15 new postcards - Updated 25 January 2007
"Greetings From Littleton Mass"
The official 1944 "Greeting Cows" of Littleton
Mass. From left to right: Bessie, Bossy, Booger, Bouncy, Brighty,
Bumpy, Billie, and Charlene. (Charlene: "Welcome to Littleton
Massachusetts! My name is Charlene, and I'll be your cow for the
Moxie was the "cool" drink of the 1930's.
What better way to tout the stuff than to mount fake horses on cars and
drive them around? What better man than John Sargent of Littleton
Mass to drive them?
Close-up of the Moxie Horsemobiles.
Notice that the driver seat is actually the horse saddle, with the
steering wheel extending up through the horse's neck. There has
been way to much written about Stutz-Bearcats and Corvettes.
These, my friend, are the ultimate in a cool ride.
John Sargent of Littleton was the lucky
bastard that drove the things. For God's sake - he was paid to
drive the things! I get chills just thinking about it.
Picture circa 1933-1934, John Sergent's backyard.
Webbing Factory at the Common
This is the Webbing Factory. We always
called it the Rubber Band Factory. They made rubber bands there.
I used to think that made Littleton special somehow. I got over it.
And those guys standing out front - ever
notice there's always two guys out front in old pictures? I
think the guy on the left is cardboard.
"Mrs. Upton's Shop" - the Upton House
on King Street
The good news is the Mrs. Upton's Shop is
still with us, still selling antiques. But its called the Upton
House now and is painted red. Which is perfectly fine.
This is Great
Road. Before 1909. Can't figure out where the heck it is
though. The sidewalk suggests the center of town, but that can't
really be the Common now, can it? And Robinson Road to the left?
Sigh. How beautiful it all was once upon a time.
"Greetings From Littleton Mass"
friend, more "greetings" from Littleton Massachusetts! There's no
need to give away the location of this magnificent Littleton location -
its one of the most well known vacation spots in Littleton. The
fir forest, thundering rapids, and mule deer give it away. See you
there this weekend! (Note to Ed & Don: $20 and I divulge the
location! Hint: its near the volcano.)
"Library & Residence of Mrs. White -
sometime before 1918
This card was sold on eBay as dating "before
1918." And that's verifiable fact because the Germans stormed over
Two Brothers Hill and painted it a cheery yellow (since re-painted) on
January 12th of 1918 during the Great Paint War, and as you can see, its
still its original rosy pink in this postcard.
BTW, for those in the know, Mrs. White was
Littleton's original "Phantom of the Library," and lived between 130 and
131 on the DDC in the stacks, later moving into the "giant's shoe" after
the computerization fiasco of 1995. Now what's even weirder is
that after the Library in its wholly successful effort at uglification
moved into the old Shattuck Street school building, the Historical Society
moved into the former library - moving from their former lodgings
in Mrs. White's house into Mrs. White's former lodgings.
Confusing, I know, but we're talking librarians here.
And while I'm at it, Littleton Center isn't
Littleton Common, which is the real center of Littleton these days.
That's because in 1714 the Common was partly on the Powers Farm which
was Concord at the time, and didn't incorporate into Littleton until
1721, so they centered the original town center here at the junction of
King Street and exclusive "Lower" Foster Street. Which explains -
if you are new to town - why the residents of "Lower Foster Street," (as
they make a point of calling it) are so hung up on themselves and the
length of their, er ... pedigree.
A native Littletonian
of proud visage and steely intellect pointed out that this is NOT the
Center Store as I had it labeled, but rather the Central Hall. And
damned if he wasn't e-Centrally right right.
This was a town building, taxpayer owned and
paid for, used for whatever, whenever the need arose. Totally
awesome. However, the Fire Department got all hot n' horney over
it and burned it down in 1981 "for practice." It was a perfectly
good town building of use to the community, and the Fire Department
burns it down - over town protest I might add - "for practice."
Burn down Donelan's "for practice?" Burn down the Library "for
Nashoba Food Store
This one always
makes me sad. Mr. Smith owned this little store all his life - in
fact, it was his life. I used to get popsicles there as a kid, and
he was a kindly old fellow. Then the town fathers decided that
franchise convenience stores should be allowed run him out of business. Mr. Smith held
on until his death, selling brooms, and once in a big snowstorm, a
little milk. Proof that the town was no better run then then
it is now.
At least Mr. Smith died before the Fire Department could contemplate
burning him out of his store "for practice."
General Store on Littleton Common
Store in the Conant Building on Littleton Common, sometime in the '50's
I'm guessing. There was a certain texture to the air back then
that gives it away. I don't recall the General Store myself
- I was dead back then - rather, I remember its later incarnation as the
home of Aubuchon's Hardware.
Loved that place with its creaky old floors and twisting maze stuffed
with god-knows-what-all. They had everything, fishing
supplies included. As a kid I bought this one lure there, a fake
frog with a hook in it. I was extraordinarily proud of it, not
that I ever caught anything on it, but it sure looked good in my Jr.
Tackle Box. And that counts as a kid.
These days the Conant Building houses Bob's
Solid Oak Furniture. I don't know how many times "Bob"
has "gone out of business" there, but his most recent going out of
business sign reads "going out for business," so I'm not
taking it to seriously.
