The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 10, 2005


Paging through Carlisle's Annual Reports: 1930 - 1939
Carlisle faces the Depression and the 1938 hurricane

Probably taken in early 1939, this photo shows the old fire station, which was located on the site of the current police station. (Gleason Library Collection)
[The Great Depression did not affect Carlisle as quickly as some other regions, but was clearly felt by 1933.]

• Report of Board of Public Welfare The Board of Public Welfare reports a very prosperous year, having spent only $184.25, this being the smallest amount used for many years. The people whom we help are few in number and do for themselves to the utmost limit of their strength and ability.

It is not to be expected that another year will make such slight demands upon the Department. The Age Pension Law, which goes into effect July 1, 1931, is to operate exactly like the Mothers' Aid Law; that is, two-thirds of the cost must be borne by the town and one-third by the state. How much demand this will make, we cannot foresee, neither can we predict how long those now being helped will be able to care for themselves.

We recommend an appropriation of $1200 and hope it will prove sufficient. - Lucy R. Davis, Arthur T. Lapham, James H. Wilkins.


• Report of Spalding Park Committee Through vote of the town the committee was authorized to spend $1,400 in grading a ball field in the Park according to plans presented.

• Report of School Committee - The net cost to Carlisle for sending a child to the Highland School is $69.95; for each child in Carlisle sent to high school the net cost is $34.58 [A comparison of other towns included:] Bedford, $82.78 (elementary schools) and $134.32 (high school); Lincoln, $121.66 (elementary schools) and $128.48 (high school.).


•Report of Board of Public Welfare The activity of the Board of Public Welfare has been greatly increased this year, largely by reason of the Old Age Assistance Act.

In other respects there has been little expenditure and the unfortunate conditions prevailing in many towns do not exist here.

This is largely due to the co-operation of the Selectmen, which we appreciate, and to the wise and equitable management of the Public Works Department.

• Report of the Superintendent of Schools Many things have happened which make Carlisle a desirable place in which to rear one's family. First the school house is home like. It is well heated and lighted. The furniture is of the best. The grounds are being developed. The health supervision and instruction is provided for. Music is being thoroughly done. Pianos have been bought.Visual educational work can be made available through our new projector.

It is indeed a compliment to Carlisle to have one of the best rural plants in the state.

• The names of dogs licensed during 1932: Fritz, Spot, Fannie, Happy, John, Teddy, Buddy, Rover, Peggy, Bobby, Dixie, Trixie, Jack, Buster, Mack, Rex, Dick, Jiggs, Sport, Major, Lindy, Kaiser, Christophe, Snowshoe Al, Sandy, Chubby, Dingle, Shuffle, Beauty, Blinkie, Jane, Prince, Robin, Jerry, Sallie, Chummy, Nancy, Bessie, Ozzie, Pirate, Queenie, Roderick Dhu III, Bozo, Tasky, Heather, Sandy, Sullivan, Zozo, Betty, Michael, Ducke, Spotty, Snooky, Bennie, Bob, Patou, Pal, Lady, Bonnie Girl, Indruders Bingo Sham, Peggy, Lady Babs, Rasstus, Bert, Scotty, Tommy, Kate, Dinah, Pep, Duke.

Tree work on Rockland Road is done by Public Works Administration employees under a WPA project. (Gleason Library Collection.)

• Report of the School Superintendent

The buildings are now in first-class shape. If a program of varnishing and painting is followed out each year, it ought never be necessary again to spend any large sum in any one year.

• Report of School Nurse All the children have been examined by the School Physician, weighed and measured. Notice of defects have been sent to parents and some corrections have been made, but quite a number, owing to lack of funds, are unable to make these corrections. Some parents report that they will wait until vacation time. There is a large number of defective teeth.

Some kind persons, without solicitation, have given enough to have eye defects corrected. Already three are under treatment. Another person has given money for a child who came to school without shoes. Some of the school children have shown signs of underweight.

As School Nurse, I have observed that some children are in need of some articles of clothing. I feel that if it was generally known that relief is needed for some of the children there would be donations to cover all needs. The cases are few but urgent.


• Report of School Nurse ...All the children have been examined by the school physician, and inspected by the school nurse. At the beginning of the fall term nearly 70% of the children were underweight. Notices were sent home to each parent, with the result that most of the children have shown a marked gain in weight. Each child is weighed once a month and measured every third month.

• Report of Fish and Game Warden During the year the State liberated 75 pheasants and 150 quail in various places around Town and Hale's Brook was stocked with one thousand brook trout.

Deer were seen quite frequently about Town this year, but none was shot here


[Nationwide, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (ERA) distributed over $3 billion in aid between 1933 and 1935. The Federal Work Projects Administration (WPA) was created in 1935, and during the next 8 years spent roughly $11 billion.]

