That Was Then

Know who the people in the photos below might be? The first to click the button with the correct answer wins a highly sought-after Cricket hat and our undying gratitude as we build out our community photo archive in celebration of Town Of Manchester’s 375th Anniversary year. Answers will be published to this page.

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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!

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This photograph from the paper's archives is of the 1966 dedication of new public tennis courts on Summer Street, abutting Sweeney Park in Manchester.  Later, the courts were turned into a rarely-used skateboard park.  Alas, skateboarding wasn’t the massive trend that organizers thought and that park is now shuttered.  New tennis courts to replace those on Summer Street were eventually built on Lincoln Street, where they are enjoyed.  So, who is in the photo?  Well, from left, it’s Diane Coons DeMille, now 91 years old.  The photo was taken in 1966 for the ceremony, which ran in the paper on the front page.  Coons DeMille was president of the Manchester Athletic Association, and its first female president.  In the middle is Marjorie “Midge” Gladman Buck, a local tennis phenom who excelled at competitive tennis in the 50s and 60s.  She won 34 United States national tennis championships.  She was nationally ranked 18 times. Nine of which were the first top 10 women players in the United States.  When Buck won the Sears Cup in the 1950s at the Essex County Club she was presented with the cup by Eleanora Sears herself.  Buck also ran a local tennis clinic for resident children in the summers, which is likely how she got involved with the dedication in this photo.  Coons said when it came to dedicating the town courts, Mrs. Buck stepped up and provided the connection to the gentleman on the right, who is none other than Arthur Worth “Bud” Collins, Jr., the nationally syndicated tennis columnist and Boston Globe sports writer who, for years, was a CBS television sportscaster covering every big tennis event there was, including the US Open, Wimbledon, the Australian Open, and the rest.

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Readers have had a blast IDing this pic sent of Sacred Heart’s 1962 First Communion, sent in by Mike Dyer who grew up in Manchester and now lives in Essex.  Best efforts IDs are here.  Front Row, L-R: Gregg Connolly, Ed Doucette, Chris Masiero, David Kimball(?), Mike Fraser, Father Walter Lennon, TBD?, Matt Scully, Mike Dyer, Larry Keily, Eric Rumpf. Second Row, L-R:  David Lombardi, Jim Seekell, Tosh Doucette, Michael Digby, Mike Ryan, Duke Birch, John Snow, Alan Lord, Billy Houghton.

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Mike Dyer responded with the names of kids in this 1966 photo because his wife, Sarah (Willwerth) Dyer is the gal adjusting her crown. "We think this was actually the 'May Procession' wherein Catholic kids were forced to march in public in ecclesiastic garb, to the laughter and derision of their Protestant friends," he wrote. (Well now.) Seen here, from right/front, we believe, are Alick McLean, Patty Madden, Dennis O'Sullivan (behind the fluff), Sarah Willwerth, Luke Brown, Susan Marshall (we think), Dan McKinney (partial view), and Nancy Jenner. Have a correction or comment? Let us know! 

These handsome gents seem to be inaugurating a spanking new life boat at Singing Beach. The "Marine Enterprise, Manchester Mass." jeep makes it all really official.  And if the woman in the background's bathing suit is any indication, we're thinking this was taken in the late 1950s or early 60s. Recognize anyone? We'd love to hear from you! 

A shot of a high visibility corner in Manchester that we think just about everyone will recognize. The railroad tracks and inner harbor are an "ace" clue to the waterfront spot where a larger building now stands. Remember this cafe?  Perhaps you remember the "waterside" (hint, hint) restaurant that replaced it?  Who used to own it or perhaps remember what year it closed? We'd love to know! 

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Hornets football has been a mainstay for a long time, and this shot proves it! Research tells us leather helmets were used in the 1920s. Did this tough bunch bring home the win? A big trophy? Capture the hearts of the cheer squad? Check out the inner harbor in the background and if anyone can name someone from this Story High School crew - let us know.

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).