Saturday, February 11, 2012

‘Recording My Memories & Stories’ or ‘A Pictures tells a Thousand Words’, Inspired by ‘Pinterest’

Manson House, Ware Massachusetts
Manson House, Ware Massachusetts
  • After WW-II, in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s,my Grandfather, John Leo McQuaid B1902 and his sons owned and ran the Mansion House Hotel.
  • The Casino Theater is the building to the left. Before talking films, they showed silent films and used a player piano. In the 1980’s the same player piano was given to my wife, by a lady that sang in the church choir with her. Both of my children learned to play on it. I remember going to see movies, when I was a child, paying 25 cents to get in and 10 cents for a bag of popcorn. I remember buying a Mr. Peanut Bar, I took it into the dark theater. I started eating it, something didn’t feel right. I went out into the light and found it crawling with maggots.The movie would end, and we would exit into the alley, between the buildings.
  • In 1960, the time of the picture, below, of Main St., there was a Drug store on the left of the Manson House and a Western Auto Hardware Store on the right.
  • There is a parking lot and Veterans Memorial, where the Mansion House was, today.

Ware Mass Main St looking wWst 1960
Ware Mass., at Christmas time,  Main St . looking West, 1960
  • My Grandfather, John Leo McQuaid B1902, lived in Ware on Clinton St, from 1924 until his death in 1981. You can just see the building at the far left, the 5 &10, were he and his sister worked when he was 18 years old.
  • My father, Thomas Lynch McQuaid B1927,  &  my mother, Rita Helen Courchesne B1928, were born and married in Ware.
  • I was born in Ware in 1953.
  • This picture was taken while standing in front of the Friendly Ice Cream Shop. I started working there in Jan. 1967, after the death of my father. I would wash the floors and get ready for opening in the morning and work after school.
  • The Manson House, from the photo above, is just visible, in the center distance, as the street curves to the left.

1960 western Flyer sold by Western Auto
1960 western Flyer sold by Western Auto
  • My Father bought me this same bike in the Spring of 1960, for my First Communion. I was seven years old. We walked down Parker St., from Pleasant St, where we lived, through the back parking lot of the Manson House building, pictured above, and into the back door of the Western Auto store. My feet didn’t touch the ground and I never rode a two wheeler before. He held the back, and I rode. He would let go, and over I would go. By the time we got home, I was black and blue all over, between my legs.
  • I rode this bike everywhere. I remember buying half gallons of Ice cream at Friendly’s, they would put it in a thick paper bag. I would wrap the end of the bag around one of the handle grips and ride 3 miles to my Aunts house.
  • One day I was flying down the hill into the town pumping station. I fell over and slid about 10 yards on sand. I had a large scrap or burn on my left shoulder and arm. The bike was ok and I walked it home. My mother spent over an hour picking little rocks, from the sand, out of the scrape.

Quabbin Reservoir from the air, over looking Goodnough Dike, one of two dikes that dam the Swift River to form the Reservoir
  • My Grandfather, John Leo McQuaid B1902, worked on construction of the Dams and Reservoir in the 1930’s.
  • My Uncle, John E McQuaid B1925, was a Metropolitan District Commission Police officer here 1960’s-1990’s.
  • My Father was a Forester here until his death in 1966
  • I have a Cousin that is presently a Ranger here.
  • There is a picnic area, just below the Dike, in the picture above. One night, when I was a Sr. in High school, I was parked at this picnic area, with my girl friend. (present wife of 38 years), The car windows were all fogged up. A police car drives into the picnic area and puts a spot light on my car. It turns out to be my uncle. He still mentions it, when we get together.
Quabin Reservoir Tower
Quabbin Reservoir Tower
  • The forth Sunday of each month, my father had fire watch duty at the Tower. He would take me along.
  • At the very top of the tower, above where visitors can go, there is a 50MM machine gun mount, that was used during WW-II.
  • My Father had keys to all of the gates on the reservation. He new where to go to pick concord grapes and apples, that were left after the flooding of the valley.
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Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas, my name is Dorothy McQuaid, my grandpa was John A McQuaid, and my grandma Anna still lives in Ware. I think one of my uncles has been working on genealogy but I would be interested to get in touch with you, especially given the parks/nature link (I am a park ranger in Maryland, USA). Please email me at! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe I got my own grandpa's first name wrong. (I only ever called him grandpa, haha.) Whoops!

Nat said...

Hi Thomas. Great to see these pictures. I was born in1954 in Maine but from about 1960 to 67, I lived in Ware. My grandparents were long time residents of the Mansion House right up until the fire. My folks and I lived on Pulaski St. Went to Mrs. Potters nursery school. Thank you so much for the memories. I loved that corner....drug store and Friendly's! I'm Nathalie Hannon. Grandaughter of the Dolan's of the Mansion House