Friday, April 4, 2014


Littleton Patriot’s Day Celebration - The Littleton Historical Commission invites you to the celebration of Patriot’s Day on  April 19 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Square. Rain or shine.  The Boxborough Minutemen will join us if they are victorious in their early morning battle with the British in Concord. They can tell us personally about the heated bloody battle and the difficulty in chasing the British back to Boston.

On April 19, 1775

Five citizens received ammunition from the town stock totaling one and one fourth pounds powder and 38 bullets:
John Green one half pound powder and 14 bullets
Daniel Whitecomb  fourteen bullets
Thomas Wood eleven flints
Jona. Warren one half pound  powder, one pound bullets
Nathaniel Whitcomb one fourth pound powder

From Vol 1 History of Middlesex County:

Littleton’s inhabitants showed displeasure with British taxation as early as March 5, 1770 at a town meeting:

“The Grievous Impositions the Inhabitants of the british Colonies have long suffered from their Mother country strongly claim their attention to every legal Method for their Removal……

We therefore vote  That we will not (knowingly) directly or indirectly purchase any british goods that have been or may be imported contrary to the patriotic agreement of the Merchants of the Town of Boston.

If any Inhabitant of this Town of Littleton shall be known to purchase any article of any Importer of Goods contrary to the afors agreement or of any one who shall purchase of any such Importer he shall suffer our high Displeasure and Contempt.

The resolutions were published in the Boston Gazette March 12, 1770.

About 1772 a change in leadership took place when the conservatives  (many  of whom were Tories) were suddenly retired from power and those more actively involved in the Revolution took their place.

The alarm of April 19, 1775 was carried by Edward Weatherbee of Acton as far as Simon Tuttle's on the road to Littleton.  Littleton quickly responded sending Lt Aquila Jewett’s company of militia numbering 4 officers and 42 men  and several volunteers who marched to Concord and followed the enemy  26 miles probably to Cambridge.

Aquila Jewett (1730-1829)  married Eunice Houghton, daughter of Deacon Israel Houghton and Martha Wheelock, on 22 Mar 1764 in Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. (Eunice Houghton was born on 31 Jan 1736 in Lancaster, Massachusetts and was christened on 13 Feb 1736 in Lancaster, Massachusetts.) 
From History and genealogy of the Jewetts of America, page 157:Lieut. Aquila Jewett was born in Littleton, Massachusetts on 20 Feb 1730/31. He was married there by Rev. Daniel Rogers, 22 Mar 1764, to Eunice Houghton of Lancaster, Massachusetts. They settled in Littleton, in which he served as a soldier in the Revolution.
from Mass. Soldiers and Sailors in War of Rev., Vol. VIII:"Aquila Jewett, Littleton, Lieutenant, in command of a company of military, Col. James Prescott's rgt; which marched on the alarm of 19 Apr 1775; service 7 days."
His children, all born in Littleton, were:1 William, b. 5 Feb 17652 Eunice, b. 11 Mar 1767; m. 22 May 1788, to John Wood, 3rd of Littleton3 Israel Houghton, b. 21 Dec 1768, m. Susannah Wood4 Aquila, b. 23 Dec 17705 Benjamin, b. 1 Mar 1773; m. Betsy Wood6 Samuel, b. 28 Dec 17777 Arethusa, b. 15 Jan 1781 

Taken from Ancestry Public Stories

On June 18, 1775 (the day after Bunker Hill) another company of minute men was formed :
“We the subscribers having received ammunition out of the Town Stock of said Town do promise to keep and return the same again into said stock except obliged to use the same in defense of our rights and privileges when call by an alarm.”
The amount totaled 12 pounds powder, 279 bullets, and 99 flints:

