News about Boston Post Canes for towns in New Hampshire (NH)
Acton appears to continue the tradition. April 2010: It was reported that Helen Dunnels Wentworth, holder of Acton’s cane, turned 105 on March 31st. (via email from Stephen Hoffman and Fosters article (pdf))
April 2012: Allenstown is seeking their oldest resident to award their cane.
Andover maintains the tradition. As of Apr, 2005 they were searching for a new receipient.
Auburn continues the tradition. The town minutes record that Auburn, NH’s Boston Post cane was awarded to Helen Owen and Robert Kucharcayk on Dec. 15, 2009. Neither recipient’s age was given. (via email from Steve Hoffman, August 2010)
Barnstead appears to continue the tradition.
2011: The June 15, 2011 issue of the Suncook Valley, NH, Sun, reported that Mrs. Ethel Pinkham, 94, received the Barnstead, NH, Boston Post cane (email from Steve Hoffman)
The town of Barrington has its Boston Post Cane on display at the Historical Society Chapel on Route 9 and continues the tradition. The original cane dropped from sight in the early 1940s because the oldest citizens refused to accept it believing that it was a bad omen. In 1999 the Historical Society replaced it with another cane (not a replica) and called it the “Barrington Cane” – presenting it to the oldest resident in town. In 2004 the original Boston Post cane was found by Bill Taylor in a closet in his father’s home he was cleaning out. Mr. Taylor turned the cane over to the Barrington Hitorical Society who had a case made for it and now it is on permanent display. (via email from Lester Waterhouse) June 2011: Upon the death of Clara Norman, Barrington’s cane was returned to the Historical Society. On Tuesday, June 7 2011 the cane was presented to Pauline “Polly”Swain who will be 94 in July. This was a very fitting presentation because the first planning meeting of the Barrington Historical Society was held at Polly’s home on April 5 1972. (via Lester Waterhouse) May 2010: On Saturday, May 15, 2010 the Barrington, NH Historical Society presented the “Barrington Cane” a replica of the Boston Post Cane to Clara Norman the town’s oldest citizen.Clara will turn 99 in August, 2010. (via Lester Waterhouse)
In April 2007 Bedford continued the tradition by awarding the cane to Doris Tarr Bongers, age 99. Doris considers the honor dubious at best. When she was 98, she climbed the Portsmouth lighthouse. As the oldest person to do it, she got a free hat.The cane had been retired for several years because it became too valuable to be kept in a home. The Town Council decided to reactivate the tradition of giving the cane to the Town?s oldest resident. The original cane remains in the display case in the Town Office Building with the name of the recipients engraved on rings encircling the cane. Each recipient receives a full size replica of the cane which they keep in perpetuity. The replica was handcrafted and donated to the town by Bernard Ruchin of Bedford. Bedford’s Boston Post Cane was most recently awarded to Alice Chartier who passed away at the age of 103 in February 2007. The prior holder was William Lapierre, age 101 on October 11, 2000.
Belmont continues the tradition. The cane was passed to a new holder in August 2005. The receipient had “mixed feelings” about receiving the cane.
Dec 4, 2009: Hilda Lacroix, holder of Berlin’s cane, passed away at the age of 110. (via email from Pamela Nett). Jan 2006: Berlin’s cane is in the possession of Hilida Lacroix. (Hilda was born on January 27, 1899). Hilda was awarded the cane in 2005. (via email from Pamela Nett, Jan 2006. Apologies to Hilda for not listing her last year — it was a clerical error on my part!)
After a nearly 40 year absence Bethlehem’s Boston Post Cane surfaced in April 2011. Now that they have located their lost cane the town is considering retiring it to their Historical Society for safekeeping and awarding the replica to their recipient. (Read the full story by Lorna Colquhoun of the New Hampshire Union Leader: link, pdf copy) Apr 2011: The town is seeking their oldest resident to award their cane to. BowBow maintains the tradition. In April 2006 the Board of Selectmen discussed the policy of awarding the town’s cane suggesting extending the time between the death of a Boston Post Cane holder and awarding the honor to a new citizen from 45 days to 60 days for respect and grievance purposes. A one year residency requirement was also adopted.The cane’s most recent holder was Hilda Morgan Sargent, who died Dec. 25, 2005, at the age of 102. Hilda was awarded the cane on June 23, 2002.
Boscawen continues the tradition.
July 2012: Boscawen’s cane was awarded to Helen Perkins, age 99. (Concord Monitor via Stephen Hoffman)
Bradford continues the tradition. The town still has its original cane, kept safely under glass in Town Hall. Honorees are given a replica cane.
According to Bradford’s official history, the first cane was awarded to Hiram Gillingham, a native of Newbury, who lived most of his life in Bradford but had recently moved to Newbury. The award is said to have caused much controversy.” Subsequent holders of the cane included: Edwin Nichols, Martin Huntoon, Loren Bartlett, George Rand, David Morse, Charles Wiggin, Everett Kittredge, Herbert Larkin, Fred West, Clark D. Stevens, Arthur Dean Stevens, Herbert Wyman, John Flanders, Alfred Watkins, Bertha Arnold, Lora Hoyt Sanborn, Alice Crossley, Elna Carr, Alma Ryder, Ruth Nelson, Priscilla Danforth, and Galinas Leonas
October 2011: Edythe Craig received Bradford’s cane on October 16, 2011, being the oldest resident of Bradford, NH. She will be 92 in December and was very honored with the ceremony surrounded by friends and family at Bradford Town Hall. [Bradford Bridge article] (via email from Jessica Craig)
August 2003: Bradford NH’s Boston Post Cane was held Ruth Burckes Nelson from 1993 when she was 93 until her death in 2002 at the age of 102. Bradford’s cane was then passed on to someone else. Ruth was honored to have temporary possession of the cane.(via email from Judy Termin, Ruth’s niece.)
