Farmington Town Manager Christian Waller presents a replica of the Boston Post Cane to Grace Pert Friday, May 6. Pert is the town’s oldest citizen and resides at Woodlands Senior Living Center. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — Grace Pert was presented the Boston Post Cane by Town Manager Christian Waller on Friday, May 6.

Pert, born Oct. 19, 1919, has lived at Woodlands Senior Living Center for three years. She is still active and drew many laughs from family members, staff and town officials during the presentation.

“I have something to present to you,” Waller said. “This is the Boston Post Cane which is for the oldest citizen in Farmington. According to our research that is you. It is a token of the town’s esteem.”

Grace Pert takes a closer look at the Boston Post Cane replica she received Friday afternoon, May 6. Born Oct. 5, 1919, she is the town’s oldest citizen. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“Thank you,” Pert said. “I have been around, lived in different places but there is no place that compares to northern New England, believe me. I am damn glad I am here.”

She told of remembering hearing about the Boston Post Cane when she was a little girl.

The Boston Post, a now defunct newspaper, distributed 700 canes to towns throughout New England. Made of ebony and crowned with 14-karat gold, the canes were presented to the oldest male resident of those towns. In 1930, women were added to the lists of cane recipients.


Farmington’s original cane was retired in 2006. It is on display at the Farmington town office. A replica is now presented to the town’s oldest citizen.

Eva Lindsay was the latest to hold Farmington’s cane.

Grace Pert at left reminisces with her friend since 1948 Harriet Palmer Friday afternoon, May 6, in Farmington. Pert received the Boston Post Cane as the town’s oldest citizen. Seen in the back is Pert’s niece Ida Sandberg of Old Orchard Beach. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Pert sat next Harriet Palmer whom she has known since 1948.

“This lady and I have been the best of friends,” Pert said. “We’ve had a lot of adventures.”

She asked her grandson Keith Pert if he had ever tried Palmer’s “tipsy pudding” and he answered no. When asked what it was, Pert spoke of old timers combining dried up cake, a soft custard and whiskey.

Pert and Palmer spoke of tasting the pudding and saying, “No it needs a little more whiskey” and not really knowing what they were eating.


“I have happy memories seeing this old gal,” Pert said. “She is such a blessing to me!”

Pert was born in East Hebron, New Hampshire, Oct. 5, 1919. She has one son, a grandson and granddaughter, four great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.

“[Grace] and her husband were awfully good people when I was little,” niece Ida Sandberg of Old Orchard Beach said. “I have known her since I was born.”

Sandberg remembered hoeing in the Pert’s “beautiful” vegetable gardens.

“[Grace] still gets around good,” Keith said. “I took her for a ride last week and she pulled herself up into the pickup truck. She says it is because of the three glasses of wine she drinks a week, it keeps her spry.”

“I’m still here because God doesn’t want me and neither does the devil,” Pert said.

Comments are not available on this story.