In 1908, the Shirley Shaker Community had only three Shaker sisters,
900 acres of land and twenty-six buildings. The Shaker Central
decided to close the community, sell the property, and have the sisters
move to the Harvard Shaker Village. The state of Massachusetts
the Shaker property for an Industrial School for Boys, what we now call
a reform school. This industrial school was to take boys ages 15
- 20 and give them a house mother and a house father, give them
schooling, and teach them manners and a trade. The farmland and
old Shaker buildings were well suited to these purposes and were
fitted out with modern conveniences.
The Shirley Historical Society has census records for 1920, 1930,
and 1940 listing the names of people who lived on the state property.
It gives their ages and marital status, place of birth, and parents'
places of birth, but not much else. The records of the boys would have
been kept private by the state of Massachusetts.
As the boys came to live at Shirley, the teachers, craftsman, office workers, and officials came to work here. Many of them lived right on the property and later bought homes in the town of Shirley. Following are the workers' names that we have gathered at this time.
Herbert F. Taylor Henry Kelly Brown
Robert T. Grey Clarence R. Day
Supervisor of Training and Education
John W. Hastings
Joseph McNabb Dr. Joseph Perry
Eddy Nodigian Beatrice Landry Sam Johnson
Bob Hippler Ray Farrar Don Sargent
Joe Deering John Pelletier
Eli Lanteigne Athanace Landry
Ed (Fred) Small
John Strubel Fred Herald Archie Paterson
Fred Sanderson Bill Fisher John Sullivan
Paul Berjivan Joseph R. Lemieux
Dick Trombly Norbert Whittemore Dan Keady
Alf Tracy Bill Kerrigan
Mr. Berry Al Yesue
Mahoney Hazel McNabb Paul Badagleacca
Paul Dickhout Mary Madigan
Ray Farrar John Linch Harold Madigan
Barrett Guy Caziano Vernon Griffin
Stenographers, Parsons Rev. Fohlin
Clerks Father Rene Bergeron
Marie Gionet Doctor
Agnes O'Malley Bill Stecher
Lorraine Gionet House Mother and party organizer
Delores Gionet Mrs. Fieldings
Visiting Music Teacher
John T. Finnerty
Mr and Mrs Burrows, Cottage #1 1933
Meredith Marcinkewicz, curator at the Shirley Historical Society, is trying to gather additional information on the Industrial School. She has photos of ISB buildings and many news articles about the Industrial School. She has a sign, a chair, and candle sticks which were made at the school. She would love to hear from other people who lived and worked there.
She will be at the Historical Society Museum (978-425-9328) at #182 Center Road, Shirley, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. most Saturdays and Mondays and invites anyone with pictures or stories to share to stop by. Or - they may write her at Shirley Historical Society, PO Box 217, Shirley, MA 01464, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org