Hello! It is hard to believe that just one year ago we were in the midst of a very busy weekend! We had a great Black Friday sale all weekend thanks to Jonathan Coe, whose retail expertise (and great book of Easton photos) got us off to a roaring start for the holidays. We saw a lot of people, had a lot of fun, and raised a lot of important funds for the Society and Museum. This year is the complete opposite! But there is good news too. The Museum will be open weekdays and Saturdays to help meet your shopping needs. Masks and social distancing are required! You can shop online - there is an option for curbside pickup - or you can drop by the Museum to shop for unique Easton gifts for someone special. Beginning early next week I'll be sharing specials that you can take advantage of. Watch your email or our social media for details!
Many of us use special dishes and place settings for our holiday meals. Did you have your best china out for Thursday? Or are you planning to set a festive table for Christmas or Hanukkah? We often have that special item that has been passed down in the family from generation to generation. Today's artifact is one of those very special items.
When Reuben Harlow married Hannah Fuller in Easton in 1791, she brought a special piece from her family. It is a pewter dinner plate. Attached is a photo of the plate, and a detail of the plate's rim. Measuring just about 8 1/2" in diameter, it would have been a prized possession for her. As a matter of fact, her initials are stamped on the reverse, probably by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, there are no other discernible marks in the plate to identify the manufacturer. But as the plate is stamped "HF" for Hannah Fuller rather than "HH" for her married name, she must have been given the plate prior to her marriage. Hannah was born around 1770/1 in Sharon, Massachusetts to Lemuel and Ruth (Tisdale) Fuller. She married Reuben Harlow (1773-1823) in 1791 and was in Easton at that time. Reuben was a direct descendant of Sgt. William Harlow of Plymouth, MA. and the Harlow Old Fort House. Hannah died in 1850, outliving her husband by 27 years. They had four children including Tisdale, who was born in 1804. He died in 1883, and built the farmhouse at 131 Poquanticut Avenue. An 1825 map lists Hannah Fuller at that location, and the current house may have replaced an older home originally built for Reuben and Hannah. The Tisdale name continues in the family for generations. The Tisdale Harlow I knew growing up (he was our "backyard neighbor" on South Street) was the grandson of the Tisdale who built the old farmhouse.
The Harlow family kept this plate in the family until 2012 when direct descendant Earl Nichols presented it to us. Earl and his family attended the annual Harlow Family Reunion in Plymouth for years. Earl grew up on Center Street, and moved to Pennsylvania many years ago. The family always visited Easton when they returned for the reunion each year. I met him several times at the Museum. He wanted to see the plate "back in Easton" where it belonged. We are honored to have such a cherished heirloom in our collection.
Stay well, and watch your email for exciting updates!
Curator: Frank Meninno