For a detailed history on the canes and the towns that received them we refer you to the three books written by Barbara Staples.


Wikipedia has an article on the newspaper, The Boston Post, that may be of interest.

Replicas, Pins, etc.

We often get asked about replicas of the cane or other alternatives.  Many towns wish to keep the original cane stored away for safe keeping (and considering the history of lost canes, this would seem to be a good idea!)  We don’t have great answers for that yet, but hope to provide that information here in the future.  If you know of places that produced replicas, pins, plaques, etc. suitable for presentation to recipients of the cane – please let us know and we’ll put the information here for other towns and historical societies.

  • Josephs’ Jewelers in Leominster had created replica pins of the Boston Post Cane for at least one town. (Joseph’s closed in January 2018, so this is no longer a source for pins.)
  • Peavey Manufacturing in Eddington, Maine created the replica for the Lee (Maine) Historical Society.  (Peavey makes walking sticks, but perhaps makes canes on special request.)
  • The Town of Peterborough, NH has sold replicas to other towns. In 2015 they were charging $150 plus postage. As of Jul 2017 they were still available. Contact: Vanessa Amsbury-Bonilla, Department Assistant, Town of Peterborough, 1 Grove Street, Peterborough, New Hampshire 03458; Tel. 603-924-8000, ext. 101 (Mon.-Fri., 12:30-4 p.m.) (
  • As of August 2015, Richard VanderZanden, from Trenton, Maine, is pursuing a true replica cane. He reported that he has a place to cast a bronze duplicate head if there was one in good condition to cast from. Casting does not hurt the original – silicon rubber molds but they duplicate every scratch or dent. Plating can also be done and he has a line on Ebony shafts. Obviously expensive but if there are a dozen or so towns very doable.  He wants to make it known that there are possibilities for true replicas and interest or help can be expressed to him at:  vanderzanden.r (at)
  • The Pioneer Valley History Network has kept pins available via the Historical Society of Greenfield (Massachusetts). Email the society at hsgreenfield1907 (at) for details.
  • James L. Fay (aka “TheCaneGent”) can manufacture custom canes and has done so for the Town of Norfolk, MA.  James also lectures on the construction and care of walking sticks.  You can contact him at: jameslfay (at)
  • Gregory Slossar owns an engraving shop in Concord, NH called Saymore Trophy offers free engraving on the replica canes, for they often do not have the town listed on the cane. He can be reached at, or by phone at 603-225-2761.
  • The Town of Carlisle, MA purchased a replica cane from the Town of Peterborough, NH. With some help, they found an engraver who skillfully engraved the replica (many engravers, and jewelers I spoke to were not sure of the results since the handle is securely attached to the cane). His name was Brad Keimach at 333 Washington Street, Suite 333, Boston, MA 617-451-1483 (  The replica can was sent to him via UPS and in less than a week it was returned all engraved.

It should be noted that many people and historical societies seem to use the “replica” when they really mean “substitute”.  By definition a replica of a Boston Post Cane would be made of ebony, have a gold head, and a similar inscription.  Many of the so-called replicas are existing canes that look similar or were made of other materials.


If you know of other good books, articles, or web sites – please make a comment here and let us know.

If you have information regarding a person receiving a Boston Post Cane, please use our update submissions page.


  1. I’d be glad to have my e-mail address listed… the Society is still taking orders for pins. An e-mail to me will bring an order form, complete with price list and photo of the pins, which are enameled and quite nice. The price is $6, plus a $3.50 handling charge.
    Tim Blagg, Historical Society of Greenfield

  2. Hi Tim, My dad, Francis Fenton of Mercer, Maine, is the oldest person in Mercer and I would like to award him a “gold cane” or pin for his recognition. Mercer evidently lost their gold cane. My dad remembers seeing it as a child. He was recently recognized in Skowhegon for being the oldest person in Mercer. They gave him a certificate and flowers which is nice, but I want to get something that can be passed to the next honoree. Could you give me any ideas? Thanks, Carol

  3. Would you happen to know anything about a similar cane with gold head distributed by another newspaper in the 19th century, or is this a unique story?

  4. My great grandfather, Arthur F. Coughlin, born 1843, in Cambridge, Ma was awarded the cane by the Town of Arlington sometime in the late 1920’s by the Town of Arlington, Ma. He was married to Ellen J. Ahern from Mallow, co.Cork, Ireland on June 3, 1866 and died in Arlington on Nov 5, 1929, a month before I was born. I have been trying to get any further information available on my ancestors, and just ran across this site from the Boston Post.

  5. I wish I had the time to do the same thing. It would make a great documentary or NPR piece. I hope you can make it happen.

  6. I have written a story about a man from Francestown, NH who was a recipient of the Boston post Cane…He was Charles Hoag ad he passed-on in the Summer of 1950. I was a child at the time and attended his funeral along with my mother who insisted I go to honor his memory. I call it “The Resurrection of Charley Hoag”…The cane figures quite prominently in my story and I wrote it because this nice old gentleman had all but disappeared from memory or any obtainable record of his life. I couldn’t even find his towmbstone in Francestown’s Turnpike cemetery…! And that is why I wrote the story of what I remembered about him when I was just a child. I would, however, like to know if your organization has any knowledge of his being presented with the cane, I have been told it is in the Historical society bldg. there in Francestown…but it is always closed when I can get up there.

