Popular Superstitions of the Winter Season: 1840

Candle old PostcardPOPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE WINTER SEASON
From: Saturday, December 26, 1840; Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics (Portsmouth NH) page 2

Associated with Christmas and the New Year are many of the popular superstitious rites and ceremonies of former times, the relics of which yet remain in some countries. The circumstance of the birth of the Savior is not the only one connected with the season: originally the Gothic Pagan feast of Yule or Jul, was celebrated in honor of the sun at the winter solstice, and at the present day the Greenlanders keep a Sun-feast about this time, to rejoice at the return of the sun, and the expected renewal of the hunting season. The Goths used to sacrifice a boar on the occasion of the season, an animal which according to their mythology was sacred to the sun. A few sketches drawn from olden times, will not be out of place at this season. Continue reading

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Ho, The Klondike: Portsmouth New Hampshire’s Failed Quest for Gold in 1898

Photograph of the schooner, Concord, that left for the Klondike in 1897.

Photograph of the schooner, Concord, that left for the Klondike in 1897.

Between the years 1896 and 1899 an estimated 100,000 prospectors headed to Alaska following a gold discovery there. Some Portsmouth New Hampshire men were part of that stampede of prospectors hoping to return home wealthy. Only an estimated 4,000 of all the prospectors struck gold, so most were disappointed.

A group of adventurous men from Portsmouth formed the Portsmouth Yukon Mining Company, each paying $200 to become a member.  The group was divided into two parts–one would travel by ship to the west coast of the United States, while a second would travel by train.  Reportedly when the two met in San Francisco, they would continue up to the gold fields together.  But it appears from the newspaper reports that much went awry. Continue reading

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Manchester New Hampshire’s Rock Rimmon–The Landmark, Park and Dupont Pool

Title: A view of Manchester, N.H. / lith. of Endicott & Co., N.Y. ; Composed from sketches taken near Rock  Raymond by J.B. Bachelder, 1855. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Title: A view of Manchester, N.H. / lith. of Endicott & Co., N.Y. ; Composed from sketches taken near Rock
Raymond by J.B. Bachelder, 1855. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

..How “The Rock” was named..

Lets go back in time about 165 years. It is obvious from the existence of the following two items, that at least as early as 1847 the great stone ledge of West Manchester was called Rock Raymond.  In 1847 a lithograph, “View of Manchester NH from Rock Raymond,” was created and colored by an artist named Uriah Smith, and published by Sharp, Peirce & Co. of Boston. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Information Booths

info booths page 1 markedStarting at least by the 1930s, about the same time that the federal government became involved in making improvements to many state-owned park properties, a small building was erected in many towns and cities, designed to be an “Information Booth, or Rest Area.” They were placed in strategic spots where a visiting tourist or curious local might pass it and stop. The town businessmen understood the importance of these locations as a traveler’s refuge. Local organizations supported them, along with The (NH) State Planning and Development Commission. They understood the value of them in relation to tourism. Attendants at the booths answered specific questions about the town or area, and often offered personal assistance in directing people to their next stop. They provided  maps and descriptive literature.

But are these ‘rest stops’ now fading away? Continue reading

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New Durham New Hampshire’s Educator, Lawyer, Suffragist, Humanitarian and Author: Marilla Marks (Young) Ricker (1840-1920)

Likeness of Marilla M. Ricker from I Don't Know, Do You? by Marilla M. Ricker

Likeness of Marilla M. Ricker from I Don’t Know, Do You? by Marilla M. Ricker

I’m going to run for governor [of New Hampshire], although I have not the slightest idea of ever becoming governor,” announced Mrs. Ricker… I’m running for governor in order to get people into the habit of thinking of women as governors. You know people have to think about a think several centuries before they can get acclimated to the idea. I want to set the ball rolling. There isn’t a ghost of a reason why a woman should not be governor or president if she wants to be and is capable of it.” [1910, Marilla M. Ricker–found in Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND) newspaper dated Tuesday October 11, 1910] Continue reading

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