Article Archives: Articles - Franklin County (MA) News Archive
Revised list of topics
Revised list of topics
Revised Jan. 10, 2009
Welcome to the list of topics. You can call them subject headings or tags - they offer you another method of searching the Franklin County Publication Archive site. Interested in accident victims in Athol? Click on the tag below for Accident Victims and find a list of articles dating from Jan. 1, 1870 to August , 1875. Once on the page of articles, then use your Find command to pull up all articles mentioning Athol.
The search engine is being revamped by the wonderful and highly overworked Mik Muller. Once it is completed, you will be able to search for multiple subjects or terms by simply dividing terms with a comma in the search box. Example: Jones, Deerfield, Births That should give you a nice listing of all Joneses born in Deerfield during the time period mentioned above. Another way to search it will be to choose the terms Deerfield and Births from the drop down box and add Jones to the search box. Voila!
ACCIDENT VICTIMS Here reside the fatalities, not the regular every day deaths. Industrial accidents, drownings, death by fire, train, loose circus animals, accidental shootings, and freak accidents.
ACCIDENTS Much more run of the mill stuff here, and not even fatal, at least in most cases. Many of these articles concern runaway horses, falls and narrow escapes. ADVERTISING One of my favorite sections. Classified ads are also included here. AFRICAN AMERICANS / BLACKS Everything is covered here. Articles deal with slavery, racism, lynchings, and the like, but it is noteworthy to see that many articles are not racist in content.
AMUSEMENTSis kind of a catch-all, but primarily concerns fun stuff done for amusement - picnics, parades, croquet games, tableaux, taffy pulling, sleigh rides, masquerade parties, sociables, shadow pantomimes - you get the idea.
ANIMALS / REPTILES From the barnyard to the circus, to the hunted, to cats and dogs. Horses have their own category. I regret now that I did not create a subject heading for cruelty to animals, but those articles are also included here.
ARABS Exotic stuff here. Turkey, Palestine, harems, whirling dervishes, reflecting the fascination for the Middle East and all its customs and traditions in the 1870s. ARCHAEOLOGY is a mixed bag of accidental findings - like the dinosaur footprints in the Connecticut River bed in Turners Falls, to old burial sites of Native Americans [which were treated with appalling lack of respect]. "Humbugs" like the Cardiff giant are also included here, as well as accidental finding of treasure.
ASTRONOMY Rare astronomical events, aurora borealis, miracles, meteors, solar eclipses - and the more mundane, references to the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.
ATHOL, MA BARBER / HAIR includes not only the establishment itself, but also all references to hair, wigs, bald heads, medicine to grow hair, hair dyes, etc. BARS (DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS) Pretty much portrayed as den of iniquities. The Gazette & Courier is very much pro temperance.
BIRDS All kinds of birds, many articles related to hunting. Hen stories abound as well, with some hens laying eggs that are 8 inches wide! [I pity the poor bird]. BIRTH CONTROL A really sad section, since birth control in this time period only relates to mothers killing their newborns, to botched illegal abortions, etc. BIRTHS Are prolific. Many names, usually only of the proud father, are repeated each year. Of course the matching obituaries contain many of these infants as well. All cases of multiple births worldwide are listed.
CHILDREN - They’re everywhere of course - families are huge, 15 children being a normal size. But the youth culture has not taken hold - one mostly hears about children having accidents or dying, or around Christmas time, or in school.
CONNECTICUT RIVER - The important one. All others are in one section entitled RIVERS.
CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES - Hasn’t dawned on them too much, even though they are familiar with Thoreau’s work. CONTESTS Base ball games (we call ’em baseball) becoming popular. Bets and wagers always a part of our society. We’ve got walking contests, horse races, tobacco stripping contests, girls splitting hard wood slabs, which hen can lay the biggest egg, who can grow the tallest corn stalk, etc.
COURTS One of the largest sections. Look here for all criminal activity. COURTSHIP - The path of true love did not run smoothly, even in the old days. Poems and stories abound, even personal ads (very high-toned ones, of course). Murders and scandals are not uncommon, as well. CRIME - Ah crime! There’s some of everything here, some of it salacious, much of it fines for drunkenness. CRIMINALS - Not everyone who commits a crime is a criminal. I reserved this area for people like serial poisoners, bank robbers, desperados, outlaws [like Red-Handed Dick and Henry Berry Lowery].
