DEAR SUN SPOTS: The town of Leeds invites people to the presentation of the Boston Post Cane to Leeds’ oldest citizen, Rose Ames.

There will be a gathering from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 25, at the Leeds Community Church, 123 Church Hill Road. The public is invited to come and celebrate with Rose and her family.

ANSWER: Congratulations to Rose. This is a wonderful honor for her.

The Boston Post Canes were originally distributed to 700 towns — no cities — in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island by Edwin Grozier, the publisher of the Boston Post newspaper. 

It was 1909 and he asked the towns to present the ebony canes to the oldest male citizen of the town, with compliments of the Boston Post. The man could use the cane as long as he lived (or as long as he lived in that town), to be returned to the town and passed on to the next honoree.

Over time, the requirement that the recipient be a man was dropped and the canes were presented to the oldest resident, regardless of gender.


It has been up to each town to ensure the canes are gifted along, but over the years many towns have lost track of the canes.

The Boston Post Cane Information Center, which is a project of the Maynard (Massachusetts) Historical Society, is now trying to account for every single cane. As of September last year, they had heard from 517 towns.

The Information Center lists where each known cane is, and who has it. Many of the posts include photos from the award ceremonies, which are quite delightful.

For instance, the last entry for Leeds was in September 2011 when Marion Additon was presented with the Boston Post Cane at a gathering of family and friends celebrating her 95th birthday (she was born on Sept. 22, 1916).

Selectman Errol Additon, her oldest son, presented the cane on behalf of the town of Leeds and the Leeds Historical Society. 

In Leeds, as in many towns, the canes presented are actually replicas and the original canes (which are quite valuable) are either stored or on display in town offices.


To learn about the cane in your town, go to

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Friends of Starling Hall is requesting donations for our July 15 yard sale. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the 1878 building which is soon to be Fayette’s Community Center.   

Clean, working order donations can be dropped off Friday, July 14, or Saturday morning at Fayette Central School.

Or, call Bob Weimont 293-4344 or Joe Young  897-3093.

ANSWER: Wow! You’re planning ahead. That should help our readers collect their donations and get them ready to drop off.

For our readers who aren’t aware, the Friends have been raising money for some time so they can move Starling Hall back 7 feet from Route 17 in Fayette. As of January, the Friends had raised almost $94,000 toward the cost of the move and renovations.


When finished the historic town building will be used as a community center.

The hall was built in 1878 by members of the local Grange and closed in 2006. In 2014, selectmen sought approval to sell it to save money, but voters rejected the idea and Friends of Starling Hall immediately began working on plans to renovate and reuse it.

If you want to help, write to the Friends at

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