St. Patrick’s Day 2018: Is New Hampshire Losing Its Irishness?

Charles Manning, first generation Irish-
American, pushing his sister in a baby carriage,
Lowell Street, Manchester NH circa 1888.

Is it the food, the beer, the music, the dance, the accent, the parades or the vocabulary that still connects people to their Irish heritage? Or is it instead nostalgia for the past and personal memories that associate us with the Emerald Isle?  With all the time that has passed since my ancestors arrived in America, is my Irishness, and that of other Irish descendants in New Hampshire, quickly fading away?

Oh yes, I grew up eating so-called Irish food. But my first generation Irish-American grandmother had an English-Canadian mother, and an Irish father, so where did she learn her cooking skills and the recipes she used? Did her culinary creations originate in Ireland, or were they instead simple, northern New England fare? Continue reading

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Cow Hampshire Blog Celebrates 12 Years

Partial screenshot of Cow Hampshire
blog in 2011.

It is amazing even for me to realize that I am celebrating this history blog’s 12th Anniversary (or Birthday or Creation Day) on March 16, 2018.  New Hampshire is a rich state–its residents make it so.  Their stories are varied and fascinating.  I have so many more people, places and events that I hope to have time to write about. Continue reading

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New Hampshire in WWI: Changes in Mourning Customs

Even before World War I the customs of mourning were changing. More of the seriously ill were dying in hospitals rather than at home. Undertakers (then called) were taking the place of home-based wake preparations. When the influenza pandemic struck, burial preparations were often hasty and the funeral itself sparsely attended.

New Hampshire was affected, and as deaths from the flu were peaking,  the Portsmouth Herald newspaper (Portsmouth NH) of 25 Sep 1918, Wed., on page 5 published this notice: “MUST HAVE NO PUBLIC FUNERALS. Only Immediate Families Can Attend Services and Burial of Dead. Orders were issued today to the several undertakers and the public forbidding any more public funerals until the epidemic of influenza is checked. Only the immediate families of the deceased will be allowed to attend the services and interment for the dead until further notice. This action was found absolutely necessary owing to the increase of the malady.” Continue reading

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Mother of Forensic Science, Legal Medicine Professor, Criminologist, Philanthropist, Bethlehem NH Summer Resident: Frances Glessner Lee

Frances Glessner as a child, circa 1883.

She was born Frances Glessner, but called Fanny by her parents, John J. & Frances (Macbeth) Glessner of Chicago IL. Her father had, with hard work, become a millionaire through his affiliation with the International Harvester Company. Frances self-admittedly had been born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

When she was about 10 years old her parents built a house on the hillside of Bethlehem, New Hampshire. It is there on the 100-acre estate known as “The Rocks” that she would spend many summers throughout her lifetime. It is also where she chose to move following a divorce from attorney Blewett Lee, and spend her golden years. She had married young, having 3 children with him–John Glessner, Frances, and Martha Lee. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: The Nurse Heroes of Franklin

Photographic Print of Camp Sevier, Greenville
SC, 18 October 1917, Library of Congress

The American nurses who served with the U.S. Army and the Red Cross during World War I deserve much more attention and recognition than they’ve received thus far. Previously I wrote about the men from Franklin NH who died in battle or from disease. Now I focus on eight women who all have strong connections with the same town. Today they lie in graves mostly unacknowledged on Memorial or Veterans Day. That needs to change. Continue reading

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