Tag Archives: stranded finback

Where were you when …?

Photograph held by the Local History Room, Kingston Public Library

On October 20, 1948, a 30-ton finback whale came ashore north of the town pier at the end of River Street (or the Ah-De-Nah). Measuring 42 feet in length, this would have usually been a human interest story, but it developed into a Board of Health problem when it became necessary to move it … (continued below)

Find out more in the upcoming Kingston 300 book, an illustrated history for the town’s 300th anniversary. To learn more about the project join us at an open house May 18 from 6:30-8 pm at the Adams Center!

Topics at the open house include:

– Share proposed scope of book, topics so far
– Hear your ideas
– Meet fellow contributors
– Timeline for contributions and publishing
– Show sample writing styles and lengths, guidelines
– Visual content: photos, maps, postcards
– Alongside the book: Gathering oral histories; dig deeper with online resources; social media

… continuing a “Whale of a Tale”

It became necessary to move it.

The Highway Department with the additional help of power machinery loaded the whale on a heavy duty platform trailer and carried it to the town dump where it was buried. The said dump was a huge hole under what is now the Summer Street Plaza, site of Stop and Shop today.

My grandparents lived on River Street so we had good seats to the process, which took several days as special equipment had to be obtained and town decisions took as long in those days as today, even without cell phones. The longer it took, the more people visited the site becoming a traffic mess (River Street was almost dead-end as the streets to the south were only dirt roads) and the decomposition odor was awful.

—Jan Guidoboni

Photograph held by the Local History Room