Thanksgiving in New Hampshire 2015

victorian turkey postcardOver the years I have posted many stories about Thanksgiving on this blog.  I’ve kept the tone light, included lots of delicious or ancient recipes. I have attempted to draw my readers into the past, in order to experience how the day was spent years ago. This year I’m taking a different tact.

I think that everyone needs to think of at least three things that bless their lives, before they complain about one thing that does not.  We live in an uncertain world, but honestly the past was not better, just different.  We make today what it is–full of amazing miracles, or full of evil and bad events.  It is all a matter of perspective. Continue reading

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Celebrating a 1939 Thanksgiving Day in New Hampshire

thanksgivingIn 1939 I was not even a twinkle in my parent’s eyes.  Certainly they may have met by then, but they were not even dating. The world was full of uncertainty.  In 1939 Nazi Germany had attacked Poland (September 1st).  France, Australia and the United Kingdom had declared war on Germany. The United States remains neutral but begins rearming for war.

The average cost of a new house was $3,800.00. Average wages per year were $1,730.00. Gasoline cost 10 cents/gallon, a loaf of bread was 8 cents. The average price for a new car was $700.00. Continue reading

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A Pictorial Genealogy of the Wyman Family of Deering and Concord NH

Reuben Wyman

Reuben Wyman (1784-1857). Photograph taken by Kimball & Son, State Block, Corner of Main and School Streets, Concord NH

The Wyman family of Concord, New Hampshire, were originally of Deering, the elders being Reuben & Rhoda (Hartwell) Wyman. Reuben Wyman was a direct descendant of Francis Wyman Jr. and Abigail Reed of England and Woburn, Massachusetts. Rhoda (Hartwell) Wyman was a direct descendant of William Hartwell and Jazan of England and Concord, MA.

In 1827 Reuben Wyman and his family moved to Concord NH where he set up shop as a butcher, and several of his sons, and a grandson followed in his footsteps.

Concord’s Amsden manuscript, Chapter 36, page 28 states: “Farther down on State Street, at No. 87 stands an old brick house in its original simple dignity. It was in 1831 that Reuben Wyman “yeoman,” purchased this lot of an acre with a frontage of four rods on the street and built his house. A few years later he extended his holdings back to Union St., and in the 1834 Directory he was listed as “butcher.” The large barn on the place is said to be of more ancient construction, and it may be a relic of the David Hall farm which in 1810 when this section of State Street was opened, occupied the Court House lot and extended west beyond State Street.”

Continue reading

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Newmarket New Hampshire’s Tiger No. 1 and Its Creator Edward S. Lesley

Tiger No. 1 fire engine, back of photograph dated June 1952, Dover NH. If any can identify the exact location and the identity of the man, please contact me or leave a comment.

Tiger No. 1 hand-tub fire engine, back of photograph dated June 1952, Dover NH. If any can identify the exact location and the identity of the man, please contact me or leave a comment.

Fire can be a great creator or a great destroyer. In 1936 several newspapers carried a story about annual Fire Prevention week, where it describes that Ahun, a little town of 2,000 people in central Frances, claimed a notable record of no fires for 600 years.

The story goes on to say that fires, like tigers, are most easily tamed when very young. Perhaps this thought is the origin of the name of the Tiger No. 1 hand-tub engine built for the Newmarket New Hampshire fire department in 1852.  Continue reading

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New Hampshire Slanguage: Fagged Out

frayed ropeI remember my grandparents and parents using the term, “fagged out,” to mean exhausted or weary.   Although I cannot prove that the term originated in New Hampshire, an ancient newspaper from this state seems to contain the earliest usage in print in the United States. Continue reading

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