Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Centennials and Documentation

Shrewsbury Centennial Celebration
A neighboring community is celebrating its centennial this year, and a number of events are scheduled to illustrate the town's history. It happens to be the community where I am researching the history of a couple of houses, and thus the life and times of John Murdock upon whose farm the initial village was platted in 1889. On Sunday they offered a trolley tour, taking you by thirteen houses and explaining what history was known about each house. The last stop of the trolley was Kenrick Seminary, where a few of the students offered tours of the buildings which have just undergone a $63 million renovation. I have never been on the campus, so it was a real treat to be able to view the buildings and grounds.

Kenrick Seminary Chapel

Kenrick Seminary
We walked back to the community center from Kenrick, where the local jazz band was playing and refreshments were being served. But most importantly for me, numerous photographs and other memorabilia were on display. There was a voter list from 1925 and a directory of residents from 1926. I also learned that the historical society has some other old street directories that will assist house researchers. They meet twice a month, and I am going to try to go to the first meeting in May so that I can get a better feel for what they have in storage.

Some of the items shown on their display boards conflict with information that I have gathered about John Murdock and the original sale of the land. I am hoping to be able to see where their data came from and compare notes with the archivist for the society. If I decide to go ahead with a book about John Murdock, I want to be sure that my story is accurate.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

This was right up your alley. Sounds like a perfect day for you!