New Hampshire Missing Places: Temple’s Ferry in Merrimack

Aerial view of the Merrimack River in Merrimack New Hampshire in the 1930s. Taken by B.H. Webster. Copyright J.W. Brown.

Merrimack, Hillsborough County,  New Hampshire’s early history is complicated.  The area was first the residence of the Abenaki Native Peoples.  Later when Europeans arrived, it was part of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and for several years the town spanned an area on both sides of the Merrimack River. Later the area became part of New Hampshire, and the state and town boundaries changed yet again.

Brenton’s Farm (1655), Dunstable (1673), Naticook (1734-1746), Merrymack (1746), and Merrimack are all names connected with this town. As there has never been a bridge spanning the Merrimack River within the current town boundaries (and there still is not) during the area’s early  history travel necessitated the use of ferry boats to transport people, animals and supplies in all seasons. Continue reading

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New Hampshire’s Martin Luther King Jr & Civil Rights Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1964. Nobel Foundation [Public domain]. Wikimedia Commons

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (I won’t dishonor the man and shorten it to MLK). These next 24 hours honor a great man AND in fact the day honors all those who who have, and do, champion civil rights.

By definition civil rights are those “rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.” Basically this means that as Americans we SHOULD be free from unfair treatment or discrimination. Those sentiments are ideal of course, because we all know that discrimination exists, including in New Hampshire. Continue reading

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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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