Gookin and How 1696 map

2014-06-26 10.07.25

2014-06-26 10.08.44

Map of land claimed by Samuel Gookin and Samuel How

February 11, 1696 – transcription of text:

Committees Survey of the Lands in and about Natick, claimed by Samuel Gookin and How, returned Feb. 11, 1696.

The persons that purchased land of Gookin and How

Nathaniel Stone                  5 a

David Rice                7 a

David Stone             12 a

Thomas Drury                     9 a

Thomas Walker                  12 a

John How                 34 a

John Adams             12 a

Matthew Rice                      60 a

John Bent                 3 a

Widow Pratt              7a

To the Honorable General Court now sitting – We whose names are under written, by order of this Court bearing date December 13, 1695, being ordered to survey the Land in Natick Township claimed by Mr. Samuel Gookin of Cambridge & Samuel How of Sudbury:  we have accordingly measured said land, & we find of the Land which said Gookin & How have sold and disposed of To several persons, 1700 acres full measure, which by information that we have had, the said Gookin & How have sold to the value of 156 pounds, which we account the full value of said land. We have also measured the land betwixt the aforesaid land and Sherborn line, which we have been informed has been claimed by said Gookin and How, and not disposed of, which we find to measure 1000 acres, which we value to be worth 60 pounds of which we have herein drawn a plot of the lines thereof.

We have also set out to the said Gookin and How 200 acres, according to the General Courts order, adjoining the Sudbury River at a place called Indian Head.

We have also propounded to the several persons that have purchased land of the said Gookin and How to pay something to the Indians for a confirmation of this title, but they refuse to do any thing because they have paid to the full value already as their deeds from Gookin and How will show.

Further we did notify Mr. Samuel Gookin and Mr. Samuel How of the Courts order and the time of our meeting at Natick to do the above said work.

Surveyed in January 1696,

By David Fisk

Joseph Morse

Joseph Sherman

Thomas Sawin attorney for the Indians at Natick is willing that the land next to Sherborn should pay for this survey – which charge is fifteen pounds money.

Transcription by Linda de Cougny and D.D. Ricciardi, 6-12-14

This summer’s Tom Desilets Memorial Intern

James King and Nancy Prince (2)

Volunteer Nancy Prince and Intern James King

By Maureen Moran
June 26, 2014

When he speaks of his experience in learning to transform the setting and rearrange the 18th Century portion of the permanent exhibit at the Old Academy, his eyes flash and James can scarcely contain his pride and his enthusiasm.  Clearly, James King, this summer’s  Tom Desilets Memorial Internship recipient, is in awe of  each step of the museum exhibition process. James displayed his penchant for working with local history as an intern at the FHC last spring.  Entering his senior year at Framingham State University, James hails originally from Peabody where he credits his AP History teacher, Mr. Smith, as the one who inspired in him a love of history.  As James puts it: “He changed my whole perception of history… his methods required me to think, to analyze… to love discovering the rootsof current facts, ideas and why things are so connected.”

James’ enthusiasm is unmistakable as he enumerates the importance of careful white-glove handling of each artifact; the proper way to hold and  lift and place each artifact, each farmer’s tool,  the woman’s loom, the hand-carved chairs and the oxen’s yoke.. His concern that each item be carefully spaced and displayed in ways to engage the youngest third grader and the most seasoned museum patron is especially engaging. James is quick to express gratitude to those who guided him in this unique learning experience, particularly FHC Curator, Dana Ricciardi.

Currently, supported by the tutelage of Annie Murphy and volunteer Nancy Prince, James is involved in the formidable task of examining, analyzing, and archiving, the vast Dennison Collection. According to James, he loves ”…being right in the thick of it, learning to select what is most representative of the company’s history.”  It certainly appears that the FHC has once again hired a remarkable young scholar for its Desilets Internship –chosen wisely and very well indeed.

volunteers_neededHave you ever wanted to be the smiling face that welcomes people to a place that is significant to your local community? Are you interested in reading and transcribing Civil War and post-Civil War diaries? Have you considered volunteering but not sure how to do so or what you wanted to do?

The Framingham History is currently searching for dedicated volunteers to act as greeters for our two buildings, the Old Academy and the Edgell Memorial Library, during the open hours Wednesday through Saturday from 1-4 PM.  Our current exhibitions on view are “Four Centuries of Framingham History” and “Framingham Remembers… The Civil War”. Continue reading

High praise for Framingham and Henry S. Dennison from world renowned economist

by Annie Murphy, Executive Director
February 12, 2014

As we continue to peruse the newly arrived Dennison manufacturing archives, Pat Lavin and I came across the following letter from John Kenneth Galbraith to a former Director of the Framingham History Center as she was preparing for a Dennison exhibition in 2002. It helps us understand the impact Mr. Dennison had not only on his company and Framingham, but on the nation as well with his progressive economic thinking. Note the “Framingham is an agreeable center…” comment at the end.  These archives are amazing! Galbraith writes:

“He [Dennison] was an early follower of Keynes.  Alas, I took a more orthodox view: monopoly, imperfect competition was the program of the Great Depression.  Only later, the year 1936, did I become persuaded of what amounted to modern New Deal fiscal policy by John Maynard Keyes.  Dennison had already been there — the newly accepted liberal view.

