First NH Lady Century Rider of 1893, Bicyclist, Linotypist: Maud L. (Hood) Center 1874-1958

Medal awarded to Maud L. Hood in 1895

Medal awarded to Maud(e) Hood in 1894.  The inscription reads: “MAUDE HOOD | FIRST LADY CENTURY RIDER | NEW HAMPSHIRE | 1894 N.H.C.C. | Manchester June 1893 | June 24.  Photograph courtesy of Richard A. Davis, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Before I tell you Maud Hood’s story, I should explain a few terms, and how her accomplishment was unusual and wonderful.  A Century Rider is a bicyclist who has completed a 100-mile ride.  This is a milestone nearly every cyclist strives to reach today, and century rides are fairly common.  However the feat was not common in the late 19th century for women.

Maud(e) Hood was awarded a medal in 1894 for a June 24, 1893 accomplishment of riding 100 miles during a bicycle event held in New Hampshire. NHCC possibly stands for New Hampshire Cycling Club [see photograph insert].

At the time of this award she was living at 27 Grove Street, Manchester, New Hampshire, then part of Manchester Corp. housing, as one of many immigrant workers from Scotland. Her occupation at that time was compositor [setting of type to be ready for printing] for the “Mirror” newspaper.  Continue reading

The Hammond Family and Their Home in Nashua, New Hampshire

Hammond Home and physician's office on Main Street in Nashua, NH, near the corner of Pearl, circa 1903.

The Hammond home and physician’s office on Main Street in Nashua, NH, near the corner of Pearl, circa 1903.

Usually the photograph of a human face spurs me to write a story, but in this case it was one of an ivy covered building.  The Ebay description hinted that it might be located in Nashua, New Hampshire, for that is where the postcard was mailed from in 1903.  It turns out that this was well worth my attention.  The residence pictured here was the home and physician’s office of two of Nashua, New Hampshire’s well known physicians–Evan B. Hammond, and his son Charles B. Hammond. If one zooms in closely to the small building to the right, the sign reads “Dr. C.B. Hammond.”

Charles B. Hammond not only was one of the founders of Nashua’s first hospital, but also wrote the Medical History of Nashua, section in the  1897 book: “History of Nashua, New Hampshire, by Judge Edward E. Parker. On that account, citizens of Nashua have much to be grateful to him. Continue reading

The Lucky Elephant and Benson Wild Animal Farm of Hudson, New Hampshire

Mary Manning and niece Judy Beauregard with the original Benson's Wild Animal Park lucky elephant, sometime in the 1940s.

My mother, Mary Manning and her  niece Judy Beauregard with the original Benson’s Wild Animal Farm ‘lucky elephant, ‘sometime in the 1940s. Photograph copyright Janice W. Brown

A few months ago there was a flurry of stories about the large concrete elephant at Tufts University having finally fallen apart, with a new (and different) one being constructed to replace it. The disintegrated 10-foot elephant was a “lucky” one that originally sat at Benson’s Wild Animal Farm in Hudson, New Hampshire.

According to several published stories, the elephant was bought in 1993 by Tufts University alumni class of 1958 for $4,500 from Benson’s Animal farm to replace a former mascot (despite the fact that the new mascot was an Indian elephant, while the school’s original “Jumbo” was an African elephant).  The original trunk of this cement elephant was dropped down (see photograph of original elephant on left).  Arthur Provencher, who bought the park in 1979, replaced the trunk portion so that it would be ‘luckier’ by curling up instead of down.

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The Colby and Phelps Families of Bow and Northfield, New Hampshire

Leonard & Rosella (Phelps) Colby of Northfield and Bow, New Hampshire, from a gem sized tintype.

Leonard & Rosella (Phelps) Colby of Northfield and Bow, New Hampshire, from a gem sized tintype.

It is remarkable how many families I find myself connected with in New Hampshire.  Here is yet another case where I purchased a lot of identified gem-sized tintypes on ebay, researched them, and found that they were related, albeit distantly, to me.  In this particular case. They are of Leonard & Rosella (Phelps) Colby of Bow, Merrimack County NH, and then about the same time I purchased an additional tin-type of her parents, David & Irena (Davis) Phelps of Northfield, NH.  Their genealogies, and additional photographs, are found directly below.

The Colby, Phelps, Davis and Yeaton families of Northfield New Hampshire are greatly connected.  Those families married and intermarried several times, weaving strong connections are you will discover below.

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Laundryman and Cigar-maker: Chester M. Fairbanks of Hillsborough Bridge and Nashua NH (1832-1863)

Chester and Emma Fairbanks of Nashua, New Hampshire. Photograph probably taken in the 1880.

Chester and Emma Fairbanks of Nashua, New Hampshire. Photograph probably taken in the 1880.

The youthful, hopeful faces of Chester M. Fairbanks, and his first wife Emma Belle peer out at me from the fragile tintype photograph.  Along with the tintypes I have two CDVs of them, with a delicate but enigmatic script on the back: “‘C.W’ and “‘E.B.’ Fairbanks.  Send to Myrtie B. Fairbanks, La Gloria, Cuba.”

There was nothing simple about researching this family, for their lives and journeys were convoluted, as lives often are–full of hopes, joys and disappointments. Continue reading