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Life in Holliston in 1953

by Bobby Blair
November 21, 2018

Ah, 1953 ---  Queen Elizabeth would be crowned on June 2nd, Joseph Stalin would die on March 5th and Sir Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay would be the first humans to scale Mt. Everest.

Closer to home Arnold White's jungle gym manufacturing plant was still in its infancy in 1953. The plant was his garage on Highland Street near Prospect Street. That company would later be called Child Life and was located on Whitney Street.

The Korean War would end on July 27th but not before Braggville resident John Ghelli could spend a year there. The number one song in 1953 was "The Song from Moulin Rouge" sung by Percy Faith. Closer to home there were labor issues. Police protection for Ty-Car labor trouble cost the police department $495 out of a yearly appropriation of $14,410.00. Ty-Car Mfg. was located at 9 Green Street and made clock hands. Town Meeting voted to install three new street lights in town at the cost of $30.00. Town Meeting on June 3rd voted $397,000.00 for the purpose of constructing a ten-room elementary school on Linden Street which would be called the Flagg School. The first birth in town was on January 4th, a girl to Phil and Mary (Johnson) Camlin. The Assessors were hard at work in 1953 counting the number of livestock to be assessed which included 22 horses, 306 cows, 83 yearlings, bulls & heifers, 282 swine & 7,780 fowl.
 

The Class of 1953. Class Officers included President Robert Valpey, Vice President, Donald Elliott, and Secretary Doris Sonier.

Wally Watts the Town Clerk received the tidy sum of $400 for his yearly salary and ran his entire one man department on $650 which included his pay.

On Wednesday July 29th a Special Town Meeting was held (guess folks didn't vacation back then) for the purpose of considering adopting Chapter 434 of the Act of 1953 which hereby declared that a substantial shortage of rental housing accommodations exists in the Town of Holliston and that the control of rents herein is necessary in the public interest. The article was defeated by a vote of 10  yes & 40 no's. The town voted on March 6th to erect a fire station in Braggville for the sum of $2,000 and purchase a new Hook & Ladder Truck for the fire department for the sum of $8,150.00.

The public school system was budgeted for $149,716 in 1953 with the Superintendent's Salary coming in at $5,200.08. The cost for all teachers -- $90,199.49 (kinda makes you want to cry doesn't it Ken Szajda?) Both Walter & Beno Rossini had jury duty during 1953, Ma must of have done a bit of filling in for the boys at the Dairy. Travis Rd., Colonial Way, Brook View Rd., and Dean Road were accepted as public ways.

 

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Comments (2)

Great article about life in happy Holliston in 1953. Thanks for including a photo of my dad, John Ghelli returning from Korea. It mentioned the Braggville Fire station that was built in 1953. He volunteered with the Kampersal brothers out of that station house for the next 35+ years. When they heard the alarm the all dropped what they were doing and headed out. Fond memories. Thanks

- Deb Ghelli Attardo | 11/24/18 5:38 AM

Bobby thanks so much for the series! Enjoy it so much. Hope you do more!

- Kathleen Schofield DeLuca | 11/21/18 9:33 AM

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