Marlborough Historical Society calendar recalls city’s disasters and scandals

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Marlborough Historical Society calendar recalls city’s disasters and scandals
From left, Linda Rennie and Trish Holt with the Marlborough Historical Society’s 2023 calendar, “Disasters, Scandals and Scoundrels.” (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – Speakeasies, moonshine, hurricanes and even the sudden death of a mayor – this year the theme of the Marlborough Historical Society’s calendar is “Disasters, Scandals and Scoundrels.”

“This year’s theme is enticing,” said Linda Rennie, recording secretary for the historical society’s trustees.

Each year, the Marlborough Historical Society publishes a calendar as a fundraiser.

In the past, the themes have included “Cruise the Main,” “Dining & Dancing in the City,” “Clubs & Societies,” sports and the Marlborough Fire Department.

The idea for the calendar came from Trish Holt, the trustees’ treasurer.

“I was doing research on bridal gowns [for a program] in the archival areas when I came across stuff on disasters,” said Holt. “It got my clock ticking.”

When she first approached her fellow trustees about the idea, they were reluctant at first, but they warmed up to the idea after more discussion.

Holt said work on the calendar started in 2020, but it slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and because the past president was busy.

Once the pandemic eased in early 2022, work on the calendar resumed in April, and it was released in mid-August.

“We were getting calls – are you putting out the calendar?” said Holt.

Now that the calendar is out, both Holt and Rennie said the reception’s been “great.”

“They’re writing in [from around the country] … they want a calendar,” said Rennie.

About the calendar

Holt said they made sure the stories presented were “far enough in the past so as not to hurt anyone. We try to be sensitive.”

Take the entry for December 2022, for example – the suicide of Mayor Louis F. Ingalls. He had been accused of selling city jobs and was indicted. The day before the trial, on Dec. 3, 1940, Ingalls left a note at his home, went to the lake at Fort Meadow, chopped a hole in the ice and jumped in. His body was found a few hours later.

The suicide note included in the entry came from Ingalls’ granddaughter.

“We got it after she died. She was the last of the family, and there are no living relatives,” said Holt.

How to get a calendar

The calendars, which include local birthdays and other holidays, are now available for $10 each; proceeds help provide the upkeep for the Peter Rice Homestead at 377 Elm St. Calendars can be purchased at the Main Street Bank, the Senior Center, the Chestnut Convenience Store or the Main Street Café. 

“They make great gifts,” said Rennie.

There will also be someone at the Peter Rice Homestead every Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. selling the calendars. You can also call the society at 508-485-4763 or Trish Holt at 508-326-5369 to make arrangements to purchase one.

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