Times Past: Aug. 4, 2020

  • Jerry Nichols from Palmer checks out the inner workings of a 1904 Grout steam-powered car that was made in Orange, during the Orange Harvest festival of 2011. Staff file photo

Published: 8/3/2020 5:00:31 PM
Modified: 8/3/2020 5:00:28 PM

Several members of the Athol Fire Department and Athol Police Department were awarded certificates of recognition by selectmen for their efforts in rescuing a handicapped woman from a burning house on Chestnut Street July 1.

■Master Bryan Lagimoniere and his wife Nancy from the Athol Martial Arts Academy recently attended an international karate tournament in Washington, D.C. where they met 9th degree black belt grand-master Jhoon Rhee. Rhee is responsible for karate schools all over the world including Russia. Master Lagimoniere had the privilege to be a tournament referee for some prestigious competitors including teams from the U.S., Puerto Rico and Russia.

■Only one of 16 articles on the override election ballot passed muster at the polls in Orange. Voters approved an override of $5,000 for the purpose of placing liens on property for non-payment of taxes. There were 10 capital exclusion questions defeated. Several requests for the Fire Department were rejected. Override questions defeated included $126,096 to fund the assessment of Mahar Regional High School, $5,850 for the town’s share of administration supplies and services of the Athol-Orange Solid Waste District, a request to fund a town administrator department for $72,000, $2,050 for expenses relating to the American With Disabilities Act, and $10,000 to participate in a household hazardous waste pickup day.

■It was a night to kick off your shoes, kick up your heels and dance on the green. And that is what Orange residents of all ages did at the police station to celebrate “National Night Out Against Crime.” There were parents with toddlers, youngsters, teens, middle-agers and senior citizens drawn together for an evening of good music, good fun and good food.

■William Grout of Kentucky fulfilled a dream to see the Grout Mobile when he, his wife and their 12 children traveled to Orange to see the steam-powered antique car and tour the Orange Historical Society. Grout was treated to a ride around downtown Orange in the vehicle by Grover Ballou of Orange.


Athol Playground youngsters were on Main Street soliciting funds for a trip to Mountain Park.

■Sixty-three patients at the Fleetwood Nursing Home have signed petitions which are being delivered to the Bay State delegation in Washington, D.C. urging defeat of proposed legislation which would reduce by one-third the federal matching funds for patients in skilled nursing facilities after the 90th day.

■Restoration begun June 29 on the widow Sibley’s house and attached store, part of the future Royalston Academy, has been proceeding well. Precarious foundations have been corrected, rotting timbers and sills replaced. Tiles now drain the cellars. Upper-story floors have been braced and leveled, with wide pine boards, found locally, used when necessary. Fireplaces long bricked over are now opened, with replaced hearths. A chimney blown off in the 1938 hurricane is being rebuilt. Roofs have been strengthened and shingled.

Across the Common stands the Rufus Bullock Mansion, the birthplace of his son Alexander Hamilton Bullock, governor of Massachusetts during the Civil War. This house has been designated as the second restoration project. In these houses, and in all others to be restored, the original interior and exterior colors will be followed closely. The building restoration program of the Royalston Academy is an example of “adaptive restoration,” employed in a community where homes have remained untouched for nearly 150 years.

■Mrs. Bernard J. Flood, president of the Housatonic River Watershed Association and a nationally known environmentalist, challenged 86 Senior Girl Scouts to get people interested in environmental problems recently during her keynote address at Camp Marion White in Richmond. Mrs. Flood informed the girls that New England probably has the dirtiest rivers in the country but she said, “With changing laws and enforcement of those laws, there is a good chance that by 1975 New England’s rivers will be clean enough for boating, swimming and perhaps even drinking water.”


Lt. Gov. Robert F. Bradford, in his remarkably able address during the dedication of the American Legion Home of the Edward H. Phillips Post, highlighted a fine program, when in bringing greetings from the Commonwealth, he said, “There is no greater problem before this state at the present time, than that of the returning service man to his home.” Many took the opportunity of going through the fine new Home and there were many expressions of admiration on the party of everyone.

■The order of the Worcester County commissioners for the taking of several properties in whole or in part by eminent domain, in connection with the proposed widening of Main Street between Pleasant Street and the Uptown Common, is another step in the long and tedious journey towards the general betterment of the surroundings in that part of Athol.

■The 1945 season for boys closed at Camp Wiyaka with the farewell campfire program. A record 244 campers were enrolled during the month at the camp.

■Staff Sgt. Edwin Darling, son of Mrs. Rose Darling of Athol, former aerial gunner with 312th Bombardment Group A-20 attack unit of Fifth Air Force on Luzon, has been awarded the Air Medal posthumously.

■Chester A. Carbone, president of the P. and O. Theatres, Inc. which has leased the Orange Town Hall for moving pictures, stated that already sound equipment and chairs have arrived at the theatre and that everything was being installed as fast as possible.

■Pfc. Edwin D. Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert S. Smith of Orange, who was wounded in Germany on Dec. 14 and who was previously awarded the Purple Heart, was one of four central Massachusetts men who received awards at the Fort Devens Lovell General Hospital in military ceremonies marking the Army Medical Department’s 170th Anniversary. Pfc. Smith received the Bronze Star and Oak Leaf Cluster for heroic achievement in the three-month Vosges Mountains campaign in northeast France.

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