It appears that attics hold more than just old dresses and your brother’s baseball card collection. This past weekend, Bill Cupp uncovered Osprey City history cleaning out his mother’s attic on Elwood Lane. Tucked away between old deeds and stacked paintings, Cupp found a map of the Osprey area dated 1630. The lucky discoverer quickly contacted experts at Osprey University, who took possession of the document and tested it for authenticity. Today, the archival documents department of the university announced that the map indeed dated back to the early 17th century.
“We are astounded by the condition of the document,” commented Amanda Lee, archivist at Osprey University. “The ink is in surprising condition, with little evidence of oxidization. Whoever owned this map originally took special care of it.” University archivists have decided to store the map in a climate-controlled space while they acquire an appropriate display case. The archive was, however, able to provide a high-quality scan for public use.
Prof. Ian Hannigan, an expert in colonial American history, said that the map provided valuable insight into what Osprey City, or what was then called the “Town of Osprey,” looked like at its founding. “The town is depicted as generally surrounded by forests, which gels with what we have read in early written accounts of the area,” explained Prof. Hannigan. “The map also helps us date some of the place names in the Osprey area, such as Brittany Cove and Lake Powcotowet.” Certain farms outlying the town were also named in the map, and provide clues to the names of other parts of modern-day Osprey City. For example, Henry St. is named after the Henry farm, located just north of the colonial village. The map also shows that the First Congregationalist Church of Osprey occupies the same space as the original church built by Pilgrim settlers.
“What remains a mystery, however,” commented Hannigan, “is why the cartographer marked certain locations on the map that aren’t particularly important, such as the homes of E. and D. Woode and W. Thatcher.” Hannigan hypothesized that the individuals might have sponsored the cartographer, or one of them might have been the map-maker themselves. “Unfortunately, without a name to ascribe the work to, I’m afraid we will never know who created this map.” Once safely in a display case, the map will be displayed to the public at the Osprey University library, the centerpiece of an exhibit on Pilgrim Osprey City.
The First Congregationalist Church of Osprey is preparing to mark its 390th year of operation with a major celebration. The second-oldest congregation in Massachusetts, the church was established in 1626 with the founding of Osprey by Separatist colonists from Plymouth. The First Congregationalist Church has occupied the same address for all of its 390 years, and the same building since 1901.
Minister John L. Peters, speaking before a cluster of reporters, expressed his joy in “celebrating such a momentous anniversary.” Congregationalist ministers from around the nation will gather for the occasion, and local researchers will compose essays that center on the long history of the Church and its congregation. “The history of the First Congregationalist and the history of Osprey City are deeply intertwined, back to the earliest days of this country,” explained Bill Gordon, local librarian and volunteer at the Osprey Historical Society.
At the celebration, Minister Peters will be accepting donations for a commissioned mural of the founding of the church, including a depiction of the church’s first leader, Minister James Wright. Though mention of Minister Wright disappears around 1630, baptism records indicate that Wright was head of the congregation at its establishment. “What we lack right now, apart from the funds,” commented Minister Peters, “is a clear description of what Minister Wright looked like.” Archivists will be trawling through the records at the Historical Society, but anyone with any documents that might help in the process are asked to contact Minister Peters at the First Congregationalist Church of Osprey.
Citing decreasing membership numbers and increased operating costs, the lauded Scrimshaw Club announced yesterday that it will be opening its doors to the general public starting next month. The Scrimshaw Club, opened in 1850, has historically been the establishment of choice for Osprey’s elite.
“Of course, this does not mean that we will push out our remaining members,” explained Reginald Hawthorne II, president of the Scrimshaw Club. “In fact, most days will be for members only. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will be for the general public.” A strict dress code of slacks, button-down shirts, and dress shoes will be enforced.
Members met the news with mixed reaction. Some members understood the need for change. “Look, I understand that the Club needs to increase income,” commented member Samuel Wood. “These days, clubs like this are sort of anachronistic – they have to do what they can to survive. If that means allowing the public to come in and enjoy what the Scrimshaw Club has to offer, so be it.” Other members were reportedly offended at the idea of opening the club to “the plebes,” in the words of one member, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The Scrimshaw Club is where we go to get away from these people. I personally don’t have any interest in rubbing shoulders with a bunch of vodka-and-Red-Bull swilling, fist-pumping bros.”
Wealthy whaling ship owners founded the Scrimshaw Club in the mid-1800s in order to have a place to relax and discuss business in private. With fine, dark woods, luxurious leather seats, and many fine examples of scrimshaw art, the Scrimshaw Club exudes class and sophistication. It is one of the few remaining active gentlemen’s clubs of the 19th century, and the only one in Osprey City.
After numerous nor’easters and over 50 inches in snowfall, it appears that winter has ended in Osprey City, and that spring is finally here. Residents are emerging from their homes to take in much-needed sunlight, and shedding their heavy winter coats for lighter jackets.
“I think I broke two shovels this winter,” remarked longtime Osprey resident Andrew McCrimmon. “This was perhaps one of the worst [winters] I’ve seen in 10 years.” McCrimmon stated that he is most looking forward to being able to use his backyard and light up his grill. Others in the city are quickly taking advantage of the weather by walking in Osprey’s various parks and brushing the dust from their bicycles.
The city was able to keep up with snow removal and road salting without going over budget, an impressive accomplishment given the heavy snowfall. “Since the 2012-2013 winter was so mild, we were fortunate in that we could roll the remainder of last winter’s budget into this years,” explained Dir. Phil Sheldon of the Public Works Field Operations Division. “It was close, though. We’ve expended roughly 94% of the budget.” Dir. Sheldon warned that another heavy snowstorm would require Public Works to re-appropriate funds from another part of their budget.
Residents are reminded to exercise caution driving on the roads over the next few weeks, as there may be increased numbers of cyclists with various degrees of street experience and more pedestrians taking advantage of the improved weather.
Tragedy struck on the east end of Telford last night as Larry Hudson, 42, and his wife Susan, 39, were killed when their car apparently lost control and plunged over the side of Greene Way. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Hudson, a lawyer, was regarded as a pillar of his community. He was a coach for youth soccer and a member of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Susan was an active member of the Parent-Teacher Organization and a part-time piano teacher. They are survived by their son, Jon, 17, and their daughter Kelly, 15.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, but weather appears to be a factor.