Florence Gove, who turned 100 years old in July, 2022, was presented with the Boston Post Cane, on May 1, by Andover Selectmen Roland Carter, Jim Delaney, and Dana Swenson. Also on hand to witness the ceremonial giving of the cane were Town Administrator Kimberley Edelmann, Florence’s daughter Beryl Sanborn, granddaughter Angela Monahan, and son-in-law Tim Monahan.
Beacon board member Larry Chase found the following information about the history of the Boston Post Cane, from the Beacon archives:
“In 1909, The Boston Post engaged in its most famous publicity stunt. Newspaper publisher Edwin A. Grozier had 700 ornate, ebony-shafted, gold-capped canes produced and then contacted the Selectmen in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island towns with populations of more than 500.
“The Boston Post Canes were given to the Selectmen with the request that they be presented in a ceremony to each town’s oldest living man. The custom was expanded to include women in 1930.
“More than 500 towns in New England still carry on the Boston Post Cane tradition with the original canes awarded in 1909. Of New Hampshire’s 224 towns at that time, 176 became recipients of the cane. Unfortunately, many communities have lost their canes, but approximately 140 New Hampshire towns still award the Boston Post Cane to their eldest resident.
“The cane presented today is an authentic replica. Andover’s original Boston Post Cane is held in trust by the Andover Historical Society.
“The Town records about the cane are somewhat vague, so if any readers have information they can share about its history we’d love to hear from you. It would be fun to report how many recipients there have been.”
If you can provide any information concerning Andover’s Boston Post Cane, please contact the Beacon at firstname.lastname@example.org.