nominating Committee's report was accepted, and the officers named were elected. A committee was appointed by the President to arrange for a meeting in commemoration of the incorporation of the Society twenty-five year s ago.
Mr. Baker read some very interesting notes written by the late Bradford Kingman relating to the building and operating of the Boston and Worcester Railway in 1835 and the Brookline branch in 1841.
On motion it was voted to express to Mr. and Mrs. Lowe the appreciation of the Society for their improvement in the rooms of the Edward Devotion House.
The April meeting was on Thursday the twenty-ninth at eight o' clock, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Society. Many were present. After a short paper by the President and incidents of earlier days related by Mr. Stearns, Mr. Read, and others, Mr. Baker read an important paper giving the history of the Society from its founding until the present time.
The June 30th meeting was at 8 p. m., in connection with the Nation's celebration of the Fourth of July. It was on the so-called "Founders' Day" of the week's program of the Sesquicentennial Committee, of which President Coolidge and Vice-President Dawes, with many others, were members, and at the request of that Committee. There was a paper appropriate to the occasion read by your President, and remarks made by several members, after which refreshments and a social half hour were enjoyed. The Brookline Chronicle
has always been very kind about reporting our meetings, and a copy of that estimable paper, in which this meeting was fully noticed, was sent to the Secretary of the Sesquicentennial Committee in Washington.
The November meeting was on Monday evening, the twenty-ninth. Three new members were elected. The President presented a resolution upon the death of our benefactory member. Mr. Desmond FitzGerald, who was one of the founders of the Society in 1901and a copy was sent to his daughter. Mr. Frank H. Mason. Mr. Henry D. Eustis. and Mrs. Rebecca Silsby were appointed the Nominating Committee to report at the Annual Meeting in January. The paper of the evening was read by Miss Annie B. Winchester, entitled "My Winchester Ancestors," and was most interesting. A number of members present participated in relating incidents in connection with the Winchester family. Following the adjournment of the meeting, a social half hour was enjoyed and light refreshments were served.
There were four meetings during 1926 of the Bay State Historical League, and this Society, a member of the League, was represented at all of them. The winter meeting on January 23rd was at the building of the Somerville Historical Society on Central Street, Somerville, and as guests of that society the officers and delegates were given a cordial welcome in the new building. The subject of the meeting was "How May a Society Safeguard Its Collections?" Your President presided.
The Spring meeting was on April 24th, with the Stoneham Historical Society in the Methodist Church at Stoneham, where, in absence of the president. your President again presided, and many of us enjoyed the bus ride there and back.
The Annual Meeting of the Bay State Historical League was on June 26th, with the Old Bridgewater Historical Society in the brick Memorial Building in West Bridgewater. Much of interest about that locality was told by officers of the Old Bridgewater Historical Society. The subject discussed was "Action taken by Massachusetts towns for Independence in May and June, 1776." At this meeting your President was elected President of the League.
The Fall meeting was in Lowell with the Lowell Historical Society in the great central hall of the building that is a memorial to the Lowell soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. The subject was "Fabrics Used in Early New England," and many were present. All the meetings have been well attended and the subjects suitably presented.
Roosevelt Day in 1926 was not celebrated at the High School, for the Roosevelt Day Committee decided to celebrate Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1927, this winter instead. Owning to the twelfth coming on Saturday, the Committee chose the eleventh of February. There will be motion pictures and music, and medals will be awarded for prize winning essays on Lincoln.
This report cannot begin to tell of the steady and healthy growth of Brookline during the past year. The growth of this Society can be greatly helped by work of all its members in many ways. Let us all take courage and be thankful for the progress we have so far made.
William O. Comstock.
January 27, 1927