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 465 towns are listed.

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

West Bridgewater, MA locates their long lost cane

Posted By on July 29, 2010

[From a recent email we received]

You can add one more cane to your total!

Just this morning, the Town of West Bridgewater’s Boston Post Cane came to light! It had been uncovered in the former assembly hall for Town Meetings on the second floor of our historic Town Hall when renovations of that space took place several years ago to create badly needed office space and stored in the Building Inspector’s office unbeknownst to many.

It wasn’t until today however that the Town’s temporary Inspector showed it to me that I instantly knew what it was and further knew that former Selectman Judith Kinney and former Town Clerk Marion Leonard had been on a hunt for the cane for more than 25 years!

Now that it has been found, research will be undertaken to find out who may have been the last person to have it, others who may have had it at one time, and its future with the current Board of Selectmen. Reading through what other Towns have done with theirs, is inspiring and I am hopeful my Board of Selectmen will look towards preserving it physically (it is still sheathed in the original leather casing with handle!), while honoring the intent of the tradition’s founder Edwin Grozier in a suitable way.

Good Luck with finding the remaining 390+ canes.

Elizabeth D. Faricy
Board of Selectmen
Town of West Bridgewater

We’re past 300 towns!

Posted By on April 23, 2010

This month we passed the 300 mark of towns that have reported updates on their canes. Our next milestone is 350, which would be the half-way mark to hearing about all 700 canes.

Thanks to all of the Historical Societies, Town Clerks, Selectmen, Town Officials, community and family members who have sent us updates on the canes throughout New England. Together we’ll continue the history of this odd, but charming New England tradition.

Mary Josephine Ray passes away at age 114

Posted By on March 8, 2010

The Associated Press has reported that Westmoreland, NH resident Mary Josephine Ray has died at age 114, 294 days.

Born on Prince Edward Island in May 1895, she lived to be the oldest person in New Hampshire (ever), the oldest person in the United States, and the second oldest person in the world.

(via the AP and Yahoo! news, notified courtesy of Stephen Hoffman)


A whole slew of updates

Posted By on February 17, 2010

Thanks to the many people who have sent us updates the past few months and patiently waited for the changes to be posted to the site. My apologies for the delays. I’ve made changes for all of the states and look forward to news of the cane in 2010.

We currently have information on 297 towns, so we’re looking to break the 300 mark this year.

Boston Post Cane Centennial

Posted By on August 12, 2009

I often wonder if Mr. Grozier thought that his “publicity stunt” launched 100 years ago this month would turn into a New England tradition? But here we are and hundreds of towns continue to honor their eldest citizens with this simple, elegant award.

The centennial of the cane has raised awareness of the cane and its tradition. We’ve received dozens of updates from town clerks and historical societies. We’ve updated the state pages with these kindly provided updates (and corrections!). If I didn’t get back to you personally, Thank You for taking the time to send your town’s information.

Happy Birthday to Mary Ray of Westmoreland, NH

Posted By on May 17, 2009

We’re pretty sure Mary Josephine Ray of Westmoreland, NH is the oldest holder of the Boston Post Cane.  Today she celebrates her 114th birthday!

According to Wikipedia, Mary is the oldest person in New Hampshire, 2nd oldest person in the United States, and the 3rd oldest person in the world.

She’s a Boston Red Sox fan — and could well be the oldest Sox fan ever – she was 13 when the Red Sox team formed in 1908.

Congratulations to Mary and her friends and family.

The Watertown, MA Cane is now home

Posted By on May 1, 2009

As noted in earlier entries in this journal, a group of residents in the town of Watertown, MA ponied up the money needed to purchase the town’s cane from an antiques dealer and return it to the Watertown Historical Society.

That has happened and everyone is very happy about the town’s cane is now safely on display.

For more information read the Watertown TAB article.

If anyone has photos or stories from this event, please share them with us.

The approaching centennial is raising interest in the canes

Posted By on April 30, 2009

The Boston Globe Magazine published a great article (with a horrible title) on the history of the Boston Post Cane and a bit about how the tradition continues today.

Read “Citizen Canes” at the Boston Globe web site.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society also mentioned our little web site in a recent newsletter — thank you!

Both of these articles have resulted in a number of updates submitted to us.  We appreciate the research folks are doing and the time taken to let us know about what you’ve found.