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Boston Post Cane awarded to Ashland's Virginia Danforth

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September 23, 2021
ASHLAND — The Boston Post Cane for Ashland has been awarded to Ashland's oldest resident, Virginia Danforth.

The daughter of Raymond and Eleanor Micklon, she was born in Bertha Brown's maternity home in Ashland village on Dec. 31, 1925. She lived in Holderness as a child and attended the Holderness Bridge School until the third grade, when the family moved to Ashland. She then attended the Ashland schools, graduating with honors from the high school in 1943. She graduated from the Boston School of Dental Nursing in 1944. She returned to Ashland and married Floyd Danforth after he came back from serving in World War II. They had three children. "Ginny," as she likes to be called, worked in child care for 25 years and later in home health. In 1986, she became the on site property manager of the senior housing apartments at White Mountain Court, off Highland Street in Ashland, where she still lives.

When asked to what she attributes her long and healthy life, Ginny credited the long walks she began taking in her sixties that helped keep her in shape, as well as her attitude. She has been easy going and accepting of all people and of circumstances beyond her control.

Ginny recalls the Squam Lake Hotel fire of 1934, which she watched from the dining room window of her River Street house, as well as the hurricane of 1938, when neighbors stayed in her house because of the flooding of their homes. She has vivid memories of World War II, of the many Ashland boys and the three Ashland girls who went into the service. The women left behind had to take over the men's jobs, so she clerked in the First National Store.

Ginny writes, "I'm proud to call Ashland my home. I treasure my job at the apartments and the many friends I have made along the way. I'm retired now and enjoying playing lazy and getting waited on hand and foot. I've got it made in the shade!"

The Boston Post Cane dates from 1909, when Edwin A. Grozier, the editor and publisher of the Boston Post newspaper, sent ebony canes with ornate 14 karat gold heads to the selectmen of some 700 towns in the four New England states served by his newspaper. He asked the selectmen to present the canes to the oldest citizen in their town and to continue to transmit it to the next oldest citizen. In Ashland, the Ashland Historical Society now takes care of the Boston Post Cane, displaying it in the Whipple House Museum and overseeing its transmission. Because of the pandemic, the Boston Post Cane was presented to Ginny Danforth at a short ceremony outside her home attended only by a few family members.

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