New memorials honor veterans in Southampton
(R) Coast Guard veteran Walter Sliz talks about his time in the service to Jordan Andrews (L) as 7th and 8th grade student Peer Mentors hosted a Veterans appreciation breakfast Thursday at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton.
JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »
7th and 8th grade student Peer Mentors hosted a Veterans appreciation breakfast Thursday at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton.
JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »
Southampton veterans who served in wars in the 18th and 19th centuries received special acknowledgment at a Veterans Day ceremony Sunday. The ceremony was to dedicate the two new memorials listing the names of 331 veterans located in front of the Town Hall on College Highway.
Southampton historian Richard Frary, who serves on the Historical Commission, Community Preservation Committee and as the veterans’ grave officer, has been working to create the monuments for about three years.
“We have the World War I and II memorials across the street, and I thought, ‘but what about the other wars?’” Frary said. He suggested the town spend $18,000 in Community Preservation Act funds on the memorials, and voters approved the amount in 2010.
Finding and verifying all the names that would go on the memorials was not easy, he said. “That really takes a lot of looking, it wasn’t done in 15 minutes,” he said.
He had help from Assistant Town Clerk Ruth Bernier and her husband, David Bernier, who are Revolutionary War reenactors. They found the names in records in the Town Hall and local libraries, including death certificates and state-issued volumes listing the men who served in certain wars, Frary said.
The first granite memorial honors veterans of the 18th century wars: four from King George’s War from 1744-1748, four from the French and Indian War from 1754-1763, and 190 from the Revolutionary War from 1775-1783.
The second memorial lists soldiers from wars in the 19th century: one from the War of 1812, 131 from the Civil War from 1861-1865, and one from the Spanish-American War in 1898.
After working to assemble the names, Frary created a book that includes the names of the soldiers, details about their service and in some cases, their deaths. Copies are available for viewing at Edwards Public Library on East Street, the Old Schoolhouse in Conant Park, the Town Clerk’s office or from the Historical Society.
New gift store
The owners of a new store on Main Street say anyone looking for an unusual gift for the holidays should check them out.
Longtime friends Maureen Galaska and Louise Bevan opened The Lady Slipper at 121 Main St. on Nov. 1.
The small shops sells gifts, antiques and other items, bringing together their passion for crafting and collecting, said Galaska, 57.
“It’s this and that,” she said of the inventory. “Antiques, gifts, handmade crafts, a little bit of everything.”
The two women, who both live in Holyoke, have been friends since they began selling their handiwork at craft fairs about 20 years ago. They started working together on a few craft projects in the last few years, after Bevan closed the flower shop she had owned in Holyoke, and the two decided they should go into business together, said Bevan, 60.
“We’ve been watching Easthampton change, and we thought we’d give it a try,” Bevan said. “There are so many new artisans and shops here. We like the feel of it.”
The approximately 700-square-foot store is filled with the items they’ve collected. That includes antique furniture, from a wooden bar cart to small tables, all covered in crafts, dishes, notepads, decorations and other home furnishings. The handmade items include greeting cards, wreaths and dried flower bouquets.
“We’re hoping we will do well with the holiday season coming up,” she said, adding that she feels that the economy is slowly improving, too. “For Christmas, we plan to have fresh Christmas trees decorated with fruit and fresh log boxes for cemeteries.”
The antiques that fill the store are not rare collector’s items, Bevan added, but practical, affordable pieces that are in good shape.
“We just try to find something unique,” Galaska said of the store’s collection. “We try to find things that aren’t like those you can find everywhere else.”
The Lady Slipper, located just a few houses down from shop row, is open Monday through Friday noon to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at email@example.com.