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Gentlemen from the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) stand in front of what is now the Essex Historical Society on Main Street. The building, erected in 1825, was formerly the Central School House before becoming a hall for the GAR in 1890 when the new high school was built. Thank you to Essex Historical Society Executive Director Jim Witham for providing us with this image.  

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Goodness, all we can think is, “Do. Not. Slip!”  When we published this image three weeks ago, we assumed this photograph chronicled some event.  Perhaps a Halloween where the local chimney sweep donned a top hat.  Or maybe this was a local character known for creative accessorizing.  Maybe it was an annual challenge.  Nope, at least not from our responses.  Or lack of responses.  Turns out, top hats were an industry thing, with companies across the country using “top hats” to market chimney sweep companies.  This is surely one of them, local to Manchester. Click here for the full story.

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This photo was familiar to many long timers in Manchester, but for those who weren’t able to identify this town mainstay it is Bruce Leseine, the “authentic original” proprietor of Captain Dusty’s.  Yes, before it was an ice cream hot spot, it was Mr. Leseine’s fish and bait store on Beach Street.  Click here to read the first of two parts to his remarkable story, which ran in the Cricket. 

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Here we see Manchester’s Story High baseball team revved up and ready to go for their spring season!  We’re estimating this shot is from 1959.  Coach Joe Hyland (of Hyland Field fame) is posed alongside his players.  But who are these players?  Shout outs on social media got some good answers.  They are, Brian Lane (top row, far right), Skip Cool, Theriault Michaelson, Eliot Crocker, Buddy Bachry, Wayne Lynch (middle row, far left), Hardy Nalley (middle row, center), Peter Foster (middle row, second from the right), Joey Lezisky (front row, second from the right), and more.  Buddy Bachry, it should be noted, was later recruited by the Boston Red Sox to be a practice pitcher.

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This shot struck us that some elements of style really are timeless.  The sunglasses! The tan! The hair!  This photograph of a Singing Beach lifeguard with a young boy and his frisbee could have been taken in 1986 or 1966.  Well, the year was actually 1959 and the lifeguard in question, with Eagle Head in the background, is Father Kerry Saraveles, a Greek Orthodox priest who lived in Manchester and Magnolia his whole life.  He dropped these pictures off to The Cricket office about a month ago and told us about his family, who came to Manchester when his father worked at a house on the Coolidge Estate.  His parents Joe and Anna lived at 48 Beach Street. 

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The image in our puzzler from the Manchester Historical Museum shows what is left today of the foundation of the “Marble Palace,” a built in 1902 and designed by famed architects McKim, Meade and White on property owned by Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, great-great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson.  When T. Jefferson Coolidge the elder moved his mansion to higher ground, his son T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr., had the Marble Palace built in a year.  The property, now overseen by the Trustees of Reservation, is known as the Coolidge Point Reservation.  The Ocean Lawn sweeps down to the ocean and is open to the public.  In 1958, T. Jefferson Coolidge III demolished the Marble Palace and built a more modest home on the property.  Eventually Coolidge descendants donated closed to 60 acres of the property to the Trustees of Reservations and Historic New England.  T. Jefferson Coolidge was quite a benefactor to the town and had the public library built, again designed by McKim, he played a significant role to bringing electricity to Manchester and among other endeavors was a founding member of the Essex County Club.  The electric company building still stands on Electric Light Hill, Summer Street.

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The Cricket's archives have a whole series of photographs from this event, showing off this big chuck of steel. Thanks to information from Frank Rezza, we believe the man riding this big hunk of steel is Jim Silva, who lived on Pine Street and worked for the town and operated this machine.  The “machine” is none other than a “Buffalo Springfield” steamroller, which became a ubiquitous heavy machine that shined during Depression-era public projects and for decades after.  (Most people, however, are far more familiar with this machine after it became the inspiration for the short-lived California 1960s rock band Buffalo Springfield that was responsible for the monster hit, “For What It’s Worth” and featured Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay.) . So, back to Manchester, and this photo.  As a small town, Manchester was very fortunate to have such a big piece of equipment.  Mr. Rezza remembers the town’s Buffalo Springfield rolled out Washington Street.  And in a major coincidence, Rezza also remembers the machine’s last hoorah was at the Town’s 4th July Parade in 1970, exactly 50 years ago, where it was a float in the 325th Anniversary celebration.  Go figure!

Previous 'That Was Then' Photos Identified

Find the answers to who was in previous "That was Then" photos below.
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Who’s that youngster flying through the air with gusto in what surely must have been a record-breaking standing broad jump? Sally Huss and her son wrote in to guess that our intrepid flyer was named Adam Schultz. "We think the boy second from the right is Andrew Ryding and the man at lower right looks like the late Charles Ramsey." This roll of film was part of a role captured from the Presidential Fitness Award conducted each year in the Memorial School gymnasium. The national program was instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 to gauge youth fitness with a battery of exercise tests involving sit ups, the flexed arm hang, something called “the shuttle run”, and, as we see here, the broad jump.  The program was phased out in 2012.  Our estimate is this was taken in the late 1970s or early 1980s, in the gym.

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Many readers contacted us to successfully identify these two men, Charlie Lane and his father, Fred Lane, both former Town Treasurers.  The best answer came from Sue Henderson who wrote in, “Charlie Lane Jr. is the seated mustachioed fellow and his father, Fred Land is standing.  Both are related to Parks & Rec’s Andy “Bono” Lane, as well as centenarian, Randall Lane of Essex!” Well done Sue!

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Put on your thinking caps, because answering our “Who’s That?” challenge builds our community photo archive. When they say, “a good time was had by all”, this is the type of relaxed affair “they” were talking about. It is clearly a male-only affair, so we’ve narrowed this down to the appropriate candidates.  Could it a Masonic monthly meeting? Dinner at The Manchester Club? A Boy Scout award night? We tried looking at the darned program in front of the man on the left, but alas, we can’t make it out, other than it seems camp or sail-related. But the sea of blazers and tweed, coupled with the hairstyles lead us to place this photo in the mid 1980s.  (So do the plastic Solo coffee sleeves. Remember those?)

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When they say, “a good time was had by all,” this is what “they” were talking about. Many wrote in with the correct answers.  First, it's Grace Hall and Ed Corley, two beloved locals (she a longtime bank manager and he a police dispatcher).  This is early 1980s, and this party at the Legion was celebrating Ed Corley's retirement (thank you, former Police Chief Ronald Ramos).  Clearly Ed was a popular figure, but he's infamous for being the one-man-army force behind the successful (and at the time, highly controversial) drive to change the name of Manchester to its current, "Manchester-by-the-Sea". Unbelievably, we received IDs from two folks for the fuzzy lady to the left, Mary Mahoney. Finally, background photog is our own Dick Towle (he Id'd himself).