News about Boston Post Canes for towns in New Hampshire (NH)
April 2012: Allenstown is seeking their oldest resident to award their cane.
Alstead appears to continue the tradition.
May 2013: Alstead’s cane is held by Elsa ?, age 97. (via Chelsea Roy)
Alton’s cane is on display in a case in the meeting room in the Town Hall, with a listing of all the recipients through the years. (via Don Berry, who has three relatives on the list, Apr 2013)
Amherst continues the tradition. Their original cane is on display at the Wigwam Museum.
201?: Amherst has awarded their cane to Gladys Pestana. (article by Historical Society of Amherst)
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)
Ashland continues the tradition.
Mar 2017: John Cilley, age 101, is the holder of Ashland’s cane. We learned about this when his 95 year old brother, Russell, received Northfield’s Boston Post Cane in March 2017. We don’t now when John was awarded Ashland’s cane. (noted in Salmon Press article by Donna Rhodes via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2014: Guinevere D. Newton, Ashland’s oldest living resident at age 100 years, was presented with the Boston Post Cane on May 17, 2014. She was also presented with a proclamation by the Board of Selectmen. (Ashland website via Stephen Hoffman)
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)
Bartlett is reported to still have their original cane which is kept at Town Hall. They appear to present a replica cane to the recipient. As of 2017 we have no information on who has received the cane.
1992: The 1992 Town of Bartlett Annual Report was dedicated to Hellen Hayes (1896 – 1992) who was the holder of Bartlett’s Boston Post Cane. Hellen was a long-time election worker for the town and the originator of the Annual Bartlett Fourth of July Parade. (via Stephen Hoffman)
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.
Lincoln Noel passed away in 2007. (via email from Sam Papps)
The cane was passed to a new holder , Lincoln Noel, in August 2005. (He reportedly had “mixed feelings” about receiving the cane.) Mr. Noel was born June 3, 1913 in Belmont, NH, the son of Henry and Marion (Crockett) Noel. He grew up on Gale Street and attended the Gale School during the 1920’s and had been an active alumnus. Mr. Noel served at the Citizens Military Training Camp from 1935 to 1937, reaching the rank of corporal. He joined the U.S. Army in 1940, and served as a mess sergeant in New Guinea, Biak Island, The Philippines and Okinawa during WWII. He returned to his hometown in 1945 after completing his military tour of duty. He was the recipient of five battle stars. He was also a member of the New Hampshire National Guard. A life long resident of Belmont, he was employed at the I. G. A. Store in Laconia for many years. Mr. Noel was one of the most active volunteers in the community. He was a member of the Lions Club for more than fifty years and was a Past District Governor District 44. He was also a member of the American Legion, Belmont, Post #658 for over fifty years, Chairman of the Belmont Old Home Day Committee, a Library Trustee and a member of various other town boards. “Linc” typifies the spirit of voluntarism and citizenship. (excerpted from his 2007 obituary).
Bennington has participated in the tradition in the past and, as of 2016, is hoping to revive it.
The last recipient of the cane was Francis H. LeBlanc who died in 1997. (via email from Molly Flower Epping)
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)
Bow continues the tradition. They still have their original cane which is kept in a display case in the Selectmen’s office. A replica cane is presented to the recipient.
Jul 2017: Following the passing of Evelyn Gallant in March (who was one month shy of her 101st birthday) the Town is seeking the oldest resident. (Concord Insider article by Tim Goodwin via Stephen Hoffman)
2011: Bow has awarded their Boston Post Cane to Evelyn Gallant
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
November 2013: A new recipient is planned.
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)
Bridgewater continues the tradition.
Aug 2016: Nancy Gray, age 90, was honored August 20,2016 at Bridgewater Old Home Day with the Boston Cane, presented by the Selectmen. (via email from Maurice A Jenness Jr.)
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)
November 2013: The Hollis Brookline Journal reported that Phil Winter, 97, received the Brookline, NH, cane on Nov. 4. (via Stephen Hoffman)
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.
Candia continues the tradition.
Jul 2016: Candia awarded their cane to Theodore Hebut, age 94. (via submission from William Goren)
Canterbury continues the tradition.
Nov 2015: Norma Glines, holder of Canterbury’s Boston Post Cane, passed away on Nov. 30, 2015. The town is seeking a new recipient. (via email from Sam Papps)
Feb 2015: Canterbury’s Boston Post Cane was awarded to Norma H. Glines on December 7, 2014 at the Elkins Public Library in Canterbury. The cane was presented to Canterbury’s oldest citizen by her son, selectman George Glines. (via email from Sam Papps) Norma was born on May 2, 1919, in Sheepshead Bay, Long Island, N.Y. the daughter of Peter James and Emily (Huuve) Hassell. She grew up and was educated in Ozone Park, N.Y. She married Raymond Glines of Canterbury in 1947 and moved to the farm in Canterbury. She was involved in the Canterbury Church as a Sunday School Teacher and member in the church associations. Norma was a long time 4-H leader, teaching sewing for the Canterbury Belles 4-H Club. For over 40 years the Canterbury Extension ladies group enjoyed many chicken barbecues at the farm hosted by Norma at the Glines Farm. She enjoyed trips back to New York City visiting her family and shopping. (biographical information from Norma’s obituary)
Oct 2014: Marge Bruner, holder of Canterbury’s cane, died in the fall of 2014 at the age of 101.
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.
Feb 2015: Chester NH has a new post cane holder. Her name is Miriam O’Brian. (via Jackie Brown, Chester Historical Society)
May 2013: Chester’s cane is held by Gladys Tewksbury Nicoll born Oct 10, 1917 (via Donald Brown President of the Historical Society).
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)
2006: Viola Sutton, holder of Colbrook’s cane, has passed away. The youngest of the seven children of John and Helen (Covill) Harding, she was born in Co- lumbia and lived in Colebrook for most of her life. She gradu- ated from Colebrook Academy, Class of 1924. At the age of 16, following a summer of training after high school, she taught at the Piper Hill School in Colebrook, where some of her students were just a year younger than she. This first teaching experience was followed by two years at the Forbes School in East Colebrook and two more at the Young School in Kidderville. She then graduated from Plymouth Normal School, Class of 1929, and taught junior high and home economics in Hampstead for a short time. She then taught sixth grade at the Ashland Grammar School for six years and fifth grade in Essex, Mass., for three years. In 1938, she married John P. Sutton and moved back to Colebrook. From 1949-1950 she taught at the Columbia Valley School, followed by two years at the Grand Division School in East Colebrook. She then taught first grade at the Colebrook Elementary School for the next 18 years. After she retired, Viola began oil painting and continued the handwork she enjoyed including sewing, embroidery, quilting and even tatting. She also was a frequent substitute teacher for many years. Viola was well known in Colebrook for managing Sutton Place, a guest house on Main Street. In 2005, Viola was the recipient of the Boston Post Cane for the distinction of be- ing Colebrook’s oldest citizen. Her family includes one son, Charles C. Sutton and his wife Elaine of North Conway, one daughter, Lucille H. Sutton and her husband John Morrissey of San Francisco, and five grandchildren, Carolyn J. Iorio of Ilyde Park, N.Y., Charles C. Sutton, Jr., John C. Sutton, Jacquelyn C. Sutton and Katelyn M. Sutton, all of North Conway, and one great grandchild. Her husband, John PItkin Sutton, predeceased her in 1957. (from Viola’s obituary in the Colebrook Chronicle)
Conway continues the tradition after a long hiatus. Their original cane is in the custody of the Conway Historical Society. Recipients of the cane award receive a plaque.
Passed from the Board of Selectmen to the Conway Historical Society on November 13, 2001. It is on display by the Historical Society.
Jan 2017: Conway has awarded its cane to Flossie Blake, age 107. Flossie a resident at Mineral Springs nursing home. According to Blake’s niece, Pamela Richardson, Blake had been at the nursing home since having a stroke in 2015. Before that, she resided for a long period at Lamplighter’s mobile home park in Conway. Before that, she lived in Brownfield, Maine, with her second husband, Aaron Blake, whom she outlived. Blake was also married to and widowed by Jack MacLachlan, a retired veteran. They lived in Eaton and Conway. An avid gardener, Blake was known for her African violets. “She had a whole basement full of them,” Richardson said, noting that several residents of Mineral Springs recalled Blake selling them in Eaton. Asked if she knew Blake’s secret to her longevity, Richardson remembered her once jokingly confiding it was “chocolate and Oil of Olay.” (excerpts from Conway Daily Sun article and photograph)
Oct 2009: Conway has awarded their Boston Post Cane to Mildred Heath, age 100.
Sep 2007: Conway has awarded their cane to Mary Welch, age 100.
Nov 2002: Laura Lyman King, age 100, was awarded with Conway’s Boston Post Cane
Dalton continues the tradition.
Jan 2016: Edith Inez, holder of Dalton’s cane, has passed away. Edith was born in Barton, Vt. on February 22, 1914 the daughter of William and Mary (Welch) Berwick. She was raised in the Northeast Kingdom and was a 1931 graduate of Lyndon Institute. That same year she married Clyde Burton Switser and for a time they resided in North Danville and Whitefield before finally settling in Dalton in 1941. Edith dedicated most of her adult life to her community. She loved reading, music and taking care of her husband and family. She served as the Dalton Librarian for 41 years and served on the Dalton and White Mountains Regional School Boards. She was a member of the Riverside Grange, the Dalton Ladies Aid, and a charter member of the Dalton Historical Society. She was a parishioner of the Dalton Congregational Church where she was a long-time organist and church treasurer. (obit in The Caledonian Record, via Stephen Hoffman)
Deerfield continues the tradition.
