New England Vise Tour Final Day

My final day on The Grand Tour began with a drive down through the heart of Boston from Andover to Quincy for a delightful three-hour sessions with JohnC, a retired historian who is doing some really heavy lifting for this project.  I assure you that his fingerprints will be all over the Studley history section of VIRTUOSO:The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley.

We started with an hour long discussion of the project and research directions for the future, allowing ourselves free reign when it comes to rabid speculation about Studley the man and his life and tools.  With that out of the way John drove us to the site of the home Studley shared with his wife and the Stetson family.  That site is now the home of the Crane Library, a stunningly beautiful public building.

We followed that with an extended walk around the outside of the Quincy Masonic Temple.  Studley was a member of that Rural Lodge housed in that building, but we do not believe that he ever saw the current building which was dedicated shortly after his death.  The building appeared to be completely unoccupied, and we had no luck trying to call (the phone number had been disconnected), emailing, or knocking.  There was nobody home.


A short stop at the Studley grave site and the Quincy Historical Society wrapped up the business portion of the day, and John took us to his favorite burger joint where I ate a hunk of bison.  We parted shortly, and I drove non-stop ten hours to home base.  Or should I say, I drove stop-and-go, and stop-and-go, and stop-and-go.  I have been told that New England has two seasons – winter and road construction – and I am now a believer.


Four days after my return I received from John the astounding news of a catastrophic fire at the Quincy Masonic Temple, apparently destroying much of the interior and all of the Masonic memorabilia and Lodge records.  Thus what we hoped would be a rich resource for John’s research will remain lost forever.