Featured Artifact of the Week

Photo of 29 Main St.

1929 Black and white photo of 19 Main St, which was built in 1873. It was the home of Dr. Orion Vassar Wells (1880-1918) and his family. He attended Harvard Medical School in 1906, and was a popular doctor in town. The photo shows his daughter Elizabeth (1909-1965), as well as Emiline Woods, both nurses.

The house today.

During WWI, Dr. Wells was a surgeon in Company L, MA State Guard, and by 1917, became First Lieutenant of the 19th Regiment’s Medical Department. He was awaiting deployment to France when the 1918 flu epidemic was at its height. He actively treated those infected, before becoming infected himself. Dr. Wells died of pneumonia soon after. He was posthumously promoted to Captain.

Bob Oliphant’s article on the 1918 flu and Dr. Wells

6.75 x 4.75″
Mounted on 9 x 6.75″ cardstock