By Danielle Ameden
Daily News Staff
Posted Oct. 30, 2014 @ 12:01 am
FRAMINGHAM – For nearly 100 years, Dennison Manufacturing Co. was part of the fabric of Framingham. Its clever products – from practical boxes and tags to authoritative Bogie Books – helped the company grow to be one of the town’s two biggest employers.
The company got its start in 1844, but didn’t find its home in Framingham until 1897.
“The selectmen basically really wanted them to come. I believe they sweetened the pot, I’m not sure how,” Framingham History Center Executive Director Annie Murphy said, but the board lured the business here from Roxbury and the company stayed until 1990, when it merged with Avery International. “It really did transform Framingham.”
When the company relocated to the West Coast after the merger, so too went all the artifacts Dennison kept in a history room here.
“Everything in it was moved to California,” Murphy said. “People were like, ‘Wait, you’re taking 100 years of Framingham history with you.’”
Nearly 25 years later, the archives are back and history center staff and volunteers are now combing through and curating the pieces of history to put on display.
An exhibit is scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 14, part of a lineup of events highlighting the mark Dennison made on the town.
John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House in Shoppers World kicks things off next Thursday, Nov. 6, with the launch of a Dennison “Tag Town Lager” beer between 6 and 8 p.m.
The brew is named for the “Tag Town” moniker Dennison earned Framingham because of the millions of tags it produced daily at its Southside plant. John Harvard’s will sell the beer through December and donate $1 to the history center for every pint sold.
The history center opens its exhibit to members and donors only on Nov. 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Edgell Memorial Library, 3 Oak St.
The exhibit, presented by sponsors Staples and Avery Dennison’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions, opens to the general public on Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will remain open through December 2015, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free for Framingham History Center members and $5 for nonmembers.
The history center is also organizing a big Dennison employee reunion at Dec. 4 for former workers, their families and family members of those employees now passed away.
“That’s going to be huge. I think we’ll definitely sell out the Village Hall,” Murphy said.
“Dennison leaving Framingham was a real blow to this community and I think it’s bringing out this history and bringing people together, it’s almost a little bit of a healing process of trying to know that the legacy is back in Framingham,” she said. “It’s still here and it lives on. I think that’s very exciting.”