Sippican Historical Society

In late June, the Sippican Historical Society received a phone call from the Woburn Public Library that it was de-accessioning items from its collection. In 1901, a donor had given the library the shoe buckles of Major Earl Clapp from Rochester, who fought in the Revolutionary War. In 1776, Rochester included Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and part of Wareham. The Woburn Public Library asked if the Sippican Historical Society would be interested in adding the buckles to its collection and SHS responded with an enthusiastic “yes.”

The impressive pair of men’s shoe buckles exhibits a series of overlapping circles with raised dots that form the brass decorative outline of each buckle. The circa-1776 buckles include an iron inner support for attaching to the shoe and one buckle has a leather fragment attached. Each buckle measures approximately 3 inches across.

Major Earl Clapp was born in 1741 and was also a soldier in the French and Indian War. He took a very prominent part in the affairs of “Old Rochester,” where he lived, his name appearing on several committees appointed by the town during the time of the Revolution. His first services in the Revolutionary War were as Captain of a Company of Minute Men. Afterwards, he was appointed a Major in the Army and served through the war, bearing the character of a brave and energetic man. The Sippican Historical Society invites the public to visit its museum on Saturday mornings to view the buckles. The SHS museum is free and open to the public.


Community Unites to Support Police, Pray for Peace

“This is simply the right thing to do,” said Reverend Amy Lignitz Harken of the Mattapoisett Congregational Church on Saturday, July 16, during an ecumenical service held at ORR Junior High to show community support for local police. “…In a time when the world seems to be falling apart,” said Harken, in reference to these days following the tragic assassination of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, and three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

To be a police officer these days would, indeed, be difficult, said Harken, “Wherever you are.”

The Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester Police were reassured of their communities’ support that morning as over 100 residents turned out to pray for the men and women in uniform and to also pray for peace and an end to racism in America.

“We’re here to acknowledge our law enforcement officers,” said Harken. “We’re also here to acknowledge the scourge of racism in our country … to acknowledge that it is alive and well … and this sin has deadly consequences.”

Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons stressed the importance of the community and the police coming together in peace during these days.

“We are a nation in crisis,” said Lyons. “I want to thank all of you for your outpouring of support…. It has renewed our faith.”

Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee acknowledged the strength, dedication, and professionalism of his officers, which elicited applause from those in attendance.

“I encourage you to remain positive and to continue to focus on serving your community,” Magee said, adding that he was disheartened after hearing about the Dallas killings on July 7. But then, one by one, the residents young and old went to the officers and arrived at the station bringing hand-written cards, cakes, pizzas, and gifts of words of support for the police department.

“There is very strong support for police in the Tri-Town, and I want to thank each and every one of you,” said Magee. “We need to come together in unity and stay together if we want things to change for the better.”

“It’s not just a job for them,” said Reverend Robert Ripley, the chaplain for the Rochester Police. “It’s not just a place to go every day … or a thing to do. It’s their calling, their duty, their destiny.”

Marion Police Chief Lincoln Miller said a Marion resident approached him shortly after the first shootings and asked him, “Aren’t you afraid to be wearing the uniform right now?”

“No,” said Miller. “I’m proud to be wearing the uniform.” Be proud, he told his fellow officers. “Don’t let things that have happened … all around the country dishearten you … and continue to do the great job that you are doing.”

Attendees shared a moment of silence to pray for the protection of the police and for peace, and the Showstoppers led the audience in the singing of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

“I think everybody’s heart is breaking … and we need to come together,” said Harken. “We have to find a place to start, so let’s start here…. It begins with all of us. Light always dispels the darkness.”

By Jean Perry


Keeping the Community Afloat

The communities of the Tri-Town are special: the landscapes, the historic buildings, the history. But what really makes our three towns stand out are the people who live in them, the people who work in them, govern them, and especially the ones who give of their time and energy, volunteering for the highest good of their town and fellow residents.

This is the reason why, every year, The Wanderer is pleased to highlight the selflessness of three individuals – one from each town – to honor them and to recognize both their countless hours of service to the community and their dedication, which keep the community afloat like the keel of a ship that keeps the vessel from capsizing.

