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.) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 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) gmail.com.
- The Pioneer Valley History Network has kept pins available via the Historical Society of Greenfield (Massachusetts). Email the society at hsgreenfield1907 (at) gmail.com 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) verizon.net
- 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 email@example.com, 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.