Times Past


Literacy Volunteers of Orange-Athol held an open house recently at their new office in Liberty Hall at the Athol Town Hall. The group is affiliated with Literacy Volunteers of America, which offers free tutoring to adults who wish to learn to read, to improve reading skills or to master English as a second language.

Athol Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts visited the state house as part of their Freedom Trail trip to Boston recently.

Blanche M. (Holton) Bisbee, a resident at the Tully Brook Rest Home, celebrated her 100th birthday recently at a family supper party. Mrs. Bisbee has seven children, 19 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She is a life-long resident of Athol, a member of the First Church, Unitarian and an honorary member of its Unity Club.

Area residents were treated to rousing, relaxing and refreshing music as the Orange Community Band kicked off another season of outdoor concerts at Town Park in Orange.

The featured video during July at the Fisher Museum of Forestry, Harvard Forest, will be “The Old Quabbin Valley: Politics and Conflict in Water Distribution.” The 30-minute program traces the history of Boston’s water supply, the construction of Quabbin Reservoir and the nationwide debate over the urban use of rural water supplies.

Camp Wiyaka, located on Sandy Pond in Richmond, N.H., opened for its 70th season. Committee members, staff, alumni and friends of camp recently cleaned up and prepared the facility for the more than 300 campers expected to attend camp over the summer.


The Athol department of public works will extend the beach at Lake Ellis to accommodate children attending the Camp Scholar Program. DPW Superintendent M. Anthony Casella said the department will clean up the area and extend the beach as far as the budget will allow. He anticipates an extension of approximately 45 feet along the water line.

The Boston and Maine railroad tracks were closed when 26 cars of a westbound train derailed two miles east of the center of Athol. The derailment resulted in no injuries to the five man crew aboard the 60-car train. Both the eastbound and westbound tracks were torn up and twisted apart.

Children of the Morgan Memorial Fresh Air Camps in South Athol, 300 strong, celebrated the 4th of July with a parade and carnival. 

The spacious lodge hall where members of Social Lodge of Odd Fellows held meetings from 1893 to 1906, and after them the Order of Red Men and Daughters of Pocahontas, has almost disappeared from street view as townsfolk in Orange watch the gradual demolition of Lamb’s Block.

The Minute Tapioca Band, under the direction of Huber W. Tandy, presented the first band concert of the 1966 season at Orange Town Park.

Attendance at Orange playgrounds the past week totaled 230 children. There were 190 youngsters participating in the recreation program at Orange Town Park and 40 at the North Orange playground.

Orange Police noted a quiet Fourth of July weekend. They recorded no ambulance calls, no accidents and no arrests over the three day period which normally is a busy time for all law enforcement bodies.

Gov. John A. Volpe has signed a bill to legalize the practice of chiropractic in Massachusetts and set up a board to register chiropractors. The governor noted that until now, Massachusetts has been one of only three states where chiropractors cannot legally practice.


The Athol Military Band made its debut for the season in the first of a series of summer concerts held on the uptown common under the direction of F. Henry Rainey. Despite the threat of rain, a large crowd gathered, with parking at a premium around the common. Scores of children took the occasion to make the common a beehive of activity as they rolled on the grass, played tag and leapfrog, their yells and shrieks competing with the band music. The older boys and girls of teen age strolled hand in hand about the grounds.

Auto racing fans from Athol and surrounding towns enjoyed the big car races at the Fairgrounds.

Athol had one of the safest and sanest, though not the quietest, Fourth of Julys in many years, according to Police Chief William J. Callahan and Fire Chief Ernest L. Smith.

Adapting “direct selling” methods to army recruiting, a new streamlined trailer will appear in Athol. The Army is taking its wares to the customers in those communities where the customers can’t get to the Army with ease, and it hopes the streamlined Recruiting Trailers will be effective in aiding national defense.

When the housekeeping and sewing projects of the WPA were given up in Orange recently, a total of 21 women were laid off. In addition to this, another four Orange women were thrown out of WPA work when the nursery project was closed. This nursery which had been conducted at Central School had been taking care of 20 to 30 Orange children each school day.

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Athol Daily News

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


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