Jan 2016: On Jan 10th, 2016 Rita Stevens was presented with a plaque and recognition for receiving Deerfield’s Boston Post cane. Rita will be 95 years old on Jan 25, 2016. (via email from Carol Ann Stevens)
The tradition continues in Derry. Derry gives a replica of the original cane to its recipients. The town’s original Boston Post Cane is on permanent display at the Derry Municipal Center. Besides being the oldest person in town, they must be a resident of Derry for the past five years.
Nov 2023: On November 21, 2023, Mrs. Lois (Palmer) Rae received the Boston Post Cane at age 97. Mrs. Rae attended Radcliffe University, worked in New York City, and was a stewardess on American Airlines in the 1950s. An artist and mother of one son, Mrs. Rae has lived in Derry for more than 50 years. (via Karen Blandford-Anderson, Derry Heritage Commission Chairperson)
July 2021: On July 23, 2021, Mrs. Irene Blanchard received the Boston Post Cane at age 103. Irene was a lifelong resident of Derry, attending schools, and working in the various shoe factories. Mrs. Blanchard passed away on January 21, 2023 at 106 years old. (via Karen Blandford-Anderson, Derry Heritage Commission Chairperson)
Mar 2019: On March 29, 2019, Mrs. Dorothy “Dot” Stone received the Boston Post Cane. She passed away on July 1, 2019, just shy of her 100 birthday. (via Karen Blandford-Anderson, Derry Heritage Commission Chairperson)
May 2017: Derry has awarded their Boston Post Cane to James Bilotta, age 97. James is a World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. He and his wife Edie have lived in Derry a long time and are known to many people.
The cane was last presented to Appolonia “Bella” Riccio who held the coveted cane until her death last October at the age of 101.
2015: Dorothy Green who received the cane in 2015 at the age of 105, and died two years later.
June 2013: The town honored 105-year-old Dorothy Greene at the Pleasant Valley Nursing Center. Greene was born on Dec. 13, 1907 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and moved with her family to Concord when she was 15. At the age of 21, she married Roy Greene and they moved to Belmont, Mass., according to Elaine Connors of the Derry Heritage Commission. The Greenes had one daughter, Kathy, and Dorothy has four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. “She has a strong faith in God and most days she reads the Bible,” said Connors. “She manages to walk short distances with the aid of her walker, and she insists on wearing a skirt and nylons every day.” (article in Union Leader via Stephen Hoffman)
June 2012: Catherine Dion passed away at the age of 110.
2009: Catherine “Katie” Dion, age 107 was presented with Derry’s cane. 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)
200?: Wilfred Bernier is a known recipient of Derry’s can.
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)
1956: Derry presented their cane to Nellie Huckins, age 98.
1909: The town’s first recipient was Patrick Gillespie, age 92.
Dublin continues the tradition. The recipient is presented with a replica cane. The status of their original cane is unknown.
Nov 2015: Lucia Sirois has passed away. A search for a new recipient was started in March 2017.
Oct 2013: Lucia Agnes Sirois, Dublin’s oldest resident at age 91, is a woman known for her baking, her outgoing personality and her presence in the community and Dublin’s most recent recipient of their Boston Post Cane. Sirois’ son, Tim, who moved back in to take care of his parents about a decade ago, described his mother’s reaction to the news as “hilarious.” “When the selectmen told her she would be getting the Boston Post Cane, she said, ‘Well, it’s about time!’” Lucia Sirois was born on June 8, 1922, according to the Select Board’s press release about the post cane award. She attended Schoolhouse No. 3 for first grade, and she later went to Dublin Elementary and Peterborough High schools. A 2012 Dublin Advocate article by two of Sirois’ children noted that Sirois married her husband, John, on Nov. 1, 1941, and she lived with him in Jaffrey until 1954, when they moved into Dublin to a house on Goldmine Road. John Sirois passed away several years ago, but Lucia Sirois continues to live there, a mere 1.5 miles from where she was born on Valley Road in Dublin. Lucia Sirois is mother to six children, and she also has eight grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and four great, great-grandchildren, according to the press release. Tim Sirois said on Monday that his mother was a homemaker for most of her life, though she worked at a nursing home at one point and was also very active in the Dublin Woman’s Club and the Red Cross in the early 1970s. As for now, Lucia Sirois will enjoy her Boston Post Cane on the wall of her living room, and she will continue baking. (article in Monadnock Ledger-Transcript via Stephen Hoffman)
March 2013: Dublin’s oldest resident, Peter Shonk, 94, holds the Boston Post Cane that was presented to him at Dublin’s annual town meeting Saturday. (via Stephen Hoffman)
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.
May 2017: Exeter’s 24th recipient of their Boston Post Cane is Clara Morrisette, age 101. According to Clara’s son, Roy, she was the first of her family to be born in the United States in 1916 in Epping. She was one of 14 children, some of whom were born in Canada. She attended schools in Epping, graduating from Watson Academy. While in high school, Morrisette played sports and has fond memories of her “Hail Mary” basket to win a game. She worked in local shoe shops until she married her husband Edward in 1940. They moved to Exeter, where Morrisette has lived on Parker Street ever since. Morrisette had seven children, two of whom pre-deceased her. Once her children were in school, she returned to work as a stitcher at Alrose Shoe Company. She has traveled to Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Greece. During the Boston Post Cane ceremony, she exchanged affectionate French conversation with many family members. Morrisette was a 4-H leader and actively involved in St. Michael Parish activities teaching religious education, the alter society, Christian Mothers, Catholic Daughters. She loved to cook and host family and friends for dinner and holiday celebrations. She had a passion for canning her husband’s garden vegetables while raising their family. She has a grandson, granddaughter and great granddaughter. “My dad always said Clara had the best-looking legs of any woman,” Linda Grant Barlow said as the room erupted in laughter. After the presentation, Morrisette said she felt she’d never had so much attention in her life. She recalled a memory from her childhood when she would organize her mother’s spices in the cabinets and then show her father. Her father, she said, would place his hands on her shoulders as a message of approval. For the rest of her life, the notion of a hand on her shoulder was very meaningful to her, and comforting. “I am very touched by this,” she said. (Seacoastonline article by Hadley Barndollar via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2013: Daniel Lynch, an 101-year-old resident of Genesis Healthcare facility, received a replica of the Boston Post Cane on Thursday for being the town’s oldest resident. Lynch, who was married to his wife Margaret for 65 years, credits his longevity to taking life one day at a time, his daughter, Jane Lynch of Hampton. Daniel was born Nov. 20, 1911 in Newburyport, Mass., where he lived a “simple country life with his parents, sister and three brothers.” He attended Newburyport High School and then business school and survived the Great Depression. Jane Lynch noted after the ceremony that her father bowled until he was 100 years old. “He belonged to a little group they called them the alleycats and they bowled in Amesbury,” she said. Daniel Lynch is also a lifelong Red Sox fan and “adores” his grandkids and great great-children. (article in Seacoast Online via Stephen Hoffman and Barbara Rimkunas)
Sep 2012: Ottie Lowther passed away at age 104. (via Barbara Rimkunas, Exeter Historical Society)
Aug 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).
Mar 2016: Blanche Rundlett, age 104, is Farmington’s latest recipient of their cane. Rundlett’s nomination comes after the passing of Farmington’s most recent Post Cane holder, Jeannette G. Donovan, who passed away on Feb. 10 while in hospice in Scarborough, Maine, at age 105. (excerpted from article by Caitlin Andrews, fosters.com via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2012: Jeannette Donovan, age 101, was presented with the Boston Post Cane on Aug. 15 by the Farmington Board of Selectmen. Born Feb. 8, 1911 in Plaistow, Jeannette 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. She recalled the times she would sing in venues in Concord and attributed her long life to “hard work and having fun”. (Foster’s article via Stephen Hoffman)
Fitzwilliam appears to continue the tradition. (July 2012 note from Stephen Hoffman)
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.
Jul 2017: Freedom has awarded their Boston Post Cane to Robin Sargent. The award ceremony was at the Freedom Club Beach, where Robin taught swimming lessons for seven summers.”I knew every kid in town then and I still recognize many of them when I see them on parade day!” (from a Facebook page via Stephen Hoffman)
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)
The town presents the cane and a certificate to the recipient, but returns the cane to its town hall where it is on display.
Mar 2016: Ellen Horsburg, aged 94 was presented with Fremont’s Boston Post Cane by the Fremont Town Selectmen – Gene Cordes, Roger Barham & Neal Janvrin and Town Historian Matthew E. Thomas during a
Town Hall presentation. Horsburgh is the 15th woman in Fremont to be awarded the prestigious cane which has been awarded to the oldest resident of the town since 1909. (via Matthew E. Thomas)
Aug 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)
Aug 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.
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)
Gilmanton continues the tradition, keeping the original cane on display in the Town Hall. As of August 2021, Town Clerk Maura Thomas noted that the town has a webpage honoring the recipients at www.gilmantonnh.org/community/boston-post-cane. The list below can also be found there.
