The Hastings Bread Store Poster
The person in the poster is my grandmother Edna Hastings Leavitt. Her father had the Hastings Bread Store in Campello, MA. Campello is next to Brockton, MA. The area had a huge shoe industry in the late 1800's -early 1900's. The bread store was located next to a shoe factory, so factory workers could pick up bread on the way home. At that time most bread was made in the home. My great grandfather had the idea to deliver bread to people's homes by horse drawn cart. This may have been the first of home delivery of bakery products. My 84 year old aunt believes it was, at least in that area.
My great grandfather's name was Alton Bruce Hastings. He was born in Thomaston, Maine. When he was twelve he went to sea as a cabin boy. He eventually stayed on land and married my great grandmother Laura Ann Cushman, who was also from Maine. My grandmother, the girl in the poster, was born in 1892.1 think she looks about 4 or 5 in the picture. My Aunt, Anne Leavitt, thinks she was older than that. Either way, the poster must date to the late 1800s.
My great grandmother's family also had a bakery. Cushman's bakery was still a going concern in New England when I was a child. They delivered bread and other baked goods to my mother, during the 1950s, when I was a little girl in Plainville and Foxboro, MA. My brother and I were always excited when the Cushman Man came on summer days. I think he delivered twice a week. We would shout "The Cushman Man, the Cushman Man!" If we were lucky my mother would let us get some tiny cupcakes or some brownies.
On June 17, 2006 I brought this poster to the PBS show, the Antiques Roadshow, which was filming in Tucson, AZ on that day. The appraisers there where impressed by the size of the poster, but felt that it did not have great value, since it did not represent a more well known bakery. They said it might be worth about $250.00. However, to me the value is priceless.
Virginia (Ann) LEAVITT Elliott June 19, 2006