Monday, July 4, 2011

Frederick Fosdick, 9th mayor of Fitchburg

(This post is part of a series about my research of Fitchburg architect H.M. Francis)

One of the more interesting books I've read in the past few years is The Alcoholic Republic by W.J. Rorabaugh. The book focuses on many of the American temperance movements leading up to the Prohibition era. Many temperance movements began as grass-roots organizations in small cities and towns before blossoming into large organizations that spread nationwide. A Fitchburg citizen named Frederick Fosdick, who served as Fitchburg's 9th mayor, was an active participant in the temperance movement in a state and national level.
Fig. 1: Frederick Fosdick from a Fitchburg Sentinel article in 1892.
Fosdick was born in Groton in 1850 and came to Fitchburg at the age of twenty. He was a deacon at the Rollstone Congregational Church (a very early design by H.M. Francis). He was elected mayor of Fitchburg in 1886 under the Citizens' Temperance Party and later served as a chairman for the Massachusetts Anti-Saloon League.
His obituary listed an interesting admiration for Theodore Roosevelt, "...Mr. Fosdick headed the Massachusetts delegation to the Bull Moose convention at Chicago which nominated Col. Roosevelt with the presidency in 1912."

The house designed for Fosdick is of the Queen Anne style and located on Pleasant Street.
Fig. 2: Frederick Fosdick House (photo courtesy of

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