Shirley’s D.A.R. Flagpole
In 1907 the Old Shirley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized and decided to give a flagpole to the town. In order to raise money they gave several patriotic programs in which interested townspeople took part with readings and songs. Even the boys of the Industrial School gave a minstrel show to benefit the project. The C. F. Edgarton Company was a major financial supporter of the project. $700 was finally collected and the flag was raised on July 4, 1913.
The flagpole was purchased from Pigeon Hollow Spar Company, a company that made masts for ships.
The Woodland Bronze Works Company of Newburyport made the plaque that was placed at the foot of the pole.
Kate Hazen, who was postmistress at the time, gave the first flag which measured 10 feet by 20 feet.
The Fredonian Lodge of Oddfellows gave the halyards. (ropes)
The raising of the flagpole was done by John Moran of Fitchburg.
The cement work was under the direction of E.H. Longley of Ayer.
Following the Fourth of July parade, the pole was officially presented, from the D.A.R., to the town as represented by Chairman of the Selectmen, Edward J. Stevens. Then Nancy Allen Somes, the three year old granddaughter of D.A.R. Regent Minnie Allen, raised the flag. Finally, a fine patriotic oration was delivered by Rev. Howard A. Bridgman.
The ladies of the D.A.R. gave a list of 22 days when the flag should be flown. In recent years it has been left flying year round, with a special salute on Memorial Day.
In 1998 the Shirley Highway Department assisted in taking down the flagpole to make way for streetscape improvements. The top forty feet of the pole was moved to the lawn of the Historical Society Museum.
The Pepperell D.A.R., the Shirley American legion, and several individuals have given donations of money towards restoration of the flag pole.
Henry Whitcomb of Littleton was the general contractor who supervised the reconstruction and raising of the pole.
Thomas Fleming of Thomas Fleming Productions in Groton did the gold leafing of the finial ball, the refurbishing of the pulley assembly, the construction of wooden cleats for halyard.
Joe Landry of Shirley refinished the bronze plaque and placed it in a granite base.
Dave Holden Jr. of Holden Construction of Lunenburg did the rigging of the halyards, pulleys, and flag snap hooks.
john Hillier of Kelman Hill Properties in Shirley installed the plaque at the base of the pole.
Dave Holden of the President Building and All Star Company helped locate many of these workers and has supplied a new flag. His company is a descendant of the Edgarton Company which donated to the first flagpole.
Littleton Light Company dug the hole and placed the pole in its new home.
On Saturday November 25th at 11:00 a.m. the flag was raised and the restored flagpole was dedicated with appropriate speeches and music. Participants included a color guard from Shirley American Legion Post #183, the Harvard Town Band, sixth grade student Hilary Lewis reading an essay on “What the Flag Means to Me”. Present was benefactor Dave Holden, and many Historical Society members.