So I spent the majority of the summer working with my mom at a historical society in an uppity little town on the coast of MA, and it’s been…something. My job basically entailed entering the archives into a computer database, so I get to read a lot about this weird fucking town. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • A man who was a member of the board of selectmen and an MIT professor in the 1940s, but the only article we have on him is about his pie-baking hobby and his pet monkey.
  • A guy who got so heated at town meeting about the re-building of the sewer system (cause of lead in the pipes) that he had to be put in the town jail overnight.
  • A photo from a newspaper article that shows a man and a dog in a boat with the caption “Ready to Em-BARK” from the 1870s.
  • The mysterious rumble of ‘96, where for a few days, residents described “A strange humming noise, like a furnace, that shook the ground” that happened for a few days and was never explained. 
  • Fantastic nicknames: John “Soapy” Waters, Priscilla “Perry Cherry” Wilson, Harold “Bumper” Gooding, Leslie “Les” Moore.
  • A woman on her third marriage, and who’s husband changed his will to have his entire 2 million dollar estate (in 1910ish) to go to her 2 days after their marriage. A week later he died (the articles don’t say how), and his sisters were fucking pissed and sued her. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any other information about what actually happened. 
  • Franklin Roosevelt’s son got married to a girl from the town and apparently it was the social event of the century, holy shit I did so many entries on this event it was crazy. They also saved some cake from the event (in the 1920s), and though I haven’t seen it myself, my coworker tells me that I really don’t want to.
  • A really famous Sea Serpent legend? He was referred to as “His Snakeship” in one of the legends I read.
  • A folder on a woman that we know nothing about, except that she lived in this town. The only thing in it is a drawing of a nymph riding a unicorn that she probably drew. 
  • An article titled “The World has gone Cr*zy” from the 70s, about how everyone born after 1945 are entitled little shits with all their modern technology (sound familiar?)
  • A 70 year old carpenter who made giant scary sculptures to scare off the pigeons all over town. The paper interviewed him about it and apparently the dude just really hated pigeons.