So many people have roots in the six New England states; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine; that it essential you explored as much as possible about the region, especially if you do not live near that section of the country. Using the online site; Historic New England, it offers a variety of interesting and often not considered aspects of those states. The organization’s goals are to preserve and collect all aspects of the land, structures, artifacts and history of its people over the centuries.
Their collections go from saving New England furniture to original documents, postcards, photographs, household instruments, art work, clothing and manuscripts. The collection of just photographs and postcards is enormous with over 400,000 images covering from early 1800 into present-day.
The array of categories for the photographs consist of Agriculture, Business and Industry, education, Government, Home Life, Leisure and Recreation, Public Events, Sports, Transportation and Work. It offers a wonderful visual platform into the lives of our ancestors who lived in the New England region.
My father’s family came to the New England area from Great Britain in 1912 and lived in several different Massachusetts towns and even for awhile in New Hampshire. Just knowing the names of some of those places and the type of occupations most of the relatives held (information gathered from census and death records) I was able to use the search box to locate photos linked to my family’s lifestyle.
Plugging in the town of Haverhill in Massachusetts produced 135 images, including several images of the factory many family members worked at in the 1920s and 1930s. Putting in the type of work; ‘shoe factory‘, also provided two images of men working at making shoes in Massachusetts around 1920, just like when my ancestors worked there.
Additional towns they lived in were Worcester and Lynn, Massachusetts and the collection had over 200 images for the towns. Besides names of places, plug in a surname, there may be something there, a home or business.
Not just photos of places, but also scanned images of business ‘trade cards’ to local establishments was located. From each of the thumbnail (smaller) images, they each could be clicked on to be made larger. With each was an approximate date, a description and any other information related to the picture. Not all the images have an online image to view. Their name, date and description are still listed and the site provides details of how to view those items.
For New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut each have some 500 photos and postcards. For Vermont there are 401 images and Rhode Island there is 473, with new additions going online monthly. So overall a worthwhile site to explore.
The image is of the Worcester, MA train ticket station.