2008-02-07 / About Town

JHS displays island letters in library

Letters and postcards were the way islanders kept in touch with each other in the ninteenth and twentieth centuries.

The new exhibit in the display case in the library lobby shows a sampling of these types of communications from the Jamestown Historical Society's collection.

In a letter from 1807 - the earliest one on display - the Speaker of the state's House of Representatives writes to Town Clerk, Wager Weeden, that since John Remington had resigned as a representative, the town was required to elect a new representative.

In other letters, 15-year-old Mary Howland Gardiner is given directions for traveling from Buffalo, N.Y. to Jamestown by herself (1847), the Town Council is petitioned to include Howland Avenue and High Street "in the streets that are watered during the summer season" (1899), and in 1916 Mary Stout, age 11, asks her father in Philadelphia for a "niblic club because it took me eight to get of (sic) a bunker with my mashie."

The most recent item on display is a postcard showing the Mackerel Cove Beach pavilion, which was built in 1928 and destroyed by the 1938 hurricane. The message on the card, sent in 1953, includes an apology, "Pardon please this relic of older days!"

The Jamestown Historical Society is encouraged by an increasing number of unsolicited donations, such as the two collections of family letters that are in the exhibit.

If anyone has material with a Jamestown connection, call Sue Maden at 423-2167 or Harry Wright at 423-2978.

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