Season of 1920-1921.
The Historical Society has held its stated meetings on the third Monday evenings of October to May (inclusive). On October 18 Rev. Thomas C. Richards of the Mystic Church, and secretary of the John Brown Association, favored us with an interesting address on John Brown, recounting many events of the years before the Civil War. The attendance was not such as to encourage the committee to invite other speakers to address us, so the remaining have been sustained by our own membership. In November it was fitting that the subject should be ‘The Pilgrims at Provincetown.’ Mr. Wilson Fiske led off in a talk on the timely subject and was followed by several others, and the meeting was one of much interest. At the December meeting, special consideration, this being the Plymouth Day. Mr. Remele read historic selections, Miss Atherton told the story of Elder Brewster's life in England and Holland, and Mr. Mann read a short paper on the time and causes of the Pilgrim movement. This meeting was of much interest and more largely attended. The annual meeting in January was on one of the coldest evenings of the winter, and there was but a small attendance, but the reports were made, and officers elected for the ensuing year. The February meeting was ‘An Evening with Parson Turell.’ Mr. Remele read selections from Brooks' History relating to him. Mr. Mann read the will of the old minister, having made copy of the same at the Probate office. At the ‘Item—I give to little Turell Tufts. . . that my shadow may remain’ the portrait of Ebenezer Turell thus bequeathed was displayed by Mr. Fiske, who had procured it from the First Parish Church for the occasion. At the ‘item, I give to Simon Tufts my watch’ a silver watch with chain and seal was passed around for inspection. This watch (doubtless similar to Mr. Turell's) had just been given to the Society, and was that of Dr. Daniel Osgood, brother of Rev. David Osgood, Mr. Turell's colleague and successor. Miss Atherton read Dr. Holmes' poem ‘The Parson's Legacy,’ relating to ‘the president's chair’ at Harvard College, said to have been given by Mr. Turell. Mr. Fiske exhibited a copy of the letter written by the parson calling for a ‘fast day,’ to select a colleague to assist him in his latest years. Light refreshments were served and a social half-hour closed an enjoyable and interesting meeting. In response to the query, ‘What do we celebrate in March?’ the Boston Massacre and the Siege and Evacuation of Boston were discussed, the members participating quite freely and with interest. The April meeting was similarly conducted, and falling on the eighteenth, very naturally the Battle of Lexington claimed attention, [p. 67] as well as the modern observance of ‘Patriot's Day.’ Various poems and selections were read by Miss Atherton, Miss Durgin and Miss Carty, commemorating the historic rides of William Dawes and Paul Revere, and the hanging of the signal lanterns. Mr. Mann read a paper on ‘The Route of Revere,’ which appears in the Register. President Ackerman called attention to the events of the winter of sixty years ago, culminating with the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The stirring scenes in Medford, next following, were recalled, including the departure of the Light Guard for Washington; the surrender at Appomattox, the restoration of the old flag to Sumter, and the terrible tragedy of the death of Lincoln were all recalled by remarks by several members, which showed April to be a month of notable memory. On Patriot's Day the Society's home was open to the public from noon till five o'clock. Somewhere about two hundred people came to see our quarters and collection. But a portion of these left their names in our registry book. We had too small a company to meet them adequately and explain and answer their questions, and the few we had were taxed to extent of patience by the few ill-mannered boys who found their way thither. But in the main the demeanor of the younger element was very commendable. The May meeting marked the completion of the twenty-fifth year of the Society's corporate existence, and in response to the notice sent by mail to each and every member, we had twenty-five present. Letters were read from several, regretting absence, and of congratulation and good will. Brief addresses were made, after the President's welcome, by former Presidents Wait and Eddy, by Dr. Green, president of the Royall House Association, and Miss Wild, former Editor of the Register. Former Presidents Hooper and Mann were present to enjoy the occasion, which was one of real interest. The adjournment was ‘to meet at the call of the President,’ and a social half-hour, with refreshments, followed. During the year the Society has been represented at meetings of the Bay State League at Boston, Methuen, Concord and Arlington by President Ackerman and Mr. and Mrs. Mann. The Society regrets that, because of limited means, it has been unable to open its rooms to visitors at regular intervals. At various times, however, some of its officers have by special appointment met visitors there to save them from disappointment. It is hoped that sometime there may be a printed catalog of its library and collection which is ever increasing and of much interest.