Latest Historical Society Journal Offers Look into the Past

by Erica Baker

HARDWICK – The Hardwick Historical Society (HHS) Journal, a quarterly publication dedicated to the history of the people of Hardwick, has now completed its tenth volume and has a good start on its eleventh. Members of the HHS receive their copy of the 30-page publication through the mail, and nonmembers can buy copies at the Hardwick Depot.

Historical Society President Elizabeth Dow edits the Journal. She became interested in Hardwick’s history while she wrote her history thesis on its granite industry. As editor, she takes the attitude that nobody will likely write about the Journal‘s topics ever again, so the articles must be accurate.

A wide variety of contributors write for the Journal. Industrial historian Paul Wood frequently writes articles about how things worked, including firefighting in Hardwick village and East Hardwick.

Janet Houston Slayton, Hardwick Academy Class of ‘59, looks at the ordinary details she remembers about the Hardwick she grew up in, including the ice cream factory on Riverside Terrace, mom-and-pop stores around the area (coming in the spring issue), and where the Hardwick dump was located. In the current issue, Slayton and her husband locate swimming holes they remember.

Allen Davis, Hardwick Academy ‘49, frequently writes about topics that touch on his childhood, as well. The next issue will include his memories of the various basketball courts he played on in high school.

Other Hardwickians, many who are no longer residents, send in contributions ranging from the fun of being the son of the railroad station master hanging around and helping out at the depot all day to growing up gay in Hardwick in the 1950s.

Dow also contributes. The most recent issue contains articles about how Hardwick took care of poor people before 1817, and about the dissolution of School District #4 (Cobb School) in 1892.

The most recent issue also includes an article in which Rick Norcross remembers how his East Hardwick neighbor, Harold Patch, helped him learn to play the guitar. It contains an article, originally published in the Hardwick Gazette, in which Harold Patch muses on Rick’s professional success with his guitar, as well as the fun he and Rick had when they were neighbors.

Initially funded by a donation from Dona Bessette, the Journal continues to receive the support of local organizations and businesses through their advertisements.Anyone interested in learning more about the Journal, how to contribute to the Journal, or about the Historical Society, in general, should contact Elizabeth Dow at The Journal is also supported by advertisers. If interested, contact Erica Baker at