December 5, 2017: Hazel N. Fletcher, born February 16, 1921, was presented a replica cane by the Gilmanton Board of Selectmen. Visit the town website to read her story! (Screenshot of Gilmanton website.jpg)
2014: Rose Marie Young – Born October 14, 1917 – Died August 28, 2017 – Age 99
June 28, 2008: James G. Pennock – Born June 27, 1914 – Died February 20, 2014 – Age 99
Ellen N. Cunliffe – Born May 5, 1911 – Died March 1, 2008 – Age 96
Doris Price Jones (Posthumously) – Born December 12, 1910 – Died December 1, 2005 – Age 94
Lizzie Bickford – Born September 18, 1908 – Died June 11, 2005 – Age 96
Leona McClary – Born April 5, 1905 – Died January 12, 2003 – Age 98
Hazel Parsons – Born November 28, 1898 – Died October 17, 2001 – Age 102
Katharina (Gegger) Geiger – Born February 25, 1901 – Died May 16, 1997 – Age 96
Clayton Gerald Hobbs – Born July 12, 1896 – Died January 21, 1995 – Age 98
Mildred E. (Page) Potter – Born May 3, 1894 – Died September 19, 1990 – Age 96
Cynthia (Nelson) Brown – Born 1891 – Died September 19, 1986 – Age 95
Florence M. (Merrill) Durgin – Born May 29, 1884 – Died April 22, 1977 – Age 92
Herbert (Bert) W. Omstead – Born May 15, 1881 – Died March 19, 1974 – Age 92
Swen Alban Burg – Born 1884 – Died May 4, 1970 – Age 86
Richard Frank Varney – Born January 31, 1873 – Died June 12, 1968 – Age 95
Alice A. (Metcalf) Morgan – Born May 19, 1856 – Died March 7, 1951 – Age 94
Arrabelle Zulema (Moody) Knowles – Born October 17, 1850 – Died September 7, 1942 – Age 91
1909: Horace Metcalf – Born June 18, 1818 – Died June 2, 1913 – Age 94
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)
Gorham continues the tradition. The status of their original cane is unknown.
Oct 2015: Barbara Barnett was presented the Boston Post Cane by the town of Gorham. Barnett who is the last living descendent of the Ackers Family of Errol, is 98 years old. Barnett was born on May 26, 1917 and spent most of her life living in Errol. Along with her husband James, they ran the general store, laundromat and even the school bus service. Barnett was very active in her community serving on the school board and town treasurer for 20 years. Barnett also published a book in 1974, “Errol on the Androscoggin” which documented the history of the town from 1774-1974. In 1981, Barnett moved to Gorham to be closer to her family. Barnett has two children, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. (from Berlin Daily Sun, article and photograph by Kirstan Lukasak, via Stephen Hoffman).
Grafton, NH has its original Boston Post Cane on display at the historical society museum, and a replica which is awarded to the eldest citizen of the town.
February 2014: Grafton’s last recipient, Charles Frost (98) recently passed and the next recipient will be awarded the cane at Old Home Day/4th of July. (via email from Andrew Cushing)
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.
Dec 2014: On Dec 29th Virginia Duston, age 92, received Hampstead’s Boston Post Cane from the Selectmen. (via email from Virginia’s daughter Cathy)
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 a replica cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
Nov 2013: Gordon A Janvrin received the Boston Post Cane in Hampton Falls NH during the spring of 2006. He actually received a replica because the original cane is in the Historical Society of Hampton Falls. He only held it for 5 minutes as he had moved to Northwood NH and they did it as a formality as he had not received it when he was the oldest resident and living in the town. Gordon was born in Hampton NH at his grandmother’s on 86 Park Ave Hampton NH raised in Hampton Falls NH right after birth NEVER leaving the town except for his military service. He was 95 when he received the cane. (via email from Nancy Haskell, Gordon’s daughter)
Hanover appears to have continued the tradition. Dr. Radford Tanzer, 96, Hanover’s Oldest Citizen, was holder of the Boston Post Cane in 2002.
Harrisville has resumed awarding the Boston Post Cane after a long hiatus. The original cane is on display in the town office while a replica cane is awarded to the oldest resident.
Mar 2022: Jed Hollenbeck moved out of town so the honor has now been given to Dawn Randall at a select board meeting on March 25, 2022. She is 94 years old. (via Cathy Lovas, and article [CommonThreadsAprMay2022-5] by Sherry Sims and photo by Deborah Abbott)
May 2021: Arthur “Jed” Hollenbeck, born in 1924, received his on May 22, 2021 at the age of 96, during the Annual Town Meeting. He is a WWII veteran and member of the American Legion. He has lived in Harrisville for 36 years. (via Catherine Lovas, Town Clerk, and article [KeeneSentinel-052221] and photo by Jack Rooney of Keene Sentinel)
Reportedly continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
October 2013: Lillian Rose Fortier, 101, was handed the cane earlier this year, along with a proclamation from the board. According to the proclamation, Fortier raised four daughters and is a grandmother of nine and a great-grandmother of nine. For much of her life, she worked in the shoe-making industry and also volunteered for 20 years at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester. She continued to drive until she was 90 and still plays cribbage every night. (article in Union Leader via Stephen Hoffman)
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)
Hollis continues the tradition. They appear to have their original cane too.
Sep 2015: Hollis awarded their cane to Hilda Blood Tolles. Hilda Janet Blood was born September 11, 1915, in Hollis, She is the daughter of Henry D. Blood and Clara Elizabeth (Adams) Blood.She was third of six children. She was educated in the Hollis schools and a 1932 graduate of Hollis High School, fourth in her class. She played on the girls’ basketball team. It was during the depression, she took what jobs were available. She worked packing peaches and apples at local farms. She did housework in local homes and in Stamford Conn. Then home for a while, she drove school bus part time for one year. Then worked at Sea Cliff Long Island and Rockville Long Island. Then back to New England, she worked in Lowell, Hollis and Fitchburg. In 1940 she attended Hairdressing School in Manchester. She worked in Manchester as a hairdresser until retirement in 1982. She called The Blood Farm on Blood Road home until she built a home on the corner of Blood Road and Route 122 in 1960 for her mother and herself. In 1982, at the age of 67, she married Raymond E. Tolles and moved to Groton Mass for 19 years. While there she did some catering for the Rotary Club and Men’s Club. Also during that time she continued her hobby of gardening, vegetables, the favorite rather than flowers. Knitting was a hobby, through the years, until the loss of vision in one eye. While married they traveled to every state in the Union and held and attended reunions of Raymond’s World War II unit. Raymond died in 2000 and Hilda moved back to Hollis in 2001. She joined D.A.R. in 1983. She served as Chaplain of Anna Keys Power for 2 years. Her Revolutionary ancestor was Josiah Blood I and Josiah Blood II. Josiah Blood I died in Fort Ticonderga in 1776. (The Lawrence Barn was built by Josiah Blood.) Hilda is aunt to 14 nieces and nephews and 30 great nieces and nephews. In 2002 she became legally blind, but at age 100 she is still able to live in her own home by herself. (text and photo from Hollis Board of Selectmen via email from Brian, http://hollisnh.org/announce/HildaBloodTollesBostonCane.pdf)
Hooksett continues the tradition. 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 a past holder of the Boston Post Cane, Mrs. Mildred Currier Wrenn.
Jan 2016: Virginia Kalariotes, 99, of Hooksett was presented with the town’s Boston Post Cane award at the Jan. 13 town council meeting. Kalariotes was born in Claremont on Sept, 14, 1916, but spent most of her life in Hooksett. She was joined by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. (article and photograph from Concord Monitor, via Stephen Hoffman)
(year unknown) Mrs. Mildred Currier Wrenn was awarded Hooksett’s cane.
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)
As of 2016 Jeffrey continues the tradition. They have their original cane, which is on display in the Town Office. A certificate is presented to the recipient of the cane.
Oct 2021: Awarded to Don Lawler at age 98 on October 25, 2021 by the Select Board. According to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, Lawler had a longtime hobby as a stock car racer. He said, “I like speed. My wife says I still do.” (Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Article)
Oct 2018: Martha Bradford passed away on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at the age of 104.
Sep 2016: Martha A. Bradford, age 102, was awarded the Jaffrey’s Boston Post Cane by the Select Board, as she is the oldest registered voter in Jaffrey. “I knew about the cane, but I never expected to be awarded it,” said Bradford. “I’m happy that they gave it to me.” Bradford may be in a nursing home, but that doesn’t stop her from living her life to the fullest. She enjoys painting, reading, writing letters, and following politics. (Monadnock Ledger-Transcript article and photograph by Nicholas Handy, via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2016: The Town is seeking a new recipient for their cane.
Jul 2015: Delma E. Ouellette passed away on July 21, 2015 at the age of 107! Her obituary notes that she “could grow anything, bake anything, and knit anything” among many other things. (Legacy Obituary)
Jan 2008: Awarded to Delma Ouellette.
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)
Lebanon appears to continue the tradition.
November 2013: The Valley News reported that Jane Hammond, 103, recently received Lebanon, NH’s, Boston Post cane. (via Stephen Hoffman)
Lee appears to continue the tradition.
Jun 2015: The Town of Lee presented its cane to Wallace Davis, 94, at a ceremony in the Lee Public Safety Center. He received the Boston Post Cane from his daughter-in-law Carole Dennis. Carole in addition to being a relative, is also the Chair of the Board of Selectmen for the town. Wallace served in World War II, flying blimps in Morocco that were used to search for enemy submarines with sonar. Walter and Evelyn Dennis have shared 69 years of marriage. They met as grade schoolers in Orford, N.H. They have five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. (adapted from Fosters article by Ron Cole, via Stephen Hoffman; photo by AJ St.Hilaire/Fosters.com).
