When she was a young girl still in high school, Muriel Rodrigue had a dream.

“I would walk past that place and say, someday I wanted to go into that house and have my picture taken,” she recalled.

Her dream came true the night she was crowned queen of the 1956 Knights of Columbus May Ball.

In those days, the KC met in the former Pepperell mansion at Pine and Webster streets, currently the Albert & Burpee Funeral Home.

The home was built by the Pepperell Manufacturing Co. in 1886 to house the overseer and his family, and from 1886 until 1950 was home to three different families.

During the 1950s, it became the KC hall, and the place, with its Victorian elegance, captivated Rodrigue’s imagination from the moment she first saw it.

“The photo was taken next to the fireplace,” she said. “I had such a beautiful dress; it was a gray-blue, like the sky, and I had a stole made of tulle and rhinestones.”

Tiny ruffles adorned the skirt of the dress, which she bought at Ward Bros. on Lisbon Street. She wore a tiara, silver shoes and silver accessories, and she remembers receiving red roses and a crystal rosary.

“It was one of the most beautiful nights of my life,” she said. “There was so much excitement. I don’t remember everything, but I cherish that night. I cherish everything. If you wanted a nice event, it was the KC.”

Linda Galway

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