New Hampshire Glossary: The Boston Post Cane

Boston Post newspaper headline in August 1909.

New Hampshire (like New England) has historically been home to iconic people, events and objects. Grouped together they make our home wonderfully unique, unconventional and distinctive.  Among these is the tradition of the Boston Post Cane.  If you live in New England you’ve probably read something about it, but you may also have been misinformed. Continue reading

New Hampshire Tidbits: Concord’s Bridges Mansion

Photograph of the Bridges House from the National Historic Register.

On Mountain Road at the east side of Concord sits a house that belongs to the State of New Hampshire, called the Bridges House. It was not built by the Bridges family, but was donated by them to be used at the discretion of the acting governor of New Hampshire. Governors are not required to live there, and actually most do not.

Sunday August 25th 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the house (as it pertains to the date it officially belonged to the State of NH as the governor’s mansion).  This special event begins at 1 PM. (It is NOT free to attend as it is a fund-raising event to benefit the building. Tickets are available).  [Also see on FaceBook].

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Lone Star Ranch, Reeds Ferry

Circa 1947 photograph of the entrance to Lone Star Ranch, Reeds Ferry NH. Courtesy of Don Levesque. Used with permission.

What: Lone Star Ranch was a rustic, outdoor summer-autumn entertainment venue located in Reeds Ferry (Merrimack) New Hampshire. [When the weather got colder they would hold indoor “barn dances.” ] It focused on Country & Western, and Hillbilly music, comedy and related events.  In addition at various times during its existence, picnic tables, horse back riding, concessions, and games were offered. When the weather was wet or cold there was a ranch house (barn) that was used.

Lone Star Ranch existed from 1938-1983–a span of over 45 years. The entertainers booked for these shows were a mix of local, national, and international renown. Continue reading

WW2 Veteran, Business Owner, Amateur Boxer of Manchester NH, the Polish Flash: Jan Zacharko aka John Harko (1906-1997)

Photograph of John Harko from the Boston (MA) Herald newspaper of 24 January 1925.

Manchester New Hampshire has long been a city built by immigrants. From the early settlers to the mill workers, most of them arrived to the area only a generation or two from an ancestor from another continent. In the very early 20th century there was an influx of people from eastern and middle European countries. Between 1901 and 1910 it is estimated that Austrians were one of the ten most significant immigrant groups in the United States.

One of these families that arrived during this time, was that of John Harko. His name at immigration was Jan Zacharko, born 1 January 1906 in “Debromil, Austria.” Today this is Dobrómyl, a city in Staryi Sambir Raion, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine, located about 5 kilometers away from Poland’s border. His petition to become a citizen states that he entered the US on the S S Chemitz, North German Lloyd Line ship on 24 August 1907. At that time he used the name Jan Zacharko, and it was stated that his permanent residence was to be Galveston Texas. He had arrived as a baby not quite 2 years old, with his parents, John & Anna (Hnatio) Zacharko [Editor’s note: his marriage record states his parents names were John & Mary (Poltak) Zacharko]. Continue reading

New Hampshire Artist and Forestry Education Supporter: Ruth Emeline Farrington of Manchester (1907-1970)

Ruth E. Farrington’s photograph from the 1930 Smith College yearbook.

Ruth E. Farrington’s name is one fairly well known to Forestry students at the University of New Hampshire.  But how much do they, and we, actually know about this talented, educated woman who funded forestry-related scholarships, conferences and educational trips that continue to this day? Continue reading