Requesting Your Help in Updating Holliston’s History

Holiston Reporter

In 1974, the Town of Holliston observed its 250th Anniversary with a year-long celebration that included the release of a Town History book written by Dorothy Drinkwater Rees. Dorothy did a fantastic job in just one year. This book was published in hard copy and was also included in a softcover version as part of a Commemorative Book that outlined the events of the year.

We do not know what the 300th Anniversary celebration will look like, but there are conversations within the Celebrate Holliston Committee, the Select Board and among some of us who “remember when” the 250th took place.

No matter what we do to celebrate, we do need to update Dorothy Rees’s book and bring our history up to date.

We need your help to do that.

What do you remember or what have you heard discussed about significant events and activities since 1974?

The list below represents a brainstorm from a couple of us.  We know we have missed a lot, so can you please help by submitting your topic ideas for an updated history?

If you are interested in helping to do some research on any of the topics, please either click “Submit Comment” button below or send an email to This is going to take the village to create. Thanks to any and all!


  • Town wide sewers efforts
  • Fluoride to water
  • Angus MacPherson fire (spelling?)


  • Downtown sewer efforts
  • Expand Fire station (or 90s?)
  • Add to Library
  • Fire at State Lumber
  • Helicopter crash over High School
  • Purchase of Highland Farms, APR
  • Building of Hopping Brook
  • Officer Johnson killed (81)
  • Closed the dump


  • Town wide sewer efforts
  • Build/remodel all schools
  • 275th Celebration 1999


  • Rehab Town Hall


  • Participate in America in Bloom
  • Rail Trail finished
  • 8 Arch bridge restored
  • Blair Square built


  • Downtown Sewer efforts

Additional need to know research dates:

  • Kara Walters wins Gold for US Olympic team in basketball
  • HHS Super bowls
  • Donations of Open Space
  • The survival of Fiske’s, Superette in up and downs/business climate


Mary Greendale


  1. James Keast on February 4, 2022 at 10:32 am

    Don’t forget about the Logan Airport expansion proposal from the early 1970’s! If this went through Holliston would essentially not exist today.

    • Mary Greendale on February 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

      That was HUGE! I served on the committee that John Losch chaired to stop that airport. My house would have been a flyover!

  2. Beth D Comstock on February 4, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Around 1978-1982 the town acquired its first jaws of life after a horrendous automobile accident on Norfolk Street. The company I worked for made the initial monetary gift.

    • Mary Greendale on February 5, 2022 at 11:01 am

      We had some cars tragedies for sure. What was the name of the company, please? Will make research easier. Thanks.

  3. Tim Richardson Jr. on February 4, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Can’t forget the Blizzard of ‘78!

    • Mary Greendale on February 5, 2022 at 11:02 am

      We’d love to hear stories and get photos of Blizzard.

  4. John Connor on February 10, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Axton Cross? The chemical storage/distribution site that was fed by the tracks that are now the rail-trail. Many have forgotten the chemical spill of Anhydrous Ammonia gas that killed one person at the site (the truck driver I believe) and sent a plume of toxic gas billowing down the tracks toward town, killing vegetation on both sides. That included my back yard which was on Union street. May of 1987 ? Also their subsequent bankruptcy and the Town now responsible for the cleanup of the toxic property. Lots of lessons to be learned here.

  5. Mary Greendale on February 12, 2022 at 8:57 am

    Absolutely! Thanks.