Moultonborough Historical Society

Moultonborough Post Cane

Presented to the Eldest Resident of Moultonborough by the Moultonborough Historical Society

Current Holder of the Cane

Past Holders of the Cane

A History of the Boston Post Cane

By Bruce Garry

   The tradition began in 1909, when the editor of the Boston Post newspaper editor, Edward A. Grozier, devised this elaborate advertising campaign to increase circulation of the newspaper. Grozier spared no expense, having 700 canes made with African-imported wood, using the finest French varnish, and capping the cane with a 14 carat gold knob. They were made with such care and detail, it took almost a year to produce each cane.

   Grozier then distributed the canes to the various town and city governments around their circulation area of the New England states. The intent was to strike up publicity in the paper as the canes were presented to the oldest residents in the various towns. With so many towns and the changes that would occur, the newspaper had a human interest story just about every day. Nothing sold papers more than people and family members seeing their name and picture in the newspaper.

    Most of the canes have long since disappeared as town officials or historical societies were unable to retrieve the canes for various reasons. Some towns have kept true to the tradition, making their own cane, and some have not, but it has become a fabric of New England tradition long after the Boston Post newspaper closed it’s doors in 1957.

    Moultonborough's history is not long at this time. We only have a record of recipients back to 1996, though their are memories of others going back to the 1950's. We also don't know if the town of Moultonborough ever received one of the original 700 canes. The current symbolic cane was made by Historical Society Past President, Victor Hamke. The cane is kept on display with a plaque of the recipients since 1996 at the Town House. 

Current Holder of the Cane

Past Holders of the Cane