Mudville Madrigals Holiday Concert; Dec 14, 8:00 pm Upper Town Hall; Free
Winter Variety Show Dec 15, 1100 am. Christ the King Church
Mini-Library open for services. Repairs underway.

Life in Holliston in 1949

by Bobby Blair
November 15, 2018

The year was 1949 and tradition says there was supposed to be a celebration for the town's 225th anniversary -- but it didn't materalize. Most locals said that after the events of WWII the townspeople just weren't in a festive mood. Holliston was still a small town by today's standards with less than 3,753 residents. The entire police budget for the year amounted to $8,000 of which $7,208.77 was expended for salaries. Holliston Reporter's police log writer Paul Saulnier may have been out of a job back in 1949 as there was only 1 arrest for drunk driving and only 2 arrests for speeding for the entire year. The HHS Class of 1949 consisted of 27 graduates.

The high school (above) in 1949 was located on the hill behind the 1st Congregational Church and was in use until 1957. The budget for all schools that year was $89,600 with $1,350.26 being returned at year's end as unexpended.

Police Chief Lewis T. Holbrook, above, commanded a staff of five officers. Of these, some were part timers and it was not until the mid 1960's that the town had a duty officer on patrol on Sunday's. Incidently the first baby born in town in 1949 was that of Sharon Holbrook on January 4th to Henry and Elizabeth Holbrook the nephew of Lewis T. Henry Holbrook who would follow in his uncle's footsteps and become the town's police chief. The town's police station was located in town hall with the cell located in the cellar.

Louis W. "Buck" Moore was the Superintendent of Streets in 1949, and on November 1st his department moved "into our own garage." The snow account for that year amounted to $5,400 of which $3.74 was returned to the town. The big projects for the department that year was the resurfacing of 14 town roads not including the reconstruction of 3,200 feet of Highland Street and 2,500 of Mill Street. As in many small town's Moore served a double role as that of Assistant Fire Chief.

Fire Chief Bert Chambers had a budget of $5,805.00 for 1949. One expenditure listed $11.75 from Walters Dairy. Perhaps frappes for the boys after a big brush fire. With all things being relative, home prices in 1949 averaged $14,500, a new car $1,650, a stamp .3 cents, and the minimum wage was 40 cents. A building boom on the municipal side of things in town included the new highway barn (cost $17,000)  plus the Juvenile Building at Goodwill Park. This granite building (above) was donated to the town by Arthur Ashley Williams a local industrialist. Local lore says that Williams offered to build a new high school for the town if they would name it in honor of his son, but the town turned him down. Up unitl the 1960's the town ran the disbursement of welfare monies to local residents. The budget for 1949 was $6,000.

 

E-mail This Article

Comments (11)

I am particularly happy knowing that my class (1957) was the last to graduate from Holliston High. I loved it there. I remember in the summer of 1962 (was married then) I drove up Cutler hill to take a look at my old Alma Mater. It was devastating to find there was nothing left of the building that was once my high school, except a pair of hand rails along what was the walk and stairway to the front door. In tears, I sat in the parking lot for a time thinking of the wonderful years I had known there. Those good memories are still with me today. Thanks Bob.

- Shirley (Hamlet) Chipman | 11/17/18 12:16 PM

Great article about a great town --growing up there in the 50's becomes more special as the years go on.

- Dick Lockwood | 11/16/18 9:49 PM

A fun, safe, and very good place..

- Joan Morse | 11/16/18 2:52 PM

Very interesting - went to school in that building. Fun town to live in growing up - wish I was still there

- Andra Harmon Stone | 11/16/18 11:00 AM

Great job Bobby.

- Kevin FitzGerald | 11/16/18 7:09 AM

Interesting article Bobby! Really like the picture of the police car. That is a 1955 Ford (with a V-8).

- Ted Mottor | 11/15/18 10:17 PM

Thank you Loved the article. Wish my parents were here to read it. Sharon

- Sharon Holbrook Vaughan | 11/15/18 8:27 PM

Nice article Bobby. I have many fond memories of growing up in town in the 60's and 70's.

- Glenn Morris | 11/15/18 9:51 AM

Loved reading this and learning more about the town's history.

- Terry Maguire | 11/15/18 9:40 AM

What a treat!!!!! Thank you, very appreciated this a.m. from my work desk ;( Really nice to see the budgets and pictures!

- Kate | 11/15/18 9:20 AM

Thanks for a great article. It was great to grow up in Holliston. Remember Chief Holbrook sitting in the Cruiser in town. Going to the park. We could walk across Washington Street and there was no traffic to speak of.

- Tom Shirley | 11/15/18 8:01 AM

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by Bobby Blair:

Fin/Com Chairman Calls for Library to be Abandoned

6

Continue ...

The Weather Outside Was Frightful, The Pasta Inside Delightful

Continue ...

Energy Tip for Week of December 10th

Continue ...

Life in Holliston in 1926

2

Continue ...

Stacey Raffi & Bea Hait Selected as HR's 2018 Outstanding Achievers

4

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Local Lore:

Police Log for Week of December 2 - 8, 2018

by Paul Saulnier

Where is it written that kids shouldn't lie down in the middle of road if they want to? This is America.

1

Continue ...

Life in Holliston in 1926

by Bobby Blair

2

Continue ...

Police Log for Week of November 25 - December 1, 2018

by Paul Saulnier

Holliston's own "Nessie" spotted in Factory Pond?

1

Continue ...

The Much-anticipated Mudville Traffic Study is Here!

by Chris Cain

When I studied science in school (in addition to reading, writing, and 'rithmetic of course), the professor would say, "In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data." Holliston's Board of Selectmen must have gone to the same school because they wanted data before considering any traffic volume and speed mitigation strategies in Mudville. The McMahon group recently delivered their 104 page report to the Selectmen (and to the public via the town's website). https://www.townofholliston.us/sites/hollistonma/files/uploads/mcmahon_mudville_traffic_pattern_analysis_memo_2018-11-07.pdf Rather than having everyone read the entire report, below are some of the data presented in a 'did you know' format. Did you know the current speed limit on all streets in Mudville is exactly the same as on Route 16 in downtown Holliston - 30 mph. Looking at the compilation photo above, what might strike you - besides that there are no speed limit signs anywhere in Mudville?

5

Continue ...

Make a Centerpiece at Bullard Farm

by Press Release

Continue ...

Advertisement