Brentwood had lost their cane, but recovered in the early 1960′s when it was discovered in an attic and returned to the town. Brentwood’s recent recipient, Joe Swasey, 90, was awarded the cane on June 17, 2003. Swasey is the second in his family to hold the cane. It was given to his father in 1961, not long after it was recovered.(Exeter News-Letter, June 24, 2003 via SueEllen Chamberlain)
Briston continues the tradition. (May 2005)
The Brookline Historical Society has also tried to keep the tradition of the cane going. They have found that the original cane was believed to have been burned in the house fire of Levi “Joe” Gould the last holder around 1952. Since the discovery of the original canes demise the Brookline Historical Society has purchased a replica. On June 2, 2003 the historical society once again recognized it’s oldest citizen. Dorothy G. Cook – Born October 3, 1899 and still an active member of the Brookline community at 103 years of age. Dotty was presented with a replica lapel pin of the Boston Post Cane, a Recognition Certificate, and a Pictured Plaque. The replica cane and plaque will be kept for save keeping in the Barnaby House home of the Brookline Historical Society.(via email from Kim McClure, BHS, May 2003)
Campton appears to continue to tradition. Feb 2009: Alice Garland received Campton’s cane in 2005 and turned 100 on Feb 24th. (It is unclear if she still holds the cane as she currently resides at a health center in Meredith.) Alice was born in Boston, one of seven children. She moved to New Hampshire in 1913. She graduated from Plymouth Normal School and taught in Tuftonboro. She married her husband, clinton, and settled at Mapleview Farm in Campton. The farm made maple candy and fudge (including providing candy to soldiers in WW2). Alice has four children, 11 grandchildren, and 15 greatgrandchildren. A survivor of breast cancer, two of her children died of cancer in 2005. Well into her 90′s she liked to cook, bake, garden and sew. As to her long life she said “Never drank, never smoked, maybe that’s it. I’ve had a happy life”. [article]
Martha Bond, was presented the Boston Post Cane by the town selectman of Cannan NH on Saturday Feb 11, 2006.
Canterbury appears to be continuing the tradition.
Jan 2012: Marge Bruner was awarded Canterbury’s Boston Post Cane on January 29, 2012 at a ceremony at the Elkins Library. (via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Martha Bond, was presented the Boston Post Cane by the town selectman of Cannan NH on Saturday Feb 11, 2006.
Lost for years and then found. Original is kept at the town building. May 2008: Alice Renaud living in Chester NH was awarded the Boston Post Cane on May 10, 2008. (via Allan Renaud, Alice’s son)
July 2012: The town of Chichester, NH, recently presented its Boston post cane to Emily Pike, age 101. (via Stephen Hoffman)
The city of Claremont New Hampshire awards an original Boston Cane to its oldest resident. This practice was suspended in November 2005 after the passing of the most recent recipient. The city iis currently reviewing options for awarding the cane, or a plaque recognizing the honor of being the oldest citizen of our city. We are also reviewing the procedure, which has traditionally been an advertisement in the paper answered mostly by family members. I am confident of the past recipients being the oldest person, one issue came up a few years back where a potential intended recipient graciously turned down the honor, yet the issue became a non issue when this person passed on before the situation could be resolved.(email from Scott Pope, Mayor of Claremont)
Colebrook appears to continue the tradition.
2012: Thelma Fogg is listed as Colebrook, NH’s current holder of the Boston Post cane. (via email from Steve Hoffman)
Passed from the Board of Selectmen to the Conway Historical Society on November 13, 2001. It is on display by the Historical Society.At the September 24, 2002 Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager advised the Board has not presented the Boston Post Cane to anyone in a long time. Laura Lyman King recently turned 100 years of age and Mr. Sires suggested the she be presented with the cane. Mr. Webster pointed out that the cane itself is in the property of the Conway Historical Society (CHS). The Board unanimously agreed to award the Boston Post Cane to Laura King. It was agreed that there would be a ceremony to present the cane, but the cane itself would remain in the custody of the CHS and a plaque would be presented to Ms. King.
The tradition continues in Derry.
June 2012: Catherine Dion passed away.
2011: In August 2011 Catherine “Katie” Dion turned 110. Dion has held Derry’s Boston Post cane. That’s a long life, by anyone’s reckoning. It has taken her from the family farm on Canada’s Prince Edward Island and through the mills of Lawrence. Her family said she lived in Lawrence until age 103 and worked at the city’s vocational high school in her 70s, serving lunch to students. She has buried both of her children. She has outlived three husbands. (Derry News article via Steve Hoffman)
2003: Mr. Ira C. Moore just passed away at the age of 104 and held the “original” cane since the age of 98. They are in the process of seeking Derry’s next oldest resident.(via email from Sandi Bissette, Jan 2003)
May 2009: The current holder of Dublin’s cane is Doris “Granny D.” Haddock who received the award in March 2005 at age 95. [article] (via email from Jeffrey D. Miller) Dublin’s Selectmen bestowed the cane to Mr. Beekman Pool (92) in October 2002. Born in New York City in November 1909, Beekman and his wife Elizabeth moved to Dublin in 1950. He and Elizabeth celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on Sept. 7 , 2002.
