Martha’s Vineyard Mass. Memories Road Show materials now online

I have dozens of photographs taken out my back door because I live in the most beautiful place in the world. Location: Sengekontacket, 2013. Contributor:Bonnie Stacy.

“I have dozens of photographs taken out my back door because I live in the most beautiful place in the world.” Location: Sengekontacket, 2013.
Contributor: Bonnie Stacy.

The photographs and stories gathered at the Martha’s Vineyard Mass. Memories Road Show are available online now for research.

Held at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center on October 25, 2015, the event was organized by the Vineyard Haven Public Library in association with the five other town libraries on the island. The event was made possible by additional support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Twin Oaks Inn, Mansion House on Martha’s Vineyard, and the Steamship Authority. Two dozen local volunteers collaborated with a team of UMass Boston staff members and “Roadies” from past Mass. Memories Road Shows to welcome nearly 100 adults and children with connections to the island.

'My sister and her husband, Richard and Vivian Mitchell of East Orange and Morristown, New Jersey first came to Martha's Vineyard in 1942. One of the young African American families who gave up the New Jersey shore and Jones Beach in New York for a love of Martha's Vineyard. In spite of the 8-hour drive, a prefab cottage was built over many weekends, and the summer residence for three generations was set. They bought into Waterview Farm community at its inception in 1968. Their heirs, Roger Mitchell, Claire, Ray, Kendall, Christopher Walker (along with many family and friends) continue the love affair every summer that Richard and Vivian began with Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Submitted by Claire Walker. Pictured: Vivian Mitchell, Richard Mitchell. Contributor: Joseph Campbell.

“My sister and her husband, Richard and Vivian Mitchell of East Orange and Morristown, New Jersey first came to Martha’s Vineyard in 1942. One of the young African American families who gave up the New Jersey shore and Jones Beach in New York for a love of Martha’s Vineyard. In spite of the 8-hour drive, a prefab cottage was built over many weekends, and the summer residence for three generations was set.” Pictured: Vivian Mitchell, Richard Mitchell. Contributor: Joseph Campbell.

Many participants shared photographs and stories of themselves and their families at home or at play around the island. Other individuals contributed memories of attending school concerts, theater performances, and other community gatherings. Life at work on the island– in fishing fleets, fire departments, public schools, and on the set of “Jaws” in 1974–is also documented in the collection. Several images document local businesses such as the S.M. Mayhew Co. store and C.B. Stark jewelers.

Several people brought materials documenting creative and artistic endeavors on Martha’s Vineyard over the decades. In addition, a significant number of items in the collection portray residents enjoying and exploring the natural beauty of the island landscape: playing on the beach, circumnavigating the island with friends and colleagues, or just taking in the view outside their doors.

'This is a photo of the original Gayhead Fire Department in 1959. My father is second from the left. In 1978, I became the first female on the island to become a volunteer fireman. My father gave me his badge, number 16. In 1988 I became the first woman assistant fire chief on the island. The man in the headdress is Napoleon Madison, medicine man of the Wampanoag tribe in Gayhead. His son, Luther Madison, 3rd from the right, eventually became the next medicine man. Donald Malonson, 3rd from the left, was the fire chief. Pictured, from back to front, left to right: Horation Malonson, Jeff Madison, Bill Ryan, Larry Spitz, Donald Malonson, Napoleon Madison, Joe Horiagon, Luther Madison, Grover Ryan, Jesse Smalley. Location: Gayhead.' Contributor: Barbara Bassett.

“This is a photo of the original Gayhead Fire Department in 1959. In 1978, I became the first female on the island to become a volunteer fireman. My father gave me his badge, number 16. In 1988 I became the first woman assistant fire chief on the island. The man in the headdress is Napoleon Madison, medicine man of the Wampanoag tribe in Gayhead. His son, Luther Madison, eventually became the next medicine man. Donald Malonson was the fire chief. Pictured, from back to front, left to right: Horation Malonson, my father Jeff Madison, Bill Ryan, Larry Spitz, Donald Malonson, Napoleon Madison, Joe Horiagon, Luther Madison, Grover Ryan, Jesse Smalley.” Contributor: Barbara Bassett.

The video interviews collected at this event are still being processed; a separate notice will be posted when they are available.

Browse the Martha’s Vineyard Mass. Memories Road Show collection.


The Mass. Memories Road Show is a state-wide digital history project that documents people, places and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. In partnership with teams of local volunteers, we organize public events to scan family and community photographs and videotape “the stories behind the photos.” The images and videos are indexed and incorporated into an online educational database. Since its launch, the project has gathered more than 8,000 photographs and stories from across the state. It is supported in part by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund at UMass Boston.  

