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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
We have updated the Maine and New Hampshire pages with updates for Bar Harbor, Poland and Greene, Maine and Weare, NH. My thanks to everyone who has submitted updates.
We’re also processing stories from Foxborough (MA) and Jay (ME).
Evelyn Coleman passed away last week at the age of 107. She held the cane in Hyannis, MA for several years and was the second oldest holder of the cane in that town.
Read the article from the Barnstable Patriot.
Hilda Lacroix, holder of the Boston Post Cane in Berlin, New Hampshire, turned 110 on January 27th.
This wonderful news was relayed to us by Pamela Nett, Hilda’s very proud granddaughter.