DATELINE: Milestone at Mill Circle
Virginia and neighbors hold original 1888 signage.
Ironically, during a national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush with all US Post Offices closed, one of its postmasters—Virginia Hardy—passed after years of declining health. She was 91.
Virginia was the keeper of the Mill Circle flame at Winchendon Springs. Her abiding interest in the most important family of the community—the White family—and its ties to the Titanic disaster—made her a unique historical resource. Her interest in the town Historical Society was special and she donated many artefacts to the town.
She kept abreast of all the developments near the Virtuous Spring of lore, a few yards from her home. Her life spanned the last years of Julia White Castle (born in 1849), one of the original family pioneers, and she lived in the house next to the White mansion until her death. Between Julia White and Virginia Hardy, there was an unbroken chain of nearly 180 years.
Julia lived in Honolulu where a hospital now is named for her at Diamond Head, but always came back to Mill Circle for vacations. Virginia knew all the details.
Virginia’s role as Winchendon Springs postmaster put her in a special role. She was featured prominently in the book Village Post Office at Mill Circle and was present when the office closed in 2012.
Her extraordinary knowledge and insights are now lost to history, but those who knew her are greater for having a chance to bask in her presence.