The community responded to the call for the submission of nominees from their towns this year, and the names of the selected recipients quickly rose to the top as the most deserving of this honor. We mostly stayed with the tradition of selecting one resident per town, but this year we broke slightly from the norm and decided to give the honor to two outstanding citizens from one of the towns who share the credit for one extraordinary project that has benefitted so many individuals and families from our own communities and a number of surrounding ones as well.

The Wanderer is proud to award this year’s 2016 Wanderer Keel Awards to: Debbi Dyson and Julie Craig of Mattapoisett; Joanne Mahoney from Marion; and Doreen DeCosta of Rochester.

For 10 years now, Debbi Dyson and Julie Craig have been providing adults with developmental disabilities the chance to reach new heights atop therapeutic horses thanks to their project, Helping Hands and Hooves.

The partners provide horseback riding lessons to disabled adults who have aged out of the school system at age 22, when further services are either minimal or unavailable. Every summer, Dyson and Craig, after a year of fundraising for their organization, provide a free therapeutic horseback riding summer camp for adults with developmental disabilities who might not otherwise be able to afford riding lessons, thus opening them up to the many therapeutic benefits they experience as a result of riding horses.

“It’s just as therapeutic for us as it is for them,” said Craig. Craig has a son on the autism spectrum, which is one of the factors behind the inspiration for the program. “It’s a double win. They enjoy it, we enjoy it, and we love doing it.”

Dyson, who also has a brother with a developmental disability, said she is inspired by her students and couldn’t imagine not being a part of Helping Hands and Hooves.

“Every day that I’m there, it inspires me by who they are and what they go through and the sheer joy,” said Dyson. “And when they get out to the farm, it’s just this light that goes on inside them.”

Both women say their work is rewarding in a number of ways, but the joy they bear witness to is more than enough to keep them going.

“It’s incredibly joyful,” said Dyson. “And to do it with someone that I just respect so much … it has just worked out so well.”

In Marion, Council on Aging Chairperson Joanne Mahoney helped make something possible that many in Marion have been wishing for year after year – a ‘senior center’ for the aging population of Marion. And, although Marion continues to be one of the few area towns without a physical senior center, for the time being there is at least a program and a place for seniors to gather and continue to grow as a community.

“Joanne has worked to put this program together so the seniors of Marion have a place to gather as we have no senior center,” said Marion resident Edward Sefranka.

Of course, says Mahoney, she still hopes there will some day be a real senior center building, but in the meantime, the Marion Music Hall has served the purpose well, with Monday morning activities that include chair yoga, visits by the town’s nurse, and a public speaker, evolving and growing into a lunch program on Mondays and Wednesdays, and morning exercise programs throughout the week.

“It’s really taken off on its own,” said Mahoney. With the hiring of the new COA director, along with Mahoney establishing a Friends of the Marion Council on Aging in order to fundraise for a senior center and senior programming, the program is now firmly established.

“We’re seeing anywhere from thirty to sixty people every Monday,” said Mahoney. “It has been very successful, and I’m very happy with it.”

But Mahoney’s efforts don’t stop there. Her ultimate goal is to see construction of an actual senior center.

“It’s a lot of work,” said Mahoney, “but it’s a lot of fun and it’s very rewarding.”

Over in Rochester, the members of the ATOMIC Youth Ministry of the First Congregational Church of Rochester nominated DeCosta for her leadership of the 15+ member youth group. The members say she “pours her heart and soul into” the ministry for kids in grades 6-12, ensuring the group meets every week and scheduling Bible study for the older teens throughout the school year.

DeCosta organizes a number of other activities for the youth as well, such as the week-long teen summer camp and the annual winter trip to the Monadnock Encounter weekend Bible retreat in New Hampshire.

“Mrs. DeCosta is such an amazing person whom I can look forward to seeing in youth group,” said Tiana D., a youth group member. “I can always trust her when I have problems.”

Another youth group member, Geneva S., said, “She is the best role model to all of us for how we should live for others.”

DeCosta just wants the kids in her group to know how much they inspire her and to know Jesus and want to have a relationship with Him.

“There’s nothing on the face of this Earth that I could give as a gift except for the love of Jesus,” said DeCosta. “If I could leave you with one thing it would be to not only recognize Jesus, but to live like Him because that’s how I live my life every single day the best that I can.”

