Ship Yard Echoes.
In the Usher History
are some ‘Biographical Sketches,’ closing with that of Captain Joshua T. Foster
(p. 487). Inasmuch as twenty-one years of the captain's career are unnoticed there some items from Shipbuilding on North River
are worth recalling.
, as he was commonly called in his boyhood home, having acquired his trade in Medford
and there attained his majority, returned to Scituate
and built four vessels in partnership with Joseph Clapp under the firm name of Clapp & Foster. . . . [Having] reached his twenty-fifth year [he] returned to the Sprague & James yard as foreman.
[p. 63] . . . Before [leaving] Scituate the first time he used to help his father in the store, and often carried the ‘black-strap’ (rum sweetened with molasses) down to the yards, but during the seventy-eight years of his life , has never used tobacco or tasted spirit, save as a medicine.
He used to play the clarinet and with Uncle Sam Rogers, went to singing school in Pembroke.
At that time Mr. Rogers was courting a Miss Standish, and Mr. Foster was obliged to wait for him to go to her home and do his courting, as Mr. Rogers had the team and it was a long walk. . . An epitaph current with the [Scituate shipyard] reads as follows.
Under this greensward pat, The deceased was noted for putting other men's sheep in his own flock and marking them with his private mark.
We have no proof of the identity of the writer but the lines are not inconsistent with Mr. Foster's jovial disposition.
Lies the hulk of old. . . . . . . . .
Shepherds rejoice and do not weep,
For he is dead who stole your sheep.
From the same source we find what Mr. Usher
failed to mention, that while serving Medford
in 1884 Captain Foster
was the oldest man in the Legislature—the ‘Dean
of the House