The Life From The Roots blog topics have changed several times since I began this blog. In 2009, with my first posts, I wrote only about the family history I had been working on for 20 years. Many ancestors lived in New England so it was easy to visit gravesites and towns where they lived. I shared many photo. Years later, I was into visiting gardens, historical homes, churches, libraries that had genealogical collections, historical societies, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history. I enjoy posting autographs and photos of famous people I met or saw.

My New England roots are in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Other areas include New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Please check out the labels on the right side for topics. Below the labels and pageviews is a listing of my top nine posts, according to Google. Four of them pertain to Lowell, MA, three are memorials, one about a surname and one about a discovery I made. These posts change often because they are based on what people are reading.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Randall Library, Stow, Massachusetts (Genealogy and Local History Section)

I believe the photo of the Randall Library in Stow, Massachusetts is the prettiest of all the libraries I've taken. Perfect warm day, blue sky, a bench, lovely red brick building, and beautiful Redbud tree. I hadn't been here in 15 years, so I shouldn't have been surprised to see it had been enlarged (like all the other libraries I've visited).

I introduced myself and the most pleasant librarian, I believe it was Sally, who took me upstairs to the history/genealogy area. First shown, was the old children's area (below), I don't think it is used anymore, because of the addition.

The flag is here because there are two war memorial panels on each side wall, one for the Revolutionary War and the other for the Civil War.
This room has a collection put together by the Stow Historical Society. A nice mini-museum, I would have liked to have seen more, but didn't have the time. I don't remember it from years ago.
Their collection is quite small, and that surprised me because 15 years ago, I found so much useful information pertaining to my 31 Stow individuals in my family tree, two were direct lines. I asked if many genealogists do research here, and the reply was no. 
Genealogies and information are kept in the file cabinet below.

Behind the new addition were all the war memorials, except for the ones mentioned above.

Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster, Massachusetts

The Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster, Massachusetts is an old, 1653 incorporated town that still has an old town charm. The lovely library, with a new addition to their original 1868 building impressed me, but the fact that I couldn't see their special collections, genealogies and old books was a disappointment. I was told they were in a new section, on the floor below the main entrance. In order to see their holdings, I would have to call ahead for an appointment and meet with the Special Collections Librarian, on either Monday, Wednesday or Thursday from 4:15-6:16. At this point, I'm not certain, I'll do it and I was sad I couldn't report on what they have to offer. My genealogy tree has 200 individuals (quite a few direct lines) with ties to Lancaster.

As we walked from a side street parking lot, we pass old horses stables. The First Church of Christ, Unitarian is to the right (not shown), the Town Hall is straight ahead, and the library to the left.

The main entrance was lovely, and I absolutely enjoyed the children s room, part of the original library. The tables and chairs were sized for children.

The Civil War memorial had been in the old section of the library and was moved into the new. This is the 4th time I've seen a war memorial in a library.
From the outer entrance of the church, I could see the stables, and since I was taken by them, here's another photo below.

Please see my friend, Bonnie MacDonald's blog Massachusetts Meanderings about her visit to Lancaster, and her research experience in the Special Collection's room. Bonnie is from Washington state and took a two-week research trip around Lancaster and northern Connecticut areas.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harvard Public Library, Harvard, Massachusetts (History / Genealogy Room)

Although I have often been through the small town of Harvard, Massachusetts, I had never seen the Library. We found it recently, and I'm so glad to say, it has one of the best genealogy and local history sections I've seen. The Harvard Public Library isn't old but looks it because it is attached to an old school (I believe) as you can see from the two following photos.

I introduced myself to the librarian, and she was happy to show us the locked room where the local history and genealogy books were held. There were great resources, and I only wished I had more than 32 people in my tree with Harvard roots, so I could make use of this room.

While looking at the holdings, my husband brought me a book, see below. I was thrilled, since I wrote a post about Brook Farm in Roxbury, Massachusetts last year. The interesting thing is, I'd never seen this book, and the library at NEHGS doesn't have a copy.

When I asked the librarian where the original library was, she pointed to the photo above. Yes, it was still standing, and after we got directions, off we went to find it, in the center of town. It is now used for an art center, I believe.

Sargent Memorial Library, Boxboro, Massachusetts (Genealogy Section)

Although Boxboro, Massachusetts is an old town (settled in 1680, incorporated in 1835*), the library, Sargent Memorial Library was brand new. I'm thinking they replaced the old building, and I wished I had asked where it was.

I spoke with a librarian, who wasn't sure about letting me see the Local History Room,  but I told her about her blog, and she was the first person not wanting me to take photos. Finally, she agreed I could from the door, lights weren't turned on, so the photos (3 below) aren't the best.

Local History room from the main reading room.
One thing about this library on a hill, there is a lot of land on all four sides, including a garden.

Prior to incorporation in 1835, the area that is now Boxborough was part of Stow, Harvard, and Littleton.

The Stevens Coolidge Estate and Gardens Revisited for 2014

Within the past few days, I've noticed a lot of people are finding my past post on the historic Stevens-Coolidge Place in No. Andover, Massachusetts. See that post HERE. I believe the word has finally gotten out about this beautiful estate (house is not open for touring) and fabulous grounds with the most cared for plants.

The house and gardens are 35 minutes from me, and I frequently go by it, on my way to other places or make it a special trip. For those trying to find more information, I suggest you see their website. Please enjoy the flowers, photos taken last weekend. I'll be going again very soon to see the iris, peony, and orange poppy plants bursting with color. Later in the season, their very popular cutting garden will be open, and I'll make my own bouquets there.

NOTE: The entire garden layout has changed, Because of COVID, I now need to make a reservation. So, I have two late May reservations and look forward to what they have done. Because I love orange poppies, I hope to see a field of them. I don't know about the house, but since this was originally posted, the house has been opened for tours, I've been inside several times and posted about it with photos.

Below photos taken May 30, 2014.

 The first and only one, taken almost a week before the others.