Some history is very ‘holy’

Where can you see a closet door that exhibits six holes drilled by thieves who robbed a Milford bank? Robbed a Milford bank, you might ask, but when? Why didn’t we hear of this? Why didn’t The Cabinet write about it?

Actually, we did.

In 1874.

Ah, now you can breathe a sigh of relief. Your money is safe in Milford’s banks. No one is, today, drilling holes in closet doors.

But in 1874, someone did. The holes were there so that the family of the Souhegan National Bank’s head cashier could breath. Meanwhile, the robbers were escorting that cashier to the bank where they relieved his employers of $30,000 in cash – a pretty tidy sum in 1874 – and some bonds.

And they got away scot free. Indeed, had they been able to live this long, they might still be on the loose because no one ever caught them.

But you can catch a glimpse of the door, and the holes, they left behind this very weekend when the Milford Historical Society opens its Carey House museum on Union Street. It’s the Society’s first open house since some major improvements were made to the layout of historical artifacts in the Carey House and it promises to be of great interest to buffs of local history.

Oh, there’s that famous door, of course, but there are many more items of historical significance, items that remind us of the people and events that came before us. Do you, for instance, know the important part Milford’s Hutchinson Singers played in the abolition movement? You can learn about it at the Carey House.

As a nation, we don’t seem to have the interest in history that we used to, and that is especially true, we believe, among young people who are far too interested in the gadgets of today than the commonplace of yesterday. And that’s a pity. History isn’t just about dead people and forgotten events. It’s about how we got to where we are today and often is an indicator of where we are going to end up tomorrow.

The Carey House will be open this weekend, both days, from 2-4 p.m. It’s a good place to take the kids, to give them a sense of place, that place being Milford.

If nothing else, they’ll get a kick out of seeing that door and wondering, as we do, how the successful robbers spent their ill-gotten gains. (Nice of them, though, to have been considerate enough to drill those breathing holes.)