Stoddard Park Beach now Open by Order of Board of Health
Senior Center Annual Fall Fair - Sept 9

Hot Dogs and Memories of the Past at the Fishing Derby

by Bobby Blair
May 9, 2017

I remember making this same trip some fifty odd years ago on my bike from Prospect Street to Bullard Street on a cold April morning. It was balmy on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and one dad walking with me down to the pond said ten trout had been caught earlier in the morning.

There was a good amount of angler's vying for a fish and a table full of trophies lined up in front of the barbeque headquarters. The almost humid air seemed to hold the scent of the cooking burgers and dogs grilling on the fire behind me. Its the only time of the year I have a hot dog for breakfast.

In my hour stay at the Sportsmen's Association derby I only witnessed one fish being landed to shore.

The crowd was content as moms and dads hooked bait and waited for the big one.

While there didn't seem to be any fish stories for the day I ran into Holliston townie Bill Phipps. Phipps (above center) grew up at 14 Exchange Street in the center of town. The Phipps family homestead at 29 Central Street abutted Phipps's childhood home. Phipps told me that the home at 29 Central Street (pictured below) is supposedly the third oldest in town. Phipps recalled the rafters in the attic at the home are made of logs.

Phipps pointed out that the front door of 29 Central peculiarly faces the center of town rather than Central Street. Of further interest Phipps said that when Pete's Block (think Holliston Antiques) was built, the builders were required to angle in the portion of the building fronting Central Street so as to not obstruct the view of the center of town from 29 Central. Pete's Block was built in 1878.

Phipps also pointed out that when a porch (now enclosed) was constructed at 21 Central Street the porches overhang obstructed the town center view and the owners were required to provide a one foot view easement. Phipps went down memory lane recalling Dolly Bray's Store, Ken Rooney's Holliston Hardware and Lester Alexander's grocery store all located across the street from 29 Central. Phipps spoke of Burger (Norman) Kennedy and how this man who believed mustard was a disinfectant would mail letters to himself covered in the yellow condiment. Who knows that when the fish aren't biting sometimes you can get a really good history lesson. Thanks for the memories Bill.

 

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