CULTS - Oh yes, they existed back then, and were just as troublesome. Read about Adventists, proponents of Free Loveism, Millerism, the Shakers, the Christian Israelites, the Nazarites, and the Howling Dervishes [Hmm, great name for a rock band]. CURIOSITIES AND WONDERS is a great catchall section, and one of my favorites [of course]. Here you will read about human and animal abnormalities - a youth with three legs and four feet, a lizard living in a man’s stomach, a three horned and three eyed ox, a living skeleton, a four legged chicken - well, you get the idea ;-). CUTLERY AND CUTLERY TRADE - Very important to Greenfield and Turners Falls history.
DANCE - Many kinds of dancing available for the young and the old. From Balls to Belly Dancers.
DEERFIELD, MA DISASTERS- We always have them. However, they don’t have the immediacy that they do nowadays in today’s news. Read about the great Chicago fire of 1871, the great Boston fire of 1872, shipwrecks, earthquakes, floods and explosions.
DISEASES - We’ve got a million of ’em. DIVORCE - the Court makes you jump through hoops, wait years, etc., but divorces do happen.
DREAMS AND SLEEP - Sleep and sleep disorders also included here. DRUG ABUSE - From sulphuric ether, to tobacco, chloral, opium and laudanum.
EXPLORERS - A great time period for exploration. We have Dr. Livingston, Arctic explorers, and more.
EYE - Blindness, accidents, eyeglasses, sore eyes, etc.
FAIRS - held bout once a week - the favorite moneymaker of the women’s church groups. Then there’s the County Fairs, which are covered as thoroughly as possible.
FAMILY - Family reunions, loving families, insane families, incest, and more. Very useful for genealogists.
FARMERS AND FARMING - A hot topic in the 19th century. Also covers tobacco and fertilizers. FASHION - A fun section. Sunbonnets, French kid gloves, waterproof dress goods, garters, corsets, wigs, demi-trains, false insteps, shawls, plaid poplins, striped stockings, chignons, Chinese grass cloth, kilting, etc.
FIRES - There are so many, and so few ways to put them out, that it’s a wonder that any buildings survived the 19th century at all. I had to be very exclusive, and only cover those fires of local and international interest.
FISHES AND FISHING - You can get a barrel of oysters delivered right to your door, andthey are "the" Sunday breakfast.
FOOD - For the gourmet and the every day eater. This section is large and all inclusive. Includes some recipes and all restaurant ads.
FREEMASONRY - A group deserving of their own section. FRENCH - Many influences here, from the Mansard or "French" roofs, stationary, corsets, pottery, jewelry, the Franco-Prussian War, etc. FURNITURE - Wooden items, [and what wood! Black walnut, solid ash, walnut, chestnut] beds and sofas [occasionally covered with haircloth], and some interesting articles about Gardner, Mass., the "chair capital of the world".
GAMBLING - One of the oldest vices. Chinese gambling houses, dog-pits, bets, every day chance taking.
GANGS - Not the Bloods and the Crips, but the homegrown Tough End boys, roughs and rowdies, brigands and juvenile delinquents.
GARBAGE - Remember that this is pre-plastic (in most respects) and that the necessity for community trash dumps is not an issue yet. Most, or all farmers, keep an iron and glass scrap heap somewhere in the back forty - a practice which still occurs today. Some articles do concern garbage - rubbish littering the streets, a city without sewers, ash barrels, etc.
GAYS - ah, this is a tough but rewarding section, where I’ve had to "read between the lines" quite a bit. Included here are men who dressed as women, and women who dressed as men [with the understanding that, especially in women’s cases, this could have been done for economic and other reasons]. Famous figures like Oscar Wilde, Susan B. Anthony and Anna Dickinson are the meat and potatoes of this section. GEOGRAPHY - one of the more recent additions, includes topographical surveys, maps, tourist type articles, etc.
GERMANS - Nice to see this ethnic group portrayed in such a positive light. Local Germans are hard working, athletic, happy, beer drinkers who do not get drunk, like to compete in gymnastic contests, love to dance, etc.
GLASS - a particular favorite of mine, since I dig for, and collect old glass embossed bottles. Bottles, window glass, demi-johns, looking glasses, etc. As time allows, I will scan in some of my "dug" antique bottles for your viewing pleasure. GOVERNMENT - usually Presidents, Congress, and taxes, new states and territories. Many other government related articles will be found under POLITICS.
GYPSIES - always a few passing through, telling fortunes, trading horses, stealing chickens, and kidnapping local children.
HAMPSHIRE & HAMPDEN COUNTIES (MA) A catch all section for all those towns not privileged to be in Franklin County, and yet covered fairly thoroughly here. So look for articles on Amherst, Northampton, and the Massachusetts Agricultural College (the earlier name of the University of Massachusetts).