    Charles P.Black
    Writer from Bedford, NH

  7. As I replied to you in an email back in September, when you requested the exact same information, EVERYTHING we have on the canes (short of the information in the Barbara Staples books which deal primarily with the first holders of the canes) is on this website. We don’t have any other cache of information. (What would be the point?)

  8. Yesterday my mother was presented with the Boston Post cane in Stratford, NH. I looking at your website Stratford is not listed. During the presentation the selectmen told me that the original Boston Cane is in the town’s safe. This could make one more cane that has been found.

  9. My gr gr grandfather Abiel Farnsworth Saunders was awarded the post cane . I think one of the times was in 1922 and I believe he received it at least one other time. He lived in Tewksbury. I had newspaper articles about this but they have disappeared. Could you help me find this information? Thank you, Helen Alto

  10. Hello, in New Hampshire, the Towns of Lincoln and Woodstock are still giving the canes. Woodstock’s original is in a glass case in the town clerk’s office.

    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.”

    On December 2, 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.

  11. Thanks for the great website! You have inspired me to continue my research! I live in Hanson, MA, and will be looking into Duxbury MA as well. I sent you an update on Duxbury MA, found through the Boston Globe article today in the Globe South section, by Christine Legere. Pembroke MA is listed on your website, so that mystery has been solved by you! There are other surrounding towns that I am interested in as well. I will read the books as well. Hopefully, these towns will begin or revive the tradition, as the word is spread.

  12. Wondering if West Tisbury, MA ever received a cane, or how we would go about finding out!!
    Thank you!

  13. We replied to you separately, but the answer is no (based on all known sources).

  14. I am the Town Clerk here in Bradford, NH and am very proud to say that on Nov. 3rd we will be having a small presentation and awarding the Boston Post Cane to our oldest living resident. Bradford has maintained this tradition throughout all the years.

  15. Greenfield Ma Boston Post Cane was missing for a number of years before being found in the DPW vault. A year or so the cane was stolen from a glass case in the town hall. The cane staft was left behind and the gold head was taken. Months later the head reappeared at a local auction house and was thus returned to the town The head has been restored and plans are being made to present it to the oldest citizen The oldest citizen was receive a gold cane pin for a keepsake.

  16. My grandmother, Mary Hazen, has been the recipient of the Boston Post Cane for the town of Canaan, NH since 2009 — she received this at her 100th birthday party in December.

  17. Town of Brewster MA, Council on Aging would like to reinstate this wonderful tradition of honoring the oldest resident of the town. Unfortunately, some years ago, the can was presented to a citizen and it was never returned to the COA. We have tried to locate it but have been unsuccessful. Does any town have a cane they are not using that we could perhaps even purchase? Is there someplace we can get a replica or replacement? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  18. Replicas of the Boston Post cane are available from the Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire, at a cost fo $150 apiece. Contact: Vanessa Amsbury-Bonilla, Department Assistant, Town of Peterborough, 1 Grove Street, Peterborough, New Hampshire 03458
    603-924-8000, ext. 101 (Mon.-Fri., 12:30-4 p.m.) (

  19. I was wondering if anyone had dimensions of the replica cane. My wife’s uncle was awarded the cane this year in Candia, NH. I would like to make a plaque holder for it.

    Thanks Bill Goren

  20. My Aunt Mary is 96, she is now in hospice care she wants 2 things to die at home and to get our towns cane!
    I have her home and am looking for a replica cane. I will NOT misrepresent it as the oldest person but I would like to give her one before she passes. We would call it the oldest woman on her street award etc…
    if anyone can help me make this happen I would be so grateful !!!

  21. My Aunt Mary is 96, she is now in hospice care she wants 2 things to die at home and to get our towns cane!
    I have her home and am looking for a replica cane. I will NOT misrepresent it as the oldest person but I would like to give her one before she passes. We would call it the oldest woman on her street award etc… it is for Westport MA
    if anyone can help me make this happen I would be so grateful !!!

  22. Looking for a Boston Post Cane “Stick Pin”.
    We are down to our last one and we will be presenting it to the new recipient this Saturday.
    Also I believe that “Joseph’s Jewelers”, listed as possible source to purchase one is now closed.

  23. Does Hadley MA have an active cane? It doesn’t show up on the list of towns at all.

  24. I think we had a family member several years ago that had the golden cane as we called it in west Gardiner, ME I see no mention of it

  25. My mother in law Nancy Hodermarsky, 97, just received the Deer Isle cane, which makes her proud, delighted and amazed to be the oldest citizen of her town. Please note that in your listings it’s erroneously called Deer Island. It would be nice if that could be corrected.

  26. We have a resident who will turn 108 on June 19. We already have a Boston Post Gold Cane to present but since we are not able to allow her to keep it, we would like to purchase a lapel pin for her to keep. I need to know if I could see pictures of and purchase a lapel pin or 3 and have it arrive before the weekend of our 350th Anniversary Celebration & Parade on June 17-18?

    413-665-1400 ext 111

  27. Hi Patricia. Please read the Resources page above. A contact for pins is listed. (valid as of May 2023)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *