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United States Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts

United States Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts Water Pollution Surveys Collection

1936-1938
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 068

Under the federal New Deal in the late 1930s, the Works Project Administration authorized a series of surveys of major watersheds to gauge water quality and sources of pollution. In Massachusetts, the studies were coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Health and resulted in a series of more or less detailed reports issued between September 1936 and January 1938.

The pollution survey collection contains reports for six major watersheds in New England — the Blackstone, Hoosic, Housatonic, Merrimack, Nashua, and Ten Mile — measuring the impact of both civic and industrial waste on regional water resources.

Subjects

  • Blackstone River Watershed (Mass. and R.I.)
  • Hoosic River Watershed
  • Housatonic River Watershed (Mass. and Conn.)
  • Merrimack River Watershed (N.H. and Mass.)
  • Nashua River Watershed (Mass. and N.H.)
  • Ten Mile River Watershed (Mass.)
  • Water--Pollution--Massachusetts
  • Water-resources--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Massachusetts. Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts. State Planning Board
Western Massachusetts Health Planning Council

Western Massachusetts Health Planning Council Records

ca.1960-1988
46 boxes 23 linear feet
Call no.: MS 270

Records of the Western Massachusetts Health Planning Council consist of health system plans, determination of need reports, and subjects files realting to various regional hospital and health care facilities.

Subjects

  • Public health--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Western Massachusetts Health Planning Council
Beach, Samuel

Samuel and Harriett Beach Papers

1829-1903
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1032
Image of Business card for J.S. Stannard Oysters, ca.1885
Business card for J.S. Stannard Oysters, ca.1885

Spread out across the early national landscape, the Beach and Cooke families were bound by the ties of family, friendship, and business. The brothers-in-law Samuel Beach, from Branford, Conn., and Samuel G. Cooke, from Mendon, Illinois, both served in the Civil War. As a corporal in the 27th Connecticut Infantry, Beach saw action at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, while Cooke served in the west with the 50th Illinois before taking a captain’s commission in the 44th U.S. Colored Troops. Farmers and fruit growers, the two settled in Branford after the war, with Beach establishing Pawson Park, a day resort and picnic grounds that prospered in the 1880s.

The paper of Samuel and Harriett Beach contain family correspondence from two generations of Connecticut family in the mid-nineteenth century. Of particular note are 31 war-date letters and a post-war memoir of the battle of Fredericksburg from Samuel Beach, and three war-date letters from Samuel G. Cooke. The collection also includes an interesting, though scattered series of letters relating to the creation and operation of the day resort, Pawson Park.

Acquired from William Reese, April 2018
Jaffe, Bernard

Bernard Jaffe Papers

1955-2016
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 906
Image of W.E.B. Du Bois at home in Accra, 1963
W.E.B. Du Bois at home in Accra, 1963

A New York native with a deep commitment to social justice, Bernard Jaffe was an attorney, confidant, and longtime friend of W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois. In 1951, Jaffe joined Du Bois’s defense team at a time when the civil rights leader was under indictment for failing to register as a foreign agent. Forging a close relationship through that experience, he was retained as a personal attorney, representing the Du Bois family interests after they settled abroad. Jaffe was later instrumental in placing the papers of both W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois and served on the executive board of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation, set up by Shirley’s son, David Graham Du Bois.

This rich collection centers on the close relationship between attorney Bernard Jaffe and his friends and clients, Shirley Graham Du Bois and W.E.B. Du Bois. Although there is little correspondence from W.E.B. Du Bois himself, the collection contains an exceptional run of correspondence with Shirley, from the time of her emigration to Ghana in 1961 until her death in China in 1977 and excellent materials relating to David Graham Du Bois and the work of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation.

Gift of Jonathan Klate and Bernard Jaffe, Apr. 2016

Subjects

  • Ghana--History--1957-

Contributors

  • Du Bois, David Graham
  • Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
  • W. E. B. Du Bois Foundation

Types of material

  • Photographs
New England Regional Planning Commission

New England Regional Planning Commission Collection

1935-1943
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 069

Organized in March 1934, the New England Regional Planning Commission was a coalition of state planning boards intended as a permanent, non-partisan, representative body. Charged with the continuous coordination, review, and revision of state plans, the Commission coordinated research and physical planning relating to transportation (including the highway system and airports), interstate water resources, land utilization, conservation of forests and wildlife, and recreational facilities.

This small collection consists of printed reports, bulletins, and minutes from the NERPC from its founding through middle of the Second World War. Ephemeral in nature, the reports chart the growth of regional cooperation in planning in the use of water and land resources and the transportation system, spurred by the federal New Deal.

Subjects

  • Airports--New England
  • New England--Economic conditions
  • Regional planning--New England
  • Roads--New England
  • Transportation--New England
  • Water-supply--New England

Contributors

  • New England Regional Planning Commission
Powell, James R.

James R. Powell Collection

1958-2010
27 boxes 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 701

A devoted reader of newspaper cartoon strips, Jim Powell began collecting Peanuts cartoon books in the mid-1970s, prompted by obtaining two pure-bred beagles for his son.

The Powell cartoon book collection consists of 419 mass market paperback copies of popular cartoon books, representing the work of well-known cartoonists such as Charles M. Schultz, Johnny Hart, Gary Larson, Garry Trudeau, Jim Davis, and Berke Breathed. The collection has particularly rich runs of Peanuts, Garfield, and Doonesbury.

