The Coppola Collection inventory project has been funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Collection Information

Creator: Douglas Historical Society, Inc.

Title: Anthony H. Coppola Collection

Abstract:  Primary and secondary source materials used by Anthony H. Coppola while writing They raced horses on Main Street : Douglas, Massachusetts, recalling an era, 1868-1908. These source materials also include Coppola’s research and writings as a local historian for Douglas, Massachusetts.

Dates: Bulk 1800s - 1990s

Quantity: 16: 2 ½” Binders, 1: 1” Binder, 4: Bound Volumes, 12: 5” Document Boxes, 3 Oversized Boxes.

Repository: Douglas Historical Society Archive and Simon Fairfield Public Library, Historical Archive.

Finding Aid: Finding Aid in print form is available in the Repository.

Preferred Citation: [Box #, Item identification], Anthony H. Coppola Collection, Douglas Historical Society, Inc., Archive.

Provenance:  This collection was originally donated to the Douglas Historical Society, Inc. from the family of Anthony H. Coppola in 2010. The collection was initially processed in 2011 and housed at the Douglas Historical Society, Inc. In 2018, the collection was brought to the Simon Fairfield Public Library for housing and reprocessing. It should be noted that there are missing items from the original collection.

Processing Information:  This collection was processed by Rebecca Lavallee on April 10, 2018.

Historical/Biographical Notes

            Anthony H. Coppola was born in Douglas on December 20, 1916 and died in Douglas at his home on May 26, 1990.

            Coppola graduated Douglas High School, the Class of 1934. After high school, he attended Vesper George School of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. He worked at Hayward Woolen Mill as a superintendent for 16 years, before becoming an Insurance Consultant for 17 years.

            After assisting Lucius J. Marsh, Jr. (Town Assessor, Town Clerk and Local Historian) with research for his work A History of the places, home and people in the town of Douglas, Coppola began working on his own research. For fifteen years, he explored the history of Douglas and collected photographs and stories from families in town, he wrote his own work, They raced horses on Main Street : Douglas, Massachusetts, recalling an era, 1868-1908, which was published in 1990. The premise of his work was not a history, but instead an insight into the everyday life of the town during that 40-year era.

            Anthony H. Coppola was very involved in the life and politics of Douglas, Massachusetts. He worked at restoring old homes, was a member of the School Committee (1950-1953), Chair for the Douglas-Sutton School Union, consultant for the Douglas Historical Commission, and founding member of the Douglas Historical Society, Inc.

            Coppola, along with his wife Charlotte, wrote articles and histories about the Town of Douglas, as well as giving talks at the historical society and schools.

            The Anthony H. Coppola Collection was donated by Charlotte E. Coppola and family to the Douglas Historical Society and the Simon Fairfield Public Library. It was the family’s intention that Coppola’s research would be accessible to those that have in interest in the history of the Town of Douglas and its people.

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of primary and secondary source materials compiled by Anthony H. Coppola while researching his work They raced horses on Main Street : Douglas, Massachusetts, recalling an era, 1868-1908. Also included are research materials compiled by Coppola as his time as local historian.  Items included are clippings, articles, brochures, photographs and prints, and miscellaneous documents. These items date from the early 1800s to the 1900s.

Series Descriptions

Series 1:  Anthony H. Coppola

Sub-Series 1: Biographical Information

Sub-Series Description: Photograph and newspaper articles about Anthony H. Coppola. Also includes a primary school project about “Africa.” 

Sub-Series 2: Anthony H. Coppola’s Volumes

Sub-Series Description: Anthony H. Coppola compiled 28 volumes of primary and secondary source materials for his research, ca. 1860s-1910s. These volumes have been kept in their original order; however they have been condensed into 16 binders, as opposed to the original 28 binders. An item by item index can be found at the end of the Finding Aid in Appendix A.

Sub-Series 3: They Raced Horses on Main Street

Sub-Series Description: Working inventories of primary and secondary sources and a mock-up cover of the work.

Series 2: Locations

Sub-Series 1: Histories

Sub-Series Description: Research and written histories about various locations in the Town of Douglas. Also included are newspaper clippings and notes.

Sub-Series 2: Photographs and Postcards

Sub-Series Description: Primarily black and white photographs of locations in the Town of Douglas. Many of these are reproductions, and copies can be found in the Anthony H. Coppola’s volumes. Also included are scenic postcards of Douglas, Massachusetts.

Series 3: Notables

Sub-Series 1: Cora Bates

Sub-Series Description: Letter to Fox Hunting Club, obituary, photographic negatives and prints, and newspaper clippings and notes all in relation to Cora Bates.