In March 2006 Dunbarton’s oldest resident, Murray McKay, 95, was to receive the award, but instead was admitted to the hospital. His daughter accepted the award and said McKay was just too overexcited to receive the award.
Enfield continues the tradition. December 2008, the town was passed to a new recipient.
Epping continued the tradition by awarding the cane to Miss Annie Julia Wells, 92, in December 2005.The previous recipient (Oct 2004) was Lillian Bonenfant, 92, who was the first woman in Epping history to receive the prestigious Boston Post Cane.(source: Manchester Union Leader, October 25, 2004)The original cane has been missing since the 1950′s. On Dec 4, 2000 the Epping Board of Selectmen agreed to purchase two Boston Post Canes replicas and to have one embossed, with one to stay at the Historical Society/Town Hall and the other to be given to the oldest Epping resident.(source)
Exeter continues the tradition. Exeter’s cane resides with the Exeter Historical Society. It was retired in 1972, but the Exeter Council on Aging decided to have a reproduction made and in 1999 the tradition was restarted.
September 2012: Ottie Lowther passed away at age 104. (via Barbara Rimkunas, Exeter Historical Society)
August 2010: Ottie E. Lowther, 101, became the proud recipient of Exeter’s replica Boston Post Cane signifying his status as the oldest member of the community. Born the fourth of five children in East Leicester, Nova Scotia, to Fredrick and Josephine Lowther, Ottie came to Exeter in 1929 to reside with his sister, Ora Bitomski. In 1936, Lowther married Mildred Tilton, a nurse from East Kingston, and together they raised three daughters and one son: Muriel Bodwell of Seminole, Fla.; Margaret Harrell of Providence Forge, Va.; Mary Palmer of Exeter, and Robert of Exeter. Lowther also has seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. [Article from Seacoastonline]
Farmington has restarted the tradition, although with a replica cane. Status of the original cane is a bit confusing (word is that it is missing, but the cane was reputed to be in the possession of the town in the late 1990′s and not given out).
August 2012: Jeannette Donovan, age 101, was presented with the Boston Post Cane on Aug. 15 by the Farmington Board of Selectmen. A New Hampshire native, Donovan lived in Rochester before moving to Farmington about 40 years ago. She worked in various shoe shops as a stitcher, and only retired at the age of 83. (Foster’s article via Stephen Hoffman)
Fitzwilliam appears to continue the tradition. (July 2012 note from Stephen Hoffman)
The town presents the cane and a certificate to the recipient, but returns the cane to its town hall where it is on display.
August 2012: The Town of Fremont, NH presented the Boston Post Cane to Cecelia O’Connell, age 93, at a Town Hall Ceremony on August 2nd 2012. Cecelia was also given a Certificate honoring her as the towns’ recipient of the Boston Post Cane which is kept on display at the Fremont Town Hall. Cecelia has lived in Fremont since 1955 and succeeded Post Cane Holder Lillian Pratt aged 95 who held the Cane from 2009 until her death on October 2nd, 2011. (via Matthew Thomas, Jan 2013)
August 2009: George Louis Steele (born June 30, 1912) was awarded the cane on May 26, 2002 by the Fremont Board of Selectmen, having lived in the town for over 40 years. George passed away on August 16, 2009 at home at the age of 97 years young. George and Lena, his wife of 62 years, had one son (now deceased), 3 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. George served as a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy from 1942-1971 including a tour of duty in the Pacific during World War II on the cruiser Pasadena. Like many recipients of the cane, George wasn’t initially happy to receive the cane as it connotes old age, but he grew to be proud of the honor during the seven years he held the cane. (via email from Heidi Jackman, George’s grandchild) Nellie Bassett (b. October 12, 1902) was bestowed the Boston Post Cane Award by the Fremont Board of Selectmen in April 2001.
Freedom is working to get a complete list of recipients. The first holder was Addison Ivory Nason, born in Ossipee, NH. on Nov. 11, 1818. He received the cane, Oct. 11, 1909. He died, June 30, 1915 in Freedom, NH. Jan 2011: Freedom’s cane is now held by Edward (Ted) Acton who will be 97 in May 2011. Elizabeth Acton was the previous holder until she passed in 2009. Ted and his cane were seen dancing at Freedom ‘s 2010 New Year’s eve town party, and yes, past midnight. Ted is a lifelong AMC member and trip leader and has been an avid skier and kayaker well into his 90?s. (via John Shipman) Prior to that the cane was held by Robert Fowler. He was born in Freedom, June 22, 1910. He returned it to the town when he entered Sun Bridge Care and Reabilation in No. Conway, NH. (via Dorothy Brooks)
Gilford appears to continue the tradition because during the summer of 2005 they were looking for the oldest citizen in town to award the cane to.