For DeCosta, it’s the kids that should be given a reward.

“They are the most spectacular things that God has put before me,” said DeCosta. They’re wonderful. Once a week with them is not enough. So I am very grateful to have each and every one of them in my life.”

The Wanderer congratulates the winners and we thank those who submitted nominations to bring these outstanding people into the forefront to be honored and recognized for the good work they are doing in our community.

By Jean Perry


Academic Achievements

Phillips Exeter Academy is delighted to share that the following students have achieved academic honors during the spring 2016 term.

To qualify for the honor roll, students must maintain an overall average of B, or a grade between 8.0-8.9 on an 11-point scale. High honors are given for grades 9.0-9.9 (B+); highest honors are given for grades 10.0-11 (A-).

– Thomas B. Chou, grade 12, of Mattapoisett earned Highest Honors for the spring 2016 term.

– Ty A. Deery, grade 11, of Mattapoisett earned Honors for the spring 2016 term.

MCPHS University is pleased to announce that Thomas Lavoie has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2016 semester. Thomas Lavoie is a native of Rochester and is pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy. Thomas will graduate in 2019 from the Boston, Massachusetts campus.

The Dean’s List recognizes those students with a full-time course load who have achieved outstanding scholarship with a 3.5 GPA or higher for the academic term.

The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce that John Martin of Mattapoisett was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2016 semester.

Tufts University recently announced the Dean’s List for the spring 2016 semester. Among these students are:

– Alexandra Dawson of Rochester, class of 2018

– Thomas Tarrant of Marion, Class of 2016, who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics

Dean’s List honors at Tufts University require a semester grade point average of 3.4 or greater.

Marion resident and Azusa Pacific University student Shannon Smith made the academic Dean’s List at APU. Smith, a Liberal Studies major, is honored for a spring semester 2016 academic standing of a 3.5 or better grade-point average.

Celeste A. Popitz, of Marion, was awarded Faculty Honors for the spring 2016 semester at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

A Cavalcade of American Popular Music

On Friday, July 29, the Marion Concert Band continues its Friday evening concert series with a program of American popular music. The program, which features a variety of pop styles from the 1920s to 1980s, is as follows:

Washington Post March – J. P. Sousa

Second American Folk Rhapsody – C. Grundman

Flute Cocktail – H. Simeone

Elaine D’Angelo, Wendy Rolfe, Jill Krawiecki, Amy Richard, flutes

New York: 1927 – W. Barker

The Symphonic Gershwin – G. Gershwin

Satchmo! – T. Ricketts

Sinatra! – arr. S. Bulla

Pop and Rock Legends: The Beatles – arr. M. Sweeney

The Blues Brothers Revue – arr. J. Bocook

Africa (recorded by Toto) – D. Paich & J. Porcaro

Pop and Rock Legends: The Association – arr. T. Ricketts

Thundercrest March – E. Osterling

Elaine Baker-D’Angelo is principal flutist with the South Shore Concert Band. She has performed with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal flutist for the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. Marion resident Wendy Rolfe is Professor of Flute at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and performs regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest. A Needham native, Jill Krawiecki resides in Melrose and is a Registered Nurse with Partners HealthCare. She freelances in flute performance, most recently as a soloist for the annual Needham Women’s Club Holiday House Tour, and performed with the Charles River Wind Ensemble under the direction of Eric Hewitt, and has been a member of the Marion Concert Band since 2000. Amy Richard is a graduate student at Rhode Island College pursuing a degree in Music Education. She performs with several ensembles at the college and is a student of Mary Ellen Kregler.

The concert, under the direction of Tobias Monte, will begin at 7:00 pm at the Robert Broomhead Bandstand, Island Wharf off Front Street in Marion. All concerts are free and open to the public. “Like” us on Facebook at “Marion Town Band” for up-to-date announcements and rain cancellation notices.

