New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Emile St. Hilaire of Berlin NH (1889-1918)

Emile St. Hilaire was born 1 June 1889 at Saint-Romuald, Levis, PQ Canada, the son of Procul & Arthemise (Nolin) St. Hilaire. His siblings included: Lea, Yvonne, and Marie Anna (who later married Ernest J. Perron).

Emile would have grown up and attended school in a village school in Levis Canada. His family moved to Berlin, New Hampshire after 1901 when they are shown in the Canadian Census in Levi, Quebec Canada, and before 1910 when the the family is established in Berlin, Coos County, New Hampshire. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Tidbits: Newport’s Elephant Rock and Pike Hill

Sketch: Elephant Rock, from History of Newport, by Edmund Wheeler, 1879, page 10

Elephant Rock in Newport, Sullivan County, New Hampshire is described as a large boulder 35 feet high which is almost a perfect image of a kneeling elephant. It is located on Pike Hill.  It is still a popular curiosity of the town, and highlighted on the Parks & Recreation Department section of the town web site.   (Editor’s note: This rock should not be confused with Elephant Head in the White Mountains, for that is another story).

The native people’s of New Hampshire may have been aware of this boulder, but would not have given it such as name. They would have never seen an elephant. The early settlers of the town may have, or even more likely may have seen a drawing in a book. In 1820 an elephant was killed falling from a bridge in Westmoreland New Hampshire, not too far away from Newport, in case you are thinking elephants never were in the area. It was not a native of the state!
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He Kept New Hampshire Beds Warm: Concord’s Louis F. Gillette (1857-1937)

Sketch included in Patent US 991844 A: Therapeutic bottle, by L.F. Gillett of Concord, NH.

In the early twentieth century most New Hampshire homes did not have central heating, and warming pans were in common use. These devices warmed up the sheets, and also kept the bed warm at least for a few hours, especially if you didn’t have a sleeping companion.

At first heated brick and hot stones were used. Later a warming pan would hold embers from the fire place. Eventually this device evolved into a closed metal container that held hot water. It was this latter sort of device that was produced by Louis F. Gillette in Concord, New Hampshire.

In 1910 L.F. Gillette submitted a patent for a “Therapeutic” bottle made of metal with a removable stopper. His improvement was making it not only a water bottle but “secondly, for use as a reservoir for a fountain syringe.” Continue reading

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Faces of the BEAN Family of Brentwood, Deerfield and Derry New Hampshire

Sketch of “J.W. Bean’s Residence, Derry Depot” from Willey’s Book of Nutfield. (This is Joseph Warren Bean who is mentioned in this story).

The BEAN family arrived early in the colony of New Hampshire. They came from Scotland and made Exeter their home. This story is not an attempt to trace all of the Bean progeny, just that of one John Lyford Bean who lived most of his life in New Hampshire. I purchased tiny gem-sized photographs of his family that I would like to share with you.

My story focuses on John L. & Mary (Evans) Bean, and their children who were born in the small town of Brentwood New Hampshire. This is a timely story, as the town of Brentwood is celebrating its 275th anniversary this year (in 2017).

In the year 1848, while some of the children were still young, John L. Bean and his family moved to a farm in Derry, New Hampshire where some of their descendants remain today.  The town of Derry is gearing up to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2019.

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Concord New Hampshire’s Famed Spiritualist, Medium and Clairvoyant: Sophia (Bradley) Woods Craddock (1837-1909)

Photograph of a woman, taken at the M.S. Lamprey studio in Fisherville, N.H. between 1881-1909. Probably photograph of Mrs. Sophia B. Craddock, a noted spiritualist and test medium of the city.

This story about Mrs. Sophia (Bradley) Craddock (or her preferred “S.B. Craddock”) started with my purchase of a photograph. Shown here to the left, it was taken in Maurice S. Lamprey’s Washington Square studio in Fisherville, New Hampshire.

I can’t be 100% certain that this unmarked photograph is of Mrs. Craddock. However, Sophia Craddock was the most famous spiritualist, “trance speaker” and “test medium” in the Concord area where she  resided between the years of 1880 and 1906. Spiritualism, which was the belief that the dead communicated with the living (usually through an individual called a ‘medium’) was most popular between the 1840s and 1920s.

As early as 1876 New Hampshire Spiritualists were numerous enough to hold a state convention.  Reportedly “by 1897, spiritualism was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe.

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