APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL 1936, Knpobo, Cradle Flower





Cradle Flower
Mary Lou Schlosser
MAY 16, 1936

(Photograph by Charles L. Hildreth)

Among the hundreds of photographs from the Charles L. Hildreth collection, we have this one of Knpobo who was invited to participate in the Nashoba Apple Blossom Festival in 1936. The Wardsman of 23 May 1936 reported that she “pronounced the invocation.” 




1936 Nashoba Apple Blossom Festival Booklet,” p. 17

Another Wardsman article from 5 Sept. 1936, reported that “Cradle Flower and Corn Flower, two prepossessing full-blooded Indian young ladies are assisting R. [Ryland] D. Batchelder at the Mohawk Indian Trading Post in East Acton.” An article found by Lisa Soo of the Jenks Library, Acton, sheds light on the trading posts. From page 1 of the Concord Enterprise, 19 August 1936,  “R. D. Batchelder who has conducted the Mohawk Indian Trading Post in Concord for the past several years in the interest of the Indians has opened a branch in East Acton at the Jensen Farm.”  Acton’s, Bill Klauer, confirmed that the Jensen Farm was at 145 Great Road in Acton. The Enterprise article also mentioned that the Post was “under instruction from the Indian department at Washington.” 

An article from the Concord Enterprise on 15 May 1940 said that participating in an apple blossom festival in Concord were “two Indian maidens from the Mohawk Trading Post, Lexington Road…” Eloisa Concha was listed as one of those maidens. This trading post was located on Lexington Road, Concord, according to Anke Voss of the Concord Public Library.

On 24 May 1939, the Lowell Sun mentioned that Cradle Flower would participate in an Indian pageant to be held in Lowell that evening. Cradle Flower and her sister were also mentioned in the Worcester Evening Gazette on 7 Aug. 1939 when they participated in an event at Athol, Mass. 

In 1939, Carl and Mary L. Schlosser were living on No. Great Road in Lincoln, Mass. according to the street listing provided by Valerie Fox, current Town Clerk of Lincoln. They were living in Lincoln in 1940, and Mary’s sister, Eloisa Concha was living with them. Eloisa was identified in a later article as “Corn Flower.” By 1950, Carl and Mary had returned to New Mexico and were living in Valdez. 

Carl Michael Schlosser, born at Chicago, Ill., 29 April 1910, died at New Mexico, 5 Feb. 1985, son of Alois and Helen (Bahrke) Schlosser. Mary Lou “Cradle Flower,” born at Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, 10 March 1912, died there 23 Aug. 1999.

From The Taos News, 2 Sept. 1999, p. B12


Originally begun as the Nashoba Apple Blossom Festival, 38 towns from Middlesex and Worcester counties made up the organization.  

The first program was held in Westford on Sunday, May 19, 1935.  Gov. James Michael Curley crowned the first Apple Blossom Queen who was Phyllis Wright of Westford.

On May 16, 1936, Gov. Michael Curley again did the honors, crowning the queen who was Mary Elizabeth Perrins.   

On May 16, 1937, Nancy, the daughter of then Governor Charles F. Hurley, crowned Portia Prescott as Queen.

The Nashoba Apple Blossom Festival continued until 1942.  After WWII it resumed for a two-year stint from 1948 – 1949.

Finally in 1968 the Westford Kiwanis brought back the festival, now called the  Westford Apple Blossom Festival, and it has been growing strong ever since.

Prepared by Marilyn Day, for the Westford Historical Society, 2023