The inaugural celebrations marking the founding of Maynard,
April 19, 1871, are described in great detail in the 1921 book "A Brief
History of Maynard." Drawing on newspaper accounts of the time, the first
town meeting, on April 27th, just eight days after the Commonwealth had granted
the petition to create the town, met for the purpose of electing key officials,
and then ended early, to turn to the celebrations.
The parade included the Eagle Cornet Band, International
Order of Good Templars, the Amateur Brass Band, St. Bridget Temperance and
Benevolent Society, and town officials. A Revolutionary War cannon was borrowed
The Treasurer's Report recorded $13.50 spent on gunpowder.
|Aerial view drawing of the center of Maynard, made eight years after the|
creation of Maynard as a separate town. Mill complex smaller and pond
larger than present-day. Both parts of the image show the mansions of
Amory Maynard and Lorenzo Maynard on the hill south of the mill.
Prior to the date, Assabet Village, as the hamlet was known,
was a fast-growing mill town straddling the Assabet River, which was also the
border between Sudbury and Stow. These ‘parent’ towns had been against the
idea, as the proposed new town would take roughly 50 percent of their
residents circulated three petitions which garnered about 140 signatures. Sudbury
held a vote at
Town Meeting, 183 against and 88 for. In disregard of this opposition (and
perhaps influenced by some undocumented lobbying), the request to form a new
town was granted. Some solace was achieved by Maynard making payments to the
towns seceded from.
A note here on the 'founders' of Maynard. Histories of the
town list as founder the 71 men who signed a petition dated January 26, 1871.
There is more history behind this history. Months earlier there had been a
petition with 68 signees to create a town, name not yet selected, to encompass
small parts of Acton
in addition to larger portions of Sudbury
. This was never
submitted to the state legislature. The second petition gave up annexing the
gunpowder mill land from the first two towns.
Subsequent to this official petition there were three
additional supporting petitions with 76 more names. All tallied, minus six who
signed more than once. the count came to 209 men who favored the creation of a
new town. (Women not achieving a right to vote until 1920.)
|Maynard Centennial medal shows Amory Maynard. He and|
William Knight started the woolen mill in 1846.
Amory Maynard was not among the signees although he was
perhaps the largest landowner and also part owner and manager of the woolen
mill. His sons Lorenzo and William signed, and Lorenzo became the town's first
Treasurer and Tax Collector. An account of the day, in the Hudson
newspaper, had this comment on how the
town came to be named: "Mr. Maynard is the chief founder of the community
now incorporated in his name. He is a taking man withal, and his personal
christening of the new town is a popular acknowledgement of his agency in its
birth and breeding."
Milestone anniversaries have been celebrated in various
ways. The 50th anniversary was a huge event. According to the program, church
observances on Sunday, April 17th, school observances on Monday, and on Tuesday
morning a 50-gun salute and a parade of an estimated 1,000 people down Main
, Nason and Summer Streets. Speeches by Governor Cox
and Senator Gibbs followed. Local veterans of the Civil War (!),
Spanish-American War and the Great War participated. Afternoon activities
included Glee Club and choir singing, a band concert and ball game - Maynard
- at Crowe Park
|Centennial Time Capsule|
Click on photos to enlarge.
Likewise, the 100th anniversary was a huge event. Huge.
Celebration was pushed to June (perhaps in hope of better weather). Ten days of
celebrations included picnics, concerts and performances, capped by a parade
and fireworks on July 4th.
The 125th anniversary celebration, in 1996, appears to have
been a subdued affair. The Maynard Historical Committee published a collection
of essays on town history. One puzzle: there are photos of the Olympic Torch
being carried through Maynard by a young runner. It turns out that the torch
was in Massachusetts on June 15th to be relayed along the entire route of the
Boston Marathon, and while in the state, visited many other towns, including
Maynard and Stow.
Looking futureward, hold this date, as the Town of Maynard
is planning several events to celebrate its sesquicentennial (150th)
anniversary celebration. Events will start with the opening of a 1971 Time
Capsule (actually, a box) currently on display in Town Hall.