New Hampshire Missing Places: Mansion House in Merrimack

Photograph: front view of Mansion House, Merrimack NH circa 1970. Courtesy of Virginia Penrod. Used with permission. Colorized.

A building is more than a structure or a location–it is also a repository of stories about the people and events connected with it. My cousin, Ginny Penrod, had an opportunity to photograph the so-called “Mansion House” of Merrimack NH before it was demolished, which she shared with me.

We talked about some of the stories connected with it, and she was curious about which stories and rumors were true. Were there lost loves involved?  Did the place have a notorious reputation? (The answer to both those questions appear to be no). She shared with me some photographs she’d taken of both the interior and exterior in the days when she was working as a real estate salesperson. The house was nothing like you would find anywhere else in town.  Even the attic floors were made of cedar, she mused. I admit, I was intrigued too. Continue reading

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Five Ways Genealogists Survive a Pandemic Thanksgiving

Photograph of a “rafter” or flock of New Hampshire turkeys, copyright Tina Penrod- Bates. Used with permission.

Genealogists (family history researchers) are a different breed. They live and breathe for the next tidbit of information that others find trivial. They sigh and gush over dusty documents and faded photographs. They love a good story, especially if the family has been trying to hide something.

Holidays are seen in an entirely different context by these data and scrapbook collecting folks. And so it is not a surprise that they might celebrate Thanksgiving slightly differently. We should all take lessons. Continue reading

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One Hundred Years Ago: The Art of Driving a Motorcycle

B.H. Webster with his Indian motorcycle, “Old Reliable” circa 1930. Photo property of the blog editor.  Colorized.

Even before World War I the motorcycle was used by both sides during the Mexican War. General Pershing was a big fan of the vehicle, and they soon became a substitute for horses during WWI. The Indian and the Harley Davidson brands were the most popular.

My father (who was born only a few years before WWI began) was an Indian motorcycle aficionado, and called his model “Old Reliable.”  He died on 7 November 1981, and this article is dedicated to him, for I know he would have laughed aloud at the story that now follows. Continue reading

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New Hampshire’s Plethora of Pinnacles

Sketch of a New Hampshire prominence from The mountains of New Hampshire;, 1949. Internet Archive

Pinnacles appear to be very popular in New Hampshire. A pinnacle is defined as a high, pointed piece of rock or lofty peak. There are several such places but how do they differ from mountains or hills? They generally seem to have extremely rocky summits, and are often not tall enough to be deemed a mountain.

[Editor’s Note:  Most geologists classify a mountain as a land form that rises at least 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) or more above its surrounding area. But this is not a sure and hard rule, and it differs in other countries.] Continue reading

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Veterans Day 2020

This year, due to the COVID epidemic, many gatherings and parades will not be happening (at least I hope that people have the correct mindset to not create events that will spread this deadly flu).  In the past I’ve written several articles about the history of Veterans Day.

To all veterans who read this story, THANK YOU for your service. 

New Hampshire in WWI: ARMISTICE

New Hampshire Veterans Day and Its Heroes

Ten Essential Tasks for U.S. Genealogists on Veterans Day


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