Chapel & Gateway, Hope Cemetery - Dear Sis!


This is the companion piece to an earlier post about Curtis Chapel, which is pictured above just inside the gates of Hope Cemetery’s (now disused) main entrance. According to Bill Wallace, Executive Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, The architect "(Stephen) Earle designed the (original) fence/gates many years before the chapel. Sections of this fence survive along Webster Street to the left of the current gates.”

Hope Cemetery Gates: June 29, 2018

Hope Cemetery Gates: June 29, 2018

Today, as seen above, both Curtis Chapel and the original wrought iron gates are gone. Again according to Bill Wallace, “The ‘new’ gates are early 20th century replacements; the bequest of Mary Nixon (she and her husband lived in the house formerly occupied by the Webster House restaurant). They were built by the Norcross Brothers in the style of the chapel.”



A feature of permanent value and of special significance to every one having pride in the cemetery and its appointments, which calls for special mention in this report, is the addition of the Memorial entrance gates near Curtis Chapel, the gift of the late Mrs. Solomon Nixon, who, by will, provided the fund for their erection. The design for this memorial was the production of The Gorham Company, of New York; the stone was furnished by The Norcross Company, of Worcester; the iron work was provided and installed by The Gorham Company, and the engineering department of the City of Worcester, under the supervision of Frederick A. McClure, was responsible for the details of construction. The gate is altogether a most creditable production artistically, and a fitting memorial to the generous donor no less than to her husband, in whose name the gift was made. A suitable bronze tablet has been placed as a permanent acknowledgment of the gratitude of the citizens of Worcester.

Postmark: 12/15/1910 - Worcester, Mass.

Postmark: 12/15/1910 - Worcester, Mass.

Sent to: Miss E Blanche Poole
Address: Fall River, Massachusetts
Dear Sis! Haven’t heard from ma yet so as to know if they are coming down. Yes I will help you with the sweater(.) How much do you want? Do you want to go together on pa’s too? I thought a nice pin of his order would be nice. He has always wanted one. or a charm. Have you bought Nellie’s present? She wants a nice back (?) comb. If you want you can send me as much as you want to spend for her and I will put some with it and get her as good a one as I can for the money. I should think $1.00 ought to get a nice one. I know just what she wants. Grais  

The limited space on a postcard and the public nature of their messages often leads senders to write elliptically. This particular card is quite the exception. We know that Grais was writing to her sister, that the two of them were planning joint gifts for Christmas (the card was postmarked on December 15th), and even what gifts they had in mind. The mystery then is whether ma got the sweater, pa got the pin (or charm) and Nellie got the comb.

Grais Florence Poole was born on July 4, 1890 in New Salem, Massachusetts. The “Nellie” she mentions is apparently Nellie May (Simonds) Burrage, although the early connection between them is not clear. However, three years after Nellie died in 1941, Grais married Nellie’s widower, James Burrage, who died in 1947. Grais died in 1968 and is buried in North New Salem Cemetery, along with her mother, father, and husband.

Blanche Poole was born on August 19, 1880 and at the time of the 1910 Federal Census was working as a servant for Rufus P. and Sarah S. Walker, who lived at the address on this card. On March 8, 1914, at the age of 33, she married Milton M. McIntyre, a widower with one son. After Milton died in 1925, Blanche returned to live with her parents in New Salem. She died in 1965 and is buried alongside her husband in South Cemetery, Orange, Massachusetts.


(1) Family Histories -


Special thanks to Bill Wallace, Executive Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, for his guidance on researching this topic and for permission to use his words in the blog.

Chapel, Hope Cemetery - Mama Arrived Home


This little jewel box of a building, “Curtis Chapel” at Hope Cemetery, was designed by noted Worcester architect Stephen Earle, dedicated on January 1, 1891 and demolished by the City of Worcester in 1962. It was the gift of Albert W. Curtis, one of the original Commissioners of Hope Cemetery and an owner of Curtis & Marble, a local textile machine company.

Hope Cemetery Gates: June 29, 2018

Hope Cemetery Gates: June 29, 2018

According to Bill Wallace, Executive Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, "The chapel stood just inside the currently unused entrance at the top of the rise as you approach from Webster Square. The 'new' gates [seen above] are early 20th century replacements, built by the Norcross Brothers in the style of the chapel."

Postmark: 03/24/1906 - Millbury Mass.

Postmark: 03/24/1906 - Millbury Mass.

Sent to: Miss Lizzie Cullina
Address: Worcester, Massachusetts
Mama arrived home last night found everything all O.K.





Punctuation on postcards from the early 20th century is often rather sparse. In this case, the lack of a dash, comma or period leads to some difficulty in understanding the true intent of the message. It might read, "Mama - Arrived home last night. Found everything all O.K." or "Mama arrived home last night (and) found everything all O.K." The correct interpretation is made clear by details provided below about the sender and recipient, neither of whom is "Mama."

