Category Archives: Blog Posts-Personal Histories

Effective Partnerships and Strategic Volunteering for Businesses

Video interview with Jan Miele of Benchmark Advisory Group. We talked about strategic partnerships, effective volunteering, and Easy Walks. Thanks to Jan and the Benchmark Advisory Group for inviting me back to chat again.

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.

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Testing Out the Waters–The Power of Prayer


Testing out the waters

The other day, a dear friend at church, Barbara, approached me.”I get to pray for you!” she said. Sometimes, when people say, “I’ll pray for you,” it’s a somewhat smug way of telling the offender that they have messed up, but rather than say that, and be accused of being judgmental, they simply promise, “I will pray for you.” I guess it’s all in the tone of voice, but also in the intent. Barbara’s intent communicated her delight in being asked to pray for me. She assured me that the others who were helping with Vacation Bible School the following week would also be bolstered by their own personal “prayer warriors” — spiritual “secret Santas.” Continue reading

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Echoes Through the Generations

Caleb same pose as Grampie

Caleb Rae (with cousin Em Turner Chitty) 2017, Coalmont, TN

GH Kuhl portrait

Glen Kuhl, early 1900s, Wisconsin

The first time I saw the photo, my first thought was, “That’s my son.” But in fact, I was assured that the young man in the photo, who was standing in the dirt road, was actually my grandfather Glen, who had died before I was born. I’d never met him, and yet, I knew that stance. It was so familiar because my son often stood in this same pose, looking thoughtful, listening intently, or simply pondering his surroundings. Continue reading

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A Picture Tells a Thousand Stories

(Guest Blog post)-Shawon Davis is a wedding and women’s portrait photographer. She has been telling beautiful stories through photographs since 2011. Her studio is located in Medway, MA. You can read more stories on her blog: see her work here: and follow her on Instagram @shawondavis and Facebook @shawondavisphotography for daily storytelling, encouragement, and a glance at some of her favorite things.ShawonDavis


On any given weekend, a couple somewhere in the world is getting married. Chances are they’ve hired a photographer to capture the moments. They’ve hired someone to show up to take pictures of their special day.

As the couple looks back on their special day, they page through an album filled with formal family pictures, with everyone smiling at the camera. A few pictures show the bride getting out of the car before she heads into the church. There’s always a beautiful picture of the bride walking down the aisle, but she longs to see the expression on her groom’s face. Invariably, pictures of loved ones who have now passed away are among these photos, but the smiles the camera captured do not echo these loved ones’ humor or loving ways.

Although there were pictures, something was missing. Continue reading

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Partnering to Host Another “Make Your Own Storybook Hike” at Riverbend Farm, Uxbridge


Enjoying running in the open field

Parents of school-aged kids often look for activities for their children during school vacation. Well, 68 (give or take–it was hard to count!) children, adults, and grandparents descended upon Riverbend Farm on the most summery February morning I’ve ever seen, to join us for a “Make your own storybook” hike at Riverbend Farm. Continue reading


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Interview with Jan Lewis of “Be my Guest” Upton CAble TV

Marjorie is interviewed about “Make Your Own Story Hike” program by Jan Lewis, host of “Be my guest” UPton Cable TV



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Make Your Own Story Book Hike-Riverbend Farm in January


Heading out on the tow path on our Make Your Own Story Book hike

Working collaboratively is such an exciting experience. I’ve found that ideas bubble up when I open myself to others’ ideas, listen to what another person has in mind, and together we come up with something I’d never have thought of on my own. That may have been what happened when I met up with Kathryn, who works with programming at Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge. Continue reading


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Walking Through History-the Trolley Line to Silver Lake, Bellingham


Winter’s first snow in the woods behind Silver Lake, Bellingham

I often get the feeling I’m crossing into another place and time when I stride through the woods right behind my house in Bellingham. We live within sight of Silver Lake, which at one time was the local “hot spot” for entertainment of all kinds–a carousel carried wooden horse in endless circles in the beach area, and a dance hall offered Big Band tunes in the 1940’s. I hear there were even performing horses that dove into the lake from great heights! Continue reading


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Renewing Family Traditions-Baby Blankets


Finished baby blanket

When I heard our young neighbors had just had their first baby. I thought to myself, “Baby blanket.” I needed to make them a baby blanket.

My children were the first grandchildren on both sides of our family and were showered with gifts from their grandparents. But the gift that took on lasting meaning in our family was the flannel baby blankets my mom began making. Continue reading


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Just a Whistle


When you have a bunch of kids, sometimes you need to whistle to get their attention!

Working as  a personal historian, I never know what it will take to get someone talking. Some folks easily call up memories, while others need the stories drawn out of them. And then sometimes, all it takes is a whistle. MTH

It was just a whistle—I looked around but saw no one whistling, and the woman behind the desk was fussing with her phone. I finally asked her—“Were you whistling?” Continue reading

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