August 2012: Gilford presented its cane to David Bickford, age 99. David Bickford is intimately familiar with the Boston Post Cane Award. Not only did he present Boston Post Canes to three of Gilmanton’s eldest residents while he was a selectman, his late wife Lizzie Bickford was Gilmanton’s recipient in 2003. ”I might be the only family with two Boston Cane Awards,”. Until he sold his family home to move to Gilford after Lizzie died, Bickford, who was born April 18, 1913 spent all of his life in Gilmanton. And as a Gilmanton resident he has just about done it all, serving as selectman for 18 years, serving on the budget committee for nine years, being the town treasurer for 22 years and employed as cemetery director for Pine Grove Cemetery in Gilmanton Iron Works for 40 years. He was a firefighter for 28 years and served part of that time as chief, saying he finally retired for good at 83. (Laconia Daily Sun article via Stephen Hoffman)
Gilford appears to continue the tradition.
2008: According to the town website James Pennock was presented Gilmanton’s cane on June 28,2008. (via email from Steve Hoffman)
Goffstown continues the tradition. A current receipient was 106 years old in April 2005.
Mar 2012: The Goffstown Board of Selectmen presented their cane to May Gruber on the occasion of her 100th birthday. The former owner of one of Manchester’s popular clothing manufacturers, Pandora Sweaters and Sportswear, has received birthday wishes from the governor and the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire, which she co-founded. Please read the attached article to learn more about her remarkable life. (Union Leader article via Steve Hoffman)
Greenfield continues the tradition. Aug 2008: Richard “Doc” Miner, who will be 95 years of age, received the cane on August 9, 2009 at our Historical Society building. (via Debra Davidson)
Jeanne Comolli, 92, was presented with the town’s Boston Post Cane on Oct. 19, 2002. Greenville’s first recipient of the Boston Post cane was Isaiah Wheeler, 85, who died in 1911. The town’s original cane was lost for many years, during which time a replica was used in ceremonies. However, after the original cane was returned anonymously a few years ago in poor condition, it was repaired and used again in presentation. The receipient is given the original cane for a short time, after which it is returned to its display case at Town Hall.(source)
Groveton appears to be continuing the tradition.
November 2012: Evelyn Shoff, age 97, received that town’s Boston Post cane on November 19, 2012. (Coos County Democrat via Stephen Hoffman)
Retired the original cane to the Hampstead Historical Society (passed from Charles Pressy, the last holder who died at 106, and given to the Historical Society in 1974). A replica is now presented to the oldest citizen.(source)Frances Hardy Munroe received the Hampstead’s Boston Post Cane as its oldest resident in July 2004, and welcomed her 98th birthday on June 20th.
Retired the cane in the late 1970′s, primarily due to superstition around the cane. Put it in a vault for at least a decade. The cane is currently on display in the Selectmen’s meeting room.(source)
Reportedly continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
Hanover appears to have continued the tradition. Dr. Radford Tanzer, 96, Hanover’s Oldest Citizen, was holder of the Boston Post Cane in 2002.
Reportedly continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
The Town of Hillsborough maintains the tradition. Their Boston Post cane has been awarded to Evelyn Kemp, age 99. Hillsborough still allows the oldest citizen to keep the actual cane in their possession.The prior holder was Minnie Constable who lived to 104 years. She had held the cane for several years.(via email from Rob Buker, Selectman, June 2007) Feb 11, 2009: Evelyn Kemp remains the oldest person in Hillsborough New Hampshire. She celebrates her birthday Feb. 15, 2009 at the age of 101. 2009 will be Mrs. Kemps 3rd year holding the Boston Cane. (via Rob Buker, Selectman)
Appears to have their cane, and maintain the ritual of awarding it to the oldest citizen.(source)
Hooksett’s Boston Post Cane is on display in a handmade case on the first floor of the Municipal Building. The glass encased display case was handmade by Lucien Duhaime, son-in-law of the current holder of the Boston Post Cane, Mrs. Mildred Currier Wrenn.(source)
The Hudson Historical Society is in possession of the Hudson, NH Boston Post Cane. In 2002 we were informed that Hudson has not kept up the tradition, but they did locate the oldest Hudson resident for the town’s 250th celebration several years back*, and that man, Mr. Ralph Steele, was the grand marshal of the parade and rode with the Boston Post Cane. He has since passed away. The Society exhibits the Cane.In December 2006, the can was presented by the Hudson Historical Society to three women in Hudson. One of them was Ella Alice Connell, age 98.* -probably the oldest native was the criteria as they have a nursing home in town.(2002 info via email from Laurie Jasper, 2006 info via email from Jeannie Signor)
The cane was awarded to Louise Proctor in 1982.(source)
Kingston continues the tradition with a substitute cane. The original cane was lost somewhere along the line, and they obtained a replica from another town that had had some made. It’s not of the same materials as the original but it allows the town to keep up the tradition until the original turns up. They keep the cane on display in the Town Hall. (via email from Catherine Grant) August 24, 2009: The Kingston Board of Selectmen awarded the cane to Rita V. Jones, whose birth date was February 14, 1909. Ms. Jones was unable to be present for the presentation due to health issues, but the award was made in absentia and it’s hoped that she enjoys the recognition. (via email from Catherine Grant)
Lee appears to continue the tradition.
Feb 2012: The Lee Board of Selectmen awarded their cane to Eleanor Plumer, 99. She has lived in Lee for 80 years and was an avid flower gardener. (Foster’s article via email from Steve Hoffman and website submission from Dennis Brow)
Lincoln continues the tradition. They had lost their cane, but according to Lorna Colquhoun, ” Lincoln’s cane had been lost for many years … and then one day, it showed up via a FEDEX package – someone had found it.”
