The Hermit of Mont Vernon New Hampshire: Jarvis Smith (1850-1925)

Jarvis Smith and his stilt home on Beech Hill in Mont Vernon NH. From the 1917 Boston Post.

I’d heard the old tales of a hermit that lived in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire but until recently I had not known his name. The story of this solitary man came to light in a series of newspaper posts published during the World War I era. The earliest article is quite interesting (as follows).

From a 1916 Boston Post article entitled “HOW A HERMIT PASSES HIS TIME,” by Joe Toye, the following story was gleaned.
Did you ever go calling on a hermit? And particularly a hermit who shaves himself with fire? There are hermits and hermits, and the one of which I am to write was the most hermitty hermit I ever hermitted with. He is a regular hermit, such as you read about in the books. He lives all alone in the middle of the woods, with the caterpillers [sic] and creepy things for company. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Stratford

Post-WWI postcard showing the Stratford NH Soldiers’ Monument at Post Office Square.

My first grateful acknowledgement for the contents of this story needs to go to Jeannette R. Thompson who wrote “History of the Town of Stratford, New Hampshire, 1773-1925,” that was published by the vote of the town in 1925. Without Jeannette Thompson’s compilation of World War I soldiers from Stratford, this WWI history story would have been so much more difficult to research.   According to that town history, seventy-five enlisted men and women were sent into military service, being 9-3/8% of the entire population. Only one other location in New Hampshire sent as many of its young people to war. Continue reading

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Portsmouth NH Executive Secretary and Named Bridge Honoree: Sarah Mildred Long (1916-2004)

S. Mildred Long . Photograph from book, “The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, A History …” by Woodard D. Openo, page vi, , published by Peter E. Randall, Portsmouth NH. Used with permission.

Three of the state’s largest bridges span the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine. The second longest bridge is the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge that connects Portsmouth NH with Kittery Maine via the U.S. Route 1 Bypass. (The longest is the Memorial Bridge | Route 1)

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge was recently rebuilt and opened in March of 2018. The former bridge of the same name, completed in 1940, is the 2,000-foot steel truss that originally honored Mildred Long, though the updated bridge continues to bear her name. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Plymouth and Rumney

The Grafton County towns of Plymouth and Rumney are adjacent to each other, Rumney being the northernmost of the two. Throughout their history they have shared citizens as many were born in one town and removed to the other. It does not belittle the service of their people to combine the two into one story that recognizes their war dead. The U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger Lists provide us with a partial compilation of those who served in Europe during World War I. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Andover

Andover New Hampshire’s town green, photo showing location of war monument.

The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917.  On the 5th of June following that announcement the first of three registrations took place, and many of those registrants entered military service.  These documents included personal details and their signature.  Besides those serving in various branches of the military, no doubt the entire town became involved in supporting “the boys over there.”  There would have been great activity in Red Cross work, YMCA organizations and the local fraternal societies.  The town of Andover NH would not have been immune to the terrible influenza pandemic that raged through New Hampshire. Continue reading

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