New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Tilton

tilton-nh-old-postcard-wwi-b-watermarked

Antique postcard showing welcome banner across Main Street in Tilton, New Hampshire. Postcard reads: “WELCOME” TO RETURNED SOLDIERS, TILTON, N.H. NOV. 11, 1919

On November 11, 1919, the first year anniversary of the Armistice, a photograph was taken of the welcome arch crossing Main Street in Tilton New Hampshire. This would have been located at approximately 276 Main Street, facing west. No doubt like most of the other WWI celebratory arches of the day, it was only left up a short time, usually a few months from November 11th through New Year’s Day. Continue reading

Nashua NH’s Long-Time Merchandiser, Business and Civic Leader, and Choirist: Gertrude May Batchelder (1891-1974)

Gertrude May Batchelder, daughter of Fred L. & Annie (Lampron) Batchelder of Nashua NH. Photograph probably taken in 1910.

Gertrude May Batchelder, daughter of Fred L. & Annie (Lampron) Batchelder of Nashua NH. Photograph probably taken in 1910.

This photograph of Gertrude May Batchelder was probably taken around her high school graduation of 1910 in Nashua NH. She was an only child, born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, attending schools in the Portsmouth NH area, until 1905 when her parents removed to Nashua. Her father was a train engineer for the B&M railroad.

About 1909 she started working for the H.S. Norwell Company of Nashua NH, that was owned and managed by the founder, Harry Slater Norwell. He established the business in 1878. When the H.S. Norwell Company was purchased in 1912 by Sceva Speare, and renamed the Speare Dry Goods Co., Inc., Gertrude Batchelder was kept on the sales staff. The company was housed in the Oddfellows Building on Main Street in Nashua NH.

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The Hammond Family and Their Home in Nashua, New Hampshire

Hammond Home and physician's office on Main Street in Nashua, NH, near the corner of Pearl, circa 1903.

The Hammond home and physician’s office on Main Street in Nashua, NH, near the corner of Pearl, circa 1903.

Usually the photograph of a human face spurs me to write a story, but in this case it was one of an ivy covered building.  The Ebay description hinted that it might be located in Nashua, New Hampshire, for that is where the postcard was mailed from in 1903.  It turns out that this was well worth my attention.  The residence pictured here was the home and physician’s office of two of Nashua, New Hampshire’s well known physicians–Evan B. Hammond, and his son Charles B. Hammond. If one zooms in closely to the small building to the right, the sign reads “Dr. C.B. Hammond.”

Charles B. Hammond not only was one of the founders of Nashua’s first hospital, but also wrote the Medical History of Nashua, section in the  1897 book: “History of Nashua, New Hampshire, by Judge Edward E. Parker. On that account, citizens of Nashua have much to be grateful to him. Continue reading

Nashua NH Composer, Piano Merchant and Civic Leader, William Law “Will” Nutting (1874-1925)

William L. "Will" Nutting

William L. “Will” Nutting

Before it was Darrell’s Music Hall, it was Paine Furniture Music Hall. Before that it was Nutting’s Music Store. And before that it was William L. Nutting Inc.

William Law Nutting was not born, nor did he die, in New Hampshire. But from a lowly piano tuner, he worked his way up until he was one of the leading retail merchants of pianos and “talking machines” in New England. For over twenty years he had a shop and warehouse in Nashua, New Hampshire. After his death, the company continued in his name for several years. Continue reading

The Origin of the New Hampshire Historical Society

Engraving. Portrait of John Farmer (1789-1838). Engraved by T. Moore. script “Cor. Sec’ry N. H. Historical Society”. Below that “From a miniature. painted in 1824.” New Hampshire Historical Society Collection.

Today the New Hampshire Historical Society has a strong presence in the state, and maintains several buildings to house the collections and the library of the society in Concord, New Hampshire.  Even the collectors of history have a history of their own–and that is what I hope to address in this story.

Previous to the formation of the New Hampshire Historical Society in 1823, historical societies had already been instituted in Massachusetts, New York, Maine and Rhode Island.  As early as 1813, John Farmer, Esq., then of Amherst NH, was probably the earliest promoter of a similar society in this state [NH].  At that time he was a contributor to the publications of the Massachusetts Historical Society and in 1820 published in pamphlet form, “An Historical Sketch of Amherst, N.H.Continue reading