Shirley’s Industrial School for Boys

 
The Shirley Industrial School for Boys was a part of this town from 1909 – 1972 and was the topic of the Shirley Historical Society meeting on Friday, May 11, 2001.  Ray Farrar who worked at the school and Joe Landry whose father worked there attended the meeting and were video taped sharing their stories.  Other former workers and State School “boys” have contacted the Museum and we have added their memories to our files.

In 1908, the Shirley Shaker Community had only three Shaker sisters, 900 acres of land and twenty-six buildings.  The Shaker Central Ministry decided to close the community, sell the property, and have the sisters move to the Harvard Shaker Village.  The state of Massachusetts bought 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 – 17 and give them a house mother and a house father, give them academic schooling, and teach them manners and a trade.  The farmland and large old Shaker buildings were well suited to these purposes and were promptly fitted out with modern conveniences.

The Historical Society does not have any of the private records of the School. Those would be kept someplace at the State level. We do have names from the census records of 1910, 1920 , and 1930. When requested, we can look in those records for names of boys who lived at Shirley Industrial School.

As the boys came to live at Shirley, the teachers, craftsman, office workers, and officials also came to work here. 
Many of them lived right on the property and later bought homes in the town of Shirley. 
Following are the names we have gathered at this time. (edited October 2008)

SUPERINTENDENT

ASST. SUPERINTENDENT

SOCIAL DIRECTOR

Herbert F. Taylor

Henry Kelly

Brown

Robert T. Grey

Clarence R. Day

 

Jerome Miller

 

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Campbell  

 

Gerard Pedneault

 

 

 

SUPERVISOR OF TRAINING & EDUCATION

PSYCHOLOGIST

 

SENIOR BOYS SUPERVISOR

 

John  W. Hastings

 Dr. Joseph Perry

Joseph McNabb    

 

 

Fielding

 

 

 

PURCHASING AGENT

BOOKKEEPER

OFFICE MANAGER

Eddy Nodigian

Beatrice Landry

Sam Johnson

 

 

 

CARPENTRY

ELECTRICIAN

MACHINE SHOP

Bob Hippler

Ray Farrar

Don Sargent

Joe Deering

John Pelletier

 

Eli Lanteigne

Athanace Landry

 

Ed (Fred) Small

 

 

 

 

 

PAINTER

BLACKSMITH

MASONRY

John Strubel

Fred Herald

Archie Paterson

 

 

 

FORESTRY

COOKS & BAKERS

AUTO SHOP

Fred Sanderson

Bill Fisher

John Sullivan

Paul Berjivan

 

Joseph R. Lemieux

John Coleman

 

 

Bill Means

 

 

 

 

 

FARM

PRINTING

GENERAL CLASSES

Dick Trombly

Norbert Whittemore

Dan Keady

Alf Tracy

 

Bill Kerrigan

Mr. Berry

 

 

Paul Griffin

 

 

Harold Madigan

 

 

Mr. Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

DISCIPLINE

NURSE

BARBERSHOP

Mahoney

Hazel McNabb

Paul Badagleacca

Paul Dickhout

Mary Madigan

 

Mike O’Malley

 

 

Mike Taylor

 

 

Bill Dunn

 

 

 

 

 

POWER PLANT

SEWING/TAILOR

LAUNDRY

Ray Farrar

John Linch

Harold Madigan

Barrett

Guy Caziano

Vernon Griffin

Nelson Wambolt

 

 

 

 

 

SECRETARIES STENOGRAPHERS, CLERKS

PAYMASTER

CHAPLAINS

Blanche Burrows

Parsons

Rev. Fohlin

Margaret Staples

 

Father Rene Bergeron

Marie Gionet

 

 

Agnes O’Malley

DOCTOR

 

Bev Johnosn

Bill Stecher

 

Lorraine Gionet

 

 

Delores Gionet

 

 

Rosamund Johnson

HOUSE MOTHER & PARTY ORGANIZER

OTHER STAFF W/ UNKNOWN JOBS

Marion Smith

Mrs. Fieldings

John Swanson

Lillian Sullivan

 

________ O’Hare

 

 

 

VISITING MUSIC TEACHER

HOUSE PARENTS

 

John T. Finnerty

Mr and Mrs Burrows, Cottage #1, 1993

 

 

Mr and Mrs Hippler

 

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 mail@shirleyhistory.org  

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