This Week in Reading History

“Shepardson Hall” located in the Walter S. Parker Junior High School, was named for former School Committee chairman Albert R. Shepardson. Shepardson died in August 1927, shortly before the school opened in October – Photo from the Digital Archives of Reading Public Library

We are looking back at the happenings of Reading using the Digital Archives of the Reading Public Library. The following news items were published in the Reading Chronicle.

10 Years Ago – 2013

  • A historic nor’easter storm dumped 24” of snow Friday night into Saturday morning. All roads were passible, but some were snow-packed Monday morning, causing school to be canceled.  2/11/2013
  • Coolidge principal Craig Martin has been selected as the Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Teaching. Martin is replacing Patty de Garavilla, who is retiring at the end of the school year. 2/14/2013
  • Planet Fitness on Salem Street, Reading Athletic Club on General Way, and the Burbank YMCA on Arthur B Lord Drive have been issued bylaw waivers by the Selectmen to open before 6 am. 
  • Parker Middle School has announced that students will perform “Aladdin Jr.” for their March musical. 2/14/2013
  • North Main Street residents voiced their concerns at Tuesday’s Selectmen meeting regarding the potential 60-unit apartment 40B project planned near Mattera Cabin. 2/15/2013

15 Years Ago – 2008

  • RMHS students had an unscheduled day off today due to problems with the heating system. 2/12/2008
  • Wingate at Reading is hosting a Red Cross blood drive for Valentine’s Day 2/12/2008
  • Newcomers and Neighbors Club of Reading will host its annual children’s concert. This year will feature folk and bluegrass singer Wayne Potash. 2/12/2008
  • Reading School Committee approved a pay rate increase for substitute teachers. The new salary will increase from $60 per day to $65 for non-certified instructions and $75 per day for those with a Massachusetts teacher certification. 2/13/2008

25 Years Ago – 1998

  • First Congregational Church will hold a ham and bean dinner on February 28th. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children. 2/12/1998
  • Reading Recreation is selling tickets for a bus trip to the opening day of the New England Flower Show. The $25 ticket includes transportation and admission to the show. 2/12/1998
  • The enrollment and school size committee presented an option at its recent meeting that would convert Coolidge Middle to an elementary school and build a new middle school on Dividence Road. 2/13/1998
  • Reading resident Ed Palmer showed his “Then and Now” slides to third graders at Joshua Eaton School. The slides showed the two versions of locations around town – in the past and present day. 2/13/1998

50 Years Ago – 1973

  • Reading Jaycees has named Nancy Anderson “Outstanding Citizen” of the year. Anderson is the chair of the town’s conservation commission and a precinct 1 town meeting member. She will be honored at a testimonial dinner in March. 2/15/1973
  • A Waltham company has agreed to treat Parker Tavern for termite control free of charge. The 279-year-old tavern had been severely damaged by termites in recent years. The tavern is owned and operated by the Reading Antiquarian Society. 2/15/1973
  • The combined job of Town Accountant and Selectmen Executive Secretary will be split up. Richard E. Gould will continue as Town Accountant, and the Executive Secretary job will remain empty until the Selectmen find the right man (and salary) for the job. 2/15/1973
  • Reading Symphony Orchestra will officially celebrate its 40th anniversary on March 4 with a special concert at RMHS. 2/15/1973
  • The US Supreme Court has announced that Attorney O. Bradley Latham of Reading was admitted as attorney and counselor of the Court. Attorney Latham is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston University Law School and is associated with the law offices of Latham and Latham. 2/15/1973

75 Years Ago – 1948

  • The Reading Y’s Men’s club will receive its charter Monday from District Governor Charles Seifert. The event will take place at Howard Johnson’s at the foot of Wakefield lake (Lake Quannapowitt). 2/12/1948
  • Quannapowitt Players will perform “Dear Ruth” in Shepardson Hall at Parker Jr. High School Thursday evening. The comedy features QP members Donna Mich, Loriston Stockwell, Judy Bright and Lois Saipe. 2/12/1948
  • Last Saturday, an eight-year-old from Linden Street was struck by an automobile in front of the Reading Theatre on Main Street. The driver was heading south on Main from Haven Street when the child dashed across the street. The child is badly bruised but not seriously injured. 2/12/1948  
Willis Pharmacy advertisement 1948 – The Reading Chronicle

100 Years Ago – 1923

  • Cold and snow hamper the work for firemen at a three-story tenement on Ash Street on Wednesday. Families flee in scanty attire, cause still a mystery. 2/14/1923
  • Parent teachers association and residents seek sidewalk on Lowell Street. “Needs Sidewalk facilities more than any place in town” 2/14/1923
  • Slocumb’s on lower Haven Street (opposite the Depot): Milk from Reading Farms 13¢ per qt. | Eggs from a Reading Hennery 72¢ per dozen | Butter from Vermont 65¢ per lb. | “Slocumb’s Best” Coffee 42¢ per lb. | Free lemon pie filling with every purchase of butter.  2/14/1923
  • Tuesday’s blizzard broke the Reading snow record of three years ago to over 75 inches for the season. Seventy-three inches was the previous record in 1920. No school signals were sounded for all schools. 2/14/1923
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