North Quabbin Notes, May 16

On the occasion of the Jumptown Twirlers’ 10th anniversary in 1972, club founders, the late Dana and Rita Blood, are pictured alongside a printed dedication that credits their contributions and qualities as “the sustaining thread” of the club.

On the occasion of the Jumptown Twirlers’ 10th anniversary in 1972, club founders, the late Dana and Rita Blood, are pictured alongside a printed dedication that credits their contributions and qualities as “the sustaining thread” of the club. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO—

Published: 05-17-2024 3:41 PM

Athol Golden Age Club’s May meeting

ATHOL – The Athol Golden Age Club will hold a business meeting on May 20 at the Athol Senior Center at 1 p.m. The guest speaker will be Chris Murphy of the Massachusetts Equipment Distribution Program (MASS EDP). He will be demonstrating phones for the vision/hearing impaired.

The Athol Golden Age Club is open to everyone, 55 years old or over. Its purpose is threefold: to promote “re-creation” through challenging programs, friendship through regular meetings, and leisure activities such as the popular senior bus trips.

Congregational Church honorsveterans

ATHOL – The Athol Congregational Church will be honoring veterans during worship on Sunday, May 26, at 10 a.m. At approximately 10:30 a.m., the service will move outside to the common for an ecumenical service of remembrance. Those who wish to have a loved one remembered by name, please send the name and the branch served in and return it to the church office with a small donation made out to Athol Congregational Church, memo line: Veterans. Loved ones’ names will be read aloud at the outside portion of the service and all donations received will go towards funding the free veterans breakfast which will be held in the fall.

Historical display centers on town’s social dancing heyday

ORANGE – The Orange Historical Society promises a particular ‘blast’ from the past when its 41 North Main St. doors reopen for summer tours in June. New displays will include memorabilia and photographic and textual archives hailing from the town’s celebrated social square dancing history.

The Jumptown Twirlers, a bygone local dance club established in 1962, clearly had – in the vernacular of that day – a “blast” setting petticoats awhirl and spirits high on dancefloors near and far, including at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Organizational remnants of utter fanfare spanning a half-century include ornamental dance hall embellishments, action photos, yellowed headlines and official club documents.

The formally organized square dancers were named after the town’s rightful moniker as international pioneers in recreational parachuting. Founded by Dana and Rita Blood, the club formed the same year that Orange famously hosted the Sixth World Sport Parachuting Championships. That sport spectacular ran for three weeks in the summer of 1962, welcoming foreign contingents representing dozens of countries, including those of the Communist Bloc.

The Jumptown Twirlers collection, donated by Marilyn (Lemire) Dupel Cunningham and Dorothy (Wetmore) Grant, can be enjoyed on Sundays from June through September when the society is open for guided tours from 2-4 p.m., or by ohoning President Kathryn Schiappa at 978 544-6814.

Wendell Historical Society offerssummerenrichmentprograms

WENDELL – The Wendell Historical Society has launched the One Room Schoolhouse

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Athol Town Meeting quickly passes 35 articls, budget
Lengthy Town Meeting warrants come at ‘critical moment’ for Orange
Bird feeders root cause of bear shooting in Athol, says MassWildlife
Athol Selectboard votes to demolish Summer Street garage
Shawn Hayden named new president and CEO of Gardner-based GAAMHA
Massachusetts SJC clears tipped wages question for ballot

Program of history-related enrichment classes for ages 14 and older. This June and July two evening classes will be conducted at the Wendell Free Library. The courses include Genealogy for Beginners and History of Valley Rockers. The programs are supported by grants from the New Salem Academy and the Orange Cultural Council. For more information:

I was Amelia Earhart’s sister: Meet MurielMorrissey

ATHOL – Join the Athol Public Library at 568 Main St., Athol, on Thursday, June 6, from 6–7 p.m., to welcome historic re-enactor Jessa Piaia as she portrays Amelia Earhart’s sister, Muriel Morrissey.

This program is set in 1963, when Muriel Morrissey (1899-1998) authored a biography of her famous sister, Amelia Earhart. This program runs for 35 minutes and there is a Q&A portion at the end. Many articles, photos and press clippings about Earhart will be on display for patrons to look at before and after the performance.

Earhart was a popular speaker on the national circuit prior to taking off on her 1937 around the world flight, and was acclaimed as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932. Earhart was inspired at an early age by the suffragist movement. Both sisters closely identified with the generation of ‘the new woman.’

Piaia uses drama to reveal the accomplishments, struggles and contributions of women to American history and is acclaimed for re-creating history in the fullest sense and for using solid research, compelling writing, and artistry to bring off a one-woman show.

This program is sponsored in part by the Athol Cultural Council, which is a part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and by the Friends of the Athol Public Library. This event is free and open to the public. Registration required. Register online with the library calendar: or by calling, 978-249-9515.