Mrs. Douglas Receives a Photograph of St. Mary’s Convent – Taunton, Massachusetts (1917)

Taunton was founded in 1637 by settlers from the Plymouth Colony; it is one of the oldest towns in the US.

On land along the Taunton River, purchased from the Temasket People, English colonists built a community that became a center of colonial iron-mongering and silver-smithing.

In the 18th century, mills were established along the river and tributary waterways.

Beginning in the 1830’s, Irish laborers began immigrating to Taunton and the first Roman Catholic parishes were established.

In 1868, an imposing Gothic Revival church -dedicated to Saint Mary- was consecrated; it replaced a smaller, wooden structure.

A complex of buildings, including a rectory, school, and convent was established around the Church of St. Mary.

The three-story building pictured on this postcard, St. Mary’s Convent, was erected in 1912.

The postcard photograph was mailed from Taunton in May of 1917.

Mrs.  F. F. Douglas was having a birthday.

Mrs. Douglas lived I Union, a town on the southern coast of Maine.

Like Taunton, the town of Union also had a rich colonial history and had become an industrial center with multiple mills and wood-working businesses.

I believe the postcard was sent by Gertrude, although it could be that Mrs. Douglas was named “Gertrude” and that the sender had omitted the comma that would make this clear.

One hopes that Mrs. Douglas was pleased by this remembrance and that she and the sender enjoyed a long and happy friendship.


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