New Hampshire’s Serious Weather: Struck by Lightning in 1860

Sky showing lightning effects during storm of August 24, 1624, drawing, black chalk on brownish paper, Library of Congress Prints and Photographic Division

Sky showing lightning effects during storm of August 24, 1624, drawing, black chalk on brownish paper, Library of Congress Prints and Photographic Division

During the thunder shower of Wednesday last, the lightning was frightfully vivid, and struck in several places in this city. At 6 o’clock, at the residence of John S. Folsom corner of Concord and Walnut streets [in Manchester NH], it came like a sheet of fire, as an eye-witness describes it, and it came near the house it divided, and took the points of the lightning rods on the house and barn, and went into the earth doing no harm except frightening the whole neighborhood. It seemed aimed for the barn, but the rods attracted part to the house. So powerful was the bolt that it shook the house form top to bottom, and the buildings near by–John Welch was standing in the barn across the road, and was knocked back several feet by the shock. The residents near by say the crash seemed as if the tops of the houses were falling in. The inmates of the house were not seriously injured, though James, the son, was leaning against the door post and received a jar in one ear making it numb for a while. Otis’ Patent Lightning Rods were put on the house and barn last week, and had it not been for them it is not probably the inmates would have escaped. The points of the several rods were turned black or melted, and the rods down looked yellowish as iron does when powder is flashed upon it. Continue reading

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First Female County Register of Probate in the U.S.: Marlow New Hampshire’s Ella F. Gee (1853-1937)

Cheshire County Court House in Keene NH, photograph by Bion Whitehouse, published by the Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County, 1900-1920

Cheshire County Court House in Keene NH, photograph by Bion Whitehouse, published by the Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County, 1900-1920

She was born in 1853 as Fannie Ella Gee, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  In 1899 she legally changed her name in Cheshire County (NH) Court from Fannie Ella Gee to Ella Fannie Gee. Ella’s father, Ebridge B. Gee, was from Marlow, New Hampshire, and his occupation was that of clothier.  She traveled with her parents as her father plied his trade in Massachusetts, Illinois and Maine (Portland), finally returning with her family to Marlow New Hampshire where she attended Marlow Academy.

Ella F. Gee moved to Keene, New Hampshire about 1874 to work in the office of the Cheshire County register of probate, as a clerk. Continue reading

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Will Cressy’s Humorous History of New Hampshire (1925)

Will Cressy was a New Hampshire born humorist and vaudeville performer who wrote a series of booklets entitled, “Will Cressy’s Humorous History of ——–.”  An entire blog post dedicated to him can be found elsewhere.  For now, only the history pertinent to New Hampshire is shown here.  The illustrations shown here, unless indicated differently, were not found in the original pamphlet.

—WILL CRESSY’S HUMOROUS HISTORY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE—
as found in The Granite Monthly, Vol 57, March 1925, No. 3, page 106

The Ark on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. (SPOOF).  Photograph created using a real photograph of Mt. Washington, taken circa 1900 and a sketch of Noah's Ark, taken from The Bible panorama 1891.

The Ark on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. (SPOOF). Photograph created by J. W. Brown meshing two real photographs– one of Mt. Washington circa 1900, and a sketch of Noah’s Ark, taken from The Bible panorama 1891.

MOUNT WASHINGTON was the highest point in the Garden of Eden. When the Ark finally landed NOAH stepped out, looked around and said, —- “Who said this was Ararat? This is MOUNT WASHINGTON, in NEW HAMPSHIRE.”

And HAM took his family and went down through Dixville Notch and started Portsmouth.

And SHEM went down Crawford Notch route and started Nashua.

And JEPHET took the Franconia Notch route and settled at Concord. Continue reading

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The Death of the Old Year, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1842)

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The Death of the Old Year
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1842)
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Full knee deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing;
Toll ye the church bell sad and slow
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a dying.
Old year you must not die;
You come to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year, you shall not die. Continue reading

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Concord New Hampshire: A Year of Celebration in 2015

In 2015 Concord can celebrate many birthdays--290 years from its founding, 250 from its incorporation as the town named Concord (note there were 2 previous names), and 162 years as a "city."

In 2015 Concord can celebrate many birthdays–290 years from its founding, 250 from its incorporation as the town named Concord (note there were 2 previous names), and 162 years as a “city.”

Concord is a city with a complex past.  Its not surprising that people aren’t quite sure what anniversary, or even which ‘founder,’ to celebrate historically. In the case of anniversaries–they celebrate them all.

Anyone who was present for Concord New Hampshire’s 200th birthday bash in 1925-26 would be very confused, 90 years later (today) to see the “Celebrating 250 years in Concord” headlines (touted at the Concord Historical Society, and at concord250.org).

The numbers just don’t add up. So why the discrepancy? Continue reading

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