AND NOTES 2013
Christmas Social December 1st
Epsom Historical Association held its annual
Christmas social at the Epsom Public Library
on December 1st from 2 to 5 pm. Among the
activities was a sing-a-long of traditional
carols. Attendee's were asked to bring a
favorite food to share. The annual event
is always a great way to start the holiday
season by spending time with friends and
neighbors. Door prizes were given away during
the social and won by Sarah Harkness, Phil
Yeaton and Betsy Bosiak. The event was open
to the public. Click here for PHOTOS.
poster for larger view.
Historic McClary Cemetery
the past couple years the historic portions
of the McClary Cemetery has met with increasing
deterioration. These conditions include
primarily toppled and broken stones. The
recent broken stones look like damage perhaps
done by poor mowing. Toppled stones may
have fallen by being bumped, but most due
to results of the elements. Many stones
are being lost to being over run by growing
grass as the rest flat on the ground. Regardless
of the causes, these historic stones in
Epsom's first cemetery have met with neglect
over the years. These gravestones in many
instances are the only source of information
on many of the earliest Epsom settlers and
residents, many honored soldiers of many
wars. Though some stones have been in disrepair
for sometime, the clean breaks on many reveal
very recent damage. VIEW
the gravestones up to 1940 in the cemetery
were photographed in 1998 for preservation.
The transcriptions are available online,
and a book of photos of the gravestones
is available at the Epsom Library. This
resource of the 1998 photos can serve as
tool in identifying those stones which have
more recently have been damaged.
Historical Marker Moved
The roadside historical marker dedicated
to Major Andrew McClary was moved mid-September
(2013) from the closed down rest area on
Route 4 (Dover Road) to the entrance of
the Epsom Public Library at 1606 Dover Road.
The rest area was shut down several years
ago making it difficult for anyone to be
able to read the sign at that location.
The town and the historical association
agreed on the new site. Already, passers
by and library patrons have taken pause
to stop and read the marker.
The original dedication of the historical
marker, made possible by the Historical
Association, was held August 20, 2006. At
the time remarks were given by Harvey Harkness
and Carleton Rand, and the dedication ceremony
was done by the New Hampshire Sons of the
American Revolution and Color Guard. Ed
Nutter laid a wreath followed by a volley
of muskets by the color guard.
Photos of the ceremony can be seen HERE.
to view the commemorative program.
Home Day 2013
Epsom Historical Association participated
in the town's Old Home Day on August 10th
with a booth displaying possible sceanarios
of floor plans for the old meetinghouse.
In addition, note cards, based on drawings
of Dwight Eames were availalbe for purchase.
On display were also 8 books on Epsom History,
available for online purchase. A raffle
was also held for a flower arrangement,
a basket, and a framed Eames print. Nancy
Heath won two of the prizes with Nancy Claris
the third. Historical Association member
Charlie Yeaton was selected the 2013 Citizen
of the year. Click HERE
Book - "Epsom's One Room Schools"
190 years the town of Epsom relied on one
room schools to educate its youth. From
a single school to ten school districts.
The book begins with a narrative of the
early history and development of the various
districts, followed by information on each
individual district. The book includes 120
photos and images of the school houses and
class pictures, virtually all the one room
school pictures from the Historical Associations
archives. One of the largest books produced
for the Epsom Historical Association, it
contains 136 pages of information gleaned
from town and state records, surviving district
records, and reports from annual town reports.
For a preview and ordering, click HERE.
Publication - "Black Hall Road' available
1936, Benjamin Marden Towle, a resident
of Black Hall Road, dictated notes to his
sister Harriet on the houses then standing
on his street. A few additions were made
about 1947 by his grandson Carleton Rand.
These memories have been the basis for a
new Historical Association publication,
"Black Hall Road." The book, available
for individual ordering online at Blurb.com,
is 86 pages of the history of the road based
on deed research, census information and
additional records. It is accompanied by
93 photos and images. Among the images are
old photos of many of the homes, as well
as many of the individuals who inhabited
them. The primary early families are discussed
in some detail, including surnames Wallace,
Towle and Yeaton. "Black Hall Road'
is a welcome addition to the historical
archives of the town of Epsom. For a preview
and ordering, click HERE.
War Diary Scanned
to the generosity of Al Bickford and family,
a civil war diary was loaned to the Epsom
Historical Association to be scanned as
part of the organizations electronic archives.
The diary belonged to Edwin Moses Sherburne
(1840-1916), son of Capt. James M. and Betsey
Chesley (Blake) Sherburne, who lived in
the home currently occupied by the Bickfords.
Edwin belonged to the 6th NH Regiment and
was discharged Nov. 19, 1862 from Echington
Hospital, Washington, DC for defective vision
and hearing. The diary covers the year 1862.
Our thanks to Al for bringing this important
piece of Epsom history to the Historical
Association. The diary will be transcribed
at a later date. View the images HERE.
