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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The American Dictionary Wars and Joseph Emerson Worcester of Bedford NH (1784-1865)

Signature of Joseph Emerson Worcester from a letter he wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1826.

The first American dictionary was not created by Noah Webster as many believe, but rather by Samuel Johnson who was born in Guilford CT in 1757. His dictionary was the first to include simpler forms of spelling in use today, with words such as arbor, fervor and program. Edward O’Brien of New Haven published Johnson’s work in 1797.

In 1828 Noah Webster published “An American Dictionary of the English Language,” the same year that Joseph Emerson Worcester edited Todd and Chalmers’ Johnson’s English Dictionary and published “Outlines of Scripture Geography.”  In 1830 Joseph Worcester published “Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language.” Continue reading

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New Hampshire Tidbits: Christmas Tree Trivia

Book: Christmas Evergreens, A collection of Poetry for the Holidays, selected and arranged by W.J. Johnston, 1878

Christmas is big business in New Hampshire, at least when it comes to those popular symbols of the season–Christmas trees. In New Hampshire there are nearly 200 tree farms that cater to providing trees, wreaths and other holiday greenery.

Having a live tree in the home for Christmas was in vogue in New Hampshire by at least 1879 when a Concord NH newspaper reported several Christmas trees on the display at the local churches.  In 1898 the Portsmouth NH newspaper reported great numbers of Christmas trees being transported through that city from Maine, on their way to Boston and other places. Continue reading

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Budweiser History in New Hampshire

Photograph of a Budweiser Clydesdale from the Merrimack NH facility in 2013, exhibited at a Merrimack Police Department event. Copyright Janice W. Brown.

Budweiser beer was a popular drink in New Hampshire even before the Anheuser-Busch Company built a brewery in our state. Only three years after this beer’s introduction, the Boston Daily Advertiser newspaper of 23 August 1879 published an advertisement of the sale of Budweiser lager beer, in pint bottles. They claimed health benefits stating, “Physicians are generally recommending Lager Beer…”

Initially called the E. Anheuser Brewing Association in 1860, by 1879 the company was renamed the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association to honor Adolphus Busch who was the (then) president. Founded in St. Louis, Missouri, the parent company remains there though they have manufacturing facilities elsewhere–one in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Continue reading

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