Littleton Schoolhouse pre 1914
according to the eBay seller, is pre 1914 - and boy does it taste like
it. Cardboard sure loses its flavor over time. If I
recognize the clouds correctly, these are the ones typically over
Sanderson Road next to the Vinegar Works. The school has since
been converted into a private residence. I don't know about the
clouds. But I like the pink shutter motif - proof indeed if
ever it were needed that this was the first of the commie schools in
town. No jive.
Camp Hayward - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
"Lake Warren" is actually the little mud-hole
of Mill Pond. But when it came time sell camp lots to the big city
slickers in New York, it was miraculously - and nobly - renamed.
Could that be Mr. Hayward front and center?
Camp Twilight - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
The Twilight Family sits outside their camp.
They might be whittling. No one is playing the banjo. Nice
dress. Keg by the door.
Camp Sunset - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
The Sunset Family of Camp Sunset. Mr.
Sunset seems pretty proud of his TWO STORY camp. "Yes, the extra
story does extend my manhood." Sure showed the Twilights.
Birds Eye View of Camp Sunset - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
we get the full benefit of Camp Sunset's second story! And does it
kick Camp Twilight ass or what! Hard to say exactly where this
view was taken, but I'm guessing that today it would have a fantastic
front row seat on Route 495 (and wouldn't the Twilight's be laughing!).
Camp Brookside - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
Brookside was known for its Saint Patrick's Day Toga Parties. But
is that an Orangeman I spy on the right making it stink for everybody?
And what's with skinny dude - if I'm not mistaken he's in all these Lake
Warren pictures. Was this a Mormon resort or what?
Camp HCPC - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
there's skinny dude again, surrounded by two women (again) and a passel
of children (again). I'm not sure there is a rational explanation
for this, and I have a funny feeling that the phrase "love monkey" is
somehow involved, and not in a good way. On eBay the card was
labeled "Camp HCPC." Not sure what that means, not sure if I want
Camp Quitcherkikin - Lake Warren (Mill Pond)
ha, ha. Unlike the Queen, I am amused. On second thought,
I'm not. But I suppose Mormons have a right to camp life, same as
anyone, and these two sister-wives no doubt found "Camp Quitcherkikin"
relatively free of the kind of kickin's and hittin's they usually got
living on Kolob. Originally called Camp Quitcherbitchin, it was
changed when the sister-wives teamed up to re-invent it as Camp
Kickyernutzin, in honor of Nehor. Which explains the wry look on
skinny dude who can't sit down anymore.
the pretentiously renamed-for-the-city-slickers mud hole is actually
Mill Pond. What the slickers who bought camps there were never
told was that the pond was drained yearly and farmed. (Some local
residents still own sections under the "lake.") Man, what a
surprise that must have been come summer. Heh heh heh.
"Greetings From Littleton Mass"
yet more "Greetings" from Littleton Massachusetts. The
professional greeter town. Are you feeling welcome yet?
The Depot on Taylor Street
When I see stuff like this I wonder what the
story was. Did they want to take a picture of these people and
then decide the Depot was just the place? Were they taking a
picture of the Depot and then corralled these folks into posing to make
it more interesting? Did they have outings to the Depot back then
and decided to photograph this one? Is there some unknown affinity
between Oldest Inhabitants and Depots? What motivates a carrot?
And yes, I do have too much time on my hands. The Depot is
still here and is a cast iron stove refurbishing shop.
Sanderson Homestead at the Depot
The Sanderson Homestead is across the street
from the Depot. Personally, I would have photographed the Oldest
Inhabitants here at one of the Oldest Homesteads rather than at the
Depot. The Sanderson place is rental property now. By the
way, the Sanderson Homestead is on Sanderson Road - what are the chances
of that? Its eerie.
Depot Square 1908
They ran off the Oldest Inhabitants for this
postcard and got a nice codger-free shot of the Depot. I like how
they painted in the sunset - in the east!!! People were easily
fooled in 1908.
Again. People were fascinated by Depots back then. Doesn't
say much for our ancestors.
Kimball Elm (the Witch Tree) at Mill
The odd low branch parallel to the ground (and
somewhat behind the tree) was cause for comment in those days. It
also figured into the whole situation with Mrs. Dudley who was accused
of witchcraft in 1720 - hence it was known as "the witch tree." It stood
on the banks of Mill Pond on property now owned by St. Ann's Church.
Wayside Grill on King Street
The back of the card says: "We specialize in
Waffles, Fried Clams, and Ice Cream." Must have been pretty exotic
at the time - come to think of it, the idea of fried clams on my waffles
is still pretty extreme. Their motto was "Where Friends Meet."
The Wayside Grill was on King Street where the Veterinary Clinic is now.
Thanks to The Berkshire Mountain Man for the card.
The Island - Lake Nagog - Acton
starters, there are four islands in Lake Nagog. How this one
became "the island" is curious indeed. A good agent is everything,
I guess. By the way, this island is the one in the cove near the
pump house. If you haven't fished off those rocks you haven't
fished illegally. Not that I would know.
