Cow Hampshire Blog Turns 13

Photograph of 13 unlucky cows killed by a lightning strike. From book: Lightning, and petroleum storage tanks, etc. by West Dodd; 1920. Internet Archive.

Some consider the number 13 to be unlucky, but then some folks think cows are useless animals.  Both are wrong.

On 16 March of 2006 after losing my twin sister to cancer, I began writing a blog, for it had been a pastime she greatly enjoyed at the end of her life. At first I had no idea where my writing might lead me.  My first few posts were photographs or short poems.

Then I was inspired to write about history.  That pastime seems to be in my blood, for my paternal grandmother and my father both loved the stories about New Hampshire.

Continue reading

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Descendant of Rev. James MacGregor of Londonderry NH — World War One Heroine: Ruth MacGregor (1889-1918)

Ruth MacGregor from The News Journal, Wilmington DE of 10 Nov 1922 page 6

I was recently reviewing the list of “Gold Star Women” who had died during World War I service, and came across the name of a Delaware resident, Ruth MacGregor. Normally I would not be writing about her, then I discovered she just happens to have a connection to New Hampshire. She was the 3rd great-grand daughter of the Rev. James MacGregor of Nutfield (Londonderry) New Hampshire.

Another reason I chose to write about her is that several sources state she was buried at sea, and so there is no cemetery plot  where people can gather to honor her memory.  I hope this story will serve as a partial remembrance.  Continue reading

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Before Helen Keller: The Education of the Deaf, Mute and Blind Girl — Laura Dewey Bridgman of Hanover NH (1829-1889)

Daguerreotype of Laura Dewey Bridgman, Blind Poetess, taken about 1855, Southworth and Hawes; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Today through the film, The Miracle Worker, [the source material came from the H. Keller book “The Story of My Life”] many people are aware of the story of Helen Adams Keller who was born in 1880 and became deaf and blind as the result of an unknown illness. Helen’s famous teacher was Anne Mansfield Sullivan, a graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind.

Before Helen Keller was born, there was an amazing woman from New Hampshire, named Laura Dewey Bridgman who overcame similar challenges and became one of the “most celebrated women of her time.”  An article in The Scranton Republican of 14 May 1915 describes that “a doll dressed by Laura Bridgman, born forty years earlier, afforded the basis of the first teaching [of Helen Keller], helping the child to learn with amazing rapidity.” Continue reading

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The Irish in America (and New Hampshire)

Yes St. Patrick’s Day came and went a few days ago, and I did not have a story ready. I’ve written extensively every year and if you search on “St. Patrick” you can easily find those stories. Late may be better in this case for I discovered a wonderful story published in The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 17 March 1895, page 30.

I cannot vouch for its total authenticity and correctness in every case. But what I can say is that DNA studies seem to bear out what is said. There are links at the end of this story to others detailing DNA and other related topics. What I find interesting is that this story disputes the terms “Scots-Irish,” or “Scotch-Irish” that we still use today. Continue reading

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Women’s History Month: New Hampshire’s Remarkable Women for 2019

March has traditionally been Women’s History Month. The National Women’s History Alliance has set the theme for 2019 as “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.”

They honor women who have led efforts to end war, violence and injustice, and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.” Two New Hampshire women immediately come to my mind. Continue reading

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