BWAA Annual Art Show

The Bourne Wareham Art Association will hold their 52nd Annual Art Show and Sale at Buzzards Bay Park in Bourne, located near the Railroad Bridge. The show will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visit the show and meet local award-winning artists who will be exhibiting original fine art in all mediums as well as photography, jewelry and giclee prints. The BWAA collection of paintings featuring works by well- known artists will also be available at bargain prices. For more information, please contact Carole Raymond at

The Art Association, a nonprofit association, was organized in 1963 by a group of artists and art lovers in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary celebration of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal. The purpose of the group is to promote the appreciation of fine arts in the Canal area.          The Association has held an art show every year since 1963 to benefit annual BWAA art achievement awards for local students planning to pursue a career in art.

One of the BWAA founders was Clayton Fuller of Wareham. Clayton, an artist and sculptor, created the bronze statue of AQUENE, a native American maiden, on the bluff at Onset. He served as treasurer of the Bourne Wareham Art Assoc. for many years. To honor Mr. Fuller, each year the art group presents a special Clayton Fuller, Best in Show Award.

Gateway Youth Hockey

The Gateway Youth Hockey program announces the offering of a new girl’s developmental program for the upcoming 2016-17 season. The program will be offered to girls of all ages interested in learning the fundamentals of playing hockey in an exclusive environment of girls only. The program will be heavily focused on learning through November and will add scrimmages in addition to the practice schedule during the early months of 2017. The overall emphasis of the program is to offer a learning environment focused on girls only for all girls interested in learning how to play ice hockey. The fall session will run from 11:00 – 11:50 am for 12 weeks starting September 11 and ending November 27. The cost for the 12-week program will be $149. The cost includes 12 practice sessions and a player jersey to keep. To register, please send name, address, email, applicant’s name and age, and a check to Gateway Youth Hockey, P.O. Box 742, Wareham, MA 02571.

The Gateway Youth Hockey program is announcing the schedule for the fall session of Learn to Skate/Play. The program is offered to all ages interested in learning to skate or learning the fundamentals of playing hockey. The fall session will run for eight weeks starting on September 16 at 6:00 pm at Tabor Academy and running concurrent Friday evenings from 6:00 – 7:00 pm to November 4. The cost for the eight-week program will be $99. The cost includes eight practice sessions and a player jersey to keep. To register, please send name, address, email, applicant’s name and age, and a check to Gateway Youth Hockey, P.O. Box 742, Wareham, MA 02571.

Academic Achievements

Austin Salkind of Rochester has been named to the Dean’s Honor List at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the spring 2016 semester. The Dean’s Honor List recognizes students who attain a grade point average of 3.50 or better and have no grade below C.

Nicholas M. Nadeau of Mattapoisett, a recent graduate from the Virginia Military Institute majoring in International Studies, was named to the Dean’s List for the second semester of academic year 2015-16. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a cadet must have a term grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and no grade below C. Cadet Nadeau’s parent is Ms. Leanne M. Nadeau.

Callum Mclaughlin of Mattapoisett made the Dean’s List at the Rochester Institute of Technology for the spring 2016 semester. Mclaughlin is studying mechanical engineering. Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Dean’s List if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of “Incomplete,” “D” or “F”; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.

The following University of Massachusetts Dartmouth students are named to the spring 2016 Dean’s List in recognition of earning a semester grade point average of 3.2 or higher of a possible 4.0: Colby Garstang of Marion; Ian Hibbert of Marion; Arien Keyghobad of Marion; Natalie Martin of Marion; Evan Martinez of Marion; Micaela Muller of Marion; Michael Rezendes of Marion; Drew Cunningham of Mattapoisett; Shelby Cunningham of Mattapoisett; Crystal Gleason of Mattapoisett; Jacob Jaskolka of Mattapoisett; Casey Mackenzie of Mattapoisett; Molly Magee of Mattapoisett; Morgan Matthews of Mattapoisett; Madison Miedzionoski of Mattapoisett; Laura Morse of Mattapoisett; Christina Musser of Mattapoisett; Jennifer O’Neil of Mattapoisett; Jeffrey Paquette of Mattapoisett; Blake Rusinoski of Mattapoisett; Matthew Vicino of Mattapoisett; Geoffrey Bentz of Rochester; Haydon Bergeron of Rochester; Jordan Frey of Rochester; Amanda Frey of Rochester; Tyler Paquin of Rochester; Benjamin Resendes of Rochester; Riley Sherman of Rochester; and Brendan Wasylow of Rochester.

