Near-riot in Wilmington, 1925
Wilmington had a near-riot on its hands on Labor Day weekend, 95 years ago. The commotion took place at Thompson’s Grove, near Silver Lake. It took a state police officer to calm things down.
The trouble began when the management of the dance hall put up a sign announcing that the admission for the midnight dance would be 65 cents. The price had been 50 cents all summer.
The Boston Globe reported that there had been 300 people waiting for the midnight dance session to open. The new price set up a hoot and a howl in the crowd, with people yelling at management representatives.
Local police officers urged the revelers to not make any trouble. Pay the price or go elsewhere, they said.
Some of the crowd began to move about, threatening anyone who approached the entrance.
A state police officer was summoned from the Reading barracks. He gave the crowd the same terms, pay or leave, only in more persuasive language. The crowd dispersed, some of them going into the hall, while many others said they would go to Pinehurst Park.
Candle sparks gasoline explosion
Eldridge Cummings had a new car in his garage, all set to go. What could possibly go wrong?
He soon found out.
The next day, Aug. 31, 1932, it would be on the road. Eager to have the car ready for the big day, he decided to fill the gas tank. Since there were no lights in the garage, he held a candle in one hand while he poured gasoline from a large can.
You can guess what happened. According to an article in the Boston Globe, there was a serious explosion, burning Cummings about the hands, arms and face. The car and garage were completely destroyed. The Grove Avenue house, was not damaged.
Neighbors gave Cummings first aid, and he was taken to the office of Dr. John McGuinness for treatment of his burns.
Bull captured on Lowell Street
A stray bull from Saugus had a six-week romp in the woods before being captured on Feb. 23, 1930 at a farm on Lowell Street in Wilmington.
The Boston Globe reported that the bull had been running loose since Jan. 8, with sightings reported in Saugus, Wakefield, Reading and Wilmington. In mid-February, it was seen several times near Perry’s Corner in Wilmington.
On Feb. 23, it was seen at the William Morgan farm, but could not be captured. It returned that evening and was found in a shed. Morgan and others corralled the bull and summoned the owner, who successfully lassoed it.
The animal had one final night in Wilmington in Selectman Carl Pettingill’s barn at Perry’s Corner. Lucci’s Supermarket now occupies the property.