The video interviews from the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show and Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show, held in the spring of 2017, are now available online. Over sixty people of all ages recorded their “stories behind the photos” in these two Massachusetts shore communities.
In both Nahant (on Boston’s North Shore) and Eastham (on Cape Cod), contributors spoke of their love for the seashore. Some individuals reflected on the joys of coastal life, recalling days of sailing, canoeing, fishing, or simply walking along the beach. Others described the power of nature and shared stories about the havoc wreaked by storms over the years. In Nahant, several video interviews documented activities of the Northeastern University Marine Science Center. Water was also on the mind in Eastham, where contributors expressed pride in the town’s new municipal water system.
Road Show contributors shared stories about the circumstances of their arrival in town and the local relationships they have built. In Nahant, a few individuals recalled their first journey over the causeway connecting Lynn on the mainland to the island town. Chris Stevens remembered arriving and thinking “this is it, I’m home.” Other Nahanters grew up in town, left to live in Boston, and later returned back home.
Several Eastham residents recalled moving to town from near and far. Gail M. Callahan first arrived as a child, back when there was “nothing but beach.” With her family, she spent hours “clamming, fishing, and . . . picking blueberries.” Some contributors remembered visiting for a summer vacation and never leaving. Video interviews also document local organizations’ efforts to preserve the environment, both natural and man-made. The beaches and historic structures of both towns are safe in the hands of these devoted locals!
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The Mass. Memories Road Show is a statewide 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 10,000 photographs, videos, 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 welfare, 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.