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 2014: The Lyndeborough Board of Selectmen will present the town’s Boston Post Cane to oldest resident Lucy Schmidt at the beginning of Town Meeting on Saturday, March 15. Schmidt, 93, has been a resident of the town since 1938. (article in The Cabinet, via Stephen Hoffman)
– See more at: http://www.cabinet.com/cabinet/cabinetnews/1030736-308/boston-post-cane-to-be-presented-in.html#sthash.t6lNu6dq.HtGDXuof.dpuf
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.
Apr 2015: Roy Ingerson became the new holder of Merrimack’s cane. He passed away on June 15, 2015. (via email from Kristin Wardner)
Sep 2014: Madeline Bennett passed away at the age of 100 on 17-Sep-2014 (via email from Kristin Wardner)
2010: Madeline Bennett, born 30-Jan-1914, has been awarded Merrimack’s cane. (via Janice Brown)
2010: Thomas Gouvalaris passed away. (via Janice Brown)
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. The selectmen give the oldest citizen a replica of the 1909 cane to keep, and the original is on permanent display in the historical society museum. The information below and more can be found at www.newbostonhistoricalsociety.com/cane.html.
July 2020: Betty Poltrack, age 99, received the town’s Boston Post Cane during the July 23, 2020 presentation by Selectman Joe Constance. She moved to New Boston in 1997, and has enjoyed reading to the children at the Central School and volunteering at the historical society ever since. (Via Dan Rothman of the New Boston Historical Society)
Mar 2012: Howard Towne, 93, received New Boston’s Boston Post cane on March 8, 2012. The noted article pointed out that the recipient’s grandfather, James Towne, received Peterborough’s cane 102 years ago. (Goffstown News article dated March 14, 2012 via Steve Hoffman) Mr. Towne passed away in 2020 at the age of 101. (Obituary from Union Leader)
2007: Rhoda Shaw Clark received the cane at age 96, and lived until 100. Her obituary highlights her remarkable life as publisher of the Claremont Daily Eagle, after the death of her husband John McLane Clark. She managed the company, wrote a weekly column, sold advertising space, attended official town meetings, and continued her husband’s mission to support the community’s wellbeing. The article in the Globe wrote, “Mrs. Clark’s children attribute much of her longevity to her early athletic life. She was 5 feet 10 inches tall, and coached fencing at Vassar. She skied and hiked. She loved the outdoors and was a gardener. She had never smoked and was rarely sick.” (Obituary from Boston Globe)
2005: Charlotte (Fiske) Smith received the cane at age 96, and lived until 98.
1996: Charles Gould received the cane at age 95, and lived until 103.
1992: Helen D. (Bergquist) Christiansen moved to New Boston in 1979. When she received the Boston Post Cane at age 96, she was congratulated by President George H.W. Bush while campaigning in New Boston. Helen’s granddaughter Ellen McDowell Ruggles, great-granddaughter Jane Byam, and two great-great-granddaughters all live in New Boston today. Mrs. Christiansen passed away in 1996 at the age of 99.
1988: Ruth M. (Smith) Saltmarsh received the cane at age 93, and lived until 97.
1983: Ethel Maude Craig received the cane at age 103, and lived until 106.
1981: William O. Mason received the cane at age 89, and lived until 91.
1978: Artemus Boulter received the cane at age 96, and lived until 99.
1976: Elsie Warren received the cane at age 97, and lived until 99.
1968: Josie Warren received the cane at age 93, and lived until 101.
1963: Joseph Daniels received the cane at age 93, and lived until 98.
1960: Lilla Cochran received the cane at age 90, and lived until 93.
1958: Alice Lillian (Moses) Cleland received the cane at age 95, and lived until 96.
1953: Edgar Cann received the cane at age 91, and lived until 96.
1948: Alice (Todd) Dane received the cane at age 94, and lived until 99.
1938: Sarah (Farley) Goodwin received the cane at age 92, and lived until 102.
1937: Allen A. Leach received the cane at age 81, and lived until 82.
1934: Philester P. Bailey received the cane at age 82, and lived until 85.
1932: John C. Corliss received the cane at age 80, and lived until 82.
1929: Franklin B. Morgan received the cane at age 80, and lived until 83.
1927: George Langdell received the cane at age 85, and lived until 87.
1924: Almus Warren received the cane at age 85, and lived until 88.
1918: Andrew C. Wilson received the cane at age 80, and lived until 86.
1917: John M. Todd received the cane at age 82, and lived until 83.
1915: James P. Todd received the cane at age 93, and lived until 95.
1909: Levi Hooper received the cane at age 91, and lived until 97.
New Castle continues the tradition. Their cane is kept in a glass display at the Town Hall to prevent it from being lost.
Jul 2015: Bill Williams passed away at 102 and New Castle has proclaimed Caroline Elizabeth Stewart as the oldest resident — she is a month shy of being 100. Of special note, she is the sister of Bill Williams! It is certainly unusual for two family members to have the cane either at all or in immediate succession! (via email from Jim Cerny, New Castle Historical Society)
Jun 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.
Sep 2009: Edna Shorey Fifield, holder of the New Ipswich cane for 10 years, passed away at the age of 103. Mrs. Fifield was born in Presque Isle, Maine, on September 21, 1906, the daughter of Mildred (Oldenburgh) and Almonzo Shorey. She trained and received her RN in psychiatric nursing from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts and later served as an industrial nurse for Bird Machine in South Walpole, Mass. She was a member of the Lodema Rebekah Lodge and the East Walpole Congregational Church. She moved to New Ipswich, New Hampshire where she resided for the last twenty years of her life. She remained quick witted and determined throughout her life and at the age 100 she crocheted a tablecloth that was over 6 feet in length and knitted two prayer shawls. She was known for fine baking, especially fudge and cookies and her famous chocolate cake. She was the holder of the New Ipswich Boston Post Cane for ten years. Edna, beloved wife of the late Lewis H. Fifield, is survived by one son, Lewis S. Fifield and his wife Christine of New Ipswich, NH and two daughters, Zula Zambic and her husband Edward of Plainville, MA and Beryl Hull and her husband Joe of Altoona, Iowa. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 7 great, great-grandchildren. (from Edna’s obituary via Stephen Hoffman)
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)
Status of the original cane is unknown but the town continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident:
May 2023: The newest recipient of Newbury’s Boston Post (Bicentennial) Cane is Barbara Billings, who turned 100 on May 7, 2022. Born in West Newfield, ME, to Herbert and Gladys McLeod, she has lived in Newbury since 1986. Members of the Newbury Historical Society presented the cane to Mrs. Billings at her home on May 5. She left home at the age of 16 and lived in the Boston, MA, area where she attended business machine school and later worked in the insurance industry. One of her favorite jobs was driving a school bus in rural Illinois for 11 years. She married Sanford M. Billings, Sr. when she was 19, and they were together for 71 years until his death in 2013. She has three children: Sanford Billings, Jr. and his wife Cathie, of Colorado Springs, CO; Kathryn Billings of Essex, MA; and Mary Billings Lambert and her husband John, of Swanzey, NH. Mrs. Billings currently has eight grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren with another one on the way! In her younger days, she was an avid gardener, growing flowers and vegetables in her yard. She played piano and organ at the Trinity Bible Church in Sutton for a number of years. (from John Lyons of the Newbury Historical Society, www.newburynhhistorical.org)
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.
Apr 2017: Newmarket’s Boston Post cane has been awarded to Irene Garland, age 97. Irene was the women’s division high school tennis champion in Reading, Massachusetts in the late 1930s. Today that is one of her fondest memories. When asked her secret, Garland laughed, “I’m just too healthy, I guess.” Garland sat at the front of the room with her family, wearing a pastel blue blazer pinned with a pink flower. Born in Nova Scotia in 1920, Garland was the oldest of three children. She was raised in Reading, Massachusetts and graduated from high school in 1938. She played varsity basketball, field hockey, tennis and was a cheerleader. Garland and her husband raised two children in Andover, Massachusetts. She moved to Newmarket in 1992 following her husband’s death. “In my growing years, I was very athletic,” she said. “I was captain of field hockey and basketball. That I enjoyed. I also was very active in the Rainbow Girls. I’ve more or less been an active person.” A picture of Garland riding the ski train to North Conway in her 20s was featured in Yankee Magazine. Her son, Jim Garland, said he discovered it while flipping through old articles. “I happened to read an old article and I saw the picture,” he said. “I asked her about it because it looked like her, and Yankee was kind enough to send me the photo. Back in the day, they would take the ski train to get to North Conway. It would go up in the morning and come back at night.” Irene has a toy poodle named Buddy, her live-in companion. (Seacoastonline article by Hadley Barndollar via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2016: Newmarket has presented Celia Illingworth, age 100, with their Boston Post Cane. The presentation ceremony took place at The Pines, an assisted living facility, where Illingworth resides. Present were friends, neighbors, caregivers and town officials who offered a rousing round of applause at the conclusion of the award ceremony. Illingworth turned 100 in March and became the town’s oldest living resident with the passing of Evelyn Rodier LaBranche. According to a resolution adopted by the Town Council and read by Nazarro, Illingworth was born on March 15, 1916 in Newmarket, the youngest of ten children for Felix and Eva Sobozenski. She grew up on Central Street and attended St. Mary’s School in Newmarket. She later moved to Exeter Road when she married her husband Norman Illingworth. Illingworth worked most of her life in shoe manufacturing factories as a stitcher in Newmarket and throughout the Seacoast area. She is a longtime member of St. Mary’s Parish and throughout her life was active with the church youth group despite having no children of her own. Illingworth played the organ at St. Mary’s Church well into her eighties. In her nineties, she moved to The Pines. (article and photograph by Buzz Dietterle, seacoastonline.com, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
June 2015: On June 3, 2015, the Town of Newmarket, New Hampshire will be presenting the Boston Post Cane to Evelyn Rodier LaBranche, born November 13, 1913. (via email from Kathy Castle)
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)
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)
The Town of Newport continues to present the cane to the oldest resident.
