Recap: New Hampshire and Halloween

Antique Halloween cardSince 2006 I’ve been sharing tidbits relating to Halloween and New Hampshire.  During that time I’ve written some pretty bad poetry, and shared some pretty good prose.  You may have read my stories about New Hampshire’s many ghosts, real or imagined, that haunt this fair state.  You don’t have to believe them for the stories to be true. Continue reading

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Barrington, New Hampshire Educator, Civic Leader, Author and Poet: Susan Hale (Hussey) Knapp (1832-1906)

Photograph from "New Hampshire Women: A collection of portraits and biological sketches," by New Hampshire Publishing Co.; 1895

Photograph from “New Hampshire Women: A collection of portraits and biological sketches,” by New Hampshire Publishing Co.; 1895

Susan Hale Hussey was born on a farm in Barrington, Strafford County, New Hampshire to Dea. Thomas & Susan (Hale) Hussey. She, like many women of her time, attended the local schools in her town, but she went on to study at the New Hampshire Conference Seminary, and the Gilmanton Academy. She then graduated in July 1855 from the State Normal School at Framingham MA, now called Framingham University. It was the first state-supported school dedicated to training teachers. Continue reading

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New Hampshire’s Haunted Halloween History

“All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.”

"Marley's Ghost," from page 22 of The Forester (1911), Lake Forest University - from the Internet Archive

“Marley’s Ghost,” from page 22 of The Forester (1911), Lake Forest University – from the Internet Archive


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned these words
by 1867 when the New Hampshire Sentinel newspaper of Keene, New Hampshire shared them in print.   I go one step further and state that all PLACES wherein men and women have died are haunted.  If you peer through the notices of New Hampshire’s past you soon come to realize that if you feel cold fingers running up your spine you might be walking in a spot that is perhaps less hospitable to the living and more auspicious to the spectre. Continue reading

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New Hampshire: First in the Nation Potato

Photograph courtesy of the UC Riverside California Museum of Photography, "Measuring Potatoes in Field.  Reeds Ferry, N.H., Gifford M. Mast, Keystone-Mast Collection, date unknown

Photograph courtesy of the UC Riverside California Museum of Photography, “Harvesting  Potatoes in Field. Reeds Ferry, N.H., Gifford M. Mast, Keystone-Mast Collection, date unknown

Even the United States Potato Board agrees that Londonderry New Hampshire played a leading role in the growth of the potato as a foodstuff in the American colonies.  Though not the first location on this continent where it became known (Bermuda and Jamestown were first), “the first permanent potato patches in North America were established in 1719, most likely near Londonderry (Derry), NH, by Scots-Irish immigrants.  From there, the crop spread across the country.Continue reading

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Portrait in Time: Daniel & Betsey (Jeffrey) Otis of Great Falls, New Hampshire

Painting by Joseph H. Davis found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Circa 1833 painting by Joseph H. Davis of Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Otis,  and daughter Polly of New Hampshire, found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “an elaborately penned inscription reveals that the man [in the portrait] at left is Daniel Otis, aged forty-six; the woman is Betsy Otis, aged forty; and the child is Polly Otis, aged seven months. The most obvious individualizing touch in the portrait is Daniel Otis’s newspaper, the Great-Falls Journal, which was issued between 1832 and 1836 in Great Falls, a mill town in southeastern New Hampshire, about twenty miles northeast of Portsmouth.” [Note: Great Falls is now the town known as Somersworth]. Continue reading

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