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.”
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.”
ADDRESS OF HONORABLE Pehr G. Holmes, MAYOR OP THE CITY OF WORCESTER, 1917 WITH THE ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 80, 1917:
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.
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 - Ancestry.com
THE HUGH C. LEIGHTON CO
MANUFACTURERS PORTLAND, ME., U.S.A. L374
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.