Jul 2022: Currently residing the Town Manager’s office awaiting the next recipient.
Apr 2013: Annie Sarah Eckerman turned 100 on April 18, 2013 and the current recipient of Newport’s cane. Annie Sarah Chandler (Eckerman) was born April 18, 1913 in Columbia Valley, New Hampshire. Mother Grace M. Elliott, Father was Frank E. Chandler. She was the only girl. She had 3 brothers and 2 half-
brothers. Only one of her half -brothers is still alive. George Laughton, he resides in Arizona. She moved to Enfield, NH on George Hill in 1926 and lived in different houses in Enfield until she married Robert A. Evans Sr. on September 20, 1929 and moved to Cornish NH. They only lived in Cornish for a year then they moved to Grantham on Howe Hill. She has lived in Newport or the surrounding area all of her life except for 5 years in the late 1950’s when she went visiting family in Arizona. She moved to Newport in 1960 to Pines Trailer Park and then finally settled down in her current home on Maple St. Ext. She worked at many places: American Woolen Company, Bramton Mills, dress shop on Main St. in Newport, Sylvania, Dorr Woolen, Western Auto, and Aubuchon Hardware where she retired at the age of 80. She sold Avon Products for over 23 years. She joined Mt. Calm Grange in 1943 and is currently a Golden Chief member of Sullivan Grange. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Brewster-Gould-Lee-Rollins Unit #25 since 1985 and Past President of
the unit. She lives alone at home on Maple St. Ext. with her dog Daisy.(via Virginia O’Brien Irwin Chairman of the Board of Selectmen)
The last recipient was Jess Scott who died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 105.
Newton’s cane is in the hands of the Board of Selectmen. As of August 2005 they were searching for their oldest citizen.
Norridgewock continues the tradition.
Sep 2016: Ervina Goodridge, age 98, was awarded the Norridgewock’s Boston Post Cane and was named Grand Marshall of the town’s Labor Day parade. Ervina has lived in Norridgewock her whole life and said her secret to longevity is to keep busy and work hard. (from CentralMaine.com article by Madeline St. Amour)
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 and still has their original cane on display at Town Hall. Recipients of the cane receive a replica of the original cane along with an engraved plaque. The recipient’s name is also added to plaque in the Town Hall, recognizing all recipients of the Boston Post Cane in Northfield, alongside the original cane.
Mar 2017: Northfield has awarded their Boston Post Cane to Russell Cilley, age 95. Russell is the second person in his family to be honored as the oldest citizen in their community. Just a year ago, his older brother John, who will be 101 in May, also received the Boston Post Cane for the Town of Ashland. “But I got it when I was younger than he was,” said Russell Cilley, enjoying some good-natured sibling rivalry. Cilley was born in Hill in 1922, where his family lived until the entire town was moved to higher ground during the construction of the Franklin Dam. The family then moved to Ashland where he graduated high school and went on to join the U.S. Marine Corps. “I had a teacher who told me I would never make it in the Marines but I served for four years during World War II,” Cilley said proudly. Enlisting with him was his close friend Harold Baker. The two were separated at boot camp when Cilley became ill and fell behind in training, and he said he never saw him again until he returned to New Hampshire. “We finally met up back home, and when I got married (to first wife Sylvia), he was my best man,” Cilley recalled. During his time in the service, Cilley was stationed in the South Pacific islands with the 4th Marine Division, where he said he knew he was in good hands. He said they liked him because he could take weaponry apart and put it back together again, blindfolded. “I was really good at it,” he said. His assignment was to drive a jeep towing a Howitzer behind it when they were called to action. The 4th Marine Division was involved in several important battles throughout the islands in the mid-1940s. When they went into Iwo Jima though, their most renowned fight of World War II, Cilley said he was disappointed to be left behind because he had developed “jungle rot” on his feet. Once his four-year enlistment was up, he returned to New Hampshire where he soon married his first wife Sylvia and the couple moved to Northfield to raise their four children, Roy, Bruce, Tim and Bonnie. Forty-four years ago, Cilley then married his current wife Holly and they continue to reside in Northfield today. Looking back on his time in service, he said it was tough but made bearable when they were sent back to Maui for further training and a bit of rest from the battlefront. When he married Holly, he said they traveled back to Hawaii so he could visit the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor and pay his respects to fallen comrades. “It was really something else to go there. There was even a Japanese couple there whose relatives had been involved in the attack,” said Cilley. As he reminisced about his younger years last weekend, Cilley recalled a day in 1943 when he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. He was called to the office to meet a visitor. That visitor turned out to be none other than his older brother John, stationed with the U.S. Army in northern California. (Salmon Press article and photograph by Donna Rhodes via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 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)
Northumberland continues the tradition. The Town of Northumberland does have it’s original cane in its vault and presents a plaque and pin to the recipient. (via email from Becky Craggy)
Mar 2017: The Town of Northumberland presented its 26th recipient a plaque stating they are the current holder of the Boston Post Cane to Elizabeth “Betty” Helena (Goulet) Lewis, age 98. Betty was born on 3-Feb-1919. (submission by Becky Craggy)
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)
Ossipee has their cane, but the tradition somewhat died off in 1993. Ossipee’s cane is held by the Historical Society.
August 2014: Leda Eldridge Knapp, surrounded by friends, family and town officials, celebrated her 106th birthday at a party held at the Mountain View Community where the Board of Selectman bestowed her with the town’s Boston Post Cane. Mrs. Knapp, a retired schoolteacher, received a replica of the original Boston Post Cane given to the Town of Ossipee – the original is being preserved at the Ossipee Historical Society. Board of Selectmen Chair Richard Morgan, Selectmen Frank Riley and Bob Freeman, Ossipee Town Administrator Ellen White, former Selectman Harry Merrow, Mountain View Community residents and staff, as well as county officials were on hand to celebrate the occasion. Morgan presented Mrs. Knapp with a framed proclamation as she smiled quietly from her wheelchair in the Mountain View great room, surrounded by picture takers and well-wishers. “Now, therefore, be it known by all persons present, that the Board of Selectman and the Town of Ossipee is pleased to present Leda Eldridge Knapp with the Boston Post Cane in recognition of her elite senior citizen status, given this 4th day of August, 2014, on her 106th birthday,” Morgan said, reading the proclamation aloud. “Happy birthday,” he said. “Thank you,” said Mrs. Knapp, after Selectman Freeman handed her the cane. Soon after, great-granddaughter Amanda Keyes presented a birthday cake to Mrs. Knapp and everyone sang “Happy Birthday to you.” Some of her former students were in the audience. Former Selectman and current State Rep. Harry Merrow had her as a teacher. “She was a very good teacher,” he said.
Mrs. Knapp attended grammar school at Moultonville School, attended one year at Brewster Academy and graduated from Madison Secondary School. She received her teaching degree from Plymouth Normal School. She and her husband George “Bob” Knapp lived in Ossipee then in Wakefield before settling back to Ossipee. Mrs. Knapp began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse in Sanbornville and after taught at the Cotton Mountain School, Granite School and Ossipee Central School. Following retirement, Mrs. Knapp worked at the Post Office at Ossipee Corner. Her hobbies, according to the bio included in the proclamation, are baking, knitting and crocheting. “I have no secrets,” she replied when asked about the key to her longevity on her 106th birthday. Her granddaughter, Becky Knapp Keyes of Tuftonboro, attributes her grandmother’s staying power with “clean living.” “She never drank or smoked or anything like that,” she said. Four generations of family members gathered for the event. In all, Mrs. Knapp has five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Knapp was born in 1909, the year that the Boston Post Cane tradition was launched. As for the timing of the Boston Post Cane presentation, Morgan said it was a coincidence that the date chosen turned out to be Mrs. Knapp’s birthday. (article and photograph by Larissa Mulkern, via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2014: Selectmen here are hoping citizens will help as they try to find the oldest living resident in Ossipee. Selectmen want to revive the tradition of presenting the Boston Post Cane. Back in 1993, after both of the oldest residents in Ossipee at that time declined the gift, the Cane was given by the selectmen to the Ossipee Historical Society for safekeeping.
The Pelham Historical Society is in possession of the original cane. It was slated to be on display at the Society. Pelham requires a minimum residency to be a candidate for the cane. They present a replica of the cane to the oldest resident, as well as a lapel pin with the image of the cane. The replica cane is on display at the Pelham Senior Center.
