A Few Things

I have found some wonderful things this past week that have made me very hopeful for the end product of this project.

In the City’s 1918 annual report I found a transcription of a fantastic speech given by the Mayor which touches on the effects of war time on North Adams. I’ve also been looking through the yearbooks, which have luckily been digitized.


The 1918 yearbook in particular offers a great picture of the school activities during the war.

I also visited two of the massive cemeteries in town and found a gentleman who was twice a congressman on both State and Local levels and served on the World War Draft Board in 1917.

Overall it’s been a great week for this project and I’ve found that there are more materials available to me than I’d previously thought.




3 Thoughts on “A Few Things

  1. What kinds of activities was the school involved in during the war? Apparently the women at the State Normal School (UMW now) actually went into the surrounding counties to help farmers shuck corn and whatnot! The YWCA and Red Cross clubs were also very active on campus. It would be interesting to see (for everyone on this project!) how much the students’ activities at each school cross over or differ!

    It sounds like the gentleman you mention was a very prominent man in town–perhaps a local historical society or museum has more information about him? We are currently working on tracking down some of the high-profile people of Fredericksburg during the WWI era, because they are more likely to have records and much more available information than the average inhabitant.

  2. alisia on February 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm said:

    From what I’ve found so far, the Glee Club was extremely active and routinely made patriotic tunes an integral part of their repertoire during the war-which was very popular and well received by audiences. One account talks about how at the end of one of their concerts they started going into some patriotic songs and the whole audience joined in. The students also turned the garden they normally used for their horticulture classes into a “war garden”. There was another tradition, called “the Man Dance”, which was a kind of amusing. Since it was a girls college there weren’t any boys usually allowed on campus. Once a year the school held a dance which the local boys were allowed to attend. I was surprised to see this tradition was continued during the war. However there was a remark made in the yearbook about how there were fewer fellows to dance with than usual.

    The gentleman, George Pelton Lawrence, was quite an accomplished man and even has a (short) Wikipedia page! I stumbled upon his grave by accident and I’m so glad I did. I’m optimistic that the historical society will some some more information for me. I was also given the name of a local historian who, apparently, knows everything there is to know about North Adams and I’m sure he can shed some light on him as well.

  3. “Overall it’s been a great week for this project and I’ve found that there are more materials available to me than I’d previously thought.”

    That is very good news. Congratulations on your progress.

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