by Bobby Blair
It’s hard to believe that it was just a little under five months ago when HNN began its “7 Wonders of Holliston” Contest. Pairing up with our sister media mogul Cable 8 TV including the crew from Sticky Beakin, the duo gave townspeople a chance to let us know what interests them in town.
The contest had fifty-two nominations of places and things submitted by local residents, which were pared down to fifteen by a Blue Ribbon panel of thirty-eight town notables. Town Historian Joanne Hulbert took to the airwaves along with the Sticky Beakin crew and reported the history behind each nomination. Several writers from HNN wrote articles giving the location and background behind each nomination, including the nominees. Going along with the Town Historian and the Sticky Beakin crew in early February to film Balancing Rock, I wimped out due to the bitter cold and returned to the warmth of my van.
If there were any surprises in the contest, it would have to be that St. Mary’s Church was never nominated, or that the Congregational Church never made the final cut of 15. Confusion seemed apparent when the Mudville Water Tunnel nearly made the final cut. This may have been due to our wording of the stone structure, or its proximity to the well-known Mudville Arch Bridge. Why the Bullard Street Cow Tunnel would garner more votes than the Highland Street Rail Tunnel is anyone’s guess. My sense is that very few people have actually seen the rail tunnel, something that the Rail Trail will most likely change in the near future. Casey at the Bat also faired far better than I thought it should. While the physical statue of Casey located on School Street is only four years old, the poem itself turned 119 this June 3rd. The publicity helping to secure the night lights at Adams field, which included Casey, may have had a hand in his not striking out on this occasion. Many residents sent in last minute votes for the Historical Society a.k.a. the Asa Whiting House. It seems a stuffing of the ballot was afoot, but Society members needn’t have worried.
Our contest, in the least, did bring a new awareness of structures and places right here in our midst. As one local told me, “I’ve lived here all my life and never heard of Thumping Rock.” While our contest was by no means scientific, we do believe we heard from a good cross section of people from town. We at HNN had hoped for a larger number of voters. But, as in real life and a perfect world, the contest is what it is, a bit of fun and history.
Your winners are as follows with #1 receiving the most votes.
1. Balancing Rock
2. Arch Street Bridge
3. Woodland Street Rail Trestle
4. Historical Society House (Asa Whiting House)
5. Fiske’s General Store
6. Town Hall
7. Casey at the Bat.
Word on the street has it that there might be a possibility of a book about Holliston’s Wonders and also a “7 W