eBay Report: A Historic Diary And A Voting Activist

From time to time, Lynnfield Patch takes a look at items up for sale on eBay.com that are connected to the town's past.

Here are some of the latest items to come up for sale on eBay that have a connection to Lynnfield's past:

1919 Diary: This is one of those unique items of local historical significance that I always wish would end up in the hands of historical societies instead of casual collectors. It’s the 1919 diary of Victor Bartlett Newhall, who served in the Navy during World War I and who died in 1977. It sounds like a pretty colorful life he led in the Navy based on the excerpt provided from the diary. For local historical purposes, I’ll quote the paragraph provided here by the seller:

“Up early 7:00, around ship, busy all a.m. getting ready to sail. Cleared up, lifted arrials and dinner. Hung around and up to Hudson Terminals in noon. No mail. Back to ship. Shoved away from Pier 3:00 sharp. Thick fog, Easy sail all night long - Supper in saloon ..... Slept all night with door open. Good sleep & breakfast. Sighted land, looked good. Saw whale - passing islands all pm - Mandolin, singing, etc ..... Washed clothes, dinner and ashore in pm. Met soldiers, our boys all drunk and disorderly. Quite a time ..... Trouble aboard between Engineer and fireman. In hosital great doings. I had to go to Consulate and testify ..... Pulled away from dock at 8 a.m. - Pete the fireman jumped overboard and swam ashore as we left, turned back for him, found a stowaway in hold ..... Up to Marine Canteen, around town and into Civil Prison, took pictures. Down to Hdquarters and Radio Shack. Supper w/ Boys again and around in eve calling on women in town ..... Great commotion at anchorage with lighters. Plenty of sharks around all night ....." 

League of Women Voters: This is a cool press photo from 1956 when Mrs. Nelson Cutler of the League of Women Voters was out at the Colonial Shopping Center running this information booth. Note that a chicken in a little cage over on the side sits there under a sign saying “I don’t vote, I squawk.” Mrs. Cutler was trying to get women to vote in the September 18th primary election that year. And she’s got focus and determination in her eyes. For the record, that campaign pitted Adlai Stevenson against Dwight Eisenhower.

It’s easy to think Mrs. Cutler was ahead of her time for 1956 but who knows.  All I have to go on are some Leave it to Beaver re-runs and my Johnny Cash Sun Records CDs. Besides, we still don’t even have Mrs. Cutler’s first name – just her husband’s. Unless of course her parents named her “Nelson” at birth. You know. Kind of like that actress Michael Learned who was on the Waltons. But I digress.

The Ship: After a couple of years of writing this column, I can recognize which postcards from which old Lynnfield businesses have shown up on this page. This one offers a different look at the old restaurant, showing the interior as it would have looked possibly around the late sixties or early seventies.  Plenty of Ship images have been used in this column in recent months. This one is significant because we’re apparently only a few weeks away from when the longtime Lynnfield landmark is expected to reopen for business.


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