One of Chesterfield’s outstanding citizens, Morris Friedsam owned an estate “Edgewater” on Spofford Lake, other extensive Chesterfield real estate covering about 1,000 acres, and numerous buildings, including the Stone House Tavern. Mr. Friedsam came from Brooklyn, NY where he established the Taylor-Friedsam Company, a very successful silk and ribbon manufacturing business. His love for the Monadnock area of New Hampshire had him become a legal resident of Chesterfield in 1917. But, he continued to split his time between New York City and NH and belonged to many organizations and clubs in both states.
His philanthropic nature greatly benefited his adopted State, hometown and surrounding area. He was a moving force behind the first bus service from Brattleboro, VT to Keene. He donated the money for the construction and consequential enlargement of the Chesterfield Library (now the Historical Society Building). He was a benefactor to the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Vermont and numerous other charitable organizations. He was President of his family’s Friedsam Foundation, which was established by his uncle Col. Michael Friedsam. Many organizations and individuals benefited from the Foundation’s grants.
Although an ardent Republican in local and State politics, he was a firm believer in, and a backer of President Roosevelt. He served on the Republican State Committee and was appointed by Gov. Francis P. Murphy to the State Department of Public Welfare.
Morris Friedsam married Sallie Schuster, daughter of an old and well known NY family in 1901. Together they were ardent hobbyists and collectors of fine antiques. Their Edgewater estate contained an extensive farm, a large toboggan run and very tall, radio tower so Morris could hear his favorite baseball games. At the time of his death, under the auspices of the Cheshire County Fish & Game Club and New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission, they were raising ring-necked pheasants for release during the hunting season. They loved raising dogs and spending time with their two nieces. They also enjoyed cruising Lake Spofford in a variety of fast Chris-Craft boats.
After Morris death, Sallie continued to bestow generous donations, especially in land, to the Town of Chesterfield. The land for The Friedsam Town Forest and Friedsam Cemetery are just two examples. Both Sallie and Morris are buried in Brooklyn, NY.