Chesterfield Historical Society Newsletter
OUR ANNUAL MEETING
The Chesterfield Historical Society will hold its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30 P.M. in Town Hall. Everyone is invited to take part in this enjoyable meal and fellowship. Please bring a dish to share and something for the harvest swap (a small item such as a jar of jam would be appreciated).
A TRIBUTE TO MARY MAXWELL
Mary Maxwell, our friend and longtime volunteer at the Historical Society, died this past summer. Mary was born in Jamaica, NY on March 12, 1929. She resided in Vermont and New York and summered in West Chesterfield from 1959 to 1978.
She graduated from Burr & Burton Seminary in Vermont from Simmons College, Stetson University and attended NYU. She taught English in the Sanford, Florida school district for several years, retiring in 1978 after which she moved to West Chesterfield year round. In 1990 she moved to Chesterfield Center Village. Mary was a member of the 1st Universalist Church in West Chesterfield. Her volunteer activities included the Samaritans Hot Line, Meals on Wheels, Chesterfield Library, Chesterfield School Committee and many years as a volunteer in the Chesterfield Historical Society.
Mary was a good friend as well as a dedicated volunteer at the Historical Society. She will be greatly missed.
WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
A photo album of the golf course at the Stone Huse from the early 1900s was loaned to the Historical Society by Jane Kingsbury Seamans. We will be photocopying the album and keeping the copy at the Historical Society. We greatly appreciate the loan of this interesting information.
We’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful donation of drawings by Walter (Winky) Wall. Winky’s drawings are primarily of Chesterfield and Westmoreland farms and are a fine addition to our collection.
We have also received a sign from the Winn family which states “Lake Shore Lots for Sale” Harry E. Winn, General Contractor. Harry was Gary Winn’s grandfather. We appreciate all these generous donations.
After a 10 year absence, the Hildreth family held their family reunion in Chesterfield Town Hall on Thursday, September 20th. Four Hildreth brothers were among Chesterfield’s earliest settlers. 63 Hildreth’s are buried in Chesterfield cemeteries. The Historical Society served lunch to those gathered for the reunion after which Neil Jenness led a bus tour of Factory Village (Spofford Village). We were happy to once again host the relatives of one of Chesterfield’s founding families.
AUTHORS WRITE ABOUT LOCAL AREA
Cliff Korradi whose family owned “The Maples,” a 57 acre homestead in Spofford has written a book entitled SUMMER PEOPLE; HOW NUDISTS, BOOZERS AND ONE HEADLESS TURKEY INFLUENCED A BOY’S LIFE. Cliff relates many humorous incidents from his childhood growing up in the 40s and 50s when his parents took in borders. One humorous incident was when the Colonial Theater announced on its marquee: Coming soon, “The Moon is Blue” – banned in Boston but not in Keene!” When the ticket lady asked Cliff and his friend Johnny Orr, “Are you 18?” Johnny said, “Almost,” but eight years short didn’t pass. Cliff told Johnny, “It must have something like Marilyn Monroe in 3-D in it.”
Kevin Marlow, Editor of the Congress of Southern Publishers says “The wackiest title of the year is also one of the funniest reads of the year…don’t miss this one!” Anyone interested in obtaining the book may order a copy from www.SummerPeopleTheBook.com.
Eric Stanway has written a book entitled MADAME SHERRI. Madame Sherri was a colorful woman who built a “castle” on a 437 acre estate in Chesterfield in 1931. She became a local character by throwing lavish parties while wearing outlandish