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The Brothers of the Brush...

and the Belles.

Written by Grey Almeida, Wrentham 350 Committee Member.

When the Wrentham 350 Planning Committee started to meet back in September 2021, we knew that part of our responsibility in planning the 2023 year-long celebration was to also share Wrentham's history. We started to share stories about Notable People of Wrentham, the History of the Congregational Church of Wrentham, and old pictures. It wasn't until we met up with Dottie Rose and her daughter, Cindy Morse, who grew up in Wrentham, that we realized

Dottie Rose and Cindy Morse
Dottie Rose and Cindy Morse

that our Committee wouldn't be fulfilling its role if we didn't share the story of the Brothers of the Brush and the Belles.

The Wrentham Brothers of the Brush and the Belles were founded in 1973 to celebrate Wrentham's 300th Anniversary. They played an integral part in planning and organizing the events as well as generating community interest and support. They were also hilarious.

The men joined the Brothers of the Brush and the women joined the Belles. The men wore felt tricorn hats while the women wore petticoats. The Brothers and the Belles had to wear their hats and petticoats any time they were out and about.

The men weren't allowed to shave for the entire celebratory year, unless they proved that their job required them to shave. In that case, they were given a Shaver Permit pin and card.

While it was the Brothers of the Brush's responsibility to organize fun events throughout the year to celebrate Wrentham's 300th anniversary, they also started to raid each others front yards. We're told that it wasn't unusual to wake up with an old freezer dumped on your lawn.

Dottie and Russ Rose got raided

The rule was that you could not get caught while raiding someone's yard. If you ever did get caught, your punishment was to be locked in a jail cell before being placed in a pillory in town center and having spaghetti thrown in your face.

Dottie Rose climbed the tree to hang this sign

Cindy Morse with her father, Russ Rose. We're told that Russ wore the petticoat and bonnet with pride!

Wrentham 300 Parade - Brothers of the Brush float

Invitation to "THE END" party

Brothers of the Brush shaving cream battle

So while we can't encourage everyone to start raiding each other's front yards, we do hope that you will join the fun at the events we are planning in 2023 to celebrate our wonderful town of Wrentham. Please send us your memories too as we will be honoring the Brothers of the Brush and the Belles on William Sweatt Day. And of course, if anyone is silly enough to dress up and build a float, please sign up for our parade!

“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.Horace

Special thank you to Dottie Rose and Cindy Morse for sharing with us their pictures and memories.


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