Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Today's History Note celebrates the real champions of a quarantine lifestyle - dogs!
Any morning and any late afternoon in Longmeadow you are sure to see promenading down the sidewalks and side streets of our town the proud dogs of Longmeadow out for their walks, accompanied by their faithful owners. All shapes, all sizes. Some shaggy, fluffy and straining against leashes to chase a scampering squirrel. Others sleek, dignified and clearly pleased by their own elegance and good training. No matter the weather, out they come! During these many, many months of pandemic living, family dogs have been such a source of comfort and pleasant distraction for adults and children alike.
This week, we’d like to share images of some dogs of Longmeadow from days of yore. It is striking how even more than a hundred years ago, these dogs seem so much a part of the families with which they pose.
Unidentified Man and 2 dogs, Longmeadow Green
Cordis Family Collection
Unidentified Woman and Pug Cordis Family Collection
Kempton Family, 1909
"P.M. Taylor Back Piazza" 1910 Emerson Collection
Did you know that dog licensing money was an integral part of the town’s school and library funding for many years? In 1880, $139.50 of “Dog Money” was appropriated by the town for the schools. In 1895, the first year the town supported an official town library (which occupied a modest spare room in the rear of the town office building), the Annual Report mentions the amount appropriated for the library as “$25 + dog money.” That remained the case for decades to follow. Every town meeting warrant featured an article asking voting residents to “decide what use shall be made of the dog money... “. From 1895-1974, it appears that this money was specifically used to supplement whatever the town budgeted for library funding. What a great trade-off - register your dog AND support your town library!
"Mrs. Craig's South Park Avenue, 1915
"Carl Withe, 41 Longmeadow Street" undated
"P.M. Taylor, girls and front door" 1910 Emerson Collection
All images here are courtesy of the Emerson Collection at the Longmeadow Historical Society and the Cordis Family Collection.
Contributed by Melissa M. Cybulski, Board member, Longmeadow Historical Society
Originally published January 21, 2021