Lamson's Point - Lake Nagog - Acton
made his point now I make mine. . . Lake Nagog is HALF in
Littleton. Acton does NOT have exclusive rights or privilege-only to
pee Concord's water supply. Littletonians may partake of that
pleasant pastime as well for chrissake!
But back in the day Lake Nagog was a resort
lake, with cabins and hotels, such as the Nashoba Inn. And plenty
of boating, swimming, and lake-peeing. The above postcard, and
its cryptic text, is one such testimonial of those warm idyllic days.
Herein I use my razor sharp LHS English language skills to crack the
DaGog Code, as follows:
Top Text: "I am _?_ _?_
_?_ all summer." ("I am peeing the water all
Side Text: "Received the glove (rubber
glove?) all safe and thank you all so very much. I will write you.
("I will write my name in the snow come winter.") They were firm,
all right." ("I did more then pee in the water.") S. G.
Bottom Text Line 1: It will add to your
collection. ("Please, have a sample!")
Bottom Text Line 2: Manchester N.H.
("Our next target after Quabbin!")
Great Road - Lake Nagog - Acton
Greatness of Great Road!
Great Road - Nagog Tavern - Acton
eventfully became the Nashoba Inn and was painted yellow, and when
the bottom dropped out of the local lake-peeing craze, it became
derelict. My father used to say that "Wooooooo!" lived there.
Then they tore it down. Where does "Wooooooo!" live now?
In the far left you can see a sliver of Lake
Nagog, and behind it Blesséd Littleton, home of the Wayside Waffle
House. (Eat your heart out Mr. Fancy Pants Inn!) As you can
see, Great Road shouldered the mighty burden of the Motor Car. (And
life as was good and sweet and tempered went down the gurgler for ever
and ever. . .)
Ruben Hoar Library (The Houghton
Memorial Building) on King Street 1906
Ruben Hoar was a wealthy man and town
benefactor. But his wealth couldn't save him from the indignity of
his own name. Let this be a lesson.
Long Pond from the Town Beach 1906
Long Pond was another pond renamed a "lake"
when camp lots were sold to city folk. The town beach is at long
pond - so are the jellyfish. Yes, there are swarms of quarter
sized freshwater jellyfish in Long Pond. I remember plowing
through the jellyfish at swimming lessons as a kid - jellyfish in my
hair, jellyfish in my eyes, jellyfish in my teeth. For
some reason I never did pass beginners. . .
Some people are under the impression that Long
Lake is a manmade lake. Well its not, so get over it. What
this means is that the jellyfish of today are the descendents of the
same jellyfish that wrested land from the Indians in 1675 and kicked
British butt in 1776.
Massachusetts Avenue (Great Road) at
the Common 1906
What gets me about pictures like this is NO
CARS. The Common today is the crossroads of Route 2A, Route 119,
Route 110, and the Route 495 exit, and is frantic with cars.
When I moved from Natick Center back to Littleton after a 20 year
absence I looked forward to the remembered tranquility. Boy was I
The Cove at Nagog Pond 1906
This is pretty much as this spot looks today
except the water is a good foot or two higher on average. Lake
Nagog was a big tourist attraction back in the day. The Nashoba
Inn was just across the lake and catered to boaters. Now the
lake is leased by Concord as a reservoir. I noticed a couple of
dogs in the postcard. Doesn't bode well for the water quality.
"Street Scene" King Street - the
Unitarian Church & Library Center Distance1906
The Library etc. was the original town center.
By the 1850's it was known as the old town center. Now the Common
is considered the center. As exciting as it sounds.
The Common, King Street & Stevens
Back in the Bicentennial an information booth
was erected in the far side of the Common. At some point it ran
out of information and fell into some disrepair. A young local
hooligan made it his personal hangout. I have often
wondered how many tourist ladies from Iowa got punched-out after
disturbing him for "information."
Goldsmith Street from the Common 1906
See those trees lining the road? Elms -
they planted elms. Then they cut them all down. Then
replanted maple, and now they are cutting these down too. Who, you
ask? The Shade Tree Commission (locally known as the "Hate Tree
I used to have to walk Goldsmith Street if I
stayed late at the Russell Street schools. This meant walking
through the Long Lake section. Which was very scary. I was
sure the hooligan from the information booth would jump out from behind a tree (when there were trees)
and beat me up.
The Baptist Church at the Common 1906
I would like to say something witty about the
Baptist church - but as irreverent as I feel, my humor seems to
have failed me. However, in the lot between the church and the
Victorian house to its right used to be the Penny Candy Store. It
was glorious, and now it is gone - the story of all good things in Littleton.
Back in the day,
the Unitarian Universalist Church used to be the Puritan Church - you
know, the same outfit that hung innocent people as witches in 1692 in
Salem. Slamming from one extreme to another, the Unitarians now
routinely host the local witch meetings in their basement. But what sort of lame-ass witch meets in
a church basement?
Sadly, no one
plays the Bongos at the Congo Church. But the Sextant does play a
righteous version of "Beth" by KISS! (I know - we jammed once.)
If you never crawled under the road via the parking lot drain pipe, you
didn't grow up Congo.
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