They were passing around a beer bottle Wednesday night at the meeting of the city’s history club. The bottle was empty and it was historic, bearing the imprint of the long-departed King Philip Brewery on Bay Street in Fall River.
They were passing around a beer bottle Wednesday night at the meeting of the city’s history club.
The bottle was empty and it was historic, bearing the imprint of the long-departed King Philip Brewery on Bay Street in Fall River.
They were helping themselves to a screwdriver, too — a small screwdriver given away as a promotional item by Kaplan’s Furniture Store, once located at Fourth and Pleasant streets.
“It was my mother’s favorite furniture store,” said George Petrin, explaining his urge to add a tiny screwdriver to his collection.
Like others, Petrin had come to the club meeting at the Fall River Public Library with artifacts and a story to tell. They all came in response to a Fall River History Club e-mail urging everyone to bring some thing or some story about Fall River.
For Rosemary Pettine, it was pictures of her great grandfather David Miller, who received the personal effects of his father, killed at Fredericksburg with the 127th Pennsylvania during one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. David Miller moved here after the death of his father, William.
In the 1880s, David Miller received a letter from a schoolteacher named Octavus Cox who had fought on the Confederate side of the conflict. In the letter were the personal effects of William Miller and a letter admitting that Cox had killed William Miller “by a shot from my pistol.”
“They are baptized in blood,” Cox’s letter said of the relics.
Cox also wrote that he was sure William Miller believed as strongly in the Union cause as he, Cox, did in the Confederate cause.
Pettine brought a copy of the letters and pictures of David and William Miller.
Jim Mullins brought a piece of floor tile from the old city hall and his father James Mullins’ seal, from the time in the 1950s when Mullins Sr. was the tax collector in Fall River.
David Dennis, recent City Council candidate, talked about how campaigning door to door led him to Edna Dennis, a woman he barely knew who had been married to his deceased cousin.
A watch Edna Dennis gave him was his grandfather’s pocket watch, which he’d carried when he walked a beat in the city’s Corky Row section.
“I never met him or touched anything he owned,” David Dennis said, before passing the watch around so everyone could touch his grandfather’s memory.
E-mail Marc Munroe Dion at firstname.lastname@example.org.