Edward Brown
Nathan Chase
John Dix
Job Dodge
Boston Draper
James Dutton*
William Farr
Peter Fox
Israel Hinds
Samuel Hoar, Jr
William Jewett
James King
Ebezaur Lawrence
Simon Lawrence
Robert Powers
National Procter
John Robins,Jr
Ephraim Robbins
Moses Sanderson
Isaac SPauling
Jonathan Tenney
Oliver Tenney
Samuel Tenney, Jr
Samuel Tenney 3rd
Daniel Tuttle
John O Tuttle
John  Tuttle, Jr.
Stephen Tuttle
Joseph Warren
Jonathan Wheeler
Daniel Whetcomb
Ephraim Whitcomb
John Whiting, Jr
Benjamin Worster
John Wood
Joseph Worster

*James Dutton has several notations of payments made for services as a Revolutionary Soldier.  He is listed as a private in Capt Samuel Gilberts Co, Col William Prescott's Reg muster roll August 1, 1775.  On Jan 3, 1777 James Dutton, Littleton is paid 1.7.9 1/2 for wages due under the command of Maj William Bacon, Brewer's Regt Artificers.    And most interesting, he is found at Valley Forge in the winter of 1778.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Unusual place to find Littleton

Where is the most unlikely place you've ever found Littleton?   For me it was a village in Ireland. On the way to Cashel Rock in Tipperary

   "An Baile Dhaith"  gaelic for Littleton

                                              Main Street Littleton Co Tipperary


                                                             St Mary's Church -  doesn't appear to have "the bell"

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas in Littleton

From the Littleton Guidon
Christmas of 1906 in Littleton must be recorded as eminently successful if there is any evidence in happy faces and merry voices at the Christmas  festivals of the various churches, and best of all, the hearty response of the children to the invitation for Christmas remembrances for the poor.  Two heaping barrelsful of gifts were forwarded from the Baptist church alone to Salvation Army headquarters.

The good old English custom of singing carols on Christmas eve was revived Monday evening, when a company of about 10 children sang of “peace and good will” just outside many homes in the west end.  Joyous their sweet voices sounded in the crisp December air.  Thank you dear little folk.

1910- Christmas Visitors-  George Wright and family of Lowell were holiday guests of his sister, Mrs. W.E. Conant.  Mr. and Mrs. Wallace B. Conant of Concord were at his father’s on Christmas.  Mrs. Mary Houghton Holt and daughter, Miss Clara Shaw of Belmont spent Christmas at Charles W. Houghton’s.  James Smith’s family, twenty in all, celebrated Christmas at their home on Harvard Avenue.  Mrs. Patrick Neagle’s family were all at home for the holiday.  Miss Alice Halpin of Groton spent Christmas with her sister, Mrs. Sullivan at the common.  Mrs. Lucy Pickard went to Chelmsford to celebrate with son George and family.  Clement Kimball spent last Sunday at A.T. Kimball’s. 

A pleasant home gathering was held with Hon. George w. Sanderson on Monday December 26, when the four generations of his family, including the families of Chester F. Flagg,  Josiah P. Thatcher, Judge George A. Sanderson, Arthur F. Blanchard, Burton S. Flagg and Charles R. Houghton centered under the paternal roof to participate in the Christmas festivities.  Following the dinner an entertainment fitting to the day was carried out by the children when the old dining room was transformed into Santa Claus land, and the old walls which for generations have cherished such reunions, once more echoed with happy Christmas carols and added another red letter day to the memory of everyone present.

1893- The spirit of good cheer was never more manifestly abroad in Littleton than upon the evening of Christmas just past.  The vestry of the Congregational church was the scene of one of those social happy gatherings which we love to look back upon as expressions of Christian fellowship and hearty good will.  The children of the parish turned out in full number, accompanied by their elders whose beaming faces seemed to have taken on again the enthusiasm of childhood.

The entertainment of the evening was furnished chiefly by the Sunday school.  Recitations by the younger members were followed by a very creditable rendering of a cantata, called “Christmas eve at grandpa’s” during the progress of which jolly old Santa Claus himself appeared upon the scene.