Apr 2015: Members of the Pelham Historical Society presented the Boston Post Cane to Mildred Stiener, born November 25, 1912. She is 102 1/2 years old. (via email from Diane Chubb, photo from Diane Chubb showing Phil Currier and Bill Scanzani presenting the cane to Mildred)
Sep 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. 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)
Feb 2015: Received report that the Pembroke cane was presented to Joseph Lanzilotta at some point in 2010. Mr. Lanzilotta passed away in January of 2012 at the age of 103. Joseph graduated from Northeastern University in 1932 with the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration, only to return to work on the family farm because there were not many business jobs because of the depression. He was in the U.S. Army during World War II, then returned home to run P. Lanzillotta & Sons Construction Company with his father, Paul and brother, Frank. Their biggest construction project was the building of the Pembroke Country Club which they operated from 1971 thru 1983. He retired to his home on Dwelley Street in Pembroke, where he continued to work on his lawn and vegetable garden until the age of 95. There wasn’t anything he planted that wouldn’t grow. His one main interest other than work and gardening, was the Pembroke Kiwanis Club, where he was a charter member. (via website from H. Staples, Pembroke Public Library)
Peterborough continues the tradition.
July 2013: Peterborough awarded its cane to Annie Frantz. Frantz was born in April 1912 in Belmont, Mass., but soon moved to Montclair, N.J., where she spent much of her early childhood. When she was about 12, her mother died. Then Frantz spent a year in California, where one of her aunts home-schooled her, which fed her adventurous nature.” Instead of sitting around in a classroom, they would go to Yosemite,” said her son, Bill Frantz of Los Gatos, Calif.Her father was working in California at the time as an asphalt road consultant. “He was helping to build what is now Los Angeles,” Bill Frantz said. After about a year, her family returned to Cambridge, Mass., where she attended high school and then Radcliffe College, her mother’s alma mater. Frantz was an avid climber and a member of the American Alpine Club. In the mid-1930s, she led an all-female ascent of the largest tower in the Grand Teton range in Wyoming. (article in Union Leader via Stephen Hoffman).
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.
Reportedly continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
Plainfield continues the tradition.
1963: Plainfield awarded their cane to Mayfield Parrish. On June 9, 1898, Maxfield Parrish began his long affair with Plainfield. On that day he purchased the land on which he built “The Oaks,” his residence and his studio in which he lived and worked for the next 68 years. It was here that this self-proclaimed “mechanic who paints” produced much of the work that brought him fame, including children’s book illustrations, advertisements, calendar prints, murals, and art prints featuring his famous “Parrish Blue.”His studio was equipped with an extensive machine shop. The earnings from his paintings allowed him to buy the machinery he enjoyed. He produced wooden urns, vases, models of houses, and furniture and would set up scenes with shadows and photograph them to paint. His studio also had a well-equipped darkroom. Many paintings in progress would be found in the studio at one time as Parrish used the method of glazing between each layer of paint. Each of the layers had to dry before the next color could be applied. He used local models for his paintings and had a local carpenter help him build his rambling house and studio which were designed around ledges and oak trees. The community in Plainfield was important to him, and he invited friends and neighbors to “open houses” to view his finished pieces. In addition, he designed the stage set for the Plainfield Town Hall. This key member of the Cornish Art Colony was honored by the Plainfield selectmen in 1963 with the gold-headed Boston Post Cane as Plainfield’s oldest citizen. He died in 1966 at the age of ninety-five and his ashes were interred in the Plainfield Cemetery. (profile from Plainfield Historical Society, via Stephen Hoffman)
Plaistow continues the tradition.
Oct 2016: The town of Plaistow, NH presented their cane to Mina Colcord, age 99 on Oct 25, 2016. Mina Nutter Colcord was born in Effingham, New Hampshire on February 2, 1917. She grew up in Effingham and attended grammar school there. She went on to high school at Parsonsfield Seminary in Parsonsfield, Maine. At Par Sem as they called it she was the girls’ basketball captain. She graduated in 1936. She married to John Russell Colcord on September 8, 1940. Russell and Mina moves to Wakefield, Massachusetts where the Russell worked for General Electric through the war. They moved to Plaistow once the war was over in 1945. Russell started his own plumbing and electrical business. Mina helped Russell with his business and was a homemaker and perhaps the best cook in Plaistow. Russell and Mina had four children: Jean, Lee Ann, John and Jim. Russell and Mina never moved from Plaistow. Russell passed away 1997, they were married for 57 years. Mina loves sports of any kind and follows the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics faithfully. Basketball has always been her favorite, but she has a fondness for the Red Sox so she can talk shop with her great-grandson and when her grandson is reffing a hockey game you can be sure she is watching every second of the game. She has attended games, chorus and band concert of all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and still attends basketball games now and then. Mina has enjoyed her family and loved watching it grow. She has nine grandchildren who adore her and 16 great grandchildren who love to visit with her and listen to her stories. She loves to knit and sew, and loves to share what she has made with us all. She attends the First Baptist Church Ladies Sewing Group on Tuesdays. (via email from James Peck, photograph from the Plaistow Historical Society Facebook page)
Dec 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)
Rindge continues the tradition.
November 2014: The Rindge Board of Selectmen presented the Boston Post Cane to Rindge’s oldest citizen, June Macdonald of Abel Road, in a small ceremony of her peers and family at Summerhill Assisted Living. Macdonald celebrated her 99th birthday in June. Pictured left to right are Macdonald’s son, William Macdonald, daughter-in-law, Helen Macdonald, Select Board Chair Roberta Oeser, Selectmen Dan Aho and Bob Hamilton, and June Macdonald in the front. (article and photograph from Monadnock Ledger-Transcript via Stephen Hoffman).
Rollingsford continues the tradition.
Mar 2017: Kathryn Gregorakos Karmeris became the recipient of the Rollinsford Boston Post Cane on the occasion of her 100th birthday on March 24th. Karmeris was presented with the Boston Post Cane by selectman Mike Rollo and Town Clerk Kate Nesman. Rollo read a proclamation from the Governor congratulating Karmeris and wishing her a Happy Birthday. “If you can say one thing about my grandmother, it is love,” said Carey Boyle. “She is very much loved and she gives a lot of love.” Boyle said her grandmother had two children. Now she has 15 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of whom are very close to her. Karmeris grew up in Rollinsford and then moved to Dover where she was employed by the now defunct store Montgomery Ward when it was located on Central Avenue. She recalled stores along the street that are no longer there, including Sweetland, a soda fountain/ice cream shop. Now she lives in Rollinsford again, in a small house on her daughter Lynn Spencer’s property. “She lives there alone still,” said Spencer. “Of course we all check on her often. She likes her independence. She is sharp as a tack and will tell us what she needs. Overall, she is still in pretty good health.” Asked what her secret to such a long life might be, Karmeris answered “dandelions.” (excerpted Foster’s article by Karen Dandurant, via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 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)
Rumney continues the tradition.
August 2014: On August 9, 2014 at Rumney, NH Olde Home Days, 98 year old Adolphina Kay Simpson was presented with a replica of the Boston Post Cane. Kay will be 99 on October 15, 2014 (via email from Mary Jo Jansson)
Rye continues the tradition. To be eligible you must have lived in town for 10 years. In 2005 a replica cane was awarded to avoid the issue of losing or damaging the original cane.
August 2014: Robert “Bob” Mitchell, 104, was awarded the Boston Post Cane, a symbol presented to the oldest living resident in a given town, during a ceremony at the Webster at Rye assisted living center on Monday. A replica of the cane was presented to Mitchell by Rye selectmen, who keep the original cane in Town Hall. His children, Robert Jr. and Connie Mitchell, joined the other residents and staff at Webster at Rye to celebrate the milestone. Mitchell was born only two years after the Ford Model T made its debut, and only a year after the Boston Post Cane was invented. He has seen much change throughout his life working as a civil engineer. “Things are far different from when I was a boy,” Mitchell said. “I enjoyed my work and I love my kids.” Mitchell celebrated his 104th birthday on Aug. 2, a celebration which got the attention of Activities Marketing and Development Coordinator Karen Johnson. She was sure that this “beloved” resident had to hold the title of oldest in town. She contacted Selectwoman Priscilla Jenness to see if the cane was already being held by another resident. The last recipient of the cane was Bertha Pelletier, who passed away in 2006 at 99 years old. Robert Mitchell Jr. said that his father lived the way he wanted and “went with the flow of the tide.” “I think his claim to being as old as he is would be living life the way it comes to you,” he said. “Don’t try and make it what isn’t. Take what life gives to you and enjoy it.” The new Boston Post Cane holder is also a talented carver and has many of his creations on display at Webster at Rye.Mitchell Jr. said that his father was “always there” for the family. His mother passed away last March at the age of 96. Johnson said that she is happy to see Mitchell recognized and give people a glimpse in the life of a man who has lived it to the fullest. “All of the elderly people here have something to offer and are inspirational,” she said. “We have living local history here and it is incredible.” (article by Robert Michaelson, Seacoast Online, via Stephen Hoffman)
The Boston Post Cane tradition continues in Salem. They appear to have their original cane.
Jun 2015: Salem presented its cane to Victoria Bezuka, age 101. After the Great Depression gripped the nation in 1929, the teenager quit school and went to work to help her family with six children, including an alcoholic father, make ends meet, she said. “We struggled and my mother had a tough time,” Bezuka recalled. “It wasn’t an easy life.” But through determination, hard work and her steadfast faith in God, Bezuka was able to pull through the toughest of times. Bezuka, wearing a pink and white birthday crown, was also presented with the Boston Post Cane by selectmen Chairman James Keller, while senior services director Patti Drelick gave her a bouquet of roses. (adapted from Eagle-Tribune article by Doug Ireland, Eagle-Tribune photo by Carl Russo, via Stephen Hoffman)
Nov 2013: Salem’s cane was passed to a new person, age 99.
