Contact: Louise Grabowski, 617-851-1673
Squantum Community Association Lecture Series
The Squantum Community Association provides programming that fosters conversation and community with a focus on topics of interest to the Squantum and Quincy communities, highlighting local talent and history. The Association hosts approximately four events per year, usually a presentation followed by refreshments and conversation.
To subscribe to event notifications email SCASquantumEvents@gmail.com.
Exploring Quincy’s Rich Cultural Heritage – new date!
Preparing for Quincy 400
April 11, Wednesday, 7:00pm
First Church of Squantum
164 Bellevue Rd, Squantum, MA (map)
Historian Bob Damon will share highlights from a heritage study he is conducting for the City of Quincy in advance of the Quincy 400 celebrations. Quincy has an incredibly rich stock of historical cultural capital, and Mr. Damon has been taking a closer look at the Quincy buildings, structures, and sites that have been identified as having importance at a national level, including sites in Squantum such as Squaw Rock.
Quincy is a city with a long and significant history. That history has been accumulated in layers over the centuries as the city has evolved from a colonial town to a center of American revolutionary thought and action, to a thriving shipbuilding and granite quarrying center, and now into a thriving suburban center. Throughout these eras, diverse groups of people have left a vibrant cultural, economic, and historical legacy, the remains of which can be found in the many physical structures and sites that connect us to these rich layers of the past. Examples include the remains of the Winthrop Iron Furnace, the Adams houses, the granite quarries, remaining structures from the era of the Fore River Shipyard, and the native American sites Moswetuset Hummock and Passanagesset.
Long-term care, management, and use are important parts of the larger heritage ecosystem surrounding any historic asset. By taking a careful look at the current preservation and management contexts of the City’s most prominent sites, we have the opportunity to learn how those sites are doing, what we can do to support them more effectively, and how to support the City’s historic heritage more broadly in the future.
Join us on Wednesday, March 21, when Mr. Damon will share with us the details of this exciting project and lead a discussion about cultural capital, the ‘historical ecosystem,’ and the ways in which we value heritage here in Quincy.
We read about it in the news every day and we see the impacts across our community, state, and nation. In November a panel of experts reviewed the issues surrounding the origin of the opioid crisis, its impact on the community, and efforts to prevent abuse and to assist those who are addicted. Panelists included Norfolk DA Michael Morrrissey and Quincy Substance Use Prevention Coordinator Laura Martin. See the full panel and read more.
Meet the At-Large City Council Candidates
The Squantum Community Association hosted an event for neighbors to meet the candidates running for three At-Large seats on the Quincy City Council. At this informal gathering (not a debate) each candidate shared their thoughts in an opening statement and residents posed questions about local topics including the future Animal Shelter, seawall restoration, and traffic impacts around development projects. Read more.
Talking Safety with Lieutenant Dan
Neighbors gathered to hear safety tips from Lieutenant Dan Minton of the Quincy Police Department who lead a conversation about matters of safety in our community.
Lt. Dan, known for his “Job Well Done” column and for sharing safety tips on QATV, represents the Quincy Police Crime Prevention Unit and invited folks to share any concerns or comments about local crime or police matters. The goal of QPD is to enhance the quality of life in our community by working together to address and resolve issues.
Squantum History Tour
Another great time as we traveled through time on our guided tour of Squantum visiting the location of inns and homes that once provided a summer escape for day-trippers and Boston families who arrived by steamboat and travelled by trolley to our beautiful seaside peninsula during the early 1700-1900s.
Meet Quincy Ward 6 Council Candidates
Squamites care! What a fabulous turnout for the candidates’s night in March. Over 175 folks turned out to meet our neighbors running for the Ward 6 seat on the Quincy City Council. The special election was scheduled following the death of Brian McNamee in December. All five candidates running in the special election for the Ward 6 city council seat attended. Ward 6 covers Squantum, Marina Bay, and parts of North Quincy.
In the end, the special election was cancelled as it was decided by the courts that the prior runner up, Bill Harris, would be made councillor.
Read more about this event.
Squantum History Tour
We had such a great time with folks on our sold out guided tours of Squantum! On the two tours we visited the location of inns and homes that once provided a summer escape for day-trippers and Boston families who arrived by steamboat and travelled by trolley to our beautiful seaside peninsula during the early 1700-1900s.
Many thanks to Glen Buscher who researched and narrated the tours. As we drove through Squantum our street names came to life as we visited the spots where one-time Squantumites took respite, including entertainer Lotta Crabtree and Captain Huckins. Learn more about the tour.
Squantumite Meet and Mingle
As we headed into the holiday season, Squantumites joined us for a neighbor’s night out to meet and mingle at an informal gathering, enjoying light refreshments, and celebrating great neighbors and our beautiful seaside community.
Several Squantumites with memorable interests and hobbies shared stories and updates about groups and activities happening in our neighborhood. Folks had an opportunity to discover new neighbors and groups, hearing from youth group leaders, activity group hosts, and from some fabulous volunteers who gathered and energized our neighbors to care for our unique community.
The Music of the Beatles
What makes the music of the Beatles so great? In this interactive presentation, Squantum resident and Wheaton College music professor Delvyn Case explored the inner workings of some of the Fab Four’s greatest songs and helped us all to listen differently to any music! His engaging talk shed new light on why and how the songs of the Beatles have remained classics for 50 years. Learn more.
If it hops, creeps, slithers or howls, it might be a patient of Dr. Rob Adamski. At the New England Wildlife Center, rehabilitating exotic pets and wild creatures is all in a days work. And Dr. Rob has treated everything from a poison-dart frog to a bald eagle and every type of exotic animal in between. Dr. Rob revealed the world of creatures creeping around Squantum and quelled our fears about our increasingly present neighbor, the coyote. Dr. Rob shared terrific advice for wildlife encounters. One major tip…leave those baby creatures alone! Too many “benevolent kidnappings” occur when well intentioned folks rush the little creatures to the rehab when they are perfectly healthy and are simply getting their steady legs about them. We learned all about the wildlife rehabilitation and educational work of the Center, located in Weymouth. Read more about this event.
In Squantum we are immersed in the beauty of nature. According to Squantum neighbor and UMass Boston professor Anamarija Frankić – that beauty has brains!
Anamarija shared the work being done to restore and clean our shorelines, and how the innovative approach of biomimicry can solve many problems we face today, from clean hospital surfaces, to clean water. By taking tips from nature’s 3.8 billion years of wisdom, we can create adaptable, locally tuned solutions for a myriad of sticky challenges. Read more about this event.
Park Ranger Donald Cann gave a rich and entertaining history of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, which sits in our front yard here in Squantum, and features 34 islands and 35 miles of coastline. Park Ranger Cann guided attendees through the many treasures of the park, including hiking trails, beaches, ranger-led tours, camping, kayaking, nature walks, and historic sites. As we kick off the summer, this talk was a great review of the beauty, tranquility, history, and outdoor activities we all can enjoy at the Boston Harbor Islands.
A Squantumite Story Hour
Squantumites shared stories of humor, peril, tremendous joy, ardent belief, longtime friendships, and simple pleasures in the seaside community of Squantum. Stories from years ago of wide open spaces, beloved corner stores, war time support efforts, boating, and of course the cherished Squantum tradition, the Fourth of July parade. Storytellers included Ralph Ames, Sr., Marie Clark, Pat Duggan, Mary LaFlamme, Maureen Mazrimus, Jim and Sandi Sumner, Bob Sealund, Jack Westerbeke, and Ruth Ann Wetherby. The evening was moderated by Bill Geary, Squantum resident and chairman of the City of Quincy Planning Board. Stay tuned for an airing of the program on QATV!
Native American heritage of Squantum
Stories of the first people of Squantum and the Boston Harbor Islands
Squanto. Squaw Rock. Moswetuset Hummock. Every day we are reminded of the rich Native American heritage of Squantum and the surrounding harbor islands. Through study and song we learned about the people who first walked our shores.
Archaeologist Ellen Berkland, of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, shed light on the Native American way of life in the Squantum area discovered through explorations of the Boston Harbor Islands. Beginning many centuries ago, native people came to Squantum and the harbor islands during warmer weather to fish and hunt. Evidence of their inventive methods to harvest food have been discovered through archaeological digs. Ellen shared several examples including the use of fish weirs – a web of sticks driven into the mud at low tide designed to catch fish that pass over it at high tide and then get caught as the tide recedes. Ellen’s stories helped us imagine the life of the people who first fished these waters, walked these shores, and lived on the land of Squantum and the harbor islands.
Harry Young, “Gray Owl”, Hawk Clan Chief of Algonquin Seneca Me’tis heritage, Canada, captivated the audience as he sang and drummed songs of the northern woodland native heritage. Harry explained the history and significance of the songs, and demonstrated a variety of instruments, including several drums. Harry was accompanied by his wife and native shawl dancer, Deborah, “Gentle Doe Eyes”, of Azorian Pokanoket Me’tis heritage.
The SCA hosted an evening of art and conversation attracting over 120 neighbors who basked in the creativity and beauty of ten Squantum artists. The evening included exhibits of photography, painting, textile arts and ceramics. Guests enjoyed the magnificent vision of photographer Lisa Aimola (you may have seen her work in Quincy newspapers), botanical watercolorist Ruth Ann Wetherby, fiber artist Emily Robertson who is known for her humorous take on serious issues depicted in her hooked rugs, and ceramic artist Teri MacMillan who cultivates crystalline glazes for her extraordinary pottery, along with painters Jean Mayer Green and Ruthe Sholler, drawing artist Glen Buscher, and photographers Grace and Stephanie Buscher, as well as painter and quilting textile artist Deni Sindel.
Wings over Squantum: the story of America’s first Naval Reserve Airbase
Author and retired reservist Marc J. Frattasio regaled over 140 audience members with stories of Naval Air Station Squantum, located in Squantum from 1917 to 1953 on the site of Marina Bay. Marc brought the history of the base to life as he shared Squantum’s connection to the birth of aviation starting with the Harvard-Boston Aero Meets of 1910-11, an era when pilots were treated like rock stars and crowds gathered for their first glimpse at flight. As America entered World War I in 1917 the Navy commissioned the base as U.S. Naval Air Station Squantum, and Lt. Earle Spencer, then married to Wallis Warfield, became the first commanding officer. Mrs. Spencer is better known as the woman who, after divorcing twice, married the former King Edward VIII of England, who abdicated the throne “for the woman I love”. Following the war, the base was re-opened in 1923 as the first naval reserve air station. Through World War II Squantum provided primary flight training to thousands of men, including Joseph P. Kennedy, the older brother of President John F. Kennedy.
The evening was moderated by Glen Buscher, past commander of Robert I. Nickerson Post, American Legion of Squantum. Following the talk guests mingled over refreshments and shared personal memories of the base.
Learn more about NAS Squantum on The Shea Field Naval Aviation Historical Museum website.
Tom Galvin, columnist for the Quincy Sun and well-known Quincy city historian, shared images and insights of Squantum discovered through his extensive collection of historical postcards. Mr. Galvin’s postcards and observations revealed a portrait of Squantum in the early 1900’s, and showed how the peninsula has developed and grown over the century. Guests perused Squantum photos and artifacts from a private collection following the talk.
Former Quincy Mayor Walter J. Hannon shared the story of the struggle to bring the Red Line to Quincy, an unpopular idea among citizens, and the vital role this public transportation has played in the local economy.