1890- A Christmas tree in full bloom will appear in the vestry of the Congregational Church for the children, on  Christmas eve.

The annual Christmas gathering at the vestry of the Baptist church, on Wednesday evening, was attended by a large number, elderly people as well as children being present in good numbers.  After a bountiful supper, all were highly entertained with reading by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Cloues, of the Birds Christmas carol by Mrs. Kate Wiggin.  The tree which is ready for harvesting only on Dec 25th, this year bore a bountiful crop of fruit.  The branches were rapidly relieved of their heavy weight, many valuable presents being distributed.

The Christmas gathering, Thursday afternoon, at the Unitarian vestry, called out most of the little ones, who seemed to have a delightful time in games, plays and marching, which, together with the refreshments, and Christmas trees hanging full of candy bags, pleased the little ones. 

There were quite a number of family reunions here Christmas day.  Notably one at C.P. Hartwells, where we counted twenty members of the family around the festive board; another at Mrs. L.A. Wright’s , where seventeen of her family sat down to a Christmas dinner.  Mr. and Mr.s J.W. Ireland invited their relatives with their children to unite with them in having a Christmas tree at their home on Harwood avenue, and more than twenty responded and a very pleasant enjoyable evening was spent in games and plays and watching the little radiant faces.  Some jokes were called from the blooming tree.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


The Tory House original site  

300 King Street
Text on plaque

Original site of the Tory House. A volley of lead was fired in 1775 through the door at the Loyalist Reverend Rogers by a band of Patriots when he would not come out and declare his intentions. The house was moved to 280 King Street in 1858.
Issued by: Littleton Historical Commission

280 King Street
Built: c 1770
Style: Georgian

Text on plaque

TORY HOUSE Ca. 1716. Home of Daniel Rogers, Littleton's Second Minister and Tory Sympathizer. During the Revolutionary War, Patriots came to this house and demanded that the Rev. Rogers come out and declare his principles. When he did not appear, the Patriots fired, piercing the front door and stair panel with musket balls. The original door can be seen at the Littleton Historical Society.
Issued by: Littleton Historical Commission

Text from 2009 Freedom's Way Strollin' & Rollin' Tours pamphlet

Originally built by Isaac Powers, this house was moved to this site in 1858 from 300 King Street The Tory House was the scene of a confrontation between the Loyalist Rev. Rogers and local patriots. Shots were fired through the front doors, which, with their bullet holes, can be seen at the historical Society on Rogers Street

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wanted: Photos for Littleton 300 Book

The Littleton Historical Society needs photographs of people and places in town during the 1900’s for possible use in the 300 Book. In particular, pictures related to WWI (1917/18), and WWII (1940’s) are needed. Do you have good quality pictures of family members who were in military service? We also need pictures showing places in town associated with the war effort.

You can send digital photos to, or bring original photographs to the Society at 4 Rogers Street where they will be scanned and the originals returned to you. The Society is open every Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 4 PM. When submitting photos, please provide information, such as the names of people, the location, the date when taken, and name of the photographer, if known. Pictures will be considered for use to illustrate the 300 Book. And also added to the Society’s collection.

For more information and other times when you can bring photos to the Society, please e-mail the Society or call 978-486-8202. Or call Ann Himmelberger at 978-742-5960, or e-mail

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 19th 7:30PM at the Congregational Church 330 King Street Littleton

ROUNDERS TO BASEBALL presented by Anne Barrett

Precursors to baseball have been played for hundred of years, including a rousing game of stoolball at Plimouth Plantation that caused the governor to confiscate the game pieces.  It provided Civil War soldiers an outlet in training camps and prisons.  It bred gambling scandals, and rivalries so bitter that the NY Giants refused to play against Boston for the 1904World Series.  Trace the game's social, historical and professional evolution from the 19th century "townball" to the formation of the major leagues.  Not just for baseball fans but for anyone who enjoys history!