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)
In Salem, the cane was first presented to businessman, state representative and Selectman Charles Kimball, who died in 1911 at age 89. (via Eagle-Tribute article by Doug Ireland.)
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)
Sanbornton appears to continue the tradition. Their original cane is on display at Town Hall.
Nov 2013: Julie Mills writes: I distinctly remember my Great-Grandmother, Catherine Susan Yost, having the Sanbornton, NH Boston Post Cane from about 1975 until her death in 1979, at 99+ years old. We, her family, gave it back to the Town of Sanbornton, NH after her death. I saw it last week, Oct 30,2013, on display in a glass and wooden case with a picture of one of the more recent recipients, in the Sanbornton Town Hall Selectman/Conference Room. (via Julie Mills)
Sandown’s Boston Post Cane has been lost to history. They town hopes that by getting the word out that perhaps some might come across it in an attic or stuffed away in a closet. In 2016 the Sandown Historical
Society in conjunction with the town’s Old Home Days Committee revised the tradition of the “cane” and had a duplicate made.
Nov 2016: Sandown’s Boston Post Cane was awarded to the oldest living full time resident, Lloyd Lessard. Lloyd was born April, 1921 and moved to Sandown in 1952. Lloyd in his day was a member of the town’s volunteer fire department and today is still involved in many civic organizations including the Historic Society and Masons. (via submissions by Robert Brouder and Matt Cosgro)
Seabrook has continued the tradition for over 100 years. It retains its original code and presents a replica cane to the awardees.
Aug 2016: Theresa Doane, age 100, was awarded the Boston Post Cane as Seabrook’s oldest resident. With two of her daughters as witness, and under her own power, Doane rose from her seat in the audience of the Board of Selectmen’s meeting to accept her special cane from Selectman Theresa Kyle. She promptly took the cane and used it to walk to the head of the room to accept the other selectmen’s accolades. “Thank you all so very much,” Doane said. “I’ve enjoyed all my life. I’ve had 100 wonderful years, of course there have been ups and downs.” Born almost exactly 100 years prior to yesterday’s award, Doane drew her first breath on Aug. 12, 1916 in Kennebunkport, Maine. The mother of four children, three girls and a boy, Doane moved to Seabrook and has lived there for the past 17 years, being near her daughters, Carolyn Welsh and Mary Fowler. She remains active, she said, although she has some help maneuvering stairs. “I have one person behind me and one in front of me when I do the stairs,” she said. “I try not to do too much, but I get around.” Doane was clearly very pleased to be the new owner of the Boston Post Cane. She also had some advice for those in the audience. “I wish you all a happy 100th birthday,” she said. “Of course, you have a few years yet, but enjoy them. Don’t throw them away.” (article and photograph by Angeljean Chiaramida, Newburyport Daily News via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2015: Adeline Caruso, age 99, was presented with Seabrook’s cane in front of a large gathering of friends and family at the Seabrook’s selectmen’s meeting. A 40-year Seabrook resident, Caruso’s friends and family gathered to overflowing on Monday as town officials presented her with the town’s Boston Post Cane. A distinction given to the town’s oldest resident, the cane has been presented to Seabrook’s most senior resident since early last century, Smith said.
Caruso was wearing a stylish pink coordinating outfit. Fashion sense is something Caruso knows well, according to her nephew Peter Caruso. “She owned the Moderne Dress Shop in Methuen,” Peter Caruso said. “And her (late) husband, my uncle, was a jeweler. He owned Caruso’s Jewelry Store in the Bay State Building (on Essex Street) in Lawrence.” Along with running one of the Merrimack Valley’s best-known clothing hot spots, Caruso and her husband raised a close family, Peter Caruso said, which included three children and a substantial number of grandchildren. Most of them were on hand at Seabrook Town Hall to see their grandmother honored. (article by Angeljean Chiaramida, Daily News via Stephen Hoffman).
Aug 2006: 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)
Aug 2003: 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.
Jul 2017: Stephen O’Grady, age 101, received Strafford’s Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident in Strafford. The cane was presented by JoAnn Brown, president of the Strafford Historical Society. Michael Harrington, Strafford’s New Hampshire state representative, presented a framed citation from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Also in attendance were Strafford Selectman Bryant Scott, and family, friends, and neighbors. O’Grady is healthy and continues to mow the lawn and make repairs to his tractor. He was born on Nov. 13, 1915, and raised in the “Whaling Capital of the World”, New Bedford, Mass. As a boy, three-masted ships were still combing the seas for the great whale. At the time, New Bedford was bustling with tool and dye manufacturers, cotton mills, and commercial fishing. It was one of the richest cities in the world per capita. O’Grady served in the Army in World War II. At first, he was sent by President Roosevelt to help fight the American Union workers. He was one of 400 military policemen sent to Springfield, Mass., to fend off strikes at the Springfield Arms Company. After the threat of strikes passed, O’Grady and his fellow soldiers were sent up to Aroostook County, Maine, to help with the potato harvest. He was later trained as a medic and sent to the Philippines in preparation for the invasion of Japan. However, the A-bomb made the invasion unnecessary. After the war, O’Grady worked for the New Bedford School Department as a custodian in the same school his father had worked. O’Grady was a licensed steam boiler operator in charge of the school’s large coal-fired boiler. He retired in 1978 and moved to the Kerivan farm in Strafford in 1980 with his brother, Francis O’Grady (1917-2002). Their sister, Rita M. Kerivan (1919-2017) joined them at the farm in 1996. O’Grady shared what his very strict father told him: “If God had wanted me to smoke, he would have made me into a chimney.” He never smoked and does not divulge his secret for longevity. One theory for his great health is attributed to diet — bacon and eggs for breakfast, fried bologna sandwiches for lunch, and meat and potatoes for supper, finished off with a Ring Ding or Twinkie. However, one must take into consideration his vice-free life, his “everything in moderation” attitude, work ethic, and a solid religious faith. (from Foster’s article via Stephen Hoffman)
Dec 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)).
Jul 2005: Strafford’s cane was awarded to Ira Stiles, 96.
Stratham has been keeping the tradition alive.
Nov 2015: Dorothy “Dottie” Clemons, age 96, has been awarded Stratham’s cane. Dottie and her late husband moved to Stratham (on River Road) in 1957. She also generously gave back to the community for years working at the Clothes Attic. Dottie noted that she began volunteering there “back when it was really an attic”. (Adapted from article Tony Schinella (Patch). Uncredited photo also from the Patch website article.)
May 2015: Katherine M. Bullard, who has held Stratham’s cane since December 2012, passed away at the age of 97.
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)
Stratford continues the tradition. Their original cane is stored in the town’s vault. The oldest resident is
given a replica to be returned upon their passing. (via email from Larry Ladd)
Oct 2015: Stratford’s cane is currently held by Ms. June Fleury (93 years of age). (via email from Larry Ladd)
We believe that Surry continues the tradition in some way. (2015)
Tilton continues the tradition.
Jun 2016: Rachel Glidden, age 97, has been awarded Tilton’s Boston Post Cane. Rachel has lived in the same house on Chestnut Street in Tilton for the past 71 years, since 1945. When she moved in, World War II was ending, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were the voices heard on radio, television had not yet made its appearance and the moon landing was still almost a quarter century away. Rachel has seen a lot of changes in Tilton and in American society during that time. Glidden, at age 97, is Tilton’s oldest resident. She received the legendary Boston Post Cane from the town’s board of selectmen on Tuesday afternoon at a backyard party attended by family, friends and town citizens. In addition to receiving the cane, Glidden also received a proclamation in her honor from the town. Rachel Glidden, whose maiden name is Faloon, was born in Winn, Maine in Penobscot County in the east central region of the state in October 1918. She graduated from Mattanawcook Academy High School in nearby Lincoln in 1938. Shortly after graduation, she married John Glidden, who died in 1976. The couple had three children, all still alive and all retired from their jobs. Son Claude was an engineer at Lockheed Martin, and currently resides in Littleton, Colo. Oldest daughter Betty lives in nearby Hill while the youngest daughter Ann lives in Tilton to be near her mother. Both Betty and Ann were with their mother on Tuesday. Glidden lived in Winn until 1942, when she relocated to a residence on Sargent Street in Northfield. In 1945, she and her husband moved to Chestnut Street in Tilton. For 28 years, Glidden worked at the Tilton Dress Shop, which originally was located downtown and then moved to Franklin. She spent 10 years as an employee of the Tilton Belt Shop on the east side of town. For 21 years, Glidden served as a foster grandparent at Paul Smith Elementary School in Franklin. Glidden and her late husband have four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. Five generations of the Glidden family were present at the house on Chestnut Street on Tuesday, including great-great grandchildren Madison and Mallery Bigue and Eli Cole, and great-grandchildren Sheldon and Robin Tyrell. Glidden has led a healthful life and has never smoked and does not drink. Ann said her mother continues to eat well, but these days does so in smaller portions. (excerpted from article by Jim Clark, photograph by Jim Clark, Laconia Citizen via Stephen Hoffman)
2015: Sue Rayno, age 96, is Tilton’s Boston Post Cane holder. (She subsequently moved from the Tilton community)
Mar 2007: Tilton awarded its cane to Raymond Hinds, age 100, in March 2007. Raymond was 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)
Warner continues the tradition. As of 2015, seventeen men and and twelve women have received the cane. The recipient is awarded the cane and a certificate during a public ceremony. The cane is then housed at the Warner Historical Society.
