New Hampshire Feast of December 1852

Example of banquet from the 1850s. Generated with AI Art program by the  blog author.

What meals did our ancestors savor during the holidays? With winter celebrations approaching, a trip back to the 1850s could be fun and interesting.

Before we can look at foodstuffs for the year 1852, lets review what was happening history-wise at that time. On the national scene Millard Fillmore was President. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe had just been published in book form. Yale and Harvard held a regatta as the first American intercollegiate athletic event on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire (Harvard won). The California Gold Rush was in full swing. It would be 9 years before the Civil War began. In New Hampshire Samuel Dinsmoor and later Noah Martin were Governor.

Bill of Fare (header only) from Eagle Hotel 22 December 1852. From NH Historical Society online catalog.

On 22 December 1852 the Eagle Hotel (located on Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire, opposite the Capitol building) was owned by John Gibson. He presented the following delectable menu items:

Soup – Mock Turtle

Escalloped Oysters
Oyster Pies
Macaroni Pies
Fried Pickerel
Lobster Salad

ROAST, Ham, Champaigne Sauce

Bird’s Nest Pudding
Cranberry Tarts
Gooseberry Pie

Wine Jelly, Brandy Peaches, Charlotte Ruse

Most of these menu offerings probably seem strange to us–we’ve not tasted them, and in fact have mostly never heard of them.  With a bit of research it is easy for us to find recipes in order to recreate yesterday into modern fare.

As for John Gibson–he was known as Major John Gibson, and was born 17 July 1804 in Francestown, New Hampshire.  He died 4 Dec 1857.  The History of Francestown states that he died while playing checkers.  He is buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord New Hampshire.   John Gibson married 13 May 1827 in Francestown NH to Ruth C. Gale and had five children.

History of Francestown, New Hampshire, by W.R. Cochrane and George K. Wood, GIBSON FAMILY.

History of Concord, New Hampshire, from the original grant in seventeen hundred and twenty-five to the opening of the twentieth century; prepared under the supervision of the City history commission; James O. Lyford, ed. v.2 HISTORY OF THE EAGLE HOTEL


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One Response to New Hampshire Feast of December 1852

  1. Tina Bates says:

    Good to be able to enjoy your writings again ! Interesting info!

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