Sub-Series 2: The Holbrook Family

Sub-Series Description: Personal papers, municipal licenses, bills, and professional papers for Dr. Silas P. Holbrook, his wife Louisa and his daughter Jennie. Also included is an obituary for Dr. Lowell Holbrook.

Sub-Series 3: The Hunt Family

Sub-Series Description: Correspondences between descendants of the Hunt Family and Anthony and Charlotte Coppola. Also included are newspaper articles and correspondence from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Sub-Series 4: Lucius J. Marsh, Jr.

Sub-Series Description: Personal papers of Lucius J. Marsh, Jr. (town historian and Assessor for the Town of Douglas), including handwritten notes and historical writings, government applications and affidavits, blank letterhead and envelopes, and photographic negative. Also included are newspaper articles regarding Marsh. Finally there are correspondences, writings, and research regarding Coppola’s request for Marsh to be honored by the Blackstone Valley Heritage Homecoming.

Sub-Series 5: The Sweet/Kenyon Families

Sub-Series Description: Writings, memories and newspaper articles regarding Loretta Sweet and Addie Sweet Kenyon.

Sub-Series 6: Miscellaneous

Sub-Series Description: Diaries, greeting cards, envelopes, photographs, newspaper articles, and written memories from residents of Douglas, Massachusetts.

Series 4: Religious Organizations

Series Description: Pamphlets, histories, newspaper clippings and notes, published works, photographs and postcards pertaining to the various Religious Organizations in Douglas, Massachusetts.

Series 5: Municipal

Sub-Series 1: Annual Reports

Sub-Series Description: Annual Reports for the Town of Douglas. (intermittent 1880-1905)

Sub-Series 2: Real Estate Valuations

Sub-Series Description: Real and Personal Property Valuations by property location, including owner information for the Town of Douglas.

Sub-Series 3: Street Lists

Sub-Series Description: Street Lists providing street number and owner for the streets in the Town of Douglas.

Sub-Series 4: School Committee

Sub-Series Description: 1865-6 Annual School Committee report for the Town of Douglas.

Sub-Series 5: The Moses Wallis Devise/Town Hall

Sub-Series Description: Newspaper article, research and history of the Moses Wallis Devise and Douglas Town Hall, 1988.

Series 6: Douglas Schools

Series Description: Programs and tickets from Douglas High School Graduations, Douglas Schools newsletters, correspondences and workshops.

Series 7: Businesses

Series Description: Calendars, personal ledgers, order forms, photographs and postcards of various businesses in Douglas, Massachusetts. Also included are histories written by Anthony H. Coppola for different businesses.

Series 8: Organizations

Sub-Series 1: The Douglas Historical Society

Sub-Series Description: Bylaws, letterhead, stickers and newsletters for the Historical Society. Also included, are histories, building needs, events and programs, newspaper articles, and pictures.

Sub-Series 2: Douglas Historic Committee

Sub-Series Description: Correspondences, meeting minutes, histories, handwritten notes regarding historic districts, maps, procedure and guideline manuals, and preliminary reports. (1972-1973)

Sub-Series 3: Miscellaneous Organizations

Sub-Series Description: Programs, press releases, histories, and newspaper clippings and notes. Organizations include Mumford River Lodge, Pickwick Players, and Leadership Organizations.

Series 9: Celebrations

Series Description: Photographs, programs, and newspaper articles and clippings from various celebrations in Douglas, Massachusetts (ca. 1900s-1920s, 1940s, 1970s).

Series 10: Newspaper Clippings

Series Description: Newspaper clippings and transcribed newspaper articles from 1860s-1910s and 1960s-1980s. Many of these clippings have been photocopied due to the condition of the original items, which includes brittle newspaper and rusty staples and paper clips.

Series 11: The Loom Fixer

Series Description: The Loom Fixer, published by Hayward-Schuster Woolen Mills in Douglas, Mass. There are five volumes from 1943-1945.

Series 12: Publications

Series Description: Serial publications (1860s-1900s) and published works (1870s-1880s) regarding Worcester County and Massachusetts history. Also included, one copy of They Raced Horses on Main Street by Anthony H. Coppola.

Series 13: Miscellaneous Items

Sub-Series 1: Douglas, Massachusetts Items

Sub-Series Description: Items relating to Douglas, Massachusetts that do not fit into other categories. Items include Democratic Party ticket, manuscript notes and telephone exchange.

Sub-Series 2: Non-Douglas Items

Sub-Series Description:  Items that are not related directly to Douglas, Massachusetts, but where included in the donation from the Coppola family. Items include programs and newspaper articles relating to history.

2018.01, Anthony H. Coppola Collection Finding Aid (April 10, 2018)