Dec 2016: Joyce Good, age 95, of Warner was presented by the town’s Boston Post Cane by the select board of the Warner Historical Society. Good was born in Elgin, Ill., and lived in Michigan, Maryland and Florida. She and her husband, Walter Good, had two children, Joyce and Terry. In 2006, Joyce moved to Warner to live next door to her daughter and son-in-law. Good is a volunteer for the Warner Historical Society and Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum and was involved with Warner senior programs, Mountain View Senior Center, Warner Women’s Club, the United Church of Warner and the Unitarian Universalist Church in Concord. She knit with the Fiber Studio in Henniker and sewed with the Kearsarge Area Quilters. (Concord Monitor article, via Stephen Hoffman)
Feb 2015: Eugene O. Cook is the 29th recipient of Warner’s Boston Post Cane. Gene and Doris Cook purchased property in Webster, NH, near Lake Winnepocket, in the late 1970s to be near their sons who were living in Warner. Their home at the time was in Burrillville, RI where Gene was active in political and civic affairs as state representative, town councilman, and moderator. He was president of E.O. Cook Machinery Associates located in Glendale, RI. He purchased the Main Street property of Steve Lowell in May 1979 and started Warner Home Supply which became a Trustworthy hardware store in 1981. His son, Michael, managed the successful business for several years until it was sold. Nearing retirement they decided to build a log cabin in Warner on land given to them on Iron Kettle Road in 1982 The family jokingly referred to the junction of Red Chimney and East Joppa road as Cook’s Corner as their sons, Michael, Ron, and Richard lived there with their families. Once moving to Warner Gene became involved in several activities. He served as a Selectman for five months in 1986 before retiring because of health reasons. Being a WW2 veteran, he joined the Wilkins, Cloues, Bigelow, & Pearson Post #39 where he served as Junior-Vice and then Senior Vice-Commander. He served as Chaplain during some of the Memorial Day ceremonies. The month of May would find him spring cleaning local cemeteries and placing flags on the veteran’s graves. He would join Dick Violette to talk with school children about WW2 and assisting the fourth grade students at Simonds Elementary place flags at Pine Grove and Pine Grove annex graves. He attended the memorial services of local veterans. He was always available to assist at the annual 4th of July pancake breakfast and put out the flags on Main Street for various holidays. He is a member of the Warner Historical Society and served as Assistant Treasurer from 1995-96. He was an active member on the Board and the Building committee, sealing the driveway, replacing windows in the Main Street house and attending to many handyman jobs. He also served on the Capital Campaign fundraising committee. Gene was also an active member of the Warner Men’s Club assisting with various projects and selling booster tags at the Fall Foliage Festival. Needing something to keep himself busy he joined Richard A. Cook, Builders assisting in building and renovating homes in the Warner area. He took great pride in assisting to build Richard’s barn and his grandson, Jon Cook’s home in Bradford. He was always available to family and friends to assist in plumbing and electrical jobs. On January 31, 2015 Gene and Doris Cook celebrated their 73rd anniversary and are considered New Hampshire’s oldest living married couple. They have three sons. Michael and Cyndi Cook are current residents of Cochise, AZ. Ron and Kerri Cook reside in Canterbury, NH. Richard Cook and Rebecca Courser make their home in Warner, NH. Gene and Doris have 9 grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, with two on the way, and two great-great grandchildren. (Warner Historical Society article via 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.
Oct 2015: Esther McLain received Weare’s Boston Post Cane on 19-Oct-2015. (via email from Maureen Billodeau)
Apr 2009: The current holder of the Weare’s cane is Margaret Colburn, who received the cane after Alden Leeds. (via Sherry Burdick)
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)
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)
Wilmot continues the tradition. The Wilmot cane, permanently on display in the history room in the Wilmot Town Offices, is taken down each time a Boston Cane holder is identified and a photo is taken of the person holding the cane. The cane is then returned to the history room for safekeeping. Each Boston Cane Holder receives a certificate of recognition and a framed photo of them holding the cane.
May 2016: On May 8, with about 60 people in attendance, Marc Davis, president of the Wilmot Historical Society, presented Wilmot’s Boston Post Cane to Gerald Roger Biron, at age 93 Wilmot’s oldest resident. Gerald Roger Biron was born on November 10, 1922 in Manchester, where he lived until World War II, when he joined the Navy. A member of the launching crew of the light aircraft carrier USS Belleau Wood, he was designated a “plank owner” of that new ship, which passed through the Panama Canal en route to Pearl Harbor. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on July 26, 1943, and Mr. Biron remembers to this day the horror of the devastation that greeted the crew as the ship wove her way through the channel to anchor. The USS Belleau Wood carried 30 planes of Air Group 24, and Aviation Machinist Mate Mr. Biron was the plane crew chief of one of them. The ship’s Pacific operations included the battles of Tarawa, Gilberts, Marshalls, Truk, Marianas, and Palau Islands. On October 30, 1944, during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, she was hit by a kamikaze, killing 92 men and destroying 12 aircraft. After repairs, she returned to the South Pacific for the duration of the war, and her planes flew over the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. Leaving Pearl Harbor in late October 1945, she spent the next three months returning servicemen to San Diego. Mr. Biron served aboard the USS Belleau Wood all during his war-time service. He was discharged on February 14, 1946. On May 25, 1946, Mr. Biron married Gertrude Thibeault, and they lived in Allenstown, New Hampshire for the next 38 years with their three sons, Rick, Bill, and Gary. On December 5, 1955, almost 10 years after leaving the Navy, Mr. Biron joined the Air Force. He served with New Hampshire Air National Guard, stationed at Grenier Field in Manchester, and later moved to Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth. He had the opportunity to fly a mission and sit in the co-pilot seat, where he remembers witnessing the amazing feat of an in-flight refueling. On his 60th birthday in 1982, Mr. Biron retired as master sergeant with many wonderful memories and received an Air Force commendation medal for his 27 years of service. Two of his sons followed Dad’s patriotic example – Rick in the Air Force and Bill in the Navy. Over the years, Mr. Biron’s other jobs included driving a truck throughout the northeast for HP Welch Trucking and serving as a hearse driver and helper for Petit Funeral Home in Pembroke. Following retirement, Mr. Biron and his wife lived in Concord at Jensen’s Senior Residence Park for 28 years. Mr. Biron lost his wife in 2009, then his son Bill in 2012, and another son, Gary, in 2013. In April 2013, Mr. Biron moved to Wilmot, where he currently lives with his son Rick and wife Joan Marie, who have lived in town for over 33 years. (article in Andover Beacon, photo by Lindy Heim via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2016: The town is seeking their next recipient.
Wilton continues the tradition and has their original cane, which is presented to the recipient. The cane was retired many years ago and kept in the town office. The tradition was revived, and the cane presented to retired Adm. Charles Khoury, the holder before Polly Kenick, who received it in 2008. Wilton’s first recipient was Michael Holland, who was 93.
Aug 2019: At the age of 94, Leslie P. Tallarico is the latest recipient of Wilton’s Boston Post Cane. Les accepted the cane in a ceremony during Old Home Days at Curtis Farm. Selectman Kermit Williams said Tallarico was the “perfect recipient” for the honor, due to his high level of involvement in town and his deep roots in Wilton – he is the direct descendant of Jonathan Livermore, the town’s first settled pastor! (This information and more can be found in the attached article Les Tallarico receives the Boston Post Cane – Town of Wilton, NH from www.wiltonnh.gov)
May 2016: Polly Kenick has passed away at the age of 106. During her tenure with the cane she brought it with her to many town functions and events.
Dec 2014: We learned that Polly Kenick received Wilton’s cane in September 2008. Polly Kenick was born on a snowy Thanksgiving Day on November 26, 1909. Fittingly, she celebrated her 105th birthday during last week’s Thanksgiving snowstorm. Polly Kenick enjoys reading the newspaper every morning and does the crosswords puzzle. “It takes me all day to do the puzzle. I’m not very good and certainly not very fast,” she said with a laugh Kenick was born in Hudson, raised in Nashua during World War I, became of age during the Great Depression and was raising a family during World War II. “Mum has an indomitable spirt. She has been through a truckload but still comes up glowing. She is creative, a problem solver and always thinking. She made our clothes, canned, knits and was active in the community,” said Lois Kenick. She started to summer in Lyndeborough in 1970 with her daughters and moved to Edgewater Estates in Wilton in 2000. Polly graduated from Exeter Hospital School of Nursing in 1933 and worked at the hospital. One year later she married Joseph Kenick and enjoyed a 52-year married life. They had three children, Joe, Lois and Ann. In grade school Kenick helped to knit squares for blankets for soldiers and as an adult hse knitted clothes for premature babies. She was a Pease Airport Greeter for years and knitted caps for soldiers. She was a member of the Lyndeborough Improvement Society. (article by Kathleen Baglio Humphreys, Union Leader via Stephen Hoffman)
Woodstock’s original is in a glass case in the town clerk’s office. (via Ken, Dec 2012)