December 2012: Lincoln presented the cane to Elizabeth Lowden, 100 years old (will be 101 on December 31). She is a life-long resident of New Hampshire and was a popular school teacher in the area towns. (via Ken)
We know that in the 1960s Littleton continued the tradition. Kate Cushman Morse (4/29/1861-8/3/1964), was given the cane, which she held until her death at age 103. The cane may now be in the possession of the Littleton Area Historical Society. [article] (via email from Allen Hill, May 2009)
Londonderry appears to continue the tradition.
2007: In May 2007 the town was seeking candidates for the oldest resident. Reported Londonderry Boston Post Cane holders have been Hiram C. Matthews, Joseph L. Day, Fred H. Smith, Cora Lurvey Smith, Jessie Webster Beckley, and John Hardy Madden . (londonderry.net article via Steve Hoffman)
Lyme has been awarding the cane to it’s oldest citizen since 1909. They now keep the cane in the town offices and award a replica cane. Twenty five people have received it over the years. (via email from Sallie Ramsden, Lyme Historians, June 2007)
Lyndeborough / Wilton continues the tradition. March 2010: Pangiota “Penny” Christou, 94, was recently determined to be Lyndeborough’s oldest resident. She was presented a replica of the Boston Post Cane at ceremonies conducted by the Board of Selectmen. For the past five years, Christou has lived with her daughter and son-in-law Georgia and Ray Hutchinson in the Perham Corner section of town. She grew up in Nashua, graduated from Nashua High School in 1934, and worked for Nashua Corporation for 30 years. She is a communicant of St. Philip’s Greek Orthodox Shurch, the ladies’ Agape club, and the Pan Macedonian Club. Other family members include daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Roger Pelletier, four grandchildren, and a great-grandson. (via Nashua Telegraph). May 2009: After nearly 100 years Lyndeborough has decided to retire its original Boston Post Cane. A replica has been made and will be used in ceremonies for the cane. The original cane will go on display. (articlevia Jeffrey D. Miller) August 9, 2008: the cane was proudly presented to Polly (Fifield) Kenick, 98, a very longtime resident of Lyndeborough. The ceremony was conducted at Nelson’s Candy Company in Wilton, where Polly is an active member and occasional pianist for the Tuesday band crew. A 1930 graduate of the Exeter, NH Nursing Program, she later served as a nurse at both Exeter Hospital and Phillips Exeter Academy while raising her family with her husband at the Kenick Family homestead in Exeter. She currently designs and knits outfits for the Lovin Stitches free knitted clothes for premature babies group and makes handmade, knit top dish towels for each recipient of the Christmas Meals on Wheels project in Lyndeborough. A former longtime member of the Lyndeborough Improvement Society, she currently resides at Edgewater Estates on Main Street in Wilton. (via Catherine Tomlinson, Polly’s VERY proud granddaughter) May 2007: The cane was passed to Guy B. Reynolds, age 94. Reynolds was born in Lyndeborough on Oct. 29, 1912. He lived in Wilton for a time and returned to Lyndeborough in 1950. He still lives in the same house on Citizens’ Hall Road. During World War II, he served as a sergeant in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific after taking an intense course at the University of Wisconsin. He was an overseer of airplane repair on the island of Okinawa. Guy Reynolds passed away on November 27, 2007. (via Kathe Wolf) April 2005: the cane was awarded to Guy Holt, 92, at their Town Meeting. Guy passed away in April 2007 at the age of 94.(brought to our attention via email from Ande Noren, May 2007)
The Meredith Historical Society continues the tradition.The last holder of the Boston Post Cane, Priscilla Scarth, passed away in September 2004. As of October 2004, the society was seeking a new recipient.(source)
The original cane is on display in their Town Hall. A replica of the cane is awarded to the oldest citizen. In the fall of 2002 Thomas Gouvalaris was awarded Merrimack’s cane and holds it as of April 2009 [photo]. The town honored him with a miniature cane mounted for wall display as well as a Boston Post Cane lapel pin which he’s worn religiously since then. In 2003 he was honored by riding in the July 4th town parade. He was born on Dec 20, 1911 and served in WWII in the Pacific. He has lived in Manchester, NH and Merrimack, NH with his wife for the past 65 years. He has two daughters, two grandchildren, and one great grandchild. (via Buck Howe) The prior recipient of Merrimack’s cane was Louis Sperry in April 2002.
Milan still has its cane (it is on display in the Selectmen’s office at Town Hall), but does not award the cane to the oldest resident. Rumor has it that the seniors in town don’t want it presented because “everyone who gets the cane, dies!” (via email from George Pozzuto, May 2009)
April 2012: Milton hired a safecracker to open a town safe. They had hoped it contained their Boston Post Cane, but alas it did not.
We believe Milton continues the tradition because ??? Ramsey, 100, was noted as the current holder in July, 2005. In October 2001 Milton was searching for the cane. Resident Marylin Pike asked if the board knew the whereabouts of the town’s Boston Post cane and if the cane was lost, could a duplicate be made? Selectmen agreed to look for the original Boston Post cane and considered the possibility of making a duplicate to present to the oldest citizen and keep the original in a safe place.(source was Foster’s Daily Democrat, article no longer online)
Moultonborough keeps its cane on permanent display in the Historical Society’s Town House. On July 4, 2003, Fred Bagley, 97, Moultonboro’s oldest citizen, served as Grand Marshal of the Independence Day parade, after which he received the Boston Post Cane from the Moultonborough Historical Society.(via article in the Concord Monitor, July 4, 2003)
New Boston continues the tradition, using the original cane.
