New Hampshire Tidbits: Exhibiting at Chicago World’s Fair and Columbian Exposition of 1893

Partial Map of Chicago World’s Fair. The New Hampshire Building was located at #25 on the north east section of this map, facing Lake Michigan.  Rand McNally. 1893.

You have probably heard of, or know about, the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. I have too, but had no idea that New Hampshire was included in more than one exhibit there. New Hampshire Commissioners were appointed to plan for the Columbian Exposition that included: Walter Aiken, D., Franklin; Charles D. McDuffie, R., Manchester; George Van Dyke, Lancaster; and Frank E. Kaley, Milford.

Women had not yet won the vote, but they managed to convince the organizers of the Chicago World’s Fair to include women from each state as ‘managers.’ The two ‘Lady Managers’ from New Hampshire were: Mrs. Mira B.F. Ladd (Lancaster) and Mrs. Daniel Hall (Dover), who would have been appointed by the male commissioners, with one being Democrat and one Republican. They had 2 alternate appointees: Mrs. Frank H. Daniel (Franklin Falls) and Miss Ellen J. Cole (Lake Village). Continue reading

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New Hampshire Philanthropist, Civic and Patriotic Leader, Community Benefactor: Mary Ward (Lyon) Cheney Schofield of Peterborough

Photograph of Mary (Lyon) Cheney Schofield from One Thousand New Hampshire Notables. Internet Archive

It is entirely fitting that my first biographical post of 2020 is about a woman.  Not just any woman, but a remarkable one.   She was born into an privileged family and life. She could have spent her life focused on self-indulgence.  Instead she was ever busy helping others–women, veterans, her community, her state and her church.

She was born Mary Ward Lyon, on 28 December 1868, daughter of Dr. Edwin Bradbury & Charlotte M. (Ward) Lyon in New Britain Connecticut.  Her father was an educator-turned-physician, and a Civil War veteran.  She was a direct descendant of George Lyon of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

She graduated from Dana Hall school, Wellesley, Massachusetts, and was a student for two years at Wellesley College.  [The Lyons Family genealogy states she worked briefly as a school teacher].  She left college to marry Charles Paine Cheney of Boston and Wellesley, son of Benjamin Pierce Cheney, the express company pioneer. Their marriage took place April 27, 1893. Continue reading

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A Toast to My Readers: New Year 2020

A toast to my readers, may you continue to have keen eyesight and discerning tastes.

A toast to historians, that you will offer insight into the past without embellishment and with proper credit and attribution to your sources.

A toast to genealogists, that you will discover at least one ancestor this year who inspires you.

A toast to bloggers, may your New Year be rich with blog fodder, and may you be gentle with yourselves when you goof off.

A toast to my family and friends, for health and wealth, and joy. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Senator, Legislator, Farmer, Livestock Breeder and Mail Carrier: Doris M. Spollett of Hampstead

Doris M. Spollett, photo from book, NH Women Legislators, compiled by Leon Anderson for the State of New Hampshire.

Doris Mildred Spollett was a woman of boundless energy and civic fervor.  Born on 12 Sep 1897 in  Hampstead NH, she was the daughter of Arthur J. & Carrie B. (Richardson) Spollett, and grand-daughter of Ladd & Mary A. (Randall) Richardson /and/ Samuel D. & Abbie (Batchelder) Spollett.  She died in November 1977 in Hampstead, New Hampshire.

She was a hard-working farmer, raising prize dairy goats and promoting New Hampshire’s only ‘native’ domesticated bird — the New Hampshire Red.   Before considering a run for a state office, she taught school in Hampstead NH for 11 years, served as a town selectman and worked as a mail carrier. She was a member of the Grange and the Farm bureau. Continue reading

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New Hampshire’s Epic ‘Mud Turtle Monument’ of 1895

Early photo postcard of the “Mud Turtle” Monument (now submerged) that marks the corner boundary line of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. (watermarked, property of the blog editor)

If you have never heard of the ‘Mud Turtle Monument’ you are probably not alone.  Yet the placement of this remarkable stone ended a 150 year old  dispute between New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont over their shared boundary.

New Hampshire claims all of the Connecticut River along the VT – NH border and this tri-state point was originally placed at the low-water mark, ending at the Massachusetts state line. The monument is still there, only now it sits beneath at least 12-14 feet of water and sand.

Historically the 200-mile Connecticut River’s west bank at the low water mark was considered New Hampshire’s domain and its Vermont boundary. As a series of ten power dams were built along the river, the water height changed. New Hampshire inherited the duty of maintaining most of the bridges across the river. Continue reading

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