The sources of information in "Looking Back" include "Williamstown: The First 250 Years 1953-2003," the archives of the Williamstown Historical Museum, and personal recollections of town residents.
* High school and college students weren't the only ones getting diplomas 50 years ago. Eighteen dogs from Adams, North Adams, Williamstown and Bennington, Vt. graduated on June 26, 1963, from obedience school. Among the Williamstown-based graduates was Hans, a dachshund owned by the Frank Mason family; Charlie, an English setter owned by Sarah Bratton, and Mr. Pepper, a poodle belonging to Sandra Rogers. "Special honors," apparently the obedience school's equivalent of magna or summa cum laude, were bestowed on Rudy, a sheltie handled by Molly Wright of Williamstown, and Dutchess, a collie owned by the Roberts family.
* Then-U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Gov. Endicott Peabody visited the Williams Inn in June of 1963. They were photographed by the editor of the Williamstown News, who apologized in an editorial for "decapitating" the officials in the photo that appeared in the paper. Largely because of the heights of the subjects, he wrote, it was difficult to frame the photo properly, and the result was unfortunate. The editor promised to inflict the same fate on "some prominent Republicans one of
* In July 1963, the Cozy Corner motel opened under the proprietorship of Patrick W. Kelly. The article accompanying the photo of the new hostelry stated that it cost $80,000 to build.
* Across town, Arthur and Eileen Siciliano opened the Four Acres Motel adjacent to their long-established Four Acres Farm Restaurant. The couple had run the restaurant since 1939; it closed during World War II and re-opened in 1946.
* Notable deaths of 50 years ago include that of Samuel Allen, professor emeritus of English at Williams. Prof. Allen, who was 90, was a member of the Williams class of 1903. From 1943 to 1946 he served as head of Pine Cobble School.
* Twenty-five years ago, David Rempell was preparing for his first year as superintendent of the Williamstown Elementary School. Formerly a school principal in Colrain, he succeeded Howard Smith who had accepted a superintendent's post in Canton, N.Y.
* In July 1937, Williams College announced the appointment of James Phinney Baxter as president, succeeding Tyler Dennett. Dennett had resigned following a dispute with the college's trustees over the proposed purchase of the Greylock Hotel, which Dennett opposed. The hotel was bought; the college's Greylock dormitory complex now occupies the lot at the northeast corner of Main and North streets. "Dr. Baxter agreed with Dr. Dennett on the principle, if not the implications, that have been placed on [Dennett's] statement that only nice boys go to Williams," reads an account of the appointment. "'Naturally, I want men of all kinds as students at Williams,' [Baxter] said emphatically."