New Hampshire Tidbits: A Valentine Party, A Poem, and Family History

My research projects often take me on a journey down one or more rabbit holes. What I mean by this (and any seasoned family historian would agree) that we may start off focusing on one person or event, when suddenly due to some interesting news or discovery, we find ourselves investigating something or someone entirely different.

This story began with my looking at Valentine Day events in New Hampshire which led me to a pre-suffrage (1915) women’s party which in turn led me to some fascinating women–one of which was a noted poet, and another a well-known author. Continue reading

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Jacob Foster 2d and The Foster Beef Co. of Manchester

Early photo of Foster Beef Co. of Manchester NH. From Manchester Yesterday and today by New England Advertising Associates 1946

My father, Berwin “Webby” Webster worked as the night maintenance man for Foster Beef Co. of Manchester New Hampshire from 1953 to its closure in 1976. He was a mechanic and with an expertise in motor maintenance he repaired elevators, chillers and the company vehicles when they broke down. My uncle, Frank Manning, worked there too as a meat cutter.

It might not have seemed a glorious occupation to some, but it did insure that our growing family had plenty of meat, which my father bought at a great discount as an employee. We were never wanting for hamburgers, hotdogs and pot roasts. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Temple’s Ferry in Merrimack

Aerial view of the Merrimack River in Merrimack New Hampshire in the 1930s. Taken by B.H. Webster. Copyright J.W. Brown.

Merrimack, Hillsborough County,  New Hampshire’s early history is complicated.  The area was first the residence of the Abenaki Native Peoples.  Later when Europeans arrived, it was part of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and for several years the town spanned an area on both sides of the Merrimack River. Later the area became part of New Hampshire, and the state and town boundaries changed yet again.

Brenton’s Farm (1655), Dunstable (1673), Naticook (1734-1746), Merrymack (1746), and Merrimack are all names connected with this town. As there has never been a bridge spanning the Merrimack River within the current town boundaries (and there still is not) during the area’s early  history travel necessitated the use of ferry boats to transport people, animals and supplies in all seasons. Continue reading

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New Hampshire’s Martin Luther King Jr & Civil Rights Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1964. Nobel Foundation [Public domain]. Wikimedia Commons

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (I won’t dishonor the man and shorten it to MLK). These next 24 hours honor a great man AND in fact the day honors all those who who have, and do, champion civil rights.

By definition civil rights are those “rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.” Basically this means that as Americans we SHOULD be free from unfair treatment or discrimination. Those sentiments are ideal of course, because we all know that discrimination exists, including in New Hampshire. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Tidbits: Exhibiting at Chicago World’s Fair and Columbian Exposition of 1893

Partial Map of Chicago World’s Fair. The New Hampshire Building was located at #25 on the north east section of this map, facing Lake Michigan.  Rand McNally. 1893.

You have probably heard of, or know about, the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. I have too, but had no idea that New Hampshire was included in more than one exhibit there. New Hampshire Commissioners were appointed to plan for the Columbian Exposition that included: Walter Aiken, D., Franklin; Charles D. McDuffie, R., Manchester; George Van Dyke, Lancaster; and Frank E. Kaley, Milford.

Women had not yet won the vote, but they managed to convince the organizers of the Chicago World’s Fair to include women from each state as ‘managers.’ The two ‘Lady Managers’ from New Hampshire were: Mrs. Mira B.F. Ladd (Lancaster) and Mrs. Daniel Hall (Dover), who would have been appointed by the male commissioners, with one being Democrat and one Republican. They had 2 alternate appointees: Mrs. Frank H. Daniel (Franklin Falls) and Miss Ellen J. Cole (Lake Village). Continue reading

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