Who Knew? It’s Our Tri-Centennial!

April 9, 2012


The Town of Abington, MA, sometimes called “Old Abington,” is turning 300 this year. Not surprisingly, Abington has a full calendar of big-time celebrations planned; parades, balls, fireworks, you name it.

A Quiet Union Street, Circa 1911

So, why should we here in the old Shoe-Town give a boot about this? Well, because it’s our 300th birthday as-well, that’s why! Many of you already know this because you were paying attention in school, but surprisingly, (maybe NOT so surprisingly), many ‘Vegasites do NOT know that Rockland was part of Abington until 1874. We were called East Abington, in-fact. There are even some Rocklanders who carry generations-old feelings of hostility and competition towards Abington. I told one man about the 300th and he replied, “Abington? You mean West Rockland!”

Be that as it may, the original Abington, founded in 1712, also encompassed the present-day towns of Rockland and Whitman, both of which broke away from the mother town in 1874 in a dispute over taxes and schools. In 1912, Rockland took part – a huge part – in the Bi-Centennial. It was a big deal here. We held a grand parade, and built an illuminated arch over Union Street (with “1712″ and “1912″ spelled-out in electric lights!). The whole dang place was decked out in bunting for a ¬†year.

So what is Rockland planning to do to celebrate the Tri-Centennial? As far as I know, bupkis. Abington started their Tri committee in January of 2011, and they have money. They are going full-steam ahead. Wouldn’t it make sense to put something together here? A one-day or one-weekend Old Town 300th event? It’s very late in the game, but we’d certainly entertain any suggestions or ideas. How about a mid-to-late summer outing like the Holiday Stroll we have every year in November? Maybe we could throw a concert or a town picnic. Anybody out there have an idea? Anybody want to have a Birthday Party?

After all, you only turn 300 once!

Pale Rider