Times Past


Leavitt Machine Co. in Orange is back in business after closing its doors in March. The company was to be liquidated and the equipment sold off; however, the phone kept ringing with customers wanting to place orders. Strategy changed, and it was decided to reopen the business. They have hired five employees, and expect to hire 12 more, about the same number as before the plant closed. Leavitt Machine makes valve reseaters that are used in the nuclear, navy and shipbuilding industries and there are only two or three companies who make the part.

Dozens attended the 100th birthday program at The Trustees of Reservations Discovery Day at the North Meadow Common in Petersham. Several guests helped plant the centennial tree, a sugar maple, at the common.

Are you looking for a place to bring your family for a day of picnicking, boating, or bird watching? Need to find a spot for your group to have a picnic? Try Tully Lake is the suggestion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The picnic area at Tully Dam has tables with charcoal grills available on a first come, first seated basis. There is a picnic shelter that may be reserved by groups for a fee. There is room for tossing a flying disc, and playing volleyball or softball. Canoes, sailboats or small fishing boats are allowed on the 200-acre lake dotted with pine-covered islands.

Pete Gallant’s cardiac kids, the Narragansett baseball team, came up with one more miracle as they defeated Hamilton-Wenham 12-11 for the Division III State crown at Holy Cross’ Fitton Field in Worcester. The Warriors, the Division III Super Bowl Champions back in December, fought back the entire game, coming up with two runs in the bottom of the ninth with one out to capture their first state title.


Two recent strikes by carpenters and masons have reduced chances of a Sept. 7 opening of the new 12-room elementary school on Pleasant Street in Athol. There is now the possibility Main Street and Highland schools, which were closed permanently earlier this week as part of a long range phase-out, will be reopened in September for a few weeks. Reopening of the two old schools would require a 30-day extension of the state safety certificates which are presently on emergency status. Supt. of Schools Curtis F. Bumpus reported 310 pupils have been assigned to the new school.

Thirteen Mahar juniors and seniors, under instructor Guy Russo, helped “sell” Orange by addressing 5,000 business brochures to almost every large and small industry in the Commonwealth. The brochure, titled “Let’s Do Business,” was designed by Rev. Ernest Ryden, Edwin Lawson, and Curtis Kimball.

The crane for demolition of the Lamb Block arrived in Orange with a scrape and a crash when the I-beam trailer on which it was being transported did not clear the pavement as it came up the hill on South Main Street and onto the railroad bridge heading for Central Square.

The demolition of the Lamb Block has attracted a throng of onlookers. Parking places in Central Square are at a premium. During the demolition, what appeared below the heavily constructed, cross beamed story-high cornice, was a part of the one-time largest lodge hall in town. Hanging from the ceiling was an electric chandelier of the 1890s which shed light upon lodge room rituals, suppers and dance parties.

Shirley Putney of Fitzwilliam Road, Royalston, is the first woman to be elected master of the Royalston Grange since it was organized in 1892. She has held several offices in the Grange and has been home and community service chairman for the past two years.


Pupils of the sixth grade at Ellen Bigelow School celebrated Flag Day with a program of songs, recitations and dances. 

Fay Hunting of Orange has been named winner of the 4-H room improvement contest. Selected as the most outstanding 4-H members of the state in the room improvement project, Miss Hunting and three other girls have been awarded free scholarships to the state 4-H junior leader training camp to be held at Massachusetts State College.

Lightning entered the Athol home of George L. Reid via the radio antenna, damaged the radio beyond repair and gave a considerable shock to Mr. Reid who was sitting about five feet away from the window through which the bolt came in. Other damage was also reported in the neighborhood, and about two miles away on Route 122 in Orange, a freak lightning bolt tore up a section of the highway.

Their firm step and erect carriage symbolic of the courage with which they will face the crucial problems of adult life, 153 Athol High School graduates marched down the center aisle of Memorial Hall, their diplomas firmly clutched in their hands, after a two-hour ceremony had formally completed their secondary education. Graduation exercises opened nearly a half hour late, the processional following a series of violent electrical storms.

“There is a bright future in education, business and happiness for today’s graduates despite worldwide conditions,” was the theme of Simmons College President, Dr. Bancroft Beatley, in his address to the Orange High School graduating class.

An official “go slow” warning was posted for tire buyers all over the nation, gasoline users in the east, and electricity consumers in the southeast.

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Athol Daily News

PO Box 1000
225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Phone: (978) 249-3535


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