Goffstown New Hampshire’s Actor and Writer: Richard Clark Backus (1945-Still Living)

1981 stock photograph of Richard Backus.

1981 stock photograph of Richard Backus.

Richard Clark Backus
, was the son of a physician, born in the small town of Goffstown, New Hampshire. He attended local Goffstown schools, graduating from Goffstown High School in 1963. Wikipedia reports that he attended Harvard University. The “Soap Opera Book: Who’s Who in Daytime Drama (1992) includes this description: Height 5’9-1/2, brown eyes, brown hair; Education: Harvard College B.A.; Interests: theater, writing ; Awards: Critic’s Poll Award, Theatre World Award…” [Editor's Note, a 1992 interviewer erroneously states he is a Yale grad, go figure]. Continue reading

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Boscawen New Hampshire: From Carter’s Tavern to The Kettle & Crane

The Old Homestead Inn, Boscawen NH, formerly Carter's Tavern, aka The Kettle & Crane

In this postcard being called “The Old Homestead Inn,” Boscawen NH, was first known as  Carter’s Tavern, later the The Kettle & Crane

Taverns, inns, and houses of entertainment were an integral part of early colonial America society. They were not only a resting place for travelers, but also an important gathering place where local and national news could be gained and shared. Whether you traveled on foot, horseback, by oxen-drawn cart or later by horse-drawn stagecoach, the sign of an inn was often a welcome sight for the weary or thirsty. Licenses to provide liquor were purchased of the town by the inn owners. Mail packets were left at these places to be picked up at a later date by the intended recipient.

These essential stopping-off places dotted the trails, post roads, toll-roads, turnpikes and highways of New Hampshire.  Stage-coach routes developed, with Boscawen being one of the important locations for those traveling both south-north and west-east within the state.  The advent of the railroad rang the death knoll for many of these small hostels. Continue reading

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Mrs. Daniel (Cynthia Imilda Comings) Plummer of Mason and Lee, New Hampshire (1848-1891)

0Cynthia PlummerA lovely face stared out at me from an E-bay page, and so I ‘rescued’ yet another woman’s photograph from possible loss to her family, and to all of us.  She was known as “Millie” but more formally as Cynthia to those who knew her intimately.   I am related, albeit  distantly, to her husband Daniel Emerson Plummer (6th cousins, 4x removed).

Continue reading

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Missing Places: Wither’s Island, Kittery Maine

Map of Lower Kittery, 1635-1700 from Old Kittery and her families, by Everett Stackpole, 1903

Map of Lower Kittery, 1635-1700 from Old Kittery and her families, by Everett Stackpole, 1903

Though I am blogging about an island in Maine, the history of this place is intimately connected to that of New Hampshire’s in several ways.  Thus, this tiny isle in the Piscataqua River deserves an article in my blog.

Maine’s islands, like some other locales, often changed names when ownership did.  Either the new proprietor better fancied his surname, or the locals began to call it by his name, and the moniker ‘stuck.’  I do not know if the Native Americans gave this island a name, but by 1643 it belonged to an European immigrant, Thomas Withers, and was called Withers Island, part of a grant of 400 acres from Fernando Gorges. Continue reading

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NH Current Events: A Celebration of Nature, Art & Heritage – September 23, 2014

1905 Photograph taken from the Mt. Pleasant House (now gone) of the White Mountains.  The building in the far distance is the Mt. Washington Hotel (now the Omni-Mt. Washington Hotel)

1905 photograph taken from the Mt. Pleasant House (now gone) of the White Mountains. The building in the far distance is the Mt. Washington Hotel (now the Omni-Mt. Washington Resort). Photograph property of JW Brown.

It is not often that a single event celebrates New Hampshire’s nature, art and heritage all at the same time.  The need is great. Although we think of Tropical Storm Irene of 2011’s damage being past, is it not in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.

I would urge all of my readers to get involved with the White Mountain Arts Experience on September 21-23, 2014, at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods. This fundraiser, to benefit the National Forest Foundation’s “Treasured Landscapes” support of restoration work on the White Mountain National Forest as well as the Arts Alliance’s new Youth Arts Corps and Arts & Nature programming, will offer participants a wonderful fall-foliage getaway full of opportunities to learn about and engage with the mountains and forest through hands-on arts activities, classes and demonstrations as well as hikes, walks and tours with renowned artists and field experts. Continue reading

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