Chesterfield Historical Society Newsletter
CHESTERFIELD MYSTERY QUILT
An article in the New Hampshire Sunday News on August 8, 2010 about a New York City gallery that specializes in antique quilts asking for anyone having information about a New Hampshire quilt to contact the gallery’s owner, Laura Fisher, captured the attention of Spofford resident Jane Allen. Allen contacted the Chesterfield Historical Society to follow up on this request.
Ms. Fisher obtained the quilt with 49 caricatures and some surnames she thought may have originated from the Monadnock region. One square is dated December 1903 while another square is inscribed with the words “For Gustus”, leading Ms. Fisher to wonder if that square referred to the famous sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens who lived in Cornish and died in 1907. However, it has since been determined that “For Gustus” does not refer to Saint Gaudens.
Audrey Ericson and Neil Jenness have been in contact with Ms. Fisher about the origins of the quilt. Names on the quilt that could be recognized as Chesterfield residents in 1903 were: Larkin D (Farr), “She is worth a year’s crop of hay, Gustus.”, Harry Winn, Mary Cobleigh, “David Will of Streeter Hill”, Burton J. (Johnson), Augusta Cobleigh, Randall, Harold E. and Bart (Chester Burnham nicknamed Bart).
Ms. Fisher has sent several enlargements of the ink drawings on the quilt to the Historical Society and Audrey has been working to identify as many Chesterfield residents as possible. The Historical Society is still in contact with Ms. Fisher and are eagerly anticipating getting even more information about the quilt.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2011 CALENDAR
The 2011 Historical Calendar is in the process of being printed. Each month features some wonderful old photographs depicting the “good old days” in this area of New Hampshire. Make sure you get your calendar early. The calendar will be available by the Historical Society’s Annual Meeting at the modest cost of $12.00.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING
The Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will be held in Town Hall on Wednesday, October 20 at 6:30 P.M. Everyone is invited! If you plan to attend, please bring a covered dish to share and an item for the drawing (examples: jar of jelly, something from your garden).
OLD ARCH BRIDGE DEDICATION
On Sunday, September 12 the Chesterfield Arch Bridge Society held a ceremony dedicating the old Arch Bridge spanning the Connecticut River between Brattleboro, VT and West Chesterfield, NH to Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone who was born in Chesterfield. Governor Lynch designated it the Justice Harlan Fiske Stone Bridge last year. This bridge, built in 1937, is now being used for pedestrian and bicycle traffic only, since the new Seabees Bridge opened in 2003.
Chief Justice’s grandson, Harlan Fiske Stone, II gave the keynote speech at the dedication and unveiled the plaque featuring a likeness of his grandfather. Several members of the Stone family came from all parts of the country to be present for this event. State Representative Tim Butterworth was the Master of Ceremonies and the Brattleboro American Legion Post 5 Band played several patriotic songs throughout the dedication which was attended by over 100 people.
The dedication ceremony was huge success due to the dedication and hard work of the Arch Bridge Society’s volunteer community members. The Society welcomes new volunteers to join in their efforts to beautify and preserve this historic bridge. For more information call 256-6350 or attend the next meeting on Monday, October 25 - 7 P.M. at the Riverside Hotel in West Chesterfield (next to the bridge).
GIFTS FROM THE HARLAN FISKE STONE FAMILY
After the Old Arch Bridge dedication, Harlan Fiske Stone, II visited the Historical Society and donated several Stone family items relating to Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone. These items included: an original watercolor painting by Agnes Harvey Stone (the Justice’s wife and a Chesterfield native), a photograph of Justice Stone rowing a boat wearing a coat and tie at the Isle au Haut in Maine, a large reproduction of the Harlan Fiske Stone stamp on felt, a photograph of the entire Supreme Court during the years when Chief Justice Stone served (1941-46) with signatures of the entire court as well as many family photographs. These items are a wonderful addition to our collection of information about Chief Justice Stone. We appreciate the generosity of the Stone family.
VOLUNTEERS ALWAYS WELCOME
The Historical Society is fortunate to have several volunteers who work on various projects through the year. Our newest volunteer is Becky Brackett ,who is cataloging the H F Stone Collection. If you would like to volunteer either Thursday morning or Sunday afternoon, please call Audrey at 363-8856 or Neil at 363-8018. Chesterfield Historical Society hours are: Thursday mornings 9:30 A.M. – 12 noon and Sunday afternoons from 2 – 4 P.M.
CHESTERFIELD’S 250th ANNIVERSARY
2011 will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the settling of Chesterfield (1761-2011). We need volunteers to help organize a celebration of the town as well as suggestions of special events that could be held. We will hold a “brainstorming” meeting on Tuesday, October 26 at 7:00pm at the Town Hall. Please attend the meeting or contact Neil Jenness (363-8018) or Audrey Ericson (363-8856) with your ideas.
Sending newsletters via the post office is expensive. If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter or would be happy to receive it via email, please contact us by email at ChesterfieldNHHistoricalSociety@gmail.com or regular mail @ PO Box 204, Chesterfield, NH 03443. Thank you.