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The core members of the original reading club were Agnes, Margaret, and Amelia Little, the last generation of the Little family to live at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts, and their cousins, friends, and neighbors. Every Monday, beginning September 8, 1919, the group gathered and took turns reading aloud. One member of the reading club recalled that they would read for two hours and then have tea, sandwiches, and cookies. The group kept records of their meetings and correspondence. These are now housed in Historic New England’s archives.
The current group, led by Groff Dorau, includes several relatives of founding members. As a nod to their roots, the group’s reading list still focuses on New England authors and themes. However, there are a few differences: now they meet monthly rather than weekly and have shifted from reading aloud to reading individually and then meeting to discuss their ‘book of the month.” Currently the meetings are virtual, but the shared laughter and love of reading remains the same.
In September 2019, the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm Reading Club received recognition from Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker on its centennial. This was a lovely way to celebrate and particularly appropriate as Baker’s grandmother was a founding member.