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Cane top returns

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

    Recorder/David Rainville
    The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

    Recorder/David Rainville
    The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

    Recorder/David Rainville
    The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.
  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.
  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The top to Greenfield's Boston Post cane recently turned up, a little worse for wear, after it went missing from Town Hall in October of 2011.

GREENFIELD — More than a year after it mysteriously vanished from Town Hall, the rolled-gold top of the town’s Boston Post Cane has returned.

Its discovery is almost as much of a mystery as its disappearance.

Local historian Peter Miller knows, but he’s not telling. Friday, he stopped by The Recorder newsroom with his prize before bringing it back to Town Hall.

“It was given to me by a well-known man, who had it in his possession for some time,” said Miller mysteriously. “It just appeared. I was hoping something like that would happen. I’m just glad to have it back.”

In October of 2011, it was discovered that, though the cane sat, locked in its display case, its gold head was missing. The discovery was made when the town’s Historical Commission was considering resuming the tradition of giving the cane to the town’s oldest citizen. At the time, it hadn’t been done for about a decade.

Miller believes the case was unlocked or slid off the wall, the cane’s top pried off, and the wooden shaft returned to the case.

The thief, Miller believes, was more interested in the cane’s monetary value than its historical significance.

The canes are given yearly to each town’s oldest resident, provided that the recipient has lived in town for at least 10 years. The tradition, started by the Boston Post, dates back to 1909.

Miller said the thief likely thought he or she got their hands onto a piece of solid gold, and was sorely disappointed when they found out it was merely gold-plated.

That gold-plated head was damaged during the theft. Its engraved surface is scratched and dented, and the collar that holds it to the shaft was torn where it was pried off.

Miller said the man who returned the cane’s head to him said that it could be reasonably repaired.

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