The poster that started it all

The poster for the 1890 Strawberry Festival. (Image: Danielle Jurdan)

The poster for the 1890 Strawberry Festival. (Image: Danielle Jurdan)

From 2012-2013, I had the privilege of serving in a voluntary capacity as church archivist for the Congregational Church of Needham.

Early on in my stint, I came across this wonderful poster advertising the church’s 1890 Strawberry Festival. Some years ago the crumbling original had been glued onto a piece of pink poster board in an effort to stabilize it against the ravages of time.

This wonderful document prompted so many questions.

I just had to know. So I started a blog, Once Upon a Time in Needham, so I would have an excuse to find out.

Now that our move to Chicago has put an end to my tenure as volunteer archivist, I’m slowly migrating the best of my posts from my archivist blog here to BostonWriters in an effort to consolidate my web footprint. You can find the entire collection of posts here, or just kick back and let them flow in over time.


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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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