Sippican Historical Society receives music memorabilia donation from Washburn family

Jul 19, 2018

A recent donation to the Sippican Historical Society of musical memorabilia from the Washburn family provides information on the history of band music in Marion, beginning as far back as the 1870s when there were two bands in Marion -- the Sippican Band or Center  Band, and the American or North Marion Band. The two bands merged in 1878 and became known as the Sippican Band.

In 1933, the band was reborn as the Marion Concert Band, organized by Ralph E. Washburn, and directed by Albert J. Stoessel. The materials recently donated by the Rev. Warren Washburn include historic photographs, concert programs, newspaper clippings, music scores, and even three band hats worn by the Washburn family as members of the Sippican Band.

"These materials not only give us a glimpse into the musical history of Marion, but also provide a colorful snapshot of life in the early 20th century," Sippican Historical Society Archivist Leslie Thayer Piper said.

The concert programs provide lists of music and musicians, as well as advertisements for local ice cream establishments, the times of high tides at "Marion Bathing Beach," and the Marion fire alarm signals.

Photographs and more information about all the items in the Washburn Family Collection will be available soon on the Sippican Historical Society website, but Piper encourages people to visit the historical society's museum, located at  at 139 Front St., and learn more about the many collections that illuminate the history of Marion.