Rochester history: How Calvin R. Daggett Square got its name

Jun 1, 2021

The writer of this piece, Connie Eshbach, is the vice president of the Rochester Historical Society. This is part of a series of Rochester history briefs.

ROCHESTER — In Rochester Center, there’s an honor roll, which was adorned with flags for Memorial Day. The names of those who served their country from World War I through the wars that followed are there.

There’s another plaque for the man for whom the once Rochester Square was renamed.

Calvin Daggett was born in 1924. In 1942, he married Rochester native Palmeda Arruda and settled in her town.

Daggett, better known as Cal, was a master craftsman — a carpenter, cabinet maker, and building contractor.

He was a busy man, serving on the town finance committee and fire department, as well as being a lay preacher at the North Rochester Church. He was also the guitarist, master-of-ceremonies, and "gig-getter" for the Woodchoppers, a Rochester musical group.

What Daggett is best remembered for, however, is the dedication he showed to Boy Scout Troop 31 as their founder and leader for over 30 years. Beyond leading the troop and keeping his scouts busy and engaged, he was there to listen and help with any problems they might face. He also gave up a week of work every year to make it possible for the boys to attend summer camp.

After his unexpected death at the age of 55 in July 1980, his loss was felt throughout the town. By Sept. 21, just two and a half months after his death, friends and scouts, both current and former, had raised the money needed for a stone and plaque to honor him.

At the dedication of the memorial, the square received its new name, Calvin R. Daggett Square. In addition, the 1980 annual town report was dedicated to him after a request to the selectmen from the Rochester Boy Scout Committee.

Under his picture in the town report is this quotation "The town as a whole and we as individuals are richer for having had Calvin Daggett among us."