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Of Historical Note: Homage to Choate endures

By Lori Berkey, Contributing Writer

Do you know where this picture was taken? See if you can identify it and then read below for details about the featured landmark. Photo/Lori Berkey

Southborough – The photo of this shingled domicile was taken at 28 Main St. in Southborough. Once a maternity hospital, the site became a Community House for the Southborough Village Society in 1922 when Charles F. Choate donated the property for that purpose with the condition that an addition be constructed to accommodate the Leo L. Bagley Post of the American Legion. That's per information in Richard E. Noble's book, “Fences of Stone: A History of Southborough, Massachusetts.”

According to Noble's account, a daily ritual at the Community House was an afternoon tea served to the ladies of Southborough by Mrs. Toombs, a woman who worked as the facility's first caretaker along with her husband, Amos. Noble's book also mentions a holiday tradition that started the first year the Community House opened: An evergreen outside its doors was adorned with colorful lights, and decorating that tree became an annual affair. Inside, Legion members, their Ladies” Auxiliary and Village Society members gathered the week before Christmas to wrap gifts. The yearly rite culminated Christmas night when families convened there to sing carols and swap presents.

A plaque outside the Community House doorway pays homage to the site's donor. It reads:

“In loving memory of

Charles Frances Choate, Jr.

Whose time, money and friendship

Were expended to create

The

Southborough Village Society

Incorporated

And to assure its

Continued existence and success

This tablet is erected

By the society

In grateful recognition and

Remembrance of his service

And of the gift in his memory

By his wife

Louise Burnett Choate

December 19, 1928.”

Generations have continued to enjoy the facility and special touches have been added. A bench on the porch was donated by Boy Scout Troop 92 in December 2009.  Signage there also marks the site as the VFW Choate-Post 3276.

Of Historical Note is a weekly segment of the Community Advocate that features a hidden or well-known landmark from one of our newspaper's six communities.

Short URL: http://communityadvocate.com/?p=18842

Posted by on Mar 3 2012. Filed under Byline Stories, Community Curiosity, Southborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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