I lived in Sterling, Massachusetts for near on 40 years and still have a small home there. Sterling is a wonderful town with an incredible history. As it turns out, Mary Sawyer (born 1806) lived in Sterling as well. Mary had a lamb and one day in 1815, that lamb followed Mary to school, the Redstone School (one of many one-room schoolhouses in Sterling at the time). You may have heard the tale Mary Had a Little Lamb, it became pretty famous. The story (as verified by Mary Sawyer (Tyler) in 1879) was originally penned by Mary’s teacher and then expanded by Sarah Hale in a nursery rhyme in 1830. A statue of Mary’s little lamb stands in the Sterling town common just across from the Town Hall a couple blocks from my house. However, the Redstone schoolhouse no longer sits in Sterling.
Henry Ford who owned the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts which had been made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his book “Tales of the Wayside Inn” was so moved by the story about Mary and her little lamb purchased the framework of the Redstone Schoolhouse (originally built in 1798) and moved it to the Wayside Inn in 1927 where it still stands today.
Little did I know that one day, I would also live near Henry Ford’s home in Fort Myers where he and his friends Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone would summer. This photo of the statue of Henry Ford in Centennial Park in Downtown Fort Myers where he is sitting with his friends. The rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was first recorded by none other than Thomas Edison in 1877 on his newly invented phonograph. You can hear Edison's recording here: <a href="https://archive.org/details/EDIS-SCD-02" rel="noreferrer nofollow">archive.org/details/EDIS-SCD-02</a>