[Editors Note: The issue of social security is prevalent in our lives today. But this has always been a concern. In exploring our town's archives, Rich Church has come across information about how people met the needs of being cared for in their later years. In this article (and another to be published in the […]
Nelson History Day Dec. 14, 2013, 11:00 AM Olivia Rodham Library
The Library is sponsoring a presentation of the new 2014 Nelson Calendar with historic photographs of Nelson’s past to excite an interest in the upcoming 250th anniversary of Nelson’s founding which will happen in 2017.
Adding to the history theme, new books about Nelson’s past by local authors Renn Tolman, Terri Upton, and Bruce White and copies of a CD of Tolman Pond life by Karen Tolman will be presented and available for sale.
And a special event will be the unveiling of the painting of Helen Towne by Marie Spaeth that was purchased by contributions from generous town residents.
Please join us for a fun morning with Christmas cookies and cider.
The Olivia Rodham Memorial Library is offering a Book Sale Corner.
Just by the door between the Library and the Town Hall connector you will find a small but select number of books for sale. Paperbacks are on the rack to the right and hardcovers, videos, CDs, and special series on the shelves to the left. For a modest $1/hardcover and $.50/paperback, you can take an item home forever and the Friends of
the Library earn funds to buy new books and support children’s programs. Come on in and check out the selection!
The Nelson Music Collection was first published in 1969, as a “Collection of Authentic Square Dance Melodies. Compiled by Newt Tolman, a flute player from Nelson, and his piano accompanist, Kay Gilbert from Peterborough, it contains 63 tunes that might be heard at one of the local square dances. It became an important resource over the next decade as the face of square dancing evolved (and became more commonly known as contra dancing), and as young musicians aspired to learn the tunes so that they could play for the dances. Eventually it took a back seat to newer collections which offered additional and newly popularized tunes, but serious scholars and musicians remained aware of its existence. Newt and Kay also issued an LP recording of the same name, which featured many of the tunes from the book. It was one of the first commercial recordings of this music. Continue Reading »
The Nelson Trails committee has been busy over two recent weekends, building bridges and improving trails for your walking pleasure. September 21 dawned cool and comfortable: a perfect day to put in a bridge over Bailey Brook in order to begin trail work on the new trail to Kulish Ledges. Dave Birchenough had designed the bridge and pre-cut all the materials, and the crew of Dave Birchenough, Dave Patek, Tom Murray, Rick Church, Maury Collins, and Maury’s friend, Elk, were raring to go. The hardest part of the project was getting the telephone pole stringers in place, but apparently, it went perfectly, with the stringers falling into place like legos. By the time I arrived to do some trail clearing at 2 pm, the stringers were in place and almost completely bolted down.
An hour later, when I returned, the decking was down. The crew was really moving along! In addition to the bridge building team, Al Stoops, Anita and Harry Flanagan, and Linda Cates helped out with trail clearing above the beaver dam and pond. A good day’s work. Two days later, the bridge crew returned to install the railing and the steps. The bridge is complete and offers a beautiful way to safely cross Bailey Brook. Continue Reading »
I have a couple of topics for my report today, Town Building Projects and Property Taxes
Our Town Buildings Committee and Grant Writers have been making good progress in developing designs for our Town Hall restoration work and in acquiring grants to help with its funding. As you may recall the Select Board was charged, by the 2013 Town Meeting, to hire an architect to develop construction drawings and specifications for Town Hall renovations and for the remodeling of the Library basement. These drawings and specifications are to be used to acquire bids for the completion of these two projects. Final designs and costs for completion of these projects will be brought to Town Meeting 2014 for the approval of the Town.
We have received a “Moose Plate Grant” in the amount of $10,000 to be used for the restoration of the windows in the Town Hall. This money must be spent before the end of 2014. However this work should be done only after all necessary jacking or squaring of the building has been completed. No matching funds are required for the use of this grant. In addition, we have applied once again for a New Hampshire LCHIP, (Land and Community Heritage Investment Program), grant for the renovations needed for the Town Hall. This year we have applied for $100,000 from LCHIP. The award of the LCHIP grant does require the local contribution of matching funds. Our thanks go to our Grant Writers, Susan Hansel, Lisa Sieverts, and Bert Wingerson for their great work. Continue Reading »
A Message from the Nelson Town Cemetery Board
Dear Burial Lot Deedholders,
This letter is to remind you that our cemetery Rules and Regulations limit what may be placed on and planted at graves.These rules apply to both the Nelson and Munsonville cemeteries. All holders of cemetery deeds agree to these requirements when they acquire burial lots. These regulations are posted below, and also Nelson Cemetery Rules and Regulations.
Please note the “Monuments and Grave Markers” and “Plantings and Decorations” sections. Wooden, glass, concrete, metal, plaster of Paris and plastic articles, as well as glass containers and artificial flowers and plants, are not allowed on graves. To simplify maintenance, there are also limitations on where shrubs, flowers, vases, urns and potted plants may be placed.