Mar 2012: Howard Towne, 93, received New Boston, NH’s, Boston Post cane on March 8, 2012. The article also pointed out that the recipient’s granfather, James Towne, received Peterborough’s cane 102 years ago (Goffstown News article dated March 14, 2012 via Steve Hoffman)
The cane is kept in a glass display at the Town Hall to prevent it from being lost. June 2011: Marion Rowe passed away this spring at age 98. William “Bill” Williams, age 98 (he is a few months younger than Marion was) was awarded New Castle’s cane. The picture to the right shows Bill holding the cane (temporarily out of its case in Town Hall) plus official proclamation. (via Jim Cerny) March 2008: Marion Rowe, 95, received the cane in March 2008. [source] (via Jim Cerny) After Fred White (2006) a woman named Barton held the cane. (Jim Cerny) During the May 2007 annual Town Meeting, Constance Barton, 96, was recognized as the newest recipient of the Boston Post Cane. She was unable to attend the meeting. Barton was presented with the cane, a certificate and flowers during the ceremony. The previous holder was lifelong town resident and historian, Fred White, who died in August 2006 at age 96-1/2.(via email from Jim Cerny, New Castle Historical Society, May 2007)
New Durham’s cane is kept in the Town Hall safe, but is brought out for ceremonies. In December 2009, New Durham’s cane was given to Everett Rogers, age 94, after the previous recipient moved out of town. Rogers has lived in New Durham for over 57 years. (via Foster’s Daily Democrat, 7-Dec-2009 new-durham-2009-12-07) In December 2004, selectmen presented the cane to Dorothy Varney Lilljedahl, 99. (source: Foster’s, 30-Dec-2004)
Reportedly continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
We believe that New Ipswich continues the tradition.
2000: An obituary stated that Raymond C. Willard, was the holder of New Ipswich, NH’s Boston Post cane at the time of his death on January 12, 2000. He was 91 at the time. (via email from Steve Hoffman)
New London no longer awards the cane to the oldest citizen. Their original Boston Post Cane is safely stored in the Town Archives. [via email from Deborah Hall, Town Archives Committee, April 2009)
Newfields, NH continues the tradition. The original cane is kept in a display case at Town Hall along with the list of recipients. A replica is awarded to the eldest resident.Caroline Conner (age 93) was awarded the cane in October 2006 by the Board of Selectmen. Four generations of the Conner family, including her husband, Alfred, all three of her children, Tom, Bill and Teresa, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present for the festivities.(via the Exeter News-Letter)
September 2012: Olive L. Rugg, age 95, was presented with her Boston Post Cane and a certificate by Selectmen Chair Tom Hayward in a ceremony at the Town Hall. Selectman Michael Woodward was in attendance along with Rugg's son Douglas, also of Newfields. Rugg was born Dec. 30, 1916, in Connecticut, and will be 96 in December. She lived first in Connecticut, then in Lee before moving to Newfields in 1948 with her husband Donald. On a whim she entered the Mrs. New Hampshire contest in 1952 and won. "It was fun. I got to go to Atlantic City,". She has two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She has no specific advice for those seeking longevity. "You just keep busy and take one day at a time." She still has a sense of humor, noting her secret for longevity is "not dying." She doesn't keep abreast of technology and still owns a rotary phone, her son Douglas said. "She doesn't have a TV either," he said, to which Rugg responded, "I read." (Seacoast Online article via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2012: M. Carolyn Conner passed away on May 8, 2012
2012: In an undated article the town's website reported that M. Carolyn Conner, born November 18, 1912, is the holder of Newfields Boston Post cane. (email from Steve Hoffman)
2003: On July 15, 2003 Mary Stevens, 93, was awarded the Boston Post Cane and continues to hold the cane as of May 2005.
Newmarket continues the tradition with replica canes. The original cane is at the Newmarket Town Hall. It was lost for a while, but was returned, like most of them, by a family member who happen to come across it while cleaning out their family member's house. They present the recipient with a proclamation, and the copy of the Boston Post Cane. August 2009: We are about to present the Boston Post Cane to our oldest citizen, Marie Rose Thibault Langlois, who turned 100 years young on June 16, 2009. Ms. Langlois resides in a nursing home in Brentwood, NH. (via email from Kathy Castle) January 2005: Up until January 2005 the town maintaining the normal practice of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Arnold and Dina Larson were born within 10 days of each other and will turn 100 in February 2005. The town strayed a bit from tradition and handed out matching Boston Post canes to the pair, recognizing them as Newmarket's oldest residents and couple. (source: Foster's 8-Jan-2005)
December 2012: Luida Jones, age 100, is the holder of Newmarket's Boston Post Cane. She was presented the Boston Post Cane in October of 2011 at age 98. Now, she keeps it hanging near the doorway in her room. Jones loves reading and just recently needed to begin wearing reading glasses. Her favorite books are love stories, and she follows a daily regimen of "The Price is Right," "The Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy." (Seacoast Online article via Stephen Hoffman)
Newton's cane is in the hands of the Board of Selectmen. As of August 2005 they were searching for their oldest citizen.
North Hampton continues the tradition and still has their original cane (which was discovered in the town safe).
Feb 2013: Adelbert Blaney of Mill Road, age 95 was selected to receive the town's cane.
Northwood continues the tradition.