HANDICAPPED - the blind, the deaf, the lame, the insane - all find a home here. Cork legs, poor houses and alms-houses, deformed infants, hunchbacks, etc. HAWLEY (MA)
HERITAGE ACTIVITIES - will come into their own a little later. For now, centennial celebrations are included here.
HISPANICS - another catchall heading. Latin American activities, as well as Spanish Peninsular items. This subject heading will probably be combined with LATIN AMERICA eventually.
HISTORY - well, it’s all history to us, right? But included here are items which were of historic interest to the inhabitants of the 1870’s - the early days of Greenfield, Deerfield, and Montague; the founding of historical organizations, like the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and genealogical family histories.
HOLIDAYS - not much different from today’s celebrations. Of course the 4th of July was a maelstrom of fireworks and severed limbs, and Christmas advertising did not occur untilthe two issues before Dec. 25th. Sabbath Schools all had their holiday celebrations, complete with Christmas trees and a song fest, and Valentine’s Day had already started its decline into ignorant and joke cards. Washington’s birthday, All Fool’s Day, May Day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and Memorial Day are all represented. No sign of Halloween yet. HOOSAC TUNNEL (MA) is rapidly nearing completion. Read about the 19th century version of the "Big Dig". HORSES - I find this section absolutely fascinating. The vital importance of horses for all transportation needs is clearly shown, especially during the "Horse Disease"(Epizootic) of 1872. You either rassled up an oxen or goat, or you walked - in those places not accessible by train, of course.
HOTELS - There’s not that many of them, but they know how to do it up in style, and are a vital part of the town’s culture. This is the era when enormous resort hotels are springing up, and the concept of vacations are taking hold in the middle and upper classes. HOUSEHOLDS is a broad subject; I mainly went by the rule of thumb of what occurred inside a dwelling. Houses were the domain of women, and so items made specifically for women, like sewing machines, find a home here. Hints on cookery and thrift, as well as kitchen appliances also find a home here ;-). Ah yes, the world of washing, ironing, canning, and child rearing.
HUNGARIANS - Why the Hungarians, you say? Well, this is one of those personal interest type headings, since I am half Hungarian.
ICE - a big business, back in the days of pre-refrigeration. Ice was "harvested" from local lakes, and kept cool in warehouses, to be sold in blocks throughout the warm months. Also included here are frozen over rivers and ponds, ice skating, and ice used for drinks and preserving food.
To search for a particular subject term, click on the highlighted link containing that term at the bottom of the article. For example, if you are seeking more articles about animals, click on the highlighted link which says Animals/Reptiles/Amphibians.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
(Greenfield) There was a strike among the laborers under contractor Munson on the Tunnel road last week, their wages having been cut down to $1.25 per day. We understand, however, that the difficulty has been adjusted and that work today has been resumed.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Deacon Peck has quite a no. of city boarders from all parts of the country, which seems to suit first rate, and make things quite lively in the northeast part of the town, while the southeast is kept lively by the railroad excitement. The men who worked for Ward & Hagan have been greatly excited about their pay, and threatened to stop all the work upon the road and blow up the stone work if they were not paid immediately.
Mon. morning Mr. Hill, the State Overseer, was hung in effigy with a coffin nearby, surmounted by a red flag which caused much excitement, but it seems more quiet of late. Many of the men declare they will not work until they are paid up in full. It seems too bad that the honest farmers should lose their bills for board.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
News of the week
The big flour miles of Lerdio Brothers at Callao, Peru were burned July 26, and two Chinamen who were chained to a wall in one of the buildings for attempting to break their labor contracts were roasted alive.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
News of the week
The strike of the mule spinners of Lowell came to a formal close on Mon., and large numbers of them have returned to work, first signing an agreement, presented by the corporations, that they would not become members of any association or union that assumes the right to regulate, or in any way interfere, with the price or hours of labor.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 10, 1875
News of the week
A riot occurred at the Moshannon mines, near Osceola, Clearfield County, Pa. Sat. and two officers were shot. There are no signs of yielding, yet, on the part of the miners or the operators, and the indications now are that the strike will last 3 or 4 months longer, at the least. [See the Coal Miners Memorial, Moshannon Mine at http:/
Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 12, 1875
The New York Times says that it is estimated that the strike of the Pittsburgh puddlers, some 1000 in number, compelled the idleness of nearly 20,000 laborers, and produced a loss of the business of some $10,000,000. The strike in the coal mines along the Reading railroad is quite as remarkable for its disastrous effects...(An excellent overview of the Puddlers is available online "The battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: politics, culture, and steel" in Google books. I wasn't able to locate the particular article in the New York Times that this article mentions).
Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 12, 1875
News of the week
The mill owners of Lowell have taken the back bone out of the mule spinners' http://www.victorian...ogy/textiles/t2.html strike by threatening to discharge ever man after the 14th who continues his allegiance to the National Association of Spinners.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 29, 1875
About 30 of the finishers in the handle department of the cutlery company's works struck for higher wages the other day, and on being refused, left their benches. The workmen claim that their wages have been continually reduced until they were entirely unable to earn a decent livelihood. The company state however, that this is false, and that many of the strikers were able to earn from $1.25 to $1.75 a day. [Arrgh!] The company reports a very satisfactory business, and will begin running their works ten hours a day on Monday. The hours of labor during the winter have been regulated by the daylight, no work being done after dark.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 22, 1875
News of the week
The workers at the Lanesboro ore beds struck for higher wages the other day, and the works have been closed. They have been kept in operation during the winter rather than deprive the men of employment. (Always on the side of Big Business).
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 22, 1875
John Mitchel, the famous Irish revolutionist and agitator, died at Tipperary Sat. morning, after a brief illness caused by the excitement attending the political struggle in which he recently has been involved. He was 59 years of age.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 8, 1875
The laborers at work on the railroad between Zoar and Bardwell's ferry, struck on Mon. for higher wages. They formed quite an imposing procession as they went marching down the road, forcing every workman into the ranks. But the contractors grimly smiled and told their men to go if they wished. The strike only lasted one day, and most of them were taken back at the old prices.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 22, 1875
(Orange) The first public meeting of Orange Lyceum was held at Lamb's Hall on Fri. After reading of the constitution and bylaws, a critic was appointed, and also a committee on weight of argument, c
(Orange) The first public meeting of Orange Lyceum was held at Lamb’s Hall on Fri. After reading of the constitution and bylaws, a critic was appointed, and also a committee on weight of argument, consisting of C.G. Putney, J.L. Williams and E.G. McElroy. The question was amended to read as follows: "Resolved. That the present system of strikes is both justifiable and beneficial". Mrs. M.L. Eastman as editress, read several articles contributed by the members. The debate was opened by H.C. Tenney in the affirmative, who was followed by R.D. Chase in the negative. The question was then submitted to the house and argued in the affirmative by A.L. Shattuck and W.M. Aldrich and R. Livermore in the negative, after which it was returned to the opening disputants. The committee on weight of argument reported two in favor of the negative and one in favor of the affirmative. The question for Fri. eve. the 19th was, "Resolved, that fashion, so called, produces mroe evil than all forms of crime combined". R. Livermore in the affirmative; A.L. Shattuck in the negative. Mrs. H.C. Tenney was appointed editress.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 8, 1875
The labor interests of Germany
The labor interests of http://en.wikipedia....c_history_of_Germany Germany - Reports recently circulated concerning the high rates of wages prevailing in Germany, and the effect they have had in drawing back German immigrants, have given the impression that the condition of the http://en.wikipedia....ndustrial_Revolution German industrial classes at the present time is one of unusual prosperity. Quite a contrary state of affairs in indicated by the following extract from the Cologne Gazette. "In 1874, although the great http://econ.barnard....g_German_Cartels.pdf bubble schemes burst in the summer of 1873 , and although last year a plentiful harvest of corn and wheat came to our relief, the consequences of the crisis are still felt. Numerous undertakings are depreciated, and even more lamentable than the losses of the promoters are the mischievous result of the sudden excessive rise in wages which could not possibly last, the luxurious habits, the strikes and all that these involve on the laboring classes and the whole indusrial life of the German nation. Habits of indolence and gluttony have been established, which it will be hard to eradicate. In many establishments in Berlin, work is still suspended at noon on Saturday, and not resumed till late on Tues. morning. The natural result is that the products of German industry have become dearer, that our exports diminish, and that we import many things from abroad that we could very well manufacture ourselves. A characteristic example of this is that the city of Berlin is producing 200,000 centuers [?] of iron [?] for the canalization scheme from England, instead of employing native industry. If, as is alleged, the English supply is at half a thaler per centre cheaper than our own works, no objection can be offered to the saving of 150,000 thalers. The truth is that as regards the production of iron, which we thought was a nucleus of German prosperity likely to surpass foreign countries, our hopes have speedily been dispelled. One good effect of the scarcity of employment, in itself very deplorable, which has occasioned numerous dismisals at Berlin at the end of the year, is that, as the promises of the Socialists and other http://www.marxists....works/1867-c1/p3.htm demagogues have not been realized, the workingmen now find themselves obliged to resort to their old habits of industry and frugality.