Susan (McMaster) Bosman

Quaint Little Town

The year was 1948.  The many and various industries in Southbridge were getting back to normal after the end of World War II.  As I remember it, the economy was expanding, the town was prospering and most anyone who wanted work could find it.  In the third grade at Eastford Road School, under the tutelage of teacher Miss Julia Morrill, we were learning a bit of local history with this little song, which I think Miss Morrill herself may have written.  Our lessons were followed by a field trip that she organized to various town landmarks.

If anyone remembers the song and can identify the tune, I’d like to know.  I can sing it but don’t recognize the tune.  These are the words:

“There’s a quaint little town on the Quinebaug
Where the factories and mills help make homes,
Where the AO makes spectacles for the people
And the Ames Worsted makes cloth for clothes.

There are plants that make all kinds of cutlery,
Smaller shops where printing presses are found.

This quaint little town on the Quinebaug –
Southbridge really is world renowned.”

On the bus trip around town, we visited war memorials in several parks and many churches, including the French-Canadian parishes, Notre Dame and Sacred Heart; the Polish Church, St. Hedwig’s; and the Albanian, Romanian and Congregational and Baptist Churches.  We had tours of the interiors of many of them, thanks to prior arrangements Miss Morrill had made.

One stop was at the Greek Orthodox Church on North Street and I remember that we had a new classmate whose family, the Billis’, had immigrated from Greece that year.  She was so quiet and spoke no English when she first came into our class.  There were no bilingual education classes then, but Miss Morrill, in her spare time, helped her new pupil learn English.

We were only in the third grade – about 8 years old – but we had one of our first lessons in the cultural and ethnic diversity of our town from Miss Julia Morrill.  She was a wonderful teacher.

Susan (McMaster) Bosman - May 2002

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