Mystery Photo: Scarecrow with Pumpkins

Reposted from Once Upon a Time in Needham for your Halloween pleasure.

Photo: Walter Masson

While we still lived in Norwood, I was privileged to serve in a volunteer capacity in the archives at the Congregational Church of Needham. The archives are full of photos like this one. Charming, evocative, and completely mysterious.

  • Who are these people?
  • What were they doing? Decorating for a Harvest Festival? Performing a play?
  • What year was this taken?

If you know anything about this photo, please leave a comment or email me at shalahowell(at)


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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