Peg factory owner visits old hometown

J.R. Foster, 75, of Shelburne Falls visited Warrensburgh recently as a guest of Fred W. King (a grandson of early pioneer Palatiah Richards) and John L. Tubbs (editor of the Warrensburgh News) to visit old friends. Foster was a former resident and owner of the local shoe peg and bobbin factory, which was once an important Warrensburgh industry, and now located at Plymouth, N.H. Foster's sons, Edward and George, are in charge of the factory in its new location. Foster moved from Warrensburgh about 15 years ago. He now occupies his time by making violins. He's completed 25 of them and is now working on his 26th. Foster has presented two of his violins to Tubbs, who values them highly.

(Note...The peg factory was a red two-story building about 300 feet long located across River St. from today's Curtis Lumber Co. The fine stone wall at the back of the property is still in existence. The Blue Star" shoe pegs made at the factory through July 1893, were considered to be the best in the world. The shoe pegs, fashioned from white birch, were sold to Germany for soldier's shoes. The business was moved to Shelburne Falls in 1893 where it was again in operation in August that same year.

After the peg factory had left, clothespins were made in the building on River Street until it burned down in 1898.

The first violin Foster presented to Tubbs, of the Alard Strad pattern which he sent along in 1904, was named "The Old Squire" by Tubbs and was highly valued by him. He played it for the next quarter century. I wonder where it is today.)

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