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives & Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Happy holidays from University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston!

card

From a scrapbook compiled by Roland Geist, a bicycle historian and collector, 1930s – 1950s, donated to the Archives’ bicycling history collections by Lorenz Finison, October, 2015. The Roland Geist collection is currently being processed. Subscribe to OPEN ARCHIVES NEWS (in the sidebar) to be notified when this collection is open for research.

We want to take this moment to acknowledge those who have collected, located, or donated the many documents and artifacts that are helping us build the bicycling history research collections at UMass Boston: John Allen, Cathy Buckley, Nelson Dionne, John Dowlin, Harriet Fell, Lorenz Finison, Tom Fortmann, Richard Fries, Ralph Galen, Roland Geist, Phyllis Harmon, Tom Helm, Thomas McDuffee, Melanie Morris, Richard St. Onge, Gary Sanderson, and many others!

To learn more about the bicycling history collections in University Archives & Special Collections, click here.

To learn more about researching bicycling history, visit our Research Guide for bicycling here.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives & Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Grossmann Gallery exhibit features diaries and journals from University Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library

IMG_6238Diaries and journals offer a unique lens through which to study and experience historical and historic events and time periods. A current display in the Walter Grossmann Gallery in the Joseph P. Healey Library, entitled “WINDOWS TO THE PAST: Diaries and Journals from University Archives & Special Collections,” uses the writings of three individuals to reflect on life in Massachusetts and in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century.

This display serves as a companion exhibit to another display in the Grossmann Gallery entitled “‘A PERSONAL MANIFESTO … OF SORTS’: The Diaries of Carol McEldowney,” which explores the life of activist, writer, and women’s self-defense educator Carol McEldowney. Read about that exhibit here.

William_A_Cowles_in_uniform_standing

William A. Cowles, circa 1862

The first individual featured in “WINDOWS TO THE PAST” is William A. Cowles. Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1834, Cowles served two tours of duty with the 42nd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers during the Civil War. He married Josephine Lewis of Quincy in 1858 and the couple had two daughters. The Cowles family later moved to Billerica, Massachusetts. William Cowles died on September 15, 1905. The Cowles papers in University Archives & Special Collections consist primarily of the journals that Cowles kept while serving his first tour of duty in New Orleans. Included in the display, along with those journals, are a ration book and a music book, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a printed history of the 42nd Regiment. View a fuller description of the Cowles Papers here. Select materials from this collection have also been digitized and are online here.

Also featured in the display are diaries and other materials from the Albert D. Healey collection. Healey (no known connection to Joseph P. Healey) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on April 27, 1888, and moved to Dorchester in 1902. Healey began recording his personal diary in January of 1903 and ended it in 1908, his last year at Harvard College. According to Healey, he intended to “write a sort of diary in which I shall state the most important happenings of my life every day for a year” and “it is very probably that I shall not finish it, because I seldom finish such things after starting them, and if I should finish probably nobody will ever see it.” The collection contains a number of diaries, a sketch book, poetry and a short story draft by Healey, among other materials, many of which are included as part of the display. View a fuller description of the Healey collection here.

Wedding of Robert and Arabella Bellamy (photo contributed to the Mass. Memories Road Show by Robert Severy), September 24, 1913

Wedding of Robert and Arabella Bellamy (photo contributed to the Mass. Memories Road Show by Robert Severy), September 24, 1913

And finally, a number of materials related to Robert Bayard Bellamy are on display as part of “WINDOWS TO THE PAST.” Bellamy was a civil engineer and surveyor who held several positions with the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s. Included as part of the Bellamy Family Papers in University Archives & Special Collections, donated by Robert Bayard Severy, the Robert Bellamy papers include personal correspondence between Bellamy and his wife, Arabella (or Belle), during the Depression when Robert was forced to leave the area to find work. Also included are a number of household expense journals and personal diaries by Bellamy, including a copy of his diary from 1926 to 1951. In his diary from 1893, which is included in this display, Bellamy, then in his early teens, describes life in Dorchester, his school, attempts with friends to find the best spots in the city for sledding in the winter and fishing in the summer, and a train trip through western Massachusetts. View a fuller description of the Bellamy Family Papers here.

From remembrances of wartime to reflections on daily life, these diaries, journals, and sketchbooks present multifaceted entry points for exploring Massachusetts history and life.

Visit “WINDOWS TO THE PAST” in the Grossmann Gallery on the 5th floor of the Healey Library at UMass Boston. The exhibition will run through the spring of 2016.

For questions about these collections or to schedule a research appointment, please email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5469.

To learn more about all of the exhibits currently on display in the Grossmann Gallery, click here.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives & Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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