Gift of James R. Powell, June 2010

Subjects

  • Comic books, strips, etc.

Contributors

  • Davis, Jim, 1945 July 28-
  • Schulz, Charles M. (Charles Monroe), 1922-2000
  • Trudeau, G. B., 1948-
  • Watterson, Bill

Types of material

  • Cartoons
Swift, Sarah J.

Sarah J. Swift Papers

1890-1942
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 932

A Quaker and philanthropist from Worcester, Mass., Sarah J. Swift was a noted supporter of Friends’ missions in Palestine and Jamaica for over half a century. The wife of D. Wheeler Swift, an innovator in the manufacture of envelopes, Swift began to support the Friends’ foreign missions by the 1890s, becoming a major benefactor of the Eli and Sibyl Jones Mission and girls’ school in Ramallah and of the small Quaker mission at Buff Bay, Jamaica.

The Swift papers contain a thick series of letters from the Society of Friends’ Eli and Sybil Jones Mission in Ramallah, Palestine, documenting their activity between 1890 and 1942, with a much smaller series of letters relating to the mission at Buff Bay, Jamaica. The missionaries’ letters — including circular letters to supporters and others addressed to Swift personally — discuss school operations and local affairs in Palestine and Jamaica. Of particular note are letters discussing the work at Ramallah around the turn of the twentieth century and several letters discussing the hardships of wartime and recovery from war.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

  • Eli and Sybil Jones Mission (Ramallah, Palestine)
  • Jamaica--History--20th century
  • Missionaries--Jamaica
  • Missionaries--Palestine
  • Palestine--History--20th century
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Jones, Alice W.
  • Kelsey, A. Edward
  • Vincent, Charles S.
Tucker, Ralph L.

Ralph L. Tucker Collection

1951-ca.2000
20 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 041
Image of Erased stone, Salem, Mass.
Erased stone, Salem, Mass.

Known for his extensive research into Boston and Merrimac Valley area gravestone carvers, particularly Joseph Lamson and John Hartshorne, Ralph Tucker received the AGS Forbes Award in 1992 for his excellence in carver research. One of the attendees at the inaugural Dublin Seminar, and the first President of the Association for Gravestone Studies, Tucker served as editor of a column, “17th and 18th Century Gravestones and Carvers,” in the AGS Newletter from 1993-1999. Born on May 29, 1921 in Winthrop, Mass., Tucker attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, and Episcopal Theological School. He married Mildred R. Moore in 1946 and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1947. Tucker spent two years as a missionary in China, returning to serve parishes in Utah, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In addition to extending his ministry to hospitals and prisons, he participated in 1960s Civil Rights protests in Alabama and Boston. In 1985 he went to Zimbabwe as a missionary, retiring to Maine soon thereafter where he acted as interim pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in Bath. Tucker died March 28, 2010, and was survived by his wife, four sons — Ralph, Jr., Richard R., Roger W., and Paul M. Tucker, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Tucker collection includes research notes and copies of published works stemming from Ralph Tucker’s decades of research on stone carvers and other gravestone-related topics, along with hundreds of images documenting carvers and stones in Massachusetts.

Subjects

  • Cemeteries--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Tucker, Ralph L.

Types of material

  • Photographs
Alford Marble Works

Alford Marble Works Records

1870-1873
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 649 bd

Beginning in the early nineteenth century, the small town of Alford in far southwestern Massachusetts was the site of significant marble quarrying operations. Highly profitable for several decades, the quarries began to decline in profitability by mid-century when new sites became accessible by rail. By the early 1870s, the Alford Marble Works stood as one of the last quarries in the region to remain active.

The Alford Marble Works ledger includes pay and work records for quarrymen during its last years of operation. Although the Marble Works is sometimes recorded as suspending activity in 1872, it is clear from these records that their work continued through the end of 1873.

Subjects

  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Marble industry and trade--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Alford Marble Works
  • Association for Gravestone Studies

Types of material

  • Account books
Barrett, G. A.

G. A. Barrett Ledgers

1871-1876
2 vols. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 489 bd

Lumbering was an important part of the economy in northern Franklin County, Massachusetts, during the late nineteenth century, particularly in the region abutting the border with New Hampshire.

These two volumes document a sawmill that appears to have operated in Franklin County, Mass., perhaps Northfield, in the latter half of the nineteenth century. One volume is a work record for employees at the mill (1871-1875), the second is a daybook with sales records (1874-1876) either from a company store or country store. Many of the transactions are with the mill’s employees. Most of the (relatively) high value exchanges recorded in the daybook are for lumber, shingles, or board, but there are numerous small cash records and the sale of miscellaneous goods such as tobacco (and tobacco boxes), bricks, hay, nails, rubber boots, meat and flour, corn, and even a watch. Although the precise location of the mill is uncertain, Northfield seems most likely. Several names recorded in the volume can be traced through the census to the vicinity of northern Franklin county, including Romanzo Hill, listed in the federal census for 1880 as living in Warwick, Mass., and “works in sawmill”; Jackson Doolittle of Hinsdale, N.H. (1870 and 1880); T. B. Stratton, who operated a country store in Millers Falls in 1872; and Roswell Stratton, a carpenter in Northfield (1880). We have been unable to identify G. A. Barrett beyond his name.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts--Franklin County
  • Northfield (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • Sawmills--Massachusetts--Franklin County

Types of material

  • Daybooks