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Life in Holliston in 1974

by Bobby Blair
November 29, 2018

Yikes -- It has really been 44 years since the town celebrated its 250th Anniversary. If you were old enough, 1974 was a year here in town, not to be forgotten. In the larger scheme of things, President Richard Nixon resigned his office, while Barbara Streisand sang her #1 song The Way We Were. The Vietnam War was coming to a close and officially ended in April of 1975. Inflation was running at 11% and a dozen eggs would put you out .28 cents. If you think town meetings can be tedious and somewhat boring nowadays, just think what you might of had to endure in 1974. Annual Town Meeting was on March 8th and was followed by five more sessions the final 6th meeting held on March 20th. It didn't end there, folks, as another town meeting was called for June 19th.

Chief Henry Holbrook (below) led a department with 16 officers. There were 251 accidents in 1974 along with, 280 cases of burglary, larceny & theft, 168 vandalism & 101 domestics (like the wild west in those days).

Fire Chief John Michael Feehely reported a total of three bomb scares in 1974 and the Jaycees paid $56 for circus protection. The ambulance payroll for 1974 was $666.00. The first baby born in town was Jason Allen Benkoski on January 2nd, 1974, Supt. of Schools Savino Placentino made $28,044.20 for running the school system, while Police Chief Henry Holbrook took home $19,032.22. Highway Superintendent Emil Tero was paid $14,000.22

Of course the big doings in town involved celebrating the town's 250th birthday.

The Brothers of the Brush played a big part in the town's festivities along with their sister organization, the Centennial Belles. The photo above was taken in front of the former Legion Hall, now a pet hospital. Of those pictured nine brothers have now passed away.

In the everyday back 44 years ago the town clerk registered over 1,300 dogs and the town's dog pound moved from Berie Volpicelli's backyard to the landfill on Marshall Street.

Beside a huge parade held during inbearable 95 degree heat, the town also spomsored a huge Firemen's Parade and Muster along with various other events throughout the year. And that's the way we were. Above, Brothers of the Brush pose on town hall steps.

Parade watchers gather in front of 1077 Washington Street (Hamlin's Rest) at the top of Phipps Hill. Bobby Ludwick stands to the left of the photo and was part of the veterans group marching in the parade. Ludwick now lives in Washington state.


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Comments (11)

Who exactly were the brothers of the brush? Can we get a bit of history?

- Geoff H | 12/2/18 7:20 PM

We had just moved to town and we "thought" ??the town threw the parade just got us! What a greeting.

- Dick Morgado | 12/1/18 9:30 AM

Such a good time! I was on the Historical Society Float dressed in a long dress up to my neck, a colonial woman. My daughter Susan, who was 5, was also on the float. I remember the unbelievable heat that day, people passing out left and right. When the float went by "Waving Arms", Artie D's place, someone ran out and handed me a cold beer! Did I drink it? You bet I did!

- Norma Kittredge | 11/29/18 9:05 PM

The year we moved to town. It's been a great 44 years. Too bad Walter's isn't here any more.

- Bob Graham | 11/29/18 4:39 PM

to answer your question Bob, no we were across the street sitting on the wall

- Sheila | 11/29/18 4:25 PM

That was a grand year. It brought the entire town together. I was proud to be the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and again during our 275th anniversary. I plan to be here for the 300th in 2024. Holliston is an outstanding town, and our family's chosen Home Town.

- Henry Dellicker | 11/29/18 12:13 PM

It was a fun time. That is me the fourth from the left on the Legion steps. Still have some stuff from the celebration

- Jon dillon | 11/29/18 11:16 AM

Sheila - I added a photo from the top of Phipps Hill - are you in this group?

- Bobby Blair | 11/29/18 11:05 AM

It was a great parade. We sat on the wall on Phipps Hill .

- Sheila Love | 11/29/18 10:40 AM

I won't be here in 2074 either Jean but the 300th is only 6 years away in 2024

- Bobby Blair | 11/29/18 10:18 AM

I feel so sad I didn't live here then and the calendar tells me I will not be here in 2074 BUT enjoying every day here is my plan.

- Jean Morrissey | 11/29/18 9:37 AM



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