Greetings from frigid Easton! We avoided the brunt of a passing storm last night, no rain, ice or snow. However, a brisk wind and cold temperatures sent us down close to zero overnight, and the wind chill was much too cold to even mention! Suffice it to say that the ride this morning was a cold one.
Hazel Varella is working on the next edition of "Reminiscences", and asks the following of our readers:
"One of the features in this year's "Reminiscences" will be John Leonard, OAHS Class of 1948. In a "Providence Journal" article he was named one of the 100 Most Significant People in Rhode Island High School Sports in the 20th Century. In 2019 the Rhode Island Tennis Coaches awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. He died March 18, 2021.
Anyone who would like to include a memory of John is asked to send it to email@example.com."
We appreciate anyone who might be able to add to John's story.
Last week I had several nice comments about the interior of the Old Square Top Methodist Church in Unionville. This week I am sending a photo of the church building proper. Taken around 1890-1895, shortly before it was razed around 1898, the church stood proudly on the northwest corner of Elm Street and Washington Street. Originally begun in a small building erected in 1795, the congregation outgrew the original church and a new building was erected in 1830. The square bell tower on the top of the structure gives the building its nickname. Over the years, a number of preachers held services here. At times, services were discontinued, and for several years the congregation merged with another Methodist group in North Easton village, and both buildings were used for six months at a time. A great revival, part of the "Great Awakening" movement, was held at this site in the 1850's, an event that is called the last big revival in New England. Among those who visited Easton was the First Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, Francis Asbury, who preached the initial service in the original building, and the Rev. George Pickering, who preached at the dedication of the 1830 building. The congregation prospered enough to be the mother church to several other Methodist churches in Brockton and Stoughton. A favorite pastor was Rev. Louis "Father" Bates, whose son John, born in Easton, would become Governor of Massachusetts in the early 1900's. Records indicate that the last regular services were held at Old Square Top in 1885. The church fell into further disrepair, and was finally demolished. I do not know what happened to the bell from the church, nor does anything survive from the structure.
Stay well, stay warm, and until next week,
Curator: Frank Meninno