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Local News

January 18, 2013

In Peabody, samplers that don't contain nuts

PEABODY — If you thought a sampler was sold by Whitman, you’re not thinking historically.

In days of yore, explains Lyn FitzGerald, assistant curator at the Peabody Historical Society, young girls sewed and embroidered small patches of fabric, producing “samplers” suitable for framing and hanging on the wall. The subject of the embroidery might be the alphabet, or a prayer, or a house.

If you think those days before equal rights were pure drudgery for females — well, not always, FitzGerald says. “Young girls had a lot of time on their hands.” That meant a lot of samplers. And if you have one, passed down over the years, you might be curious about it.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, Camille Myers Breeze of the Museum Textile Services in Andover will be on hand at the Smith Barn on Felton Street to take a look at your sampler, tell you how best to preserve it and how best to display it. Also available to talk about the history, style and proper care of your sampler will be FitzGerald and curator Heather Leavell.

All this expertise comes at a price — $20. If you’re interested, you can contact Leavell at 978-977-0514 or heather.leavell@peabodyhistorical.org by Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Le deluge

How bad did it get before Mayor Ted Bettencourt ordered Marchese Properties to cease and desist a project including a commercial building on Route 1 with a proposed home development behind it? Well, Joseph Maio of New Hampshire characterizes his parents, who live nearby, as victims of what he believes was the careless clearing of land.

Water didn’t merely dribble onto the pool covering belonging to retirees Irene and Louis Maio.

“They have a 15,000-gallon pool, and it was empty,” he explains. The runoff, however, “filled the pool” with mud and water.

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