The Eccentric Merchant from New Ipswich New Hampshire: Jabez Hills (1788-1871)

Jabez Hills led a seemingly normal life until his later years, when he became known as “Jabez the Hermit,” and was considered by some to be a somewhat odd, miserly recluse. This business-savy man led a productive, generous life and it is sad that he might be remembered only by his seeming later eccentricities. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Oddities: Siamese Twin Eggs in 1934

Boston Globe article of 30 November 1934.

It has to be true, as The Boston Globe of 30 November 1934, page 14 reported the unnatural event: “New Hampshire Freak Egg” read the headline, and the story continued as follows. “Lebanon NH. Nov 30 — An interesting freak of nature is a pair of “Siamese twin” eggs which were laid by a 6-months-old pullet raised by George Duplessis of 59 Young Street. The two eggs, one of which is much larger than the other, are connected by a hollow tubular cross-piece. The larger egg contains two yolks, the smaller egg but one. The white of the egg is common to both eggs and the cross piece.”

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New Hampshire Tidbits: Old Toasts and Traditions of the New Year

Ring Out the Old, image from “The world Book, organized knowledge in story and picture,” by Michael Vincent O’Shea, 1917. Internet Archive.

Tradition is interwoven with the changing of the year. On New Year’s Day it is common to bid farewell to the old and to welcome in the new with an optimistic perspective. For a brief moment at the striking of midnight on New Year’s eve, the past and the future are melded together. That momentary curtain of time is often parted amidst tears of both sadness and joy. Continue reading

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Portsmouth New Hampshire Sugar Plum Maker: Stephen Delande

If Clement Clarke Moore (author of the poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas“) had his way, we would all have “visions of sugar plums dancing” in our heads. Now I pose these questions: what are sugar plums and did anyone in New Hampshire ever make them?

Modern-day sugar plum recipes and candy offerings do not appear to resemble the 17th and 18th century ones either in physical characteristics or creation process. First, the “plum” part of this confection has nothing to do with the plum fruit, nor the color purple. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Carrie F. Wright Hospital of Newport

Postcard of Carrie F. Wright Hospital. Notice the antique car in the driveway.

It is astounding how quickly major landmarks appear and disappear. The Carrie F. Wright Hospital of Newport, New Hampshire was only open for 44 years yet it played a vital role in its community.

According to a medical directory of the time, the Carrie F. Wright Hospital was established in 1908 as a public hospital. In 1919 it had 20 beds.   The closing date  is 25 January 1952 when the newspaper reported that the patients in the Carrie F. Wright Hospital were moved to the “new” hospital on Summer Street. Continue reading

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