Chesterfield NH Historical Society
Chesterfield NH Historical Society


Chesterfield Historical Society Newsletter

Number 26                                                                                                                        Fall 2009





You are invited to join us for old-fashioned fun at our Harvest Pot Luck Supper.  Meet old friends and make new ones.  We still have a few of our very popular Spofford Lake books by Marty Potter available for sale.  Please bring a dish to share and an item(s) for our raffle.  This can be something you made (jelly, bread, etc.).  Come and help us celebrate, we always have a lot of fun.




The Historical Society’s calendar will be available for sale at our annual meeting.  As usual the calendar will feature interesting photographs from our files, as well as dates of all upcoming town meetings and the phone numbers of all town offices.  Our calendars are an interesting look back into our community’s past.  Income from the sale of these calendars helps us to continue to make the history of Chesterfield available to the public.




Several  local citizens interested in the preservation and beautification of the old arch bridge which spans the Connecticut River between Brattleboro, VT and West Chesterfield, NH have recently formed the Arch Bridge Preservation and Beautification Society.  The goal of this committee is to get the bridge on the State and National Historical Registers as well as on the Seven to Save list.  While these goals are in the process of being realized, the Society has been busy planting flowers in six large tubs located at both ends of the bridge.  Home-made wooded birdhouses have also been placed next to the tubs of flowers.  Many generous business and individuals have contributed their time and resources to this project.


This bridge received an award for being the most beautiful steel bridge in 1937.  Most recently the bridge has been officially named for Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone who was from Chesterfield.  If you are interested in participating in this exciting project, please call Deb Hogancamp (363-9999) or Lorraine Scrivani (256-6350).  Meetings of the Society are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 P.M. at the Riverside Hotel.




The following poem was written by Ed Ogilvie, Jr. in 1938 and has been read at local Grange meetings:


                        There’s nothin’ like an evenin’ in the old New Hampshire hills,

                        When you hear the frogs and crickets and the songs of whip-poor-wills

                        And off on some far hillside you may see a lonely light

                        Which may soon be joined by others as the dusk gives way to night.


                        It’s a mighty peaceful feelin’ just to sit and meditate

                        As one by one the stars come out, tiny, yet sedate

                        You think of all you did that day, at supper you felt tired,

                        But now you feel quite rested and perhaps a mite inspired.


                        You can always smell the pine trees, hear them whisper in the breeze

                        They’re things you never tire of as you sit here at your ease,

                        And that brook that runs down yonder makes you wish you were a kid

                        For that swimmin’ hole looks awful small, smaller than it did.


                        When the gang would go a runnin’ down, duck the last one in,

                        Then you’d go home and get a lickin’ for not tellin’ where you’d been;

                        But you didn’t mind it very much for you’d had a lot of fun,

                        A whole lot more than if your folks had known just what you’d done.

                        Yes, they’re the things you think about as you watch the night unfold,

                        But they don’t make you feel a bit as though you’re gettin’ old;

                        They’re just some things you did about a day or so ago.

                        And you’d do ‘em all tomorrow but you move a little slow.


                        And now before you know it the time has come for bed,

                        For there’s cows to milk next morin’ and calves that must be fed;

                        But you’re looking forward to it with a feelin’ of delight,

                        As the evenin’ in New Hampshire again turns into night.





The Roundtable of the Cheshire County Historical Societies is planning an exhibit on county schools at the Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene. It should be open on November 20th and will include research and photos we have compiled on our Chesterfield schools.  Facts about our schools have compiled from old town reports (1866-1951).  For instance, did you know there were 15 schools in Chesterfield in the 1800s?  Make time in your busy schedules to enjoy this interesting exhibit.


A map detailing the locations of these old schools can be seen at the Chesterfield Historical Society.  Stop in and take a look.




We were saddened by the loss of our “village potter”, Fred Rawlings on June 18th.  Fred was a long-time member of the Chesterfield Historical Society and will be missed by everyone who knew him and appreciated his artistic talents.  A sampling of his work is currently on display at the Chesterfield Library.





We have an industrious crew of volunteers who work on various Historical Society projects on Thursday mornings.  Neil Jenness, Audrey Ericson, Mary Maxwell, Marty Potter, Peg Fegley and Lorraine Scrivani can be found updating files and compiling facts for future use at the Society. THE CHESTERFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOURS ARE:  Sundays  2 – 4 P.M., Thursdays 9:30 A.M. – 12 noon.  If you could help during any of the above hours, please come in and let us know.  We’d love to have you are part of our volunteer team.




The selectmen have brought to our attention that 2011 will be the 250th Anniversary of the settling of the Town of Chesterfield.  Moses Smith and his family travelled up the Connecticut River in November of 1761 to settle on what is now the River Road in West Chesterfield.  His daughter and son-in-law, Mary and William Thomas, settled at the end of the present Ferry Road.  If anyone has any ideas for what could be a yearlong celebration of our town, or would like to volunteer to serve on a committee to develop those ideas, please contact us.




The society joined with the Grange and library to host a very successful food preservation workshop in September. We shared our knowledge and all learned a great deal- and came away with a jar of pickles that we had packed!  Watch for further joint programs to help us all get “back to basics”.   Our growing historical society library holds several books on old ways- farming, building, and tools among them.  These are available to borrow.

Chesterfield Historical Society Fall 2009 Newsletter
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