Looking Back at Holliston in Photos
by Robert Moore 3/4/13
1898 Holliston: There aren't too many 19th century winter photos of Holliston, but this is one. This photo was likely taken by a Brownie-type quick exposure box camera. The Kennedy Stable can be seen in the distance, as the Hollis Hotel has already burned down a few years earlier in 1892. The building seen in the middle of the picture below (Andrews Block) would burn down in 1898.
Extremely rare early Holliston ambrotype/daguerreotype. This photo below was likely taken in about 1855-59 (probably at the same session as the town hall daguerreotype). The rare shot of the Universalist Church is interesting because the church was moved and replaced with the Catholic Church (St. Mary's) in the 1870's (present location). Reportedly a store was on the first floor. Holliston archives indicate that the universalist property was purchased by the Catholic Church with the intention of "fitting it for service, but after due consideration it was thought not wise to expend on an old building. Consequently it was sold" and moved away (reportedly to the corner of Union and Exchange where it was later destoyed.)
The building to the left is seen in another 1880's photo. That building was later moved, and was replaced with the St. Mary's parking lot. The photographer likely took a shot of the center of town, which is presently being sought.
I contacted the folks who have the original daguerreotype and they have one of the Town Hall from the same period. I am attempting to identify the photographer so that further photos can be obtained. Typically, daguerreotypists in the 1850's would travel around to make some cash. I assume this fellow took some more photos of Holliston on his way through to Milford.
Extremely rare ambrotype/daguerreotype of the Holliston Town Hall shortly after its construction in 1855. This photo below was likely taken during 1855-1859 shortly after the new town hall was built. (The old town hall was taken apart and moved to Pleasant Street where it currently serves as a couple of residences). Notice that A "MARKET" sign is seen over the door on the right. Two wagons are seen in the photo (One on the Congregational Church side of the building and the other to the right front of the photo). One of the wagons may belong to the Daguerrreotypist who made the photo).
The building in the shadows on the left is part of the Holliston Seminary--as is the building on the hill to the right.. The town had purchased the seminary structure in 1863, and the seminary building later was destroyed by fire in 1871. The newly built 1874 high school is seen in later photos on the same lot as the building on the left in the background. Also noticeable are the many wagon sheds. Note that this photo was likely taken at the same time as the one of the Universalist Church posted here a couple of days ago.
These daguerreotypists would travel in a wagon with a goodly supply of mercury, silver oxide and glass to complete the image process. The mercury vapor would be heated upon the exposed glass spread with polished silver, thus exposing an image. Other photos of the town are being sought from this time period (1855-1859).— in Holliston.
Robert Moore is a former Holliston & Mudville resident and now lives in Rhode Island.
Posted in Local Lore.