Dramatis Personae at the Kinne Brook Cemetery

by George H. Bresnick

“Now I would ask you in the presence of the living, made solemn by the silence of the dead;- How could you! Oh!…How could you sit there and give uterance [sic] to such expressions as those which fel [sic] from your lips, under such circumstances, and your tongue not cleve [sic] to the roots of your mouth!”

This startling condemnation is contained in a letter dated May 28, 1866, from North Chester, Massachusetts, addressed … Continue reading

Worthington’s 1968 Bicentennial celebrations

by Evan Spring

The upcoming celebrations for Worthington’s 250th anniversary may seem a bit extravagant. Festivities will continue five days, from June 29 to July 3, with a pot luck dinner and dance, outdoor music, exhibits, art shows, a parade, fireworks. Are we dreaming too big for a small town? Not if we look back fifty years to the grandest celebration in Worthington’s history: the 1968 bicentennial.




The bicentennial celebrations lasted no less than … Continue reading

Florence Berry Bates and the Worthington Health Center

The following transcript, from the WHS Annual Meeting of 2014, has been lightly edited for readability, with some contextual information added in brackets. We thank Pat Kerouac and Jared Jordan for their help assembling materials for the accompanying exhibit, which was prepared by WHS board member Diane Brenner.

Diane Brenner: Florence Berry was born in 1892 in Abington, Massachusetts, which is near Plymouth. Her family were shoemakers, they worked in shoe factories. And her mother, of the Moseley family, had … Continue reading

Worthington and the Civil War

By Diane Brenner (with contributions by Pat Kennedy and Mark Clinton)

A previous version of the following exhibit was mounted at the Worthington Historical Society building in June 2015 to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The exhibit was accompanied by a presentation by David Pollard on Worthington’s hero at Gettysburg, Brigadier General James Clay Rice. (Pollard’s presentation is not yet online.)

This exhibit is divided into the following eight sections:
Continue reading

Night of the Living Dead II at North Cemetery

by Pat Kennedy and Diane Brenner

On the evening of Saturday, August 29th, 2015, as the full moon rose, dozens of onlookers strolled through Worthington’s North Cemetery and encountered six of its permanent residents standing by their graves. These dead Worthingtonians were in a talkative mood, and their memorable words are chronicled here below.

North Cemetery, on Cold Street near its eastern junction with Rte. 143, is Worthington’s largest cemetery at 3.5 acres. In 2004 it was listed on the National … Continue reading

The Ruins of Ringville

By Dave and Cath Whitcomb, with photographs by Kate Ewald

On September 28, 2014 – a glorious fall day – a contingent of amateur historians and interested residents followed David Whitcomb of Witt Hill Road on a tour through industrial ruins of the Ringville section of Worthington, Massachusetts, at the convergence of Watts Stream and Ward’s Stream.

The headwaters of Watts and Ward’s streams spring from the foot of Knowles Hill, the second-highest point in Worthington, at an elevation of … Continue reading

Night of the Living Dead at Center Cemetery

by Pat Kennedy and Diane Brenner

On the evening of August 9, 2014, as the full moon rose, WHS vice president Pat Kennedy led about 30 onlookers around Worthington’s Center Cemetery on Sam Hill Road. As the group would shortly discover, several residents of the cemetery had taken a break from eternity to tell their stories to the living.

Pat began with some background:

“In 1765, when Worthington began the process of incorporating, there were about sixty settlers and their … Continue reading

The Brown Family Bottles


by Diane Brenner, with photos by Kate Ewald

Ben Brown grew up in Worthington and has been collecting old bottles since he was five. His enthusiasm encouraged his father, Harold (“Brownie”) Brown, to begin collecting as well. The photographs below show only a part of Ben’s collection, which was catalogued for a 2007 exhibit at the WHS building.

The Brown bottle collection – all excavated from Worthington soil – includes some marvelously beautiful objects that provide a window on … Continue reading

Shays’ Rebellion: Trouble in the Hills

by Richard Mansfield

The Declaration of Independence stated, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” For the first ten years after the Declaration, it would be the job of the state government in Boston to protect the “forms” which generated … Continue reading

Postcards from South Worthington

by Evan Spring

This is the second in a series of four postcard exhibits from the WHS archives.

By the mid-19th century South Worthington was a distinct “mill hamlet,” with at least a dozen homes and various industries clustered around the local power supply: a rapid elevation drop in the Little River. The photographs of South Worthington below date largely from 1907 to 1913, a “golden age” of postcard writing and collecting triggered by advances in printing technology and distribution. In … Continue reading