Twins born on Onset Island

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Ralph Staples, – age 81

On July 14, 1933 twins were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph E. Staples on Onset Island unexpectedly. Ralph W. Staples (2 ½ lbs.) and Russell E. Staples. (3 lbs.). The babies were delivered by an aunt of the babies and it was over 3 hours before a doctor from the mainland was brought to the island to see the twins. Russell died a day or two later on the island. Ralph was wrapped in handkerchiefs and fed by an eye dropper. He was transported to the family home in Stoughton in a model T Ford.

The Staples cottage washed away during the 1938 hurricane. (The cottage washed across the bay in one piece and it broke up when it hit the ground at the Onset Mariner.) What was left of the cottage was taken by Ralph Staples to Stoughton where the materials were used to build a barn. The government did not allow the cottages that were washed away to be rebuilt. As far as I know, the only part of the Staples cottage that remained on the island was a set of cement steps. Ralph E. Staples was brother of Myrtle Mosman. Myrtle and Nahum Mosman owed a larger cottage on Onset Island for many years. So, consequently, I am the only living native of Onset Island, which I am very proud of. I would very much like to return to the island someday and search to see if the cement steps are still there. I remember, fondly, of spending many summers fishing in Nahum Mosman’s rowboat and catching many flounder. I also remember walking the waterfront on the island and picking up oysters with my grandmother. We would open them and eat them raw. (This is a good memory for me). I also remember as a very young child that we would go to the canal side of the island to watch the New York Boat come out of the canal. It was all lit up with many rows of lights. (It is still clear in my memory, what a sight). I am going to be 74 years old on July 14, 2007. It is my hope that someday I might return to the place of my birth. I also have a book called Onset Island. It has a map of the island and a page dedicated to my birth on the island.

I am married to Lillian H. (Jennison) Staples for over 47 years. We have two wonderful daughters and 5 wonderful grandchildren. Our oldest grandchild just graduated from Attleboro High School and is going to The University of Connecticut to become a doctor to work with children. (Bio-Medicine). She wants to someday work at the Children’s Hospital with children with prosthetics.

Our oldest daughter, Susan is a math professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas. She has one daughter and one son. Susan comes north for a month during the summer months. We spend a lot of the time that she is here at our cottage in Northwood, New Hampshire.

Our other daughter, Carol is a Physical Therapist and lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts. She has three daughters.

I worked for many years as a printer at the Christian Science Monitor in Boston where I now receive a pension from. I have been retired over 10 years and have been active in Freemasonry in Massachusetts for over 40 years. I have been secretary of Blue Hill Lodge in Canton for over 11 years.

One of my treasures is the baby book that my mother kept the records of my birth on Onset Island in. It is small, but she wrote in it mostly every day during the first few years of my life. (I was a very sickly baby), but now I am sorry to say that I have grown from my 2 ½ pounds at birth to over 250 pounds at the age of 74!

I have wondered for years if it would be possible to someday go to the island and meet some of the current residents. (That would require being met on the mainland and rowed across). I have always wondered if the residents of the island today actually knew that a baby was born on Onset Island. I came across the Onset Island website and am sending this note to some of the names that were on the list on that site. If this interests any of you, please drop me an e-mail or give me a call.

Sincerely, Ralph W. Staples

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