The Cemetery Board “may remove anything placed on any lot in violation of these rules and regulations.” Also, “any object . . . which the Cemetery Board considers offensive, improper or detrimental to the general appearance of the cemetery shall be removed after notification to the lot owner or the heirs.” Continue Reading »
This origami wreath was created by Linda Singer from envelopes. These envelopes were recycled from the town the town archives circular file. The postmark dates are from 1900 and the late 1800′s. All letters were mailed to Nelson. If you are interested in origami classes at the library please email or call 603-847-3214-with a time during library hours that would work for you.
The 2013 Book Sale, on Old Home Day, was one of the most successful ever. The Friends of the Olivia Rodham Memorial Library earned $1383.25 in book sales, collected $756.00 in dues, received $63.00 in donations from local authors whose books they sold, and sold $24.00 worth of book bags. That comes to a grand total of $2226.25 to be given to the library for books, CDs, DVDs, programming and other incidentals such as additional shelving and book racks. The Friends also fund Library World, the automated system that is used for the circulation of library materials. Thank you to everyone who participated as donors, helpers, and buyers. [read more details]
Karen Tolman was going through some old pictures of Nelson this spring and came across this picture of the center of Nelson taken sometime in the late nineteenth century. One notices immediately how densely settled our town center was then. Karen’s eagle eye noticed that our town hall had front steps in those days and that the building looks taller than today. Karen, Bert Wingerson and I have solved some of this puzzle using old photographs, original town records, a very interesting deed and a history of town buildings written by the Reverend Millard Hardy (1850-1939.)
The history of the Nelson Town Hall that stands on Nelson Common today is one of periodic change and renewal. It was built in originally1846 using pieces of the Second Meetinghouse and new material. Once the Congregational Church was finished and ready for use, the Second Meetinghouse on the old common was disassembled. The porches were removed as intact units and moved to their current location on Old Stoddard Road and reassembled as the home of George Whitney. Jack Bradshaw owns “The Porches” today. The forty-five by sixty foot frame was disassembled and substantially reworked to become the present Town Hall. This Town Hall was taller than it is today and had front steps. It has been changed a number of times to accommodate the needs of the Town. Continue Reading »
It’s hard to believe it’s that time again. Starting next weekend we begin a week of festivities – a celebration of our town past and present, the town filled with returning “kids’ and others who have long had ties to this community.
The Sawyer Family’s contract (see the prior article) transferring the family place from father to son in return for lifetime of support was a common arrangement many families found useful. Historians call these “maintenance agreements.” In the Sawyer case it provided a working farm for a son looking to establish his own farm and provided his parents with an assurance that they could live comfortably when they were no longer able to work the farm. The author has read and recorded ten contracts between generations in Packersfield and Nelson covering nine families. These are in the form of deeds recorded at the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds. Undoubtedly many more families made similar but less formal, arrangements. The ten formal contracts we do have, document the change in the daily life of early Nelson as farm families changed from a virtually cashless and self-sufficient lifestyle to one more integrated with others and, indeed, the whole world. World events beyond the world of New England hill farms determined the changes these agreements reflect.
All of the agreements required the provision of housing and a means to stay warm. The Sawyers got their own house; others were provided “comfortable house room” – their own space in the common house. Jacob and Abigail Wheeler, for example, got “the east front room in the house now standing on the farm in which they now live with the privilege of the kitchen, oven and sellar [sic] and chamber [upstairs room] as may suit them.” When Augustus sold that hillside farm and moved to Avery Sprague’s 140 acre farm on the Old Stoddard Road, the Wheelers moved with him. Their new living arrangement gave them the right to the “two north rooms….with the privilege of using the chamber, oven and cellar as may suit them…”
The day-to-day requirements of life reflected in these agreements changed as life on Nelson’s farms changed. Continue Reading »
We will be scanning photos on three different days at the Library:
Monday the 12th from 10 to 1
Wednesday the 14th from 4 to 6
Thursday the 15th from 6-7:30
History Group members will be there to assist.
Do you have old photos of Nelson and Munsonville – people, scenes, events – that you are willing to share? A group of local residents has been meeting informally to start putting together a digital archive of historic photographs of our town. Nelson’s 250th anniversary in 2017 is not far off, and we hope to be able to publish as many photographs as possible online (on the History section of this web site) or (if we stumble upon a pot of gold) in print.
We are asking people to bring their treasured old photographs to the library during Old Home Week, August 10-17, where we will be set up to scan them, write down caption information, and return the originals. We do not want to keep any original photographs. We would be happy to email you a digital file of your photographs. Watch for notices in the Old Home Day issue of the Grapevine II, the Moving in Step calendar, and posters around town for specific times for scanning.
The Nelson History Group usually meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the library. The group is informal and voluntary, and anyone interested in local history is welcome to take part. For more information, call Karen Tolman (827-3226), Don or Barbara Bennett (847-3347), Bert Wingerson (847-9945), or Susan Hansel (847-9918).
[Editors Note: The issue of social security is prevalent in our lives today. But this has always been a concern. In exploring our town's archives, Rich Church has come across information about how people met the needs of being cared for in their later years. In this article (and another to be published in the near future) Rick shows us what solutions were put in place.]
