Our Town History

Holliston’s 300th anniversary is coming up fast! In 2024, Holliston will celebrate the milestone by offering many ways to commemorate.  Local groups, committees and clubs are working on presenting events that will inspire residents, past and present, to understand our town’s place in history.  Among the planning of events there is one that invites everyone to participate by adding their stories to a book that will compile the memories, history and events about Holliston over three centuries and especially over the past 50 or more years.

The Holliston 300th Book Project is in the process of gathering stories OF THE PEOPLE and BY THE PEOPLE of Holliston. Already we have received many stories, poetry, and artwork, all celebrating life in Holliston. The stories have come from neighborhoods, individuals, groups and committees. We are not done yet, and we are asking for YOUR story, the long or short of it. Please consider adding your story to the book project. You might start your story by thinking about and answering this question:

What brought you – or your family – to Holliston?

Writing and recording history has changed over three hundred years. In 1856, Abner Morse published his History of Sherborn and Holliston, the first book that endeavored to tell the history of Holliston – in about 17 pages! John Mason Batchelder, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries wrote a series of articles about Holliston’s second century. Daniel Chase gathered stories from Holliston’s residents in the years between 1920 and 1960 during the time that he was a Holliston Public Library Trustee, and he published five novels inspired by scenes and characters from Holliston. Most of his historical research about Holliston is unpublished. In 1974, Dorothy Drinkwater Rees took on the task of compiling a “Commemorative Booklet,” one hundred pages of town history, for Holliston’s 250th anniversary in 1974. In 2000, I also added to the archives, Holliston, A Good Town, as I was inspired by all the town historians who came before me.  And now, with the 300th anniversary of Holliston looming in the near distance, this time it is our turn to write another chapter of the history of Holliston. Previous authors talked to Holliston residents to find their stories. Today, much of our local history can be found easily on the internet, but there is history that is not found there: the stories of the people who live here now, who may have lived here all their lives – Townies! – also, the stories of people who have recently moved here. Whether here for years, or only days, all our stories are valuable, interesting, and vital to include in the history of our town.

The guidelines are few – 1500 words or less, a paragraph or two is also sufficient and acceptable – stories can be an essay or just a brief paragraph. For example, The Orchards neighborhood compiled an essay of memories contributed by several residents. A family’s story from the Queens neighborhood is heartfelt and inspiring. Beautiful poetry, great artwork, and inspiring stories are coming in, so please add to the treasure trove we are accumulating!

There is humor, romance, memorable moments, history and mystery. There are stories about buying an old house, embracing a house and the house, in turn, embracing them. There are stories coming to us about sports, politics, schools, churches, social organizations, town boards and committees, and local landmarks.

Please consider adding your story. For more information, or to offer your submission, contact the Holliston 300th Book Project:

Joanne Hulbert Jhulbert49@gmail.com

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Joanne Hulbert

1 Comment

  1. Caroline Cockrill on January 16, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    What’s happening to the gazebo and the rail trail construction?



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