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Dyer Disco'wrse

Vol.2 No.2





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Hand, 6rova' ilaftona,L t &tot tp L andrnat k, Thanks to the efforts of the Abington Historical Commission, Island Grove was recently designated a National Historic Landmark. For over 200 years, "the Grove" has been a site for patriotic and social events, but its history predates that.

In the early days of Abington s settlement, the Schumatuscacant River wound its way through meadowland. Around 1700,Jacob Nash and his son-in-law, |oseph Poole, erected a dam across continued on pg.2

The Dyer Discourse is

c publicoiion of ihe Dyer Memoriol Librory. All rights reserved.



Fromttl,wDLrertor Sp.i.g cleaning kept us busy for the past few months as we prepare to repair the water damage onthe second floor caused by last summer's roof leak. Librarian Pam Whiting, with help from Trustee Clare

Sullivan, has done a remarkable job of packing and storing everything. I'm pleased to announce thatJack Buckley has joined the Dyer's Board of Trustees. I'm looking forward to working withJack in his new roleHave a good and sa{e summer, everyone!


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ftontinued from pg. 1)

the river near what is now Centre Avenue to provide power for a sawrnill. The dam created a tear-drop shaped pond known as Nash's Mill Pond. The height of the dam was increased in 1836, and the pond took on a new shape. An arm of water appeared to the east separated from the main body of the pond by the pine-covered grove. When viewed from the milldam (now Centre Avenue), the point of the pine grove appeared to be an island, hence the name "Island Grove Park" - although in realrty it is a peniruula and not an island. The pine grove itself was originally owned by Stephen French, who sold it to Luke Nash 1r'1797. In 1803, Jacob Reed bought the pine grove land. During the stewardship of the Reed family, Island Grove Park saw development not only as a patriotic meeting place, but also a social meeting place. By the early 1900s, it was recognized as a leading recreation area of its

kind- Activities

at Island Grove included swimmin& boating, fishing, and lawn bowlinginthe surruner, as well as ice skating and ice boating in the winter.

By the mid-1800s,Island Grove had become a leading site for anti-slavery rallies. Events held there were regularly written up in the Liberator, the abolitionist newspaper. Many rally participants traveled to Island Grove

on special trains running along the Old Colony to hear William Uoyd Garrisorl Wendell Phillips, George Thompson, Lucy Stone, and others speak on anti-slavery issues.

About 1200 Abingtonians fought in the Civil War; in a town with a population of 8500 in 1860, this accounted for maybe half of all the able-bodied men. These anti-slavery activities undoubtedly contributed to the sense of righteousness that led to the high enlistment rate by Abington men. A monument erected in 1909 by Capt. Moses N. Arnold conunemorates the

abolitionist effort. It marks the spot where the speakers' pla$orm stood under the pine trees for the abolition meetings in Island Grove Park. Capt. Arnold, a local shoe manufacturer, had fought with the 12th Massachusetts Volunteers, in Company G.

In7972, for its the 200th amiversary, the town dedicated the Memorial Bridge and Arch to commemorate Abington's Civil War soldiers and sailors. The stone archway is topped by abtonze eagle and flanked by bas-reliefs of a soldier and a sailor by Boston sculptor Bela L. Pratt. Architect f. Williams Beal, who also designed the Dyer building, designed the bridge and archway. The memorial speaks volumes for the way this community felt about those who left home to fight for the Union. Island Grove's new National Historic Landmark status is well deserved for not only is the Grove rich in history, but it continues to play a central role in the community. More informatian on Islond Grove canbe found

in the Dyer's colbctions. And don't rniss the exhibition currently on displny in the Sam Dyer Room!

Dyer Memorial Library Ave. . P.O.Box2245 Abington, MA02351

28 Centre

(7B1) 878-8480


2OOr SueeonTERS ThAnl<tYOW

to our 2001 benefactors, without whom we cannot

continue to provide the level of service to our community that we do: |ames & Barbara Aikenst

Arrre Marie Maloneyl

Lois H. Averellt

Lea Mannion"

George & Caro$n Binghaml

Richard & Patricia McKennat

Rev. Thomas W. Buckley"

William & Naomi Mereditht

Robert & Mary Butlert

Freeman & Carole Osgoodl

Dan & Barbra Carrolll

Route 18 Auto Body,Inc.f

Robert & Deborah Cobbetfi

Wayne & Priscilla Smitht

Elinor & Harold Coughlin

Virginia & Robert Staples

Miriam A. Crowlef

Stetson Kindred of Americal

Arrne V. Danielt

Kathleen M. Teahanl

DAR Deborah Sampson Chaptert

Walter & Edith Thonit



Louis L. Tucker

Mr. & Mrs. EdwardJ.Franey*t

Kenneth & Dorothy Taylort

David A. Hillst

Eileen Walls

Historical Sociefy of Old Abington"

Russell & Phyllis Wheatleyt

Susan C. Holdenl

Pamela & Malcolm Vvhiting"

Robert & Virginia |eppsont

Virginia Whitmore*

|ohn M. Kelly

Sharon Leavitt and Mike Wilken"

,b".6 a syeci.cLf tfrant you to Charles T. Collins

for his gift of Col. Charles L. Rice's GailWar saddle


giveninmemory of EvelynC. Coughlan


grven in memory of Dr. George L. Whiting

Dyer Memorial Library 28 Centre Ave. . P.O.Box?245 Abington, MA 02351

Ctwre,nLTryowExh'il>itLwthetSatwDyerRoomt "Island Grove: National Historic Landmark" - Anexhibition to celebrate the Abington Historical Commission's achievement in acquiring National Historic Landmark designation for Island Grove, a site rich in history and vital to the community. The exhibit


be on display through 24 August 2002.


Up utn t nq Ev onty

at tlw

1 Septembet 2002 - 31. |anuary 2003

D y e,r - Exhibition on the Deborah Sampson Chapter of the DAR

Saturday,14 September 2002,1:00pm - DAR meeting: "They Wroted It Down" - a slide presentation of American history through historical documents by Joice Flimawan. Sunday, 3 November 2OO2,2z30pm - Historical Society of Old Abington meeting. Topic "Rails to Trails." Speaker: Craig P. Della Penna, N-E. Representative, Rails to Trails Conservancy. Open to the public. Sunday, 1 December 2002,2230pm - Historical Society of Old Abington meeting. Topic: "Longfellow's Poems." Speaker: l,ayne Longfellow. Open to the public.

Profile for Dyer Memorial Library

Dyer Discourse - Summer'02, v2 - n2  

- Island Grove: National Historic Landmark --An exhibition to celebrate the Abington Historical Commission's achievement in acquiring Nation...

Dyer Discourse - Summer'02, v2 - n2  

- Island Grove: National Historic Landmark --An exhibition to celebrate the Abington Historical Commission's achievement in acquiring Nation...