A New Hampshire April Fool

Over the past 14 years I’ve written several stories about April Fools Day as it relates to New Hampshire and New England.  The custom of playing pranks was most certainly brought to New Hampshire by the first European colonists.

A 1760 almanac made famous by Poor Robin included a poem about April fools:
“It is a thing to be disputed,
Which is the greatest fool reputed,
The man who innocently went
Or he that him designedly sent?”

Around 1900, in addition to performing the usual rude jokes, New Hampshire residents turned the day into a social event, holding April Fool Socials and Parties. These gatherings continued on into at least the 1940s, when they fell into disfavor. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Author, Poet, Educator, Club Woman of Meredith: Eva J. (Beede) Odell (1852-1928)

View of Lake Winnipesaukee

A world of beauty everywhere we go!
The mountains gleaming through the haze
The deep blue sky where fleecy cloudlets sail,
Are imaged in the placid lake below.
Where white in little coves the lilies blow,
The giant pine trees and the floweret frail
Their fragrance on the summer air exhale,
And beautiful the drifts of daisy snow!
The dreamy twilight softly on us steals,
The fire-fly stars come twinkling in the green.
In distant dim, a plaintive voice appeals
To “Whip-poor-Will,” who ever keeps unseen.
The moon comes up, across the lake’s expanse
The fairy beams in golden sandals dance.”
— Winnipesaukee, by Eva Beede Odell Continue reading

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New Hampshire Bank Cashier, Club Woman, Civic Leader: Winifred (Lane) Goss of Pittsfield and Dover

Mrs. WInifred (Lane) Goss. Photo from One Thousand New Hampshire Notables. Colorized by J.W. Brown.

Winifred Lane was born on 30 April 1875 in Pittsfield NH, daughter of Charles Henry and Almira Lovena (Perkins) Lane. She attended the local Pittsfield schools, and graduated from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden New Hampshire. She was one of four  children, with deep roots in the town of Pittsfield.

According to her biography, “she was a member of Congregational Church, Pittsfield, the church of her forebears, whose first clerk was her maternal great-grandfather, Deacon Jonathan Perkins, who also served as deacon from the organization of the church, 1789, till his death, forty years later; her esteemed father was warden and treasurer of this church many years and bequeathed a trust fund whose income is to be used for the repair of the church buildings” Continue reading

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Human and Animal Rights Advocate, Cheshire County NH Deputy Sheriff Jennie Belle (Carter) Powers (1864-1936)

Photo of Mrs. Jennie Powers from a 1917 Boston Post newspaper. Colorized by J.W. Brown.

The Boston Sunday Globe newspaper called her “a fearless woman.”  At her death the National Humane review said of her: “For in all the state there was no one like Jennie Belle Powers. Mrs. Powers was humane agent for the Cheshire County Humane Society. A unique personality, no other woman was better qualified for the duties of an active humane officer. She had an unusual background and an amazing career.”

Despite her tough job you rarely saw criticism of her though she was frequently in the news. She devoted much of her life to insuring that both man (mostly women and children) and beast were protected from cruelty in all its forms.  Her personal life was touched by tragedy as both of her children died as infants. Perhaps it was that sense of loss, that became part of her drive to protect the young and mothers. Continue reading

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Famed Dog Musher, Sled Dog Trainer and Racer: Florence (Murray) Clark (1900-1950):of Lincoln New Hampshire

1932 photograph of Mrs. Florence (Murray) Clark with her lead dog, Clarkso.

Mushing is a sport or transport method powered by dogs. It includes varieties such as carting, pulka, dog scootering, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting and weight pulling. One or more dogs are used to pull a sled on snow or a rig on dry land.

Florence Murray Clark, the subject of this article, became interested in mushing from neighbor Ed Clark who she later married.  In addition to being a wife and mother, her life-long interest and career was entwined with dog sledding and the animals themselves.  There has been much written about this remarkable woman, and in this article I will only cover the highlights and some of her genealogy.  You can find links at the bottom of the page to learn more details of her life. Continue reading

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