New Hampshire Tidbits: Concord’s Bridges Mansion

Photograph of the Bridges House from the National Historic Register.

On Mountain Road at the east side of Concord sits a house that belongs to the State of New Hampshire, called the Bridges House. It was not built by the Bridges family, but was donated by them to be used at the discretion of the acting governor of New Hampshire. Governors are not required to live there, and actually most do not.

Sunday August 25th 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the house (as it pertains to the date it officially belonged to the State of NH as the governor’s mansion).  This special event begins at 1 PM. (It is NOT free to attend as it is a fund-raising event to benefit the building. Tickets are available).  [Also see on FaceBook].

Continue reading

Not New Hampshire: President John Q. Adam’s New Years Day of 1827

Daguerreotype circa 1850 of John Quincy Adams, artists, Albert S. Southworth, Josiah J. Hawes, and Philip Haas. Metropolitan Museum

Daguerreotype circa 1850 of John Quincy Adams, artists, Albert S. Southworth, Josiah J. Hawes, and Philip Haas. Metropolitan Museum

Are you expecting a crowd on New Year’s Day? Is your home the epi-center of your family’s festivities on January 1st?

Be happy that the following did not happen to you.  It did to John Quincy Adams in 1827. Continue reading

New Hampshire Back Stairs: Servants to the Carpenter, Manning, Hoyt, Slayton, Campbell and Jenks Families in 20th Century Manchester

They opened the door to greet visitors. They cooked, served and cleaned up after the daily meals. They tidied the rooms and

Emma (Ryan) Fish and Nellie Ryan in servant's uniforms, circa 1920; Manchester NH

Emma (Ryan) Fish and Nellie Ryan in servant’s uniforms, circa 1920; Manchester NH

changed the bed linens. They washed and ironed the family’s clothing. They provided transportation first in horse driven surreys and later in the earliest automobiles in New Hampshire. They moved quietly,  and spoke in hushed tones. Although essential to the household, they were not family. They were invisible hands that always entered and left by the back door, not the front.    They were maids, cooks, butlers, gardeners, and chauffeurs–hired servants of Manchester’s affluent. Continue reading