The following University of Massachusetts Dartmouth students have been named to the Chancellor’s List by earning a grade point average of 3.8 or higher out of a possible 4.0 for the spring 2016 semester: Derek Marshall of Marion; Samuel McDonald of Marion; Mya Akins of Mattapoisett; Connor Bailey of Mattapoisett; Margaret LeBrun of Mattapoisett; Megan Merlo of Mattapoisett; Kelly Merlo of Mattapoisett; Izak Thuestad of Mattapoisett; Brandon Gaspar of Rochester; Kevin Newell of Rochester; and Nicholas Pavao of Rochester.

The Bay Buzzard

How did Buzzards Bay get its name? Historic research goes back to the year 1602 when it was discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold sailing around Cape Cod, which he had named dropping anchor near the Acushnet River in a pristine setting whose islands he described as a paradise of beauty created by God and nature. If he didn’t name it then, it probably originated in subsequent colonial times originating from the incorrect identification of local ospreys as buzzards.

The osprey is not a buzzard and instead occupies its own specific species niche after diverging from other birds of prey 25 to 30 million years ago, evolving with hollow bones and forward-facing talons that permit them to hover and dive into the water below the surface, then surface to fly away clutching as large as a 4- or 5-pound fish.

It seems logical that the image of the high profile osprey with landmark coastal nests deserves the present natural title of the bay, as a historical connection to our past just as the many Native American names of places along the bay relate to their native origin.

Out our new waterfront picture windows at Crescent Beach where the rising sun illuminates the seaside panorama that after some 400 years still remains clean and natural after Gosnold’s voyage, one morning we were visited by a common buzzard, somewhat similar in size and description to a red-tailed hawk and a close raptor cousin along with 25 other buzzard species, also classified as Buteos. It is among the largest, standing 25-inches tall with wide wings for hovering and rising high up to soar on thermals and then dive down to feed on small mammals, rodents, and serpents, as in my illustration (viewable online). Like the red-tailed hawk, they are skilled to frequently hunt in pairs for teamwork to feed the young.

The Mattapoisett Library has a relevant publication of Buzzards Bay: A Journey of Discovery by Daniel Sheldon Lee that explores the remarkable environmental history of the bay that Gosnold labeled a paradise. In the conservation chapter, credit is given to the Clean Water Act of 1985, pioneered by my old Rhode Island friend, the late John Chaffee, resulting in the bay being classified as an Estuary of National Significance to qualify for substantial federal funds. Daily watching and measuring environmental conditions is a citizens group called the Buzzards Bay Coalition. They deserve our support and thanks.

To count the many blessings in writing and drawing for environmental awareness, waking up in our new Buzzards Bay home is my daily inspiration to share with you. Thanks for joining me.

By George B. Emmons


Marion Natural History Museum

Join the Marion Natural History Museum on Wednesday afternoons this summer from 1:00 to 4:00 pm; $24/each members, $30/each non-members.

Spend the afternoon with us looking at birds on Bird Island and other locations around Marion’s coastline on July 27: An introduction to our coastal birds with a naturalist from U.S. Fish and Wildlife. A naturalist with MA Fish and Wildlife will be giving us a presentation on shore birds of our area. We will hear first-hand from one of the naturalists how they’ve been helping to improve the nesting habitat for the Roseate Terns of our area. Then we will be taking a trip to Bird Island, courtesy of Marion Harbormaster’s office and lead naturalist, Carolyn Mostello.

Learn a little about our night skies in our portable planetarium on August 3: Summer Star Lab. Explore summer constellations with the Museum’s Star Lab portable planetarium. We will have the opportunity to work with the Star Lab instructor to learn to identify some of the features of our nighttime summer skies. To view all our upcoming programs please go to our website:

The Marion Natural History Museum is open Saturdays through July, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Along with an impressive Lego collection and puppet theater, we will have a fun project scheduled for each Saturday. Upcoming activities: July 23 – Make a jellyfish; July 30 – Using shapes to design an animal. Keep checking our website,, for more fun activities and our upcoming summer programs.