April 2012: Marjorie Norrell, age 98, was honored as the oldest resident in Northfield.
Norrell is the mother of two, grandmother to five, has four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. One great-grandson and his family, who reside in Arizona, were regrettably unable to attend the event, but many others, including two-year-old great-great-granddaughter Bailey Beck, filled her home. Born in Jamestown, N.Y., she and her husband moved to Northfield in 1947. After residing in a farm on Shaker Road for many decades, they eventually built a home next door in 1995, where she has resided ever since. (Winnisquam Echo article via Stephen Hoffman)
Northwood appears to continue the tradition. The original cane is not given to the recipient. July 2011: Mildred Strachan (born Nov. 2, 1915) holder of Northwood's Boston Post Cane passed away on July 15th. (via email from Amy Shaw, Mildred's grand-niece).
Orford continues the tradition.
January 2013: Barbara Hall, age 94, was presented with Orford's cane on January 19th. Barbara was born on January 28th,
1918. (via Anne Duncan Cooley, Orford Board of Selectmen)
The Pelham Historical Society is in possession of the original cane. It will be on display at the Society in the near future . They present a replica of the cane to the oldest resident, as well as a lapel pin with the image of the cane.(via email from Annemarie Hargreaves, Oct 2004) September 2010: Pelham's cane was awarded to Herb Currier, who is currently the oldest male voter in Pelham. Herb is not the oldest person in town, but she has only recently moved to Pelham and the town requires a minimum residency to be awarded the cane. Herb is a member of the Pelham Historical Society and is the father of the town's moderator. (via email from Linda McKinley and the Pelham-Windham News)
The Town of Pembroke, NH still has the cane. The Board of Selectmen has decided to have a case made and display the Cane at the Town Hall. Until 2003, the actual cane was given to the recipient and returned to the Town after his/her death. After a close call where the cane was nearly lost, they are now going to hang on to it. They are in the process of compiling a list of the names of past recipients to display on a plaque along with the cane.(via email from David L. Stack, Town Administrator of Pembroke, April 2003)
April 2012: The Town of Peterborough was honored to present Mrs. Doris Lerous, the "oldest" citizen in Peterborough, with the town's Boston Post Cane. Mrs. Leroux was born in September, 1908, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She was joined by friends on Tuesday, April 10th, at her home in Peterborough for the presentation of the Cane by the town's Select Board. Mrs. Leroux's name will be added to a plaque of past Boston Post Cane Recipients in Peterborough's Town Hall. (newspaper article via Stephen Hoffman)
In possession of the original cane. September 2011: Perkins Bass, father of Rep. Charlie Bass, was awarded Peterboroug at his home in Peterborough on Wednesday. The former congressman turns 99 years old in October. Rep. Bass and Sen. Kelly Ayotte attended the ceremony.
Plaistow continues the tradition. December 2010: The Plaistow Board of Selectmen awarded their cane to Dena Carbone, age 97, at a ceremony that included Dena's family and friends. Dena was born in Bisegna, Italy in 1913, and has been a resident of Plaistow for 20 years. She worked at a department store and started a dressmaking businesses in her free time. She worked as a successful dressmaker until 1968, dressing high-profile Rockefellers, DuPonts and several of Princess Grace's bridesmaids. (via email from Stephen Hoffman, Feb 2011 - Eagle Tribute article)
In Raymond, New Hampshire the Board of Selectmen and the Chairperson of The Raymond Historical Society present a replica of the Boston Post Cane to Raymond's oldest citizen. The most recent recipient of the cane was Mabel Morrison, 100, on July 13, 2003. Raymond's previous Cane holder passed away last year at 102 or 103 and the cane was not recovered.(via emails from Dick Wood, July/Nov 2003)
Rollingsford continues the tradition.
August 2012: Chester Lloyd Goodrich, age 100, was awarded Rollingsford's Boston Post Cane at his home on Roberts Road for being the oldest resident in town. Selectman Edmund Jansen, Jr. presented the cane to Goodrich, who turned 100 on July 26. Jansen explained the tradition to Goodrich, informing him that the cane is his for the rest of his life for protection. "Thank you, but I don't need it," said Goodrich, who later joked if he was going to get any money for his longevity. Born in Berwick, Maine, Goodrich purchased land on Roberts Road in 1938 and operated a dairy and vegetable farm there until 1984. At this time, he sold most of the land, keeping just two acres to build what he calls his retirement home. (Foster article via Stephen Hoffman)
The Boston Post Cane tradition continues in Salem. May 2011: Salem's cane was awarded to lifelong resident Harry Garabedian, who was born December 15, 1911. He still lives in the Salem Street home he built with his wife Agnes after they married in 1948. It's right across the street from the house he grew up in. After spending almost a century in town, he said he still loves it. "I'm happy I'm in Salem," Garabedian said. "I was born in Salem. I still live in Salem." Garabedian worked on his family farm after graduating from the first-ever class of Woodbury High School in 1929, but when World War II began he went to work at the Everett Mills in Lawrence. There he began a life-long career as a suit-cutter, working for brands names like Mighty-Mac and London Fog. He also had a job as a part-time barber, cutting hair at his cousin's shop at Rockingham Park. He and his wife raised four sons: Armand and Michael, of Salem, Richard of Princeton, Mass., and Harry Jr., of Methuen. Garabedian has 14 grandchildren, and enjoys attending church. He and his wife loved road trips, and they spent many winters in Florida. Garabedian said he didn't quite have a secret to his long life, though he did credit eating well — especially eating yogurt — abstaining from smoking, and living the best life he could to his longevity. "You have to wait to be 100," he said. "You have to be patient." (Eagle-Tribune article via Stephen Hoffman)
