Cow Hampshire Humor: Fake New Hampshire Towns

First things first. This is fake news.

Not long ago a friend shared an old post from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency blog (of daily humor). It was a witty list of Fake Massachusetts Towns, by Michael Andour Brodeur, and includes places like Lameham and Methol. It is funniest to people who live there or near there, because you have to walk in our footsteps …..

When I googled “Fake New Hampshire Towns” nothing came up. Nothing! But why should that be surprising? New Hampshire folks are more practical than their neighbors to the south, and our towns already have some pretty oddball names. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Glossary: Gridiron

Standing grill or gridiron, 17th century, possibly Spanish. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Internet Archive.

This article has nothing to do with the sport of football. So if you arrived at this story looking for pigskin or a sport other than cooking, you can move along. The gridiron I am writing about has to do with grilling or broiling food and how it was performed 100 years ago and more.

A blogger and expert food author in Facebook’s Genealogy Bloggers group, Vera Marie Badertscher, inspired me. She wrote a story called “Grandma Vera Cooking on the Grill in 1910.”  She had old letters and a not entirely clear description of some family grilling, and so it became my quest to discover exactly how a gridiron was used. Continue reading

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Old New Hampshire Recipes for the Holidays

Yes, it is that time of year once again.  The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays often mean you have a house full of guests.  Many decisions need to be made about what to feed them.

If you are looking for some new recipes that are traditionally from New Hampshire, then this is the place to look.  Sort of. Consider serving old food.  I mean, consider serving food from olden times.

I can’t vouch that the recipes shown here truly originated in New Hampshire. There is no primary evidence other than that the newspapers said they were from the Granite State.  The recipes that give little direction probably did come from New Hampshire, since we are taciturn and like folks to figure things out for themselves. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Umbagog House of Errol

Old postcard showing the main street in Errol New Hampshire. The Umbagog House is the flat-roofed building on the left side of the road.

The Umbagog House of Errol, Coös County, New Hampshire is not to be confused with any hotel or inn of a similar name located in the state of Maine.  Lake Umbagog straddles the border of both states and Oxford County, Maine contains much of this vast body of water.  Reportedly the name Umbagog (pronounced um-BAY-gog) is an Abenaki word for shallow water.

According to the book, “History of Coös County, New Hampshire,” by George Drew Merrill, “The UMBAGOG HOUSE, opened in December 1886, is one-half mile from Errol Dam, one mile from Aker’s pond, and on the highway to Colebrook, “twenty miles away.” At this point has been made quite a settlement, as it is the base of supplies for the upper country and the place of departure for Magalloway river and Parmachenee lake, and the depot of the “Errol Dam Company.”
Continue reading

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100 Years Ago: Tiniest Woman in New England Contest

The WWI Armistice had been declared, and though soldier deaths were still being reported, the citizens of New England urgently needed to shift their focus to something light and entertaining.  In November of 1918 the Boston Post newspapers announced they were looking for the “Tiniest Woman” in New England.” Readers were invited to write in, and so they did.  Some provided photographs while others sent wrote letters claiming the honor.  The following women are a few of those who were contestants. I’ve added biographical information on each woman. Continue reading

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