In 1926 when the Acton High School opened its doors, the Town of Acton received numerous gifts to furnish and equip the new high school, including a gift from Honorable John Francis Fitzgerald and his wife, Mary Josephine, called “Josie”, who was born in Acton. John Fitzgerald, a former Congressman and mayor of Boston, was the father of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and grandfather of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy. Mayor Fitzgerald presented the gift in memory of Josie’s parents, Michael and Mary Ann Hannon of South Acton. The gift was emblematic of Mayor Fitzgerald’s fond memories of trips to Acton as a boy, coming from his home in the North End of Boston to rural Acton to visit with the Hannons. Throughout his life, John Fitzgerald kept a close association with Acton.
The Ivers & Pond piano bears a plaque inscribed “In memory of Michael and Mary Hannon to The Acton High School from Hon. and Mrs. John Fitzgerald, 1926.”
The piano, part of the Acton High School for many years, was moved to several locations following the closing of the Acton High School and opening of the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in 1955. After nearly 100 years spent in Acton’s schools, the piano was in need of substantial repair. In 2006 Town Meeting supported a grant from the Community Preservation Program to restore this beautiful treasure from Acton’s history. Work began on the piano in the fall of 2008. Through a competitive bidding process, Charles Jackson of Piano Museums was selected to restore the piano. The restored piano is now housed in the Acton Memorial Library, where it can benefit the entire community, as was Mayor Fitzgerald’s intent.
The Piano Reservation Form can be found HERE (PDF). Forms may be dropped off at the Circulation Desk or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.