The Boston Post Cane tradition continues Salisbury. In 2007 the cane was slated to be retired and placed on display at the selectman’s office, but a replica will be provided. February 2011: The current Boston Post Cane holder for Salisbury, NH is Harriett Lucia. Their next Old Home Day event is Saturday, August 13, where she will ride in the parade. (via update from Gregory Slossar). August 2007: The cane is currently held by Mildred Otto. Our Old Home Day is this Saturday, August 11th, and she will be in the parade. (via Gregory Slossar, Salisbury Old Home Day Committee)
Seabrook appears to continue the tradition.On August 2, 2006 Seabrook Selectmen awarded the Boston Post Cane to Michael Belka of Seabrook Beach (age 102). Belka, born on Jan. 20, 1904, has a valid driver's license and a vivid memory. He was too young to enlist in World War I and told he was too old for World War II.(via Hampton Union)Grace Fogg was awarded the cane on her 95th birthday. Grace turned 104 in August, 2003.(via the Hampton Union, August 26, 2003)
Strafford continues the tradition. December 2010: Strafford has awarded its cane to Lauretta K. Buddelmann, age 99. Lauretta was born on July 10, 1922 in Peru, NY. She came to Strafford in 1944 and fell in love with the town. (via email from her daughter, Louise Chagnon, and a Fosters article(pdf)). July 2005: Strafford's cane was awarded to Ira Stiles, 96.
Stratham has been keeping the tradition alive
December 2012: Katherine Bullard, 95, was awarded Stratham’s cane. Bullard was joined at the ceremony by grandchildren and her son, Larry, and his wife, Ellen. Larry Bullard said his mother has always been active in civics, as a member of the Exeter Women’s Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Greater Federation of Women’s Club. She lived in Exeter for 42 years, he said, after growing up in Wakefield, Mass. (Seacoast Online article via Stephen Hoffman)
August 2012: Virginia “Ginny” Dolloff, passed away at age 102.
September 2006: the cane was awarded to Virginia Wiggin Dolloff (age 96) by Stratham town officials. Other Stratham recipients of the cane include Dewitt C. Jewell, Hannah H. Barker (the first woman in town to receive the cane), Ralph Parkman, Florence Bigelow and Bertha Chase.(via the Exeter News-Letter)
Tilton awarded its cane to Raymond Hinds, age 100, in March 2007. Raymond is unique among cane holders in that he used to sell the Boston Post newspaper as a boy (for 6 cents).
Troy continues to award their Boston Post Cane. In 2009 at their Old Home Days celebration it was presented to Iver Olson by members of the Troy Select Board. (via emails from Barbara Wingardner and Catherine Callegari)
Tuftonboro appears to be continuing the tradition. December 2010: The selectmen of Tuftonboro, NH, presented the Boston Post cane to Mrs. Margaret Newton (no age given) on Dec. 1, 2010. (via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Union continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown. January 13, 2011: Union Town Manager Jay Feyler presented Union’s cane and a plaque to Irene Payson, age 95. Irene was born in Prospect and went to school in Rockland. She was a member of the class of 1933 at Rockland High School and played on the basketball team, which won the state championship. Asked the secret to longevity, she said she doesn’t like smoking and noted that she has kept all of her teeth. (article from Herald Gazettevia Stephen Hoffman).
Warren’s original cane is kept on display at the Warren Historical Society and the town provide the recipient with a reproduction of the Boston Post Cane. August 16, 2009: The Board of Selectmen awarded Warren’s cane to to Helen Whitcher, born October 8, 1914. (via email from Mike Clark, Chairman, Board of Selectmen)
Weare is believed to have their original cane and uses a replica for ceremonies. Apr 2008: Alden Willard Leeds was born July 1, 1905 and has since passed November 14th 2007. He was the son of Clarence Ernest Leeds & Jessie Whipple of Goffstown. They resided in East Weare. Alden attended and graduated from Weare High School in 1924 and married Amelia Gunn in 1929. As for where the cane has gone after Alden’s passing I’m unsure. (via Colleen Couhle) April 20, 2009: The current holder of the Weare’s cane is Margaret Colburn, who received the cane after Alden Leeds. (via Sherry Burdick)
Westmoreland continues the tradition and uses a replica cane. In 2008 the Westmoreland Historical Society presented Westmoreland’s cane to Mrs. Mary Ray, age 113! Mary’s birthday is May 17, 1895 and is believed to be the 3rd oldest person in the world. (via email from Jan Carpenter, Westmoreland Historical Society, May 2009). Mary’s longevity has earned her an entry in Wikipedia. She is a devoted Red Sox fan.
Whitefield continues the tradition with its original Boston Post Cane. The current holder of the cane is Amelia Morse. Amelia, who will be 104 in July, received the cane on her 100th birthday. Whitefield’s cane is on display at the Morrison Nursing Home. (via email from Sally Roberts, June 2009) June 2010: Amelia Morse passed away on June 2, 2010 a few weeks short of her 105th birthday. (via Sally Roberts)
Woodstock’s original is in a glass case in the town clerk’s office. (via Ken, Dec 2012)