Hello from a very stormy Easton! A nor'easter may be dampening the ground today, but it didn't dampen our holiday spirit. We just finished up the pandemic version of the Easton Garden Club's Annual Greens Sale, which was a success even with the rain and the Covid restrictions. How nice it was to have visitors! I am looking forward to next year though, and a hopeful return to a busy schedule.
This is one of those days to curl up by the fireplace or woodstove and read a good book, which I might be doing shortly, if I do not settle into a long winter's nap instead. Today's artifact is, in fact, a book. I found this at a book sale many years ago and had it at home. Now it has a permanent residence at the Museum. The book is called the "Massachusetts Register" and was printed in 1815. The small book, not much larger than your hand, contains a wealth of information that includes an almanac, and list after list of "Who's Who" in Massachusetts. The pages inside list, by county, Civil, Judicial, Ecclesiastical, and Military institutions as well as charitable, agricultural, and literary organizations. A list of Post Offices and Postmasters round out the collection of information. Since the book is set up by county, when county governments were still a strong part of state government, it is easy to find Easton under Bristol County. Of course I looked at neighboring counties as well (Norfolk, Plymouth,) and then the other Massachusetts counties such as Kennebec, Penobscot, and Aroostook. Wait, those are not Massachusetts counties! Well, they were in 1815 when this little book was published. Maine was a District of Massachusetts until 1820, when statehood was granted following Massachusetts' lack of protection of the Maine area during the War of 1812. The book therefore covers not only the Massachusetts we know today, but the Massachusetts that once was.
Stay well, stay safe, and until next week,
Curator: Frank Meninno