Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s a quick update on the Boston Post Cane information clearinghouse: I changed the update policy in 2015 so that we get them posted within a day or so of them arriving and this seems to have worked out well and we’ll continue that practice in 2016. Thank you to everyone who has sent contributions/updates/inquiries about the canes to us. We endeavor to keep all of the information we have on the canes current and available.
We ended 2014 with some status from 458 towns and we added another 26 towns in 2015. Here’s how we’re doing as of the end of 2015:
- Maine: we have updates from 207 towns.
- Massachusetts: we have updates from 150 towns.
- New Hampshire: we have updates from 109 towns.
- Rhode Island: we have updates from 18 towns.
With checkins from 484 towns we are now past the 2/3rds mark (69%) to finding what’s happening with all 700 of the canes, and we appreciate everyone’s contributions. (Just 16 more towns and we’ll hit 500!)
In a (relatively) new online magazine appropriately titled “The New Boston Post”, they wrote an article about the Boston Post Canes. Click here to read the article.
NPR recently aired a short story about the Boston Post Cane and its, sometimes, reluctant recipients.
Click here to listen to/read the story by Daniel Rosinsky-Larsson
With a new (to us) update from Cumberland, Rhode Island, our catalog of Boston Post Canes just tipped to 469 towns. Now that might seem to be a odd number to get excited about, but it represents our having the status of over 2/3rds of the 700 canes!
This is a great community effort and we appreciate the help of everyone who sends in those news clippings and sightings which keep the tradition alive. Thank you!
While we always welcome news of towns that have been continuing the tradition of the cane, it is especially heartening to hear about towns that restart the tradition after a cane has “gone missing” and then recovered. The latest town to have this happen is Burlington, Massachusetts where their original cane is once again in the hands of the town (and will be put on display from now on).
We don’t know how long the article will be available, but you can read about their cane in this Daily Times Chronicle article by Mark Biagotti.
We also recently received an update from Hinsdale, Massachusetts which kindly included a full list of that town’s recipients! Many thanks to James D. Manning for all of the information.
We’ve inched our way to the 465 mark of known cane reports. Thanks to everyone who contributes updates!
I just completed the end-of-the-year edit of the site, updating dozens of towns and adding a bunch since the last major update in April. I continue to hope that I will be able to provide more frequent updates in the future, but regardless of my tardiness the history of the canes continues to be written and expanded with the help of so many of you who have written in (both this past year and for so many years before).
Here’s how we’re doing as of December 2014:
- Maine: we have updates on 196 of them.
- Massachusetts: we have updates on 137 of them.
- New Hampshire: we have updates on 109 of them.
- Rhode Island: we have updates on 16 of them.
With checkins from 458 towns we are now past the 65% mark to finding what’s happening with all 700 canes. (And that doesn’t include 1 update from Florida, Massachusetts – which we don’t believe received a cane – but started the tradition 100 years later anyways!)
With the help of many contributors we hit updates from 444 towns in April 2014. Thank you to all who continue to find articles and keep watch around their area.
I just finished the updates for 2012 and was thrilled to discover that somewhere in the past few months we passed the 400 mark of towns that we have updates from (we crossed 300 towns back in 2010) — we’re currently at 411 towns.
This would not be possible without the contributions from so many people, but in particular I have to tip my hat to Steve Hoffman who continues to provide me with a steady heartbeat of news reports. Thanks Steve!
Dozens of other contributors from town officials, historical society members, and proud family members help provide updates and some have dug deep into their town’s history and shared it with us. Fantastic.
Please continue to send in your updates. I know I don’t update this site as often as you or I wish, but we are committed to telling this continuing story.
Thanks to the intrepid research of folks like Steve Hoffman and dozens of other contributors we cross the halfway mark in 2011 for the number of canes we have information on. We currently have updates on 361 of the 700 canes that were distributed over 100 years ago.
We recently discovered a second theft of a Boston Post Cane that occurred in 2009 inLeominster MA, just a few short years after they had recovered the cane. Money was raised to commission a replica cane because they valued the tradition for their community. It’s nice to see the spirit of honoring a town’s eldest citizen to be the core of the tradition and not the canes themselves.
In 2009, Somerset County, Maine, celebrated its bicentennial with a series of Boston Post Cane awards. We have the names of towns but no other news. If you know anything about the cane’s status in the towns of Athens, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock or Solon please let us know because we’re pretty sure they are continuing the tradition in some way.
We look forward to hearing from more corners of New England in 2012.
Clinton, Maine’s Boston Post Cane was stolen from our town hall sometime during the weekend of June 3-5, 2011. It was in a display case opposite the service window and around the corner from the police station housed in the same building. The town is heartbroken, but are hoping to get it back.
As of July, 2011 the cane is still missing despite a search of local antique stores and pawn shops. The town is encouraging the thief to return the cane. If caught the perpetrator will face felony charges.
We encourage anyone seeing the Clinton cane to contact the authorities.
(See the WABI news report on the theft.)