Families moving to a frontier town like Packersfield employed a number of strategies to sustain themselves. They often came with others they knew from their hometowns and settled near one another in their new home. Often those clusters of new arrivals were related. In the second generation they often took steps to keep the farm in the family and provide for their old age. The Sawyer Family who settled in the northeast corner of Packersfield did all of these things. Continue Reading »
As I reported on 4/20, your Select Board has been working with Rick Lothrop to develop job descriptions for three leadership positions for our Fire Department; Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief for Operations and Deputy Fire Chief for Administration. During this process we have also consulted with Chief Dennis Rosolen of the NH Bureau of Firefighter Training and Certification and Mr. Ron O’Keefe our Safety Advisor for our liability insurance carrier at the Local Government Center and former Fire Chief for the Town of Durham, NH. All three of these gentlemen concur with the duties and required qualifications described in these job descriptions [download]. The Select Board approved these job descriptions on June 5th and has reopened the application period for these positions for those members of the Nelson Fire Department who wish to apply. The application period will remain open until the positions are filled, or until the Select Board becomes convinced that all members of the Nelson Fire Department who wish to apply have done so. Continue Reading »
The Nelson Congregational Church and the Nelson Agricultural Commission are proud to announce the return of the Sunday Farm Table on the church lawn starting on Sunday June 16 continuing on Sundays through the local growing season to September 15 from 9am-3:30pm. Available local produce, foods, even flowers will be at table on the grass strip to the right side of the church. The commission and local farmers and anyone with produce to give are encouraged to share their abundance. The Farm Table project was envisioned as farmers had an abundance of produce and our communities have many mouths to feed.
The church and commission will rotate shared responsibility for setup and cleanup. Anyone wishing to help is welcome to sign up. Call David Voymas (Ag .Com. chair for more information, ideas and questions ) at 847-3137.
The Farm Table will be set and a donation box on the table will be available. All are welcome at the Farm Table. Proceeds will help fund local missions and needs.
This photograph was recently discovered. It shows our Town Hall, but close scrutiny reveals that it is up a half-story from its present height (see the stairs leading to the door). Stay tuned for more information about this: when was the photo taken, when did the hall get “lowered” , etc. Click on the image for an enlarged view.
[from the Keene Sentinel, June 1, 2013 - by Susan Reing Sentinel Staff]
Richard P. Church regularly entertains royalty at his quiet home at the end of a dirt dead-end road.
Although it might be more accurate to say it’s the royalty that entertains him.
Church, 69, was expecting a phone call from the post office on a recent afternoon, waiting to hear whether another royal visitor had arrived. Specifically, a queen. A queen bee.
Church is a longtime beekeeper, and currently has seven hives with approximately 350,000 bees at his Nelson home that he tends to on a regular basis. And bees need queens. They can easily anoint one of their own, but Church likes to have new blood. So he continues to seek out queen bees that are fertile, weather- and disease-resistant, that will add to the genetic diversity of the microcosmic communities that are hives.
He got interested in bees in the ‘70s when a fellow worker at Markem Corp. introduced him to the hobby. He joked that he spent the first five years trying to convince his wife that she wouldn’t be stung to death. [read the rest of this article on the Keene Sentinel web site]
Friends of the Olivia Rodham Library Book Sale
We are once again gearing up for the Annual Book Sale held on Old Home Day, Saturday, August 17th at the Town Hall. Sorting is beginning June 6th at 9 a.m. in the Library basement, and the project will continue on subsequent Tuesday and Thursday mornings. All are welcome to help us sort. The Friends are still accepting donations of books, DVDs, CDs and videos. Items may be dropped off at the library during open hours. The money generated from the sale goes directly to the Library for books, programming and gift certificates for the Summer Reading Program. The Friends provide additional support for computers and other needs the Library has for equipment.
Note: Please do not donate textbooks, manuals for out-of- date computers, old encyclopedias, or books in really bad shape – they are not able to be sold.
For many years Carol Heath led our sorting process with Betsey Church. As soon as her duties were over at school, Carol was on the job organizing and directing anyone who showed up to lend a hand. She stayed with us and supervised the transporting of the books to the Town Hall Wednesday night, the arrangement of the tables, the labeling, and was present during the Friday night preview for the town residents and then all day for the actual sale. In short, Carol was our rock and our leader. She was also our Secretary, keeping meticulous notes for our records. Carol’s mother Celia Wiechert, was a Library Trustee and encouraged Carol to help with the Book Sale back in the 1990’s. Carol took her job seriously. We are so very grateful for all her help all these years. ~ The Friends of the Library
DIG INTO READING!
During this year’s Summer Reading Program, the Nelson Library will be digging into the exciting world that lies beneath our feet! Kids are invited to join the underground expedition at our weekly programs on Wednesdays at 4pm for an hour of crafts, games, stories, and adventure!
Wednesday, July 10th – Rock and Read
The library will be rocking out this week as we kick off our summer reading program! Come join the rock-related fun and hear about all the cool prizes and activities available at the library throughout the summer. Come join the rock-related fun and hear about all the cool prizes and activities available at the library throughout the summer.