Framingham is an agreeable center and makes an intelligent contribution to the economic and social life of the country.  But nothing quite equals the contribution of Henry Dennison and Dennison Manufacturing.  It gives me great pleasure to approve and applaud this exercise, [our exhibition], not only in community but in larger national history.”

Two Years in Review

Edgell toy soldier

by Charlene Frary
December 20, 2013

Wow.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve been flexing my creative muscle for more than 2 years at the Framingham History Center!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the “face” behind the FHC’s Facebook page, and part of the program team at the Framingham History Center.   While I’ve had a 25+ year love affair with the FHC that has involved a number of volunteer projects large and small over those years, I have for the past 2 years or so invested 20 paid hours or more per week working on membership, annual appeal, donor cultivation, a daunting constituency database switch, fundraisers, website, and my favorite – PROGRAMS:  childrens’ programming, living history programming, roundtables, and academic presentations. I’m gratified with the tangible proof of my work; we’ve grown from under 250 Facebook fans to over 500.   We have more than 125 new members.  We’ve introduced a summer childrens’ series.  Our programs draw larger audiences and garner more significant attention.  And through all of it, the most rewarded beneficiary has been me.

What I’ve loved most about working at the FHC, aside from the group of caring staff and volunteers, is that I’ve honestly learned something new from something old every single day.  I have a much greater appreciation for Framingham’s 20th century transformation.  When you understand where a town comes from, it’s easier to understand and perhaps help have an impact on where it is going.  (As a Framingham native, I’ll always consider Framingham my hometown even though I live in an adjacent community.)  Looking more inward,  I’ve been inspired by those women who have lived here before me, most particularly Mary Ware Dennett, whose story is one that I’ll never forget and one that  I think every divorced woman and single mother could benefit from hearing.   The wealth of intriguing material that springs from our collection is seemingly endless, with something of interest for everyone.  I hope that if nothing else, I’ve encouraged others to dig in a bit and embark on their own path of discovery here at the FHC.

So as I leave, returning fully to my real estate profession and growing next generation of family, I’ll not go so far afield.  I look forward to indulging my passion for Framingham’s diverse housing and architectural appeal by chairing the 13th Annual Framingham House Tour in a volunteer position, and I’ll look forwarding to joining other volunteers on the FHC’s Program Committee.   Above all, I look forward to all of the fascinating stories I’ve yet to hear, the artifacts I’ve yet to see, and the similarly enthusiastic folk I’ve yet to meet at the Framingham History Center.

A Sense of Place

By Pat Lavin
November 20, 2013

In early October, twenty-four young Time Travelers and their teachers walked from the Summit Montessori School to the Old Academy Museum.  The youngsters, all familiar with the book, THE ABCs Of  FRAMINGHAM HISTORY, were eager to step back in time.  They were curious and anxious to hear Framingham’s story and see its many treasured artifacts.

abc book

History quickly came alive for them!  Our docents transported the group from the early days of the Nipmuc and the new settlers through the 19th century and into today’s world of Bose and Staples.  Along the way, the children were delighted as they found their favorite artifacts from the ABC book sprinkled throughout the museum floors.  Students and adults were fascinated by the penny that saved Lothrop Wight’s life when he was struck with a Rebel bullet in 1862.  There were lots of giggles when the children learned that dresses were the fashion for little boys until they were four or five years old.  And that mysterious highwheeler!  How does one get on and off  without falling?

abc book H

Many questions were asked and answered as the tour came to an end.  Our travelers were then off to picnic on the Centre Common and tour the Thursday afternoon Farmer’s Market.

The children’s teachers wanted their students to get a sense of place as they visited the Common and its surrounding buildings. What better way to begin developing that sense of time and place than a visit to the Framingham History Center!

Editor’s Note:  The ABCs of Framingham History is available for sale in our Museum Gift Shoppe, or click here to order online.  Meet the authors and get a personally inscribed edition for the holidays at the FHC’s upcoming celebration Caroling on the Common December 8th.  For more details on that event, click here

What’s In a Word?

by Pat Lavin

Fire buckets, witch trials, “bone shaker,” straw hats, Musterfield, Dennison, Shoppers’ World ….

What do all these words have in common?  Ask one of more than 100 students from Framingham’s Adult ESL Program who visited the Framingham History Center this fall.  They might say these words helped to tell us the story of Framingham’s early settlement to the present day.

esl 2013

New vocabulary filled the air as docents escorted students through the three floors of The Old Academy building and to Edgell Memorial Library.  Students excitedly connected artifacts on display to those they had seen, and in some cases, used in their native countries.  Our 19th century school display brought out many interesting and fun stories of schooling in other parts of the world.  It was quite noticeable to many that the basic farming tools of the 18th century hadn’t changed so much that they couldn’t be used today.  That old iron shovel could still dig a perfect hole!  The display case of exotic birds, quickly noticed by students from Brazil, connected the story of the Brazilian Para Rubber Shoe Company that occupied the building  which later became the home to the Dennison Manufacturing Company.

Along with its importance as a Civil War Memorial, Edgell Memorial Library’s special exhibit, Shoppers’ World, lent itself to conversation about old and new ways of shopping.

The Framingham History Center tour is a great way to enrich and expand the study of the English language and at the same time learn about the history of our community, Framingham.  The docents felt they learned a lot from the students as well.

New words certainly are a stimulating catalyst for conversation!