B. Steele Diary back in Epsom
130 years a diary of Helen B. Steele returned
to Epsom. Written starting January 1, 1881,
the year she turned 21, it contains her
day by day experiences while living in the
McClary house with her family. She was the
daughter of Michael McClary Steele and Catherine
Burden. Four years later she would marry
Dr. Benjamin Barstow.
description accompanied the sale of the
diary, which includes a photo, and is as
lived with her parents, was a talented musician
and taught music and the piano,when she
could get scholars in the area. She was
in love with a man named Palmer, who absolutely
breaks her heart, when he writes to her
that he had found someone else. She waited
for a letter from him for such a long time,
and just couldn't understand why she hadn't
heard from him. I believe he was away studying
to be a teacher. When she finally receives
the letter from him that she had waited
for so long, she is absolutely destroyed
and doesn't know how she can possibly live.
Helen is so very emotional and pours her
heart out in this diary! Her father kept
the whole household on edge, because he
was a chronic alcoholic and drank just about
every night, and sometimes into the next
day.H e usually caused a scene or started
trouble and talked bad to her or her mother,
and often they would leave and spend the
night with her Uncle or someone to get away
from him. Helen is really depressed and
sick a lot of the time, especially for someone
her age. The first entry on Jan.1,1881 kind
of sets the stage for the rest of the diary,..."Today
begins another year. It has been a very
sad day to me. Papa has been drinking and
was like an insane person"...To give
you a better idea of the contents of this
wonderful diary, I will give you a few examples
of her entries..."The long looked for
letter has come and would to God it had
never reached me. I have waited, trusted,
in Palmer's love and this is my reward?
Would rather he had died then lived to make
me suffer as he has and destroy my confidence
in one when I thought could never change.
God help and strengthen me to bear this
burden. I have had many trials but never
like this. My faith in men from this day
can never be what it has been and Palmer,
can it be, has destroyed it .Can I forgive
him for I love him and always shall, though
he has forsaken me."...."It is
cold in my room and I cannot write much
indeed there is nothing to write. Papa was
drunk and kept us all awake last night.
Uncle Henry was down this morning. Read
some and practiced an hour and a half this
evening. I must begin and practice or I
shall loose what little I know. Mama wrote
the words to an old Scotch song for me.
Have not heard from the office but of course
there will be no letter for me."...Oh
dear! What a dreadful day this has been.
Papa has been so drunk that he could hardly
walk and talked so terribly to mama that
she has gone to Uncle Henry's to stay tonight.
It is terribly desolate to have her away.
I hope some time we may be together and
live in peace. Papa is still drinking and
Nathan is here. Had a letter from Helen
B. and from Agnes Spencer. Aunt M. is dreadfully
worried and I feel very nervous but I must
"brace up" for mamas sake."...."Has
been a terrible windy day. I have not felt
very well and papa has been drunk all day.
I bored a hole in the cider barrel and I
hope the old stuff will all run out. Walked
up to Mr.Hall's to cash some cheques for
Aunt M.Went to bed about half past nine.
It was so cold I could not practice."...."Oh
dear! What a dreadful day this has been.
Papa has been drunk and tonight is crazy
and ugly. Oh, that I had Palmer to turn
to as in days gone by. It has always been
such a comfort to me. It is so hard to bear
and feel that he who loved me tenderly a
short time ago cares nothing now. I swept
and cleaned my room. After dinner went coasting
with Phil as the twilight faded away the
moon shine bright and clear showing me all
the places where I have been and enjoyed
so much. I wondered if Palmer were not coasting
too on this lovely night and what young
lady would take my place that so short a
time ago...""My life is nothing
to anyone but mama and it would not be many
years for her."..."Everything
reminds me of the one so dear to me but
who has forsaken me for the charms of another"..."Palmer
came home tonight and came and talked with
me at the office he was just the same as
ever. My heart beat so I could hardly talk.Oh
I love him still. I wish I never had to
see him for it made me feel that I can not
give him up. He seemed just as kind as ever.
He is going away and Annie too."..."I
got home I found papa had gone away. He
has just got home and is half drunk. He
came and knocked on my door and was very
angry when he saw me. Oh how I long for
rest. I tremble so I can hardly write."
diary is being transcribed through the generosity
of Ella Van Camp. The images can be viewed
History.com on Cyndi's List
Cyndi's List is a website that comprises
links to genealogy sites on the world wide
web. Epsom History.com was recently submitted
and accepted to be added to what is probably
the most popular resource on the internet
to find links for beginners and professional
to aid in genealogical research. The site
is divided into various geographical regions,
with Epsom History.com under New Hampshire-Merrimack
County- Socities and Groups. The addition
to the list should drive more traffic to
the site for those wishing to research Epsom
history and genealogy. [view
History Blog Top 5 Nominee at About.com
Epsom History Blog a TOP 5
NOMINEE in an About.com Genealogy Blog Category
Best Library or Archive Blog with a Genealogy
Focus- Click link for additional
information and to vote before March 19
How about that !
History.com unveils new look
History.com debuts its newest incarnation
in appearance, replacing the previous site
which has been used since October of 2009.
Every three of four years the site gets
a facelift, but the content and all the
links remain unchanged. The new look mirrors
the Epsom Library's website, making a stronger
connection between the Epsom Historical
Association and its use of the Epsom Historical
Center, the building interior which is under
the auspices of the library. Thanks to Nancy
Claris, librarian, for approving the design
of the Library's home page. The new home
page, through various links, makes it easier
to access information about the Historical
Center, the Historical Association, and
all the Epsom History.com's content.
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