• Report of the E.R.A. Administrator In February, three projects were in operation, a woman's sewing project, one for moth suppression, and another at the Town Forest.The woman's project was discontinued early in the year for lack of relief workers. Both the moth and Town Forest projects were continued under supplementary projects. A project was put in operation at the Town Dump to clean up and improve that area.

About August 1 a project was begun at the school grounds under the supervision of the School Committee. This project was continued until after November 1 when all E.R.A. workers were transferred to W.P.A. In January, 1935, there were thirty workers on the payroll and after May 1 but ten remained as many received work on the Highway Department.

Food products as corned beef, mutton, milk, prunes, potatoes and butter were received and disbursed to the workers during the year.


• Report of Town Forest Committee Last winter a WPA project was carried on in the Town Forest until the last of February. The work consisted mostly of trimming and thinning the pine.

Five thousand young pine and spruce were set out in the open spots. As the forest is in very good condition it will not be necessary to make an appropriation this year.

• Report of the Spalding Park Committee for 1936 — The W.P.A. Project, which was started in Spaulding Park late in the fall of 1935, continued throughout the greater part of the year 1936. This project was supervised by Waldo D. WilsonI will state briefly a few of the more important jobs done, nearly all being of permanent value to the Park.

A stone retaining wall was laid up on the east and south sides of the tennis court. The surface of the tennis court was regarded where it had been washed away

The banking along the road between the tennis court and the entrance to the pine grove was dug back twelve feet. This widened the road here and provides a parking space. The material taken from here was used to extend the ball field

Three regulation horseshoe courts were constructed, and an exhibition horseshoe tournament was held.

The well at the ball field was cleaned out and repaired

A skating rink 50 feet wide, 100 feet long and three feet deep was dug in the meadow east of the ball field and borders Church Street near the culvert.

The ball field was used a great deal.The Park Committee wishes to express its appreciation for the interest the Baseball League has shown in caring for the ball field.


• Special Election and Town Meeting March 25, 1937 — Article 2. Mr. Jay Fisk read the following report of the Committee, appointed at the annual town Meeting, February 8, 1937 "to study the question of fire protection in Carlisle, make recommendations for its improvement, and report to the Town within six weeks."

Committee Recommendations — No. 1: Water. Members of the Committee have visited every house in town, examined all practical sources of water, and measured the distances thereto. It is amazing how much water we have in what is commonly regarded as a dry Town. Much of this water is, however, now unavailable for fire fighting. There are brooks and swamp holes, the water of which is at present utterly useless because there is no suction hole deep enough or free enough of mud and weeds to assure certain pumping.

By digging a series of water holes with a steam shovel and by making suction holes in brooks with hand labor, the town could be assured of a satisfactory water supply within reasonable pumping distance of all but a very few homes.

It appears very doubtful that we shall for many years see water under pressure throughout the town of Carlisle, hence, we must look for fire protection to our natural sources of water.

No. 2: Fire Alarm. Second only in importance to a sufficient water supply is quick availability of the Fire Department. Two of the seven members of the department were found to have no telephones. The other five were equipped with telephones on a common line. Contact with the department is, therefore, dependent both upon the operation of a single telephone line, and upon the presence of a sufficient number of the members of the department being at all times within summoning distance of their telephones.

At the time of the Bates Farm fire last year, not a single member was within access of his telephone.

A proper fire whistle, controllable both from the home of the Fire Chief and from a box in the center of the town, would speed up contact with the members of the department, and by reaching those members who may be at a distance from home, insure a larger attendance at the fire.

Your Committee recommends the installation of an Air Whistle which will be audible at any point within the town.Respectfully submitted by unanimous approval of the Committee.

It was voted that the sum of $1,450 be appropriated for the development of water holes.

Mr. Mason Garfield explained that an air whistle which is recommended by the Committee has the advantage of being heard for probably six miles, and is not dependent for its operation upon electricity, which might fail at a critical moment.

It was voted that the sum of $900 be appropriated for a compressed air whistle.


• The Superintendent's Report

During the year past we have given the Stanford Achievement Tests as usual, and the results of these tests in general have been very satisfactory


The hurricane of September 21, 1938 caused extensive tree damage in Carlisle. Mrs. James Lovering took this photo on Concord Street. (Gleason Library Collection)(Gleason Library Collection)
The year has been made memorable by the fact that on the afternoon and evening of September 21, 1938, a hurricane struck the town with terrific violence. Trees were uprooted, which blocked the roads, crushed houses, broke light and telephone wires, and stopped all communication so effectually that the school had to be closed for several days.


Workmen hired under the WPA program gather in the town center, April 1939.
• Report of Town Planning Board The Board is now negotiating with the Boston Edison Company and the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company to improve the appearance of the center of the Town by having the pole which stands on the west end of the Monument Grounds with its array of cross arms and wires removed from its present position.

Throughout this series, photo assistance has been provided by Carlisle Librarian and Historical Society Archivist Constance Manoli-Skocay.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito