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The History of

Artemas Ward Park


By Paul Brodeur
Trustee of the Marlborough Historical Society
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Presented March 22, 2011
www.HistoricMarlborough.org
paul@historicmarlborough.org

My thanks to:
Bob Kane and Joan Abshire for
their assistance
And Special Thanks to
Kathleen Lizotte Lynde for her
frequent contributions to my
research

The History of Marlborough


Is the Story of America

Near where I live there is a spring


A never failing spring
It feeds the body and the soul
Of every living thing

By Paul Brodeur

The Four Little Empires of


Hayden Meadow
The Human Empire of William & Elizabeth Ward

The Agricultural Empire of Bonney & Daniel Hayden

The Industrial Empire of Samuel Boyd

The Competitive Empire of Ward Park

The Indians it fed at first


For centuries and more
And then the brood of William Ward
A hundred years and more

By Paul Brodeur

The Human Empire


of William and Elizabeth Ward
1660-1805

The park located near to the center of Marlboro is


dedicated to Gen. Artemas Ward, first commander
of the Revolutionary forces, on land first owned by
his great grandfather William Ward.

The Early Mysteries of William Ward

Most of what we know of the origins of William Ward come from his biographer, Charles Martyn,
who did extensive research in England, but could find no proofs of his early life.
Nevertheless, it is believed that he was born about 1603, possibly in or near Yorkshire. We know
that he was married twice (from his will), but of his first wife's origin, name, or circumstances we
know nothing.
His second wife's name was Elizabeth. According to Torrey's New England Marriages prior to 1700
her last name may have been Storey, but there is a question mark after the name.
He almost certainly had 13 children, but it is uncertain how many were by his first wife and how
many by Elizabeth, although it is almost certain that Elizabeth had at least the last seven.
It is believed that William came to America in the large fleet of Puritan ships that arrived in the
spring of 1638. His name, however, could not be found on any existing manifest.
His name does not appear on the petition for the formation of Sudbury, but he was among those
who received an initial land grant.

This website contains Martyn's biography of William Ward and a database of the Ward
descendants.

http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/robertkline/

This wiki website discusses the theories concerning the origins of William Ward:
http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person_talk:William_Ward_%2817%29

The Life and Times of


William Ward in America

Ward received a modest land grant in Sudbury, but within 15 years had substantial holdings.

He became a Freeman in 1643 giving him voting rights and governing responsibilities.

He became a friend and ally of John Ruddock and the two were involved in a number of
controversies in Sudbury that eventually led them, with others, to petition the colonial government
to establish a new settlement west of Sudbury originally called Whipsuffrage, but changed to
Marlborough after its namesake in England. John Ruddock was a native of Marlborough, England.

This satellite view locates William Ward's property in Old Sudbury (now
Wayland, MA). The red box is the general area described in Charles Martyn's
Genealogy of William Ward. The next slide shows the area close up.

The Early Years in Marlborough

Ward received a 50 acre grant along with John Ruddock, and


Edmund Rice. Others received between 15 and 40 acres.
It is believed that he chose the location because of the spring,
later called the 'Never Failing' spring because of its consistency
even in times of drought.
The following slide shows the general area of Ward's 50 acre
land grant . Exact boundaries are impossible to determine, but
are almost certainly within the red lines.

This is a photo of most of Ward's property taken in the 1880's. The


foreground house is on Liberty St., the street on the left is South St., and the
street beyond the row of houses in the middle is West Main St. The church
in the distance is the Unitarian Church at the corner of Pleasant and Lincoln
Sts. Just to its right is Frye Boot Co., and straight down from the factory is
Orchard St. The Ward/Hayden residence and barn are to the right. The
Never Failing Spring is near the building furthest to the right.

The Early Years in Marlborough

William Ward became Deacon, Selectman, served on the Mass


Bay Grand Jury and as a Mass Bay Deputy.
He became involved in all of the factional disputes in
Marlborough in the early years, mostly over land, fencing, and
taxes.
He received other land grants including the area along the main
road near to Lake Williams. This land he gave to his daughter
Joanna who had married Abraham Williams. On it they built
Williams Tavern. (at site of D'Angelo's)

The Tavern was first built in the early 1660's and experienced a number
of fires, the first during the siege of Marlborough by the Indians in King
Philip's War in 1676. George Washington visited and slept here in 1775.
His hosts were descendants of William Ward, as was General Artemas
Ward who Washington was heading to Boston to replace.

King Philip's War

William Ward maintained one of eight 'garrison houses' during


King Philip's War and hosted the Colonial army prior to the
relief of Lancaster in February 1676.

Before the General Court adjourned, which was not until


the 28th of February (1676), they had voted and concluded
to raise an army of six hundred men, to be put under the
conduct of Major Thomas Savage . . .
[A dispute arose] at the headquarters at William Ward's
in Marlborough, where the army was drawn up in a body
in order to their march.
An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New
England in the Years 1675, 1676,1677
Daniel Gookin

Daniel Gookin was the Administrator of Indian Affairs and knew both the town of
Marlborough and William Ward very well. Before the war he purchased the 150 acres of
Indian land in the center of town, so he was a landowner in Marlborough as well.

King Philip's War

The Ward Garrison house was the primary refuge for


townspeople during the Meeting House raid by hostile Indians
in March 1676.
The Ward family was one of just a few who did not flee
Marlborough after the Indian raids. By the end of the war, there
were only 4 garrison houses left.
The following photo shows the location of the Meeting House
(near the Walker Building), and the location of Ward's Garrison
residence. The townspeople were at Sunday church services
and had only a few hundred yards lead over the Indians. One
man was wounded trying to help an older congregant.

King Philip's War

In April 1676, the Indians attacked Sudbury. John Howe,


husband of William's daughter Elizabeth was killed.
Eleazar Ward, son of William was also killed. The site of his
death was a hill in the east of Marlborough, north of Rt 20. It
was named Mt Ward, in his honor.

The building on the left is St. Matthias Church on Hemenway St. The
street to the right is Langelier Lane and the hill in the distance is
Mt.Ward. At the end of Langelier Lane is a small area to park and a trail
leads to the top of the hill. The following picture shows the position of
Mt. Ward in relation to Rt. 20. Just to its right is the Easterly Wastewater
Treatment Plant and Trash Recycling Center.

After the War

After the War, William appears to be in semi-retirement until


his death in 1686. He was about 83 years old when he passed.
His house was apparently in two sections. He had given the
western section to his son William along with the western half
of the original 50 acre grant. According to Martyn, his
biographer, William Jr. moved the west section of the house to
his new house lot.
In his will, he gives his son Samuel the eastern half of his
original lot with the understanding that Samuel will care for his
mother. Samuel continued the tradition of Ward hospitality,
frequently hosting visiting clergy.
William Ward's burial place is unknown, although it is reputed
to be in Spring Hill Cemetery. His wife was buried there in
1700.

Spring Hill Cemetery is the grassy area in the top/right/center of this photo.
The Dairy Queen is the building with the red roof to the right, on E. Main St.
Access to the cemetery is gained by going north on Bolton St, taking the first
right onto High St. (in front of the Congregational Church), going to the end
of High St. and taking a u-turn to the left. There is a small area for parking.

Elizabeth Ward's original headstone is on the bottom. In 1925, shortly


before his death, Artemas Ward, descendant of the Revolutionary
General, had the headstone and a new plaque embedded into a new stone.

The Ward Homestead in the 1700s

Not far from the Soldier's Monument


stood, well remembered for many years,
an old house which it is believed, was
one of the oldest in our town.
Historical Reminiscences of the Early Times in Marlborough, Massachusetts,
Ella Bigelow

Daniel Hayden stands before the Ward/Hayden house in the 1880's.


Built by the Ward family in the first half of the 18th century, it has an
attached side house (possibly the same type that William Jr. had moved
in the 17th century), barn, and other out buildings. The rear of these
buildings can be seen to the right in the following photo.

Fires at the Ward Homestead

There were certainly a number of fires at the Ward Homestead, but


since there were two houses, it is uncertain which house was
involved.
Both Nahum and Gershom were children of William Jr. According to
Ella Bigelow, there was a fire shortly before Nahum left to become one
of the founders of Shrewsbury in 1716. Nahum became the father of
Gen. Artemas Ward.
Charles Martyn tells the story of a fire involving Gershom which
occurred in 1729 and threatened the nearby home of Rev. Breck.
Gershom was a bachelor who died in 1739. There is no evidence of
anyone from William's line living at the Ward homestead after his
death. It's quite possible that Artemas Ward inherited this portion of
the property.
Ella Bigelow tells of a fire involving Joseph, son of Samuel. The
Ward/Hayden house possibly resulted from this fire.

The Lineage of Samuel Ward

Samuel 7th child of William Ward, responsible for care of his mother
Elizabeth and the Ward Homestead. Had 7 children.
Joseph: 2nd child of Samuel, inherited homestead. Had 7 children.
Daniel Sr.: eldest child of Joseph, inherited homestead. Died 1764.
Had 9 children. His second wife was Grace Newton.
Daniel Jr.: 7th child of Daniel Sr., inherited homestead. Died 1775 at
age of 33. His older sister Mary married Jonas Morse. He and his
wife Ann had six children.
William: 5th child of Daniel Jr. inherited homestead. Born 1772. His
fate is unknown.
In total, the first 5 Ward generations living at the Ward Homestead
had 44 children.

The Tragedy of Daniel and Ann Ward


and the Scourge of 1775

1767 Elisha died, not yet 1

1771 Anna age 4, Phebe age 2 died

1775 a serious case of dysentery struck Marlborough.


Smallpox outbreak across the country. In
Marlborough, 78 dead (avg 22 in the previous years).
Among the victims: Daniel Jr. age 33, Ann, age 33,
Daniel III, age 12, Cousin Samuel, age 65.
William (age 3), Aaron (newborn) were left orphans.

The Legacy of William Ward

William Ward had 13 children, 88 grandchildren, 331 documented great


grandchildren.
First few generations became pioneer families in other New England towns.
Helped settle the new towns of Westborough, Southborough, Northborough,
Grafton, Shrewsbury, New Marlborough and many others. Succeeding
generations helped to establish towns across the country.
Ward name lost importance and influence in Marlborough affairs, but non
Ward descendants (Howes, Williams, Rices, Brighams, Johnsons,
Witherbees) continued to be influential.
Many descendants were extremely important in the Revolutionary War,
particularly Gen. Artemas Ward, first Commander of the Continental Army.
In 1789, the tax rolls in Marlboro lists Jonas Morse, (brother in law of Daniel
Ward Jr.) guardian of William Ward, as a taxpayer. His cousin Grace Newton
Ward, 2nd wife of Daniel Ward Sr. had died the year before. The story began
with the mysterious origin of William Ward and ends with the mysterious
life story of William Ward. By the beginning of the 1800's, the Ward
Homestead was up for sale.

The above section of the 1803 map of Marlborough shows that Col. Luke
Drury was believed to be living at the Ward Homestead. The question
mark leaves some doubt. Note that Rev. Asa Packard's blacksmith shop is
the only other building on the property.

Biographical Sketch of Col. Luke Drury

Great Great Grandson of Edmund Rice

Born and raised in Grafton, son of Thomas Drury.

Mother died when he was young, and his father married Mary Ward of Marlborough
when he was about eight. She died when he was about sixteen or seventeen.

Served under General Artemas Ward and Lt. Col. Jonathan Ward at Bunker
Hill, continued in service for most of the Revolution.

In 1786-87, became involved in Shay's Rebellion and was imprisoned as a


person dangerous to the state, in March, 1787. He was soon after released,
won election to the State Legislature in June, but was not allowed to be seated
until sometime after.

Held every important public post in Grafton. Had 9 children, legal guardian of 4
children. I have found no proof, but is it possible that two of these children were William
and Aaron Ward? His personal papers and letters are widely scattered in various
libraries and museums.

In 1803, he moved to Marlborough where he appears on map, but soon after, he


had purchased land in the West of Marlborough, and much of the Ward
property had been sold to David Hayden.

The Haydens next fed from the spring


Though children came there not
But first the town, then city
They served with every drop

By Paul Brodeur

The Agricultural Empire


of Bonney and Daniel Hayden
1805-1895

Bonney (Hayden) was an old bachelor. His brother Zely


lived with him. . . .
He had a large farm and much woodland in the east part of
town as well as in No Town now known as Leominster. . . .
When he died, it is said that thousands of dollars in gold and
silver were found hidden in various nooks and crannies about
the house.
Historical Reminiscences of the Early Times in Marlborough, Massachusetts,
Ella Bigelow

Biographical Sketch of
David (Bonney) Hayden

Son of Thomas and Mary Ball Hayden of Sudbury. Thomas died about
1768, left the family destitute.
Sons were sent to live with Thomas' brothers: Bonney (David) and Zely
(Bazeleel) to Daniel in Marlborough, Josiah to Samuel in Hollis, NH.
Daniel Sr. owned property in the northeast of Marlborough. His own
children owned other property on 1803 map, David is shown as owning
Daniel Sr.'s property.
Lived with his brother Zely his whole life. Neither married. Zely died
in 1827, age 62. David died in 1848, age 88. His stone has a
revolutionary marker. Appropriately enough, they were buried side by
side in the Old Common Cemetery. Slides of their gravestones follow.
Their nephew Daniel, from Hollis, NH, inherited the property.

Daniel Hayden of Hollis, NH


Daniel was raised in a country where the people were
few in number and where they were obliged to help each
other. He practiced this principle when he came to
Marlboro, seemingly not realizing the change in
condition. This often was to his detriment and it is often
said by his neighbors that he was too goodhearted.
A news clipping following his burial, found in Daniel Haydens Daybook

Biographical Sketch of
Daniel Hayden

There were four Daniel Haydens in Marlborough: Daniel Sr, brother


of Thomas and caretaker of Bonney (David), Daniel Jr., owner of farm
on Broadmeadow, his son, Daniel Robert Ames (RA), and Daniel of
Hayden Meadow.
Daniel was 7th of 9 children of Josiah and Mary Patch Hayden of
Hollis, NH. He came to help his Uncle Bonney in about 1835. Bonney
was about 75, Daniel was about 26. Samuel Boyd opened his first
shoe factory around the same time.
Marlborough was a farming town of about 2000 people. The shoe
industry would create phenomenal growth.

Population Totals in Marlborough


9000

8000

7000

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
1660

1670

1680

1690

1700

1710

1720

1730

1740

1750

1760

1770

1780

1790

1800

1810

1820

1830

1840

1850

1860

1870

Biographical Sketch of
Daniel Hayden

Daniel married Hannah Estabrook. They had one child, Sarah,


who lived just 7 days. She was buried near Bonnie and Zely's grave in
the Old Common cemetery. Her death meant that no children would
grow to maturity in the house for over 100 years.
Daniel's father had a sawmill in Hollis and he grew up in the lumber
business. This is where he made his fortune. He sold off parts of
his property for housing and purchased more woodland. With more
housing, there was more demand for building material and wood for
heating.
He became one of the largest landowners and taxpayers in
Marlborough, exceeded only by the shoe manufacturers and
financiers. At one time he owned over 500 acres of land.

Daniel Hayden's Daybook

In 1878, from his home farm, Daniel Hayden sold potatoes, cabbage,
onions, apples, vinegar, milk, eggs, tobacco, pork, firewood, sand, and
gravel.

He provided labor and equipment for the general public and the town.

He dealt with neighbors, businesses, Irish and French Canadians.

When the daybook was filled, his wife used it as a scrapbook for news
clippings, including articles on his death, and the sale of much of his
estate. He died on 4th of July 1896, and parts of his estate were sold to
satisfy debt.

Daniel, Hannah and Sarah Hayden were buried in Maplewood Cemetery


on Pleasant St. Apparently, Sarah was disinterred and reburied with her
parents.

Atop the hill lived Mr. Boyd


A giant of renown
With shoes he built an empire
Which built, in turn, the town

By Paul Brodeur

The Industrial Empire of


Samuel Boyd

Samuel Boyd built this mansion on the top of Fairmount Hill. He had
purchased most of the property on Fairmount Hill from his brother-inlaw, Caleb Witherbee whose house was near the bottom of the hill. The
hill was then developed for house lots for managers of the shoe factories.

Biographical Sketch of
Samuel Boyd

Born in 1815, sixth of eleven children of John and Sophia Phelps Boyd.

Grew up on the present Walker St (near lower Maple St).

Began manufacturing shoes in 1836, and built successively larger


factories in 1837, 1843, 1848, 1849, 1855 and finally, in 1870, with
Thomas Corey as his partner, they built the Boyd and Corey building
which covered over an acre and a half and was one of the largest in
the country.
The following slides show two of the original still existing buildings,
although in highly modified form: the first at 85 Maple St, the second
at 57 Main St. The third building is the Boyd and Corey building which
was located across from the old Fire Station.

Samuel Boyd

Boyd was involved with the start of the Gas Company, the First
National Bank, and the Savings Bank. He was involved with both
train companies and started the Marlborough Trolley system, one of
the very first in the country.
He had little interest in politics, but did serve as a representative and
a term as a selectman, being largely drafted into both positions.
He was the driving force behind the creation of upper South St. and
the present Maple St.
He was responsible for developing two areas of real estate, Fairmount
Hill and Chestnut Hill. Apart from the housing on both hills, he was
responsible for two parks, the one on his own land known as
Fairmount Park, and 40 acres he donated to the city on Chestnut Hill.
A photo of Fairmount Park follows.

This photo was shot in the 1880's from Mt. Pleasant. The steeple on the
Immaculate Conception church was built in 1886. When Daniel Hayden
came to town around 1835, there would have been very few buildings
apart from his own farm buildings in the center of the photo. This is the
city that men like Daniel Hayden and Samuel Boyd helped to build.

This is Samuel Boyd's gravestone in the Chipman Cemetery which is


located immediately to the right of Rocklawn Cemetery on upper
Steven's St.

Finally, then, the city came


and made a public way
And so the spring flows deeply now
Beneath the children's play

The Competitive Empire of


Artemas Ward Park

Hayden Meadow is not much more than a mud hole: wet, damp
and full of malaria and disease; has been shunned by man and beast
ever since the world was created; fit only for growing vegetation and
a natural sink for the surface wash of that section of the city. And I
do not wonder that those who are so unfortunate as to have this
unproductive and unsaleable land are anxious to unload it at a
fancy price
Winfield Temple (front page, center, Marlboro Daily
Enterprise, March 17, 1913)

Why a Park?

The Parks Movement Frederick Law Olmstead

Development of Baseball and widespread adoption during the Civil War

Development of Football in the 1880's

Modern Olympics began in 1896

Tennis: Wimbledon began 1877, Davis Cup 1900

Industrialization, growth of cities

Why a Park in Marlborough?

1869 Marlboro Fairmount Baseball team created a ball field between


the present Lincoln and Rice Streets. In that year, a clear distinction
was made between professional and amateur teams. The Marlboro
Fairmounts were the 3rd best amateur team in the country. The
following year, they played the Cincinnati Red Stockings in Worcester.
The Red Stockings were the pre-eminent professional team of the era.
The Fairmounts lost 77-13.
A much improved Prospect Park was created in the 1880's at the top of
Prospect Hill, probably because of housing pressure. Lincoln St. was
probably extended at the same time.
High School athletic teams began to be formed informally in 1890's.
First Marlboro Hudson football game was in 1904, one of the earliest
60 in the country.
In 1910, by a large majority, the citizens of Marlborough voted on a
referendum accepting the provisions of the Playground Act.

The lower box in red is the approximate area described as the location of
the original Prospect Park created in a field by the Marlborough
Fairmount baseball club. That section of Lincoln St. did not exist at the
time. The upper box delineates the new Prospect Park at the top of the
hill built in the 1880's and used well into the 20th century. Kelleher field
is at the left. It eventually replaced Prospect Park.

1902: No Park
In 1902, a plan had been devised to build a park on land at Lake
Williams. Since Lake Williams was a reservoir and under the jurisdiction
of the Water Commision, the plan was abandoned. The article in the
Marlborough Enterprise declared:
There are many who think that the stoppage of work at Lake Williams
will make Hayden Meadow the most eligible place for a park location
In 1908, Mayor Henry Parsons promoted the idea of purchasing Hayden
Meadow in his inaugural address, and numerous letters and articles
spoke in support over the next fifteen years. In 1913 much debate took
place culminating in Attorney Winfield Temple's loud and (apparently)
influential letter to the editor.

In 1913, pressure began to increase for the use of Hayden Meadow,


especially for winter activities. Temporary lights were installed for night
skating and discussions were initiated with land owners for the outright
purchase of Hayden Meadow.

Among the owners mentioned were Mrs. J.C. Ward


F. S. Rock and J.E. Hayes. The Ward family continued to
own numerous plots of land in and near to the park. The
Rock and Hayes Co. had purchased large sections of the
Hayden estate partly to support their liquor business near
Monument Sq. The Hayden barn was used as a
warehouse.

Homestead Ale, at $1.25 per case of 24 bottles, is a good investment for


all those who are not feeling fit. If the medicine you are not taking does
not give the desired result, take our word, and try a few cases of
'Homestead'.
Advertisement in the Marlborough Enterprise

Did Prohibition Play a Part in the


Purchase of the Park?
The Rock and Hayes Co. purchased parts of the Hayden Meadow,
including the Hayden house and barn from the Hayden estate. Hannah
Hayden moved next door and lived with her sister, and the Hayden house
was demolished by John Hayes. The present structure was built, altering
the foundation somewhat, but retaining much of the original stone.

Frank Rock and John Hayes were long time residents of the
neighborhood and partners in the liquor business. At some point they
ran separate establishments next to one another at Monument Sq. under
separate licenses. They used the Hayden barn as a warehouse.

When prohibition came in 1920, the value of the barn was greatly
diminished and the economic pressures may have created extra impetus
to sell property. Nevertheless, public pressure to purchase the Meadow
had to have been the greatest single influence.

This is a photo of the Rock building taken in the 1950's. The building,
now demolished, was at the Monument Sq. site of previous buildings
housing the Rock & Hayes liquor establishments. The building to its left
still stands.

On August 31, 1923, the City Council finally passed an order authorizing
$50,000 for the purchase and development of 19.1 acres of
Hayden Meadow.

The development of the park was the responsibility of Thomas Fahey,


contractor, and Francis Granger, city engineer. Both were residents of
the neighborhood, and both now have streets named after them.
The park was due for completion by November 1, 1924. Work required a
36 pipe to carry the brook and additional piping in the area of the
'Never Failing' Spring.
Considerable reconfiguration of the hill near the location of the barn had
to be done to accommodate the oval track.

August 8, 1925 was set aside as the date for Acceptance and Dedication of
the park. The park had been used extensively for certain activities in
1925, but the dedication didn't occur til August, probably for fear that a
large crowd would affect the grass (a common problem through the
years). The original construction did not include the tennis courts or
wading pool which were added around the same time as the construction
of the new Bigelow School in 1931.

This photo was taken in the 1930's (cars on the left verify this). The first
sets of tennis courts were built around 1931 and within a short time there
was an overwhelming demand for court time. Additional courts were
added in 1934 and nearly 3000 permits were requested that year.

The original plan was to put the wading pool and playground area on the
east end of the park, near Water Terrace. This may partially explain the
'dugout' that was a feature there for many years. It may have been the
presence of the new elementary Bigelow School that influenced the shift
to its present location. A gift of the Kiwanis Club explains the 'K' in the
center of this dedication photo in 1931.

Artemas Ward had made a fortune establishing newsstands at train


stations. Gravely ill, he wanted to create a legacy for his great great
grandfather and the Ward name. He had already paid for a number of
plaques in the city (slides following), as well as the Gen. Artemas Ward
museum and other memorials in Shrewsbury. He was approached about
the idea of putting up a gateway and thus the name 'Artemas Ward'
replaced 'Hayden Meadow' as the name for the park. Final cost for the
gateway reached $25,000, half as much as the cost for the entire park.
A nice bio of the General can be found here:
http://backyard-history.com/artemaswardmuseum/index_files/Page691.htm

The Gateway to the park was originally placed at the entrance to the
parking lot on Windsor St. (behind the Senior Center). It had to be
moved to accommodate Granger Blvd. The original Gateway had stone
seats and a stone area underfoot similar to the Soldier's Monument in
front of the Walker Building.

This marker, donated


by Artemas Ward, is
located at the foot of
Brown St, near the
corner of Main and
E Main Sts.

This plaque is on
the right side of the
previous marker.

The History of Artemas Ward Park


1924-Present

Artemas Ward Park has been the center of hundreds of civic


celebrations, carnivals, fireworks displays, musical concerts, fund
raisers, and holiday celebrations.
From 1931 to the late 1960's, Ward Park was the center of tennis
competition in Marlborough, often requiring permits to play. The
building of other indoor and outdoor courts in the late 60's and 70's
caused the courts at Ward Park to fall into disuse, and, finally into
unplayable condition.
The Marlboro High School Panthers Football team practiced here until
the building of the High School on Union St.

Local American Legion Baseball teams played here for many years.

. . . and the Practice Field of National Champions

The Akroyd Houde


American Legion Post 132
Drum and Bugle Corps
Classic drum and bugle corps are North American musical ensembles that descended
from military bugle and drum units returning from World War I and succeeding wars.
Traditionally, drum and bugle corps served as signaling units as early as before the
American Civil War....
With the advent of radio, bugle signaling units became obsolete and surplus equipment
was sold to veteran organizations. These organizations formed drum and bugle corps of
civilians and veterans, and the corps performed in community events and
localcelebrations. Over time, rivalries between corps emerged and the competitive drum
and bugle corps circuit evolved.
From Wikipedia

Marlboro's Drum and Bugle Corps practiced both at Ward Park and
Bigelow School. They had a huge local following, a welcome diversion
from the challenges of the depression. Local contributions were needed
to send the team to as far away as California for the national
championship. Their first national title was in Chicago in 1933.

They repeated in Miami in 1934. Competition for space at the park must
have been intense. There were about 20 baseball teams looking to play
games at the same time. With hundreds of tennis players, children at the
wading pool, and spectators for various events, Ward Park must have
seemed like a beehive.

In 1936, they won their fifth straight State Championship. Since their
victories at the state level had become a foregone conclusion, other teams
began to pass on the state championship. In deference to the
competition, Marlboro stopped participating at the state level.

They won their third National Championship in 1938 in Los Angeles.


Within a few years, war had brought an end to the glory days of the local
corps. In the 60's, there was a flowering of drum corps among the youth
of the city, influenced, no doubt, by the huge national success of the
previous generation.

Marlboro Shamrocks
Football
The Shamrocks practiced at Ward Park and played their home games at
Kelleher Field. Their dynastic record compares with any team sport at
any level in any country. All the more amazing considering that they
played a sport where turnover due to injury is so high.
During their glory years starting in 1983, they won the Eastern Football
League Championship in 17 of 20 years.
When National Championships began in the early 1990's, they won
Championships in 7 out of 10 years from 1993 to 2002.
The following slides show their National Championships. They show an
increasing disinterest in the press, going from the Front Page with large
pictures to low position on the Sports Page with no photo. National
Championships ceased to be compelling news.

Near where I live there is a spring


A never failing spring
It feeds the body and the soul
Of every living thing
In 1941, the Hayden family made a gift of a drinking fountain erected in
the area of the 'Never-Failing' Spring. There is no sign of the fountain
now, but the spring lives on as a deeply buried symbol of what Artemas
Ward Park has meant to the city.

Bibliography
The History of Artemas Ward Park
Available on the Web

The William Ward Genealogy by Charles Martyn (Robert Kline's website)


History of the Town of Marlborough by Charles Hudson
Historical Reminiscences of the Town of Marlborough by Ella Bigelow
History of Middlesex County by D Hamilton Hurd
Marlborough, Massachusetts Burial Ground Inscriptions
by Franklin P. Rice & George Maynard
A Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians
by Daniel Gookin

Bibliography (cont)
Other Books
Puritan Village by Sumner Chilton Powell (about the Sudbury settlement)
The King's Best Highway by Eric Jaffe (about the Boston Post Rd)

Bibliography (cont)
Websites of Interest
John Buczek's Marlborough Website (tons of stuff on Marlboro's History)
http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~historyofmarlborough/contents.htm#CONTENTS

Robert Kline's Genealogy Page http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/robertkline/


This site has links to Martyn's bio of William Ward and a full database of
Ward descendants.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~haydenfamilyalbum/genealogy_report.htm

Website devoted to the family of Josiah Hayden with much general Hayden family info.

Bibliography (cont)
Resources at the Marlborough Historical Society
Daniel Hayden's Daybook by Daniel and Hannah Hayden
Papers from the Estate of Luke Drury (there are also papers at the Umass
Library, Amherst and at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem)
Paul Harrington has written a history of the American Legion Drum and
Bugle Corps
Photographs of Marlborough
Any Questions or Requests feel free to call me. Paul Brodeur 508-485-1995
Please consider becoming members of the Marlborough Historical Society

Presented by Paul Brodeur


Trustee of the Marlborough Historical Society
Marlborough, Massachusetts
March 22, 2011
www.HistoricMarlborough.org
paul@historicmarlborough.org

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