Friday, March 18, 2005
Paging through Carlisle's Annual Reports: 1894 - 1909
As part of the celebration of Carlisle's history during this Bicentennial year, the Mosquito will publish a series of extracts from the town's Annual Reports, which contain a wealth of information about Carlisle. Residents can always obtain a free copy of the latest Report by stopping by the Town Hall. The Mosquito is fortunate to have a large collection of old Reports, generously donated to the newspaper by the late Town Clerk and Accountant, Sarah Andreassen.
Year ending March 10, 1894
• Report of Overseers of the Poor -
Number of tramps entertained - 192;
Whole number of paupers - 6;
Present number of paupers - 4.
The Town Farm housed Carlisle's poorest residents between 1852 and 1925. Vagrants were also given food and a night's lodging in a separate, small "tramp house." See also Carlisle: Its History and Heritage, by Ruth Chamberlin Wilkins, pp.205-206.
• Auditor's Report - This certifies that I have examined such bills as have been brought in for the town of Carlisle to pay as have been presented to me. They appear to be carefully cast and approved by those having charge of the departments to which they belong.
Valuation of Estates and Taxes Assessed 1900
Every property owner was listed by name, along with a description of all taxable property. Women, who were not allowed to vote, paid property tax, but no poll tax. At that time, Carlisle had 6 mills, 1 saw mill, 10 windmills, 9 shops, 10 ice houses, 1 hoop shop, 1 meat market, and 2 blacksmith shops.
• Recapitulation of Taxable Property - Tax rate - $15 per $1,000.
Total number of:
dwelling houses taxed - 127
cows taxed - 507
other meat cattle taxed - 71
horses taxed - 182
swine taxed - 32
fowls taxed - 2816.
Year ending March 1, 1902
• School Superintendent's Report - Statistics:
Number of schools - 3 [Centre grammar, Centre Primary, North School.]
Total pupils - 86.
Pupils under 5 years of age - 3.
Pupils between five and fifteen years of age - 81.
Pupils over fifteen years of age - 2.
The question of draining the basement of the grammar school building should also receive early attention. The need of this was very apparent last spring when for several weeks from six to twelve inches of water stood there, a menace to the health of the children
Year ending March 1, 1903
• Selectmen's Report - Town Appropriations:
General expenses - $1000
Schools - $1200
School supplies - $125
Highways - $1200
Cemetery - $100;
Library - $100
Support of poor - $400
Discount on taxes - $200
Town debt - $500
Memorial Day - $50
Superintendent of Schools - $62. 50
Maintenance Public Library - $75
Improvement Assoc. (street lamps) - $50
Improvement Assoc. (side-walks) - $50
Special appropriation (drain school cellar) - $50
Total - $5162.50.
Year ending February 1, 1905
• Highway Surveyor's Report - George Baker: January, 15 hours shoveling snow - paid $2.92.
Year ending February 1, 1907
• School Committee Report - As you know, one quite radical change has taken place in the management of our schools. We refer to the closing of the North School.
It is always a mistake to defer taking a step in the direction of progress and improvement until, by actual stress of circumstances, one is compelled to do so. To having made this mistake we must plead guilty.
By referring to the report of our superintendent for last year, it will be seen that at that time our schools at the Center were over-crowded, while that at the North was too small to be carried on at the best advantage.
We would strongly recommend that the town build an adequate comfortable school house, and install a method of heating that will keep the children reasonably comfortable in winter
A forerunner of today's special education regulations:
• School Superintendent's Report - Medical Inspection - The legislature of 1906 passed one of the most important laws relating to the schools that has been enacted in recent years. In brief it provides that "the school committee of every city and town in the Commonwealth shall appoint one school physician"
The fifth section requires the teachers to make an annual test of the sight and hearing of each school child in the public schools "to ascertain whether he is suffering from defective sight or hearing or from any other disability or defect tending to prevent his receiving his full benefit of his school work, or requiring a modification of the school work in order to prevent injury to the child or to secure the best educational results."
Year ending February 1, 1908
• Report of the School Committee -
By far the most serious problem has been the matter of trying to house 90 and more children with space available sufficient to properly accommodate only about 50. The temporary quarters used from Oct. 1906 to June, 1907, were not to be considered for any longer time, even aside from the fact that the state inspector had ordered its occupancy discontinued, so something had to be done. An attempt was made to hire Union Hall, but as this proved unsuccessful, there seemed to be nothing we could do except fit up a room somewhere if a place could be found. Upon investigation, it was found that the tenement at the western end of the long block was so arranged that all the partitions downstairs could be removed, making a large room in which a school might be held temporarily. This room was open to many objections, being so low of ceiling as to contain very insufficient air space, and also being very imperfectly lighted, while suitable ventilating was out of the question.
Year ending February 1, 1909
• Police Department - Outside of a few hen-house robberies reported, we have had very little trouble in this department
The Highland School was opened in late 1908:
• Selectmen's Report - We can but congratulate our Building Committee on their success in constructing such a well built, spacious and handsome a building on their limited means and when the grading is finished, we shall have a school house of which our town may well feel proud.
• Report of the School Committee - The arrangement of the work for the teachers since the schools opened in September is as follows:
Miss Alice La Fleur - grades 1-3;
Miss Edith R. Gregory - grades 4-6;
Miss Addie A. Wright grades 7-9.
The new school building being ready for use, teachers and scholars occupied it for the first time the week preceding Christmas week. It became therefore a fine Christmas gift on the part of the town to both, as well as her contribution to the twentieth century educational progress.
• Report of the School Superintendent - The $8,000 voted last spring for the erection of a schoolhouse has been well and carefully expended for the handsome structureThe four schoolrooms are unusually well lighted by a group of windows on one side of each room. ..The teachers' room in the front of the building over the hallway will be an excellent place for teachers' meetings, or, what is better, for a child if taken suddenly ill while at schoolThe basement playrooms will be most thoroughly appreciated by teachers and pupils on stormy days.
Year ending February 1, 1910
• Fourth Annual Report of the Local Superintendent for Suppressing the Gypsy and Brown Tail Moths - Owing to the fact that there are now 205 towns in the State infested with the moths, our allotments for the year has been less than in the previous two years
Being well supplied with all necessary tools and equipped with the very best Power and Hand Sprayer, it is believed we can save our Street trees, and with the co-operation of property owners, the orchard, from the ravenous work of the pests.
• Gleason Library - The number of books added during the year was 123.Seventy-five families have patronized the Library sometime during the year.
Before closing our report, the Trustees would like to suggest, if the town could appropriate a little larger sum than has been customary, something could be done towards cataloguing the Library. The Trustees have had this work in mind for a long time, but it has seemed so formidable they have put it off. But if we are to keep up with the times, we know it is a task that should be undertaken.
© 2005 The Carlisle Mosquito