Celebrate Valentine’s Day with our “Greetings from the Heart” Illustrated Presentation, Sunday, February 13, 2:00pm

A Valentine by Esther Howland

Valentine by Esther Howland

“Greetings from the Heart”, a “sweetheart” of a public program, will take place on Sunday, February 13th at 2:00pm at Harrington House, 45 Main Street in Freeport, sponsored by Freeport Historical Society.

In an illustrated presentation, William D. Wallace, Executive Director of the Worcester (MA) Historical Museum, will discuss Worcester native, Esther Howland, and her role in the establishment of the valentine industry in the United States. The receipt of an English valentine in1847 was said to have inspired her to design and produce her own. Business flourished as she sold her “lovely” product through her father’s stationary store.

While it is generally agreed that Esther Howland was the first to make valentines in Worcester, another New Englander, Jotham Taft, might have already been at work assembling Valentines in Grafton.  Jotham and his wife built a successful valentine industry from their home in the early 1840s. Jotham’s son, Edward, formed a partnership with Esther Howland in 1879, called the New England Valentine Company.

For nearly 100 years, Worcester was the center of the commercial valentine industry in America.

On display from the Freeport Historical Society collection will be a selection of turn-of-the-century Valentines and  love letters.

$5.00 suggested donation. Beverage and sweets will be available.

FMI: info@freeporthistoricalsociety.org  or  call 207-865-3170