New Hampshire WWI Military: Private Joseph H. Roberge of Manchester NH – Distinguished Service Cross Recipient (1889-1918)

roberge-herman-photograph-2-watermarkedJoseph Herman Roberge was born 8 November 1889 in Tingwick, Arthabaska, Canada, the son of Pierre & Rosalie (Cantin) Roberge. In 1891 they lived in Thetford Mines, Les Appalaches, Quebec, [listed as “Ermerz”] with older siblings Zephire, Wilfred, Joseph, Alfred, Angelina, and Ermidas. In 1901 he and his family were living in Windsor Mills, Richmond & Wolfe District of Quebec Canada In that year his siblings included Wilfred, Alfred, Angelina, Cermidas/Ermidas, Louis, Marie, Arthur and Joseph.

Pierre Roberge’s U.S. Border Crossing documents in 1924 indicate that he lived in Manchester NH from 1914 to 1917, and this is probably when Joseph H. accompanied his family to the city. In 1924 Armond, Joseph H.’s brother was living at 15 Notre Dame Avenue, Joseph’s former residence. Continue reading

Penacook New Hampshire’s Acclaimed Modernist Artist: Omer Thomas Lassonde (1903-1980)

Self portrait of Omer Lassonde. Photograph copyright Boscawen Historical Society. Used here with their permission.

Self portrait of Omer Lassonde. Photograph copyright Boscawen Historical Society. Used here with their permission.

Omer Thomas Lassonde was a talented artist who could paint in any style–realism, cubism, expressionism and abstractism. The categories he painted varied as greatly as his style, and included landscape, still-life, genre, figure painting, and portraiture. “He was a colorist,” his wife, Louisa, said in a 1987 interview. “He used pure, rich colors. He wasn’t afraid of colors. He really wasn’t afraid of anything.” [The Telegraph, Nashua NH, Oct 4, 1987]

Omer was a prolific painter, creating over 2,000 canvasses during his career. His more well-known scenes include New Hampshire, California, Florida, Europe, Samoa and Africa. As one critic stated (1934) “He tries his hand at various idioms and styles and then discards them with equal rapidity to venture in new fields.” [Boston Herald, Boston MA, 7 January 1934] Continue reading

Raymond New Hampshire Businesswoman, Teacher, First Woman Legislative Committee Chairman: Emma Louise (Tucker) Bartlett (1859-1933)

Mrs. Emma L. Bartlett (1859-1933) one of the early women legislators of NH and the first chairperson.

Mrs. Emma L. Bartlett (1859-1933) one of the early women legislators of NH and the first chairperson.

Emma Louise (Tucker) Bartlett, according to NH legislative historian Leon Anderson‘s 1971 booklet, New Hampshire Women Legislators, was “of Raymond, 63-year-old operator of an insurance business and mother of four [and a Democrat]” was one of the three women in the 1923 New Hampshire Legislature.

He adds that she was a “one-time teacher and Deerfield native, [who] became the first woman committee chairman. She headed the House Public Health Committee along with membership on the Forestry Committee.”

Mrs. Emma Bartlett was elected in what I call the “second wave” of women legislators of the General Court of New Hampshire in 1923. In the “first wave,” Dr. Mary L.R. Farnum, and Miss Jessie Doe had been elected the first women lawmakers in the State of New Hampshire. In 1923 Emma Bartlett, along with Mrs. Gertrude (Moran) Caldwell and Mrs. Effie Earll Yantis were elected. Continue reading

Manchester New Hampshire Shoemaker, Mechanic, Harley Motorcycle Dealer, Motorcycle Club Founder: Joseph Exilia Forest (1880-1929)

Photograph of George Forest sitting on a "Pete Forest Roamers" marked motorcycle. Taken Jul;y 1935 by Berwin H. Webster. Photograph copyright Janice W. Brown (watermarked).

Photograph of George Forest sitting on a “Forest’s Roamers” marked motorcycle. Possibly that is George’s mother, Martha Forest in the white dress. Taken and dated July 1935 by Berwin H. Webster (the author’s father). Photograph copyright Janice W. Brown. All Rights Reserved. (watermarked).

This year (2015) is the 100th Anniversary of the Manchester (NH) Motorcycle Club. Though this club officially lists its birthday as 1915, it’s technically 19 years older, as it began as a bicycle club in 1896 created by Joseph E. Forest. They are planning their 100th Anniversary Party on July 18,  2015.

According to the club’s official history, “Mr. Forest branched his bicycle dealership to Manchester’s first Harley Davidson Dealership in 1914. In 1915 he formed the “Forest Riders” [Editor’s note: this should actually say “Forest’s Roamers,” see photograph above] which was also chartered with the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) at that time. As the club evolved over the years, the name was changed to the “Manchester Motorcycle Club”, which was incorporated in 1943.”  Continue reading