Welcome to the Boston Post Cane Information Center

The Maynard Historical Society maintains information on the Boston Post Cane, a New England tradition for over 100 years. Updates from over 440 towns are listed.

Another “odometer moment”…

Posted By on April 13, 2014

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.

2012 wrapup – we passed 400 towns!

Posted By on January 26, 2013

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.

Dave Griffin

2012 news

Posted By on February 5, 2012

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.

Boston Post Cane Stolen from Clinton, ME

Posted By on July 20, 2011

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.)

A cane surfaces in NH and a birthday greeting

Posted By on April 24, 2011

Lorna Colquhoun, a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, reported that the town of Bethlehem, New Hampshire has found their cane after a nearly 40 year absence.  The cane was hiding away in a closet just a few miles away.

Read Lorna’s wonderful story.

We don’t normally do birthday greetings here, and even this one is belated, but we wanted to wish Vivian P. Henschke, holder of Longmeadow, MA’s Boston Post Cane who celebrated her 109th birthday on March 23rd with her son, Robert, her daughter and son-in-law, Karen & Russell Preston, and a number of grandchildren, great grandchildren & friends.

Wow!  Happy Birthday Vivian!

Searching for a possible cane recipient

Posted By on December 15, 2010

Bob Coughlin wrote us asking if we could help find out more about an ancestor that may have received the Boston Post Cane in Arlington:

I have been told that my great grandfather Arthur Coughlin  who died 11/5/29, born I think in 1843, maybe earlier, received the  cane for the Town of Arlington in the ’20′s.  I have no further info  on it and would appreciate hearing something about it and him, as he  seems to be the oldest Coughlin in my family history.

I have been told by my cousins, whom he lived with in the 20′s that he had received the cane for the Town of Arlington.  He died on Nov. 5, 1929, the month before I was born, and his name is Arthur J. Coughlin according to the grave stone.  I have been informed that he was born either in 1843 or 1837, probably the latter, if he received the cane.  I was hoping to get more info from the cousins, but they have been dying off, and the remaining one can’t find the historical data her sister had accumulated.  They were the O’Connell family from Arlington’s Norcross St., where he lived and died from.

If you have any information that might help Bob on his quest, please leave a comment here or send me an email and I’ll forward it to him.

Thanks!

End of year updates

Posted By on December 15, 2010

Due to an exceptionally busy Fall, I fell behind with the updates from mid-October.  They are all now in their place and we’re just shy of 320 towns.

I appreciate all the updates, corrections and stories that come our way.  We share them all.

Happy Holidays from the Maynard Historical Society

Palmer Massachusetts locates its cane after a 50 year absence.

Posted By on December 15, 2010

This cane likes to hide.   This is the second time it has been lost for 50 years!

Sarah Longden, who resides in Maine, recently opened a box belonging to her father who was a former Selectman in the Town of Palmer, Massachusetts.  Much to her surprise she found a cane that had been missing since 1952.

In a slightly ironic twist the last recipient of the cane, Daniel Splaine, received it in 1952 – 50 years after it was lost in 1909.   The Palmer Historical Commission is working to keep the cane safe from here forward.

Read more on this great find: Mass Live Article (pdf)

Thanks to John Sasur and the discoverer herself, Sarah Longden, for all the information on this great find.

Dover (Massachusetts) locates its cane!

Posted By on September 14, 2010

Elisha Lee, President of the Dover Historical Society, informed us that Dover’s cane was recently discovered in an antique shop and was recovered by members of their Historical Society.   Where the cane has been will continue to be an ongoing research project.

Dover’s cane is known to have been originally presented to Asa Talbot, a dairy farmer, cabinet maker, and nine term Selectman born in Sharon on April 15, 1816. Mr. Talbot died in Dover on October 21, 1910 in his 94th year.

Another batch of updates

Posted By on July 29, 2010

I keep trying to keep on top of the submissions, but life just keeps getting in the way. We’re so grateful for all the updates, photographs and stories we receive about the canes and the holders. We may be slow, but we’re careful with every bit of news you send our way.

Current tally: 309 towns