George Frederick Dodd
On, November 2nd, 2016, the Board of Selectmen presented the Boston Post Cane to George Dodd. At 97 years young, Mr. Dodd marked the occasion at the Auburn Town Hall with his son and several neighbors in attendance.
The presentation of the “Boston Post Cane” began in 1909 as a marketing gimmick to increase the circulation of the Boston Post.
There were 431 of the canes produced to begin with, which were made of African ebony with 14-carat gold heads. Some say that Edwin A. Grozier, publisher of the Boston Post, had picked them up cheap at an auction before he came up with the idea of distributing them to New England towns to be presented to each town's oldest citizen then passed along to the next oldest as each holder of the cane departed the earth.
Though intended at first only for men, by 1930 women were receiving the canes thus ensuring that truly the town’s oldest citizen became the temporary holder of the cane.
Apparently no towns in Connecticut were included in the distribution of the canes, and only two towns in Vermont are known to have had canes.
The cane, or staff, is an ancient symbol of deference to age and reverence for ancestors.
Auburn is among a number of New Hampshire communities that has maintained the tradition of presenting the Boston Post Cane. The Town has retained the ownership of the original cane, while a replica is presented to the holders to keep as testament of the milestone.
Mr. Dodd became the 32nd Auburn residents to have been presented with the Boston Post Cane since 1909. Of the Auburn recipients, 15 have been men and 16 were women.
Boston Post Cane Holder
2012 - 2016