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Keepers of the Boston Post Cane:

It started in 1909 as a gimmick to increase the circulation of the Boston Post.

There were 431 of the canes to begin with, made of African ebony with 14-carat gold heads. Some say that Edwin A. Grozier, publisher of the Boston Post, had picked them up cheap at an auction before he came up with the idea of distributing them to New England towns to be presented to each town's oldest citizen then passed along to the next oldest as each holder of the cane departed the earth.

Though intended at first only for men by 1930, women were receiving the canes.

Apparently no towns in Connecticut were included in the distribution of the canes, and only two towns in Vermont are known to have had canes.

The cane, or staff, is an ancient symbol of deference to age and reverence for ancestors.

Missing Canes in New Hampshire as of March 1983:


     On December 5, 2017, the Gilmanton Board of Selectmen, Chairman, Stephen McWhinnie and Michael Jean, presented Hazel N. Fletcher with a replica of the Gilmanton Boston Post Cane. Hazel was born to Alice and Samuel Lucas Clark on February 16, 1921 in Epsom, NH on the family farm, where she grew up on Old Orchard Road. When her dad passed, Hazel’s mom sold the farm and moved Hazel and her sisters, Doris and Bea, to Pittsfield where Hazel starting working at the shoe shop in Pittsfield at the age of 15. She married in 1942 to Howard Fletcher during World War II, while Howard was on furlough. After the war, they settled in Pittsfield, then moved to Loudon with their son, Richard. Hazel worked in Manchester at a shoe factory and then worked for the Page Belting Company in Concord in the early 1960’s. In 1963, the Fletcher’s moved to Gilmanton. In 1973, Hazel’s husband, Howard, passed at the young age of 53; her son, Richard, moved back to Gilmanton to help his Mom. Hazel continued to work and retired from the Company in 1986 at the age of 65; both she and Richard remain active and busy.



 Boston Post Cane Recipients:






Horace Metcalf

June 18, 1818

June 2, 1913


Arrabelle Zulema (Moody) Knowles

October 17, 1850

September 7, 1942


Alice A. (Metcalf) Morgan

May 19, 1856

March 7, 1951


Richard Frank Varney

January 31, 1873

June 12, 1968


Swen Alban Burg


May 4, 1970


Herbert (Bert) W. Omstead

May 15, 1881

March 19, 1974


Florence M. (Merrill) Durgin

May 29, 1884

April 22, 1977


Cynthia (Nelson) Brown


September 19, 1986


Mildred E. (Page) Potter

May 3, 1894

September 19, 1990


Clayton Gerald Hobbs

July 12, 1896

January 21, 1995


Katharina (Gegger) Geiger

February 25, 1901

May 16, 1997


Hazel Parsons

November 28, 1898

October 17, 2001


Leona McClary

April 5, 1905

January 12, 2003


Lizzie Bickford

September 18, 1908

June 11, 2005


Doris Price Jones (Posthumously)

December 12, 1910

December 1, 2005


Ellen N. Cunliffe

May 5, 1911

March 1, 2008


 James G. Pennock

June 27, 1914 

February 20, 2014 


Rose Marie Young

October 14, 1917

August 28, 2017 


 Hazel N. Fletcher

February 16, 1921
































Documents and Forms top of page
    Join us for the Presentation of the Boston Post Cane - On Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Rose Marie Young was honored as she was presented with the Boston Post Cane.
Presentation of Gilmanton's Boston Post Cane - Please join us on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, in the auditorium of the Academy Building, at 6:00 p.m., the Board of Selectmen will honor Hazel Fletcher with the presentation of Gilmanton's Boston Post Cane; light refreshments to follow the ceremony.