The current pandemic has prompted many comparisons and remembrances of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. It prompted one resident to reach out and share photos of Southborough during the outbreak.
Some residents and local historians will recall that Fayville Hall’s historical background includes its use during the outbreak as a health center with hospital tents. Southborough’s Charles Bagley captured that sight on film.
Photos include one of a soldier wearing a face mask while helping patients. (Click thumbnails to enlarge.)
Bagley’s Grandson Paul Redmond grew up on East Main Street. He shared the photos (with help from his son Patrick) and some background.
The American Legion Post at the Community House was named after Charles’ brother Leo Bagley.* Leo was the only Southborough resident to die in service in WWI. He died at Camp Rariton, NJ in 1918. According to Redmond, Bagley was a victim of the flu.
Redmond notes that the brothers were from a “very large group of Bagleys in Southborough”.
some on White Bagley road along the area on both sides of the railroad bridge concentrated where Bob Seeley’s farm was, many in houses moved up from the land when the reservoir was dug. Another small group was on Walker St behind St Anne’s Church. Charles was of the family which had the farm on both sides of the east end of East Main St bounded by what we called the “lower rd.” to the east.
While the two may look grim, it’s worth noting that smiling in photos didn’t start becoming popular until sometime in the 1920s.
*Later the post was renamed Bagley – Fay in recognition of Harold E Fay, killed in action during WWII.