On June 19, 1900 the Federal census for that year records Marion Cullina living with her mother and five siblings in the town of Sutton, Massachusetts, roughly 10 miles from Worcester. Six years later, at the time this card was sent, she was 12 years old and, as the youngest member of a large family, was likely the one designated to communicate with her sister Lizzie.

Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Cullina was the sixth of ten children born to Michael and Ellen (Powers) Cullina. Her date of birth was August 11, 1874 and she died in May 1964. This card was almost certainly sent after a visit by her mother to Worcester where Lizzie (a "saleslady") lived at the time with her brother Edmund (a carpenter) and sister Nellie (a housekeeper).


(1) Cullina Family History -

Made in Germany
A. C. Bosselman & Co., New York.

Special thanks to Bill Wallace for his guidance on researching this topic, for essentially all of the basic information about Curtis Chapel (which is almost invisible on the Web), and for permission to use his words in the blog.
Also, thanks to Larry Abramoff for providing the postcard itself.

The Derby Grill

This postcard is unused (never postmarked).

This postcard is unused (never postmarked).

Although the Web today is a vast reservoir of information, it is not (yet) infinite and many minor topics, along with people, organizations and other items of ephemeral or passing existence are completely missing or barely referenced. The latter characterizes what is currently available online regarding The Derby Grill at 19 Pearl Street. In fact, simply locating any trace of that specific address has proved difficult.


The map above shows two buildings (boxed area) on Pearl Street in 1922 with addresses that range from 15 to 39. Those structures have since been demolished and the site is now occupied (if that's the word) by a parking lot. Based on the decor and clothing styles shown on the front of this card one would assume that some people with a living memory of The Derby Grill are still around. But, absent their testimony, the restaurant's original sales pitch will have to be the last word for now.


The Downtown Restaurant You Like.
for excellent food . . .
courteous service . . .
reasonable prices . . .
and gay, friendly atmosphere!

Who could wish for anything more?


(1) Period Map - Atlas of the City of Worcester Massachusetts, Richards Map Co., 1922, Plate 4



Classical High School - Boys are planting the gardens ...


Classical High School was completed in 1871 from a design by the firm of Gambrill and Richardson of New York. This grand, soaring structure reflected the vision of H. H. (Henry Hobson) Richardson, whose signature style came to be called "Richardson Romanesque."

The Worcester firm of Norcross Brothers Contractors and Builders was engaged to construct the new school and subsequently worked with Richardson on many other projects throughout New England and beyond. In addition to classrooms, meeting spaces, and offices, it included a gymnasium in the basement and a large hall on the third floor, measuring 76' x 62'.

The building faced east on what is now called Maple Terrace (between Maple and Walnut Streets) but in 1966 was demolished to make way for the new headquarters of Paul Revere Life Insurance Company.

Sent to: Mrs. O. O. Wright
Address: Spencer, West Virginia
Postmark: ??/??/1943 - Dodge, MA
Dear Friend - Nice hearing from you. At last we are having some nice weather. Boys are planting the gardens at last and about time. Am feeling better but can't do much work. Cheerio
From: Mrs. H, Beauregard, Box 48, Dodge, Mass. Collector of miniature dogs & hankies



  • In 1943, most able-bodied young men in their late teens would have been called up for service in a rapidly escalating war effort. And, at a time when the country was rationing every imaginable product, a source of locally grown food would have been very important. So what led these "boys" to put off their responsibilities? Perhaps, considering the circumstances, the discipline of a senior man in the house was absent. Whatever the reason, Mrs. Beauregard seems none too happy about the delay . . . and rightly so.


Eudora Hazel Judson Button (Beebe) Beauregard was born on May 22, 1895 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Barely a week after turning 17, on May 31, 1912, she married Reginald Ambrose Judson in Worcester, Massachusetts. However, they were divorced on October 19, 1916 and soon thereafter she married Edwin/Edward H. Button, with whom she had three children, Edward, Lillian and Phyllis. Edward Sr. died on July 18, 1925 and she then married Harry Joseph Beauregard in Boston on May 8, 1926. Eudora died on February 12, 1993 (at age 97) and is buried beside her second and third husbands in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts.


Onnie O. Wright married Edna McKown in 1916 and at the time of the 1920 census they were recorded as having one son, Herbert. However, the West Virginia Marriages Index shows that on October 29, 1923 he married Anna A. Hawkins and at the time of the 1940 Federal census the two were living in Spencer, West Virginia with their son, 15-year old Olsten. It seems very unlikely that there were two Onnie O. Wrights of the same age at the same time in that area, so one must assume that Anna was the second wife to whom this card was addressed.


(1) Classical & Worcester High School -
(2) Worcester Illustrated: 1875 - James A. Ambler [ Page 26 - 27 ]
(3) Federal Census & Social Security Records -
(4) Local Birth, Marriage, Divorce & Death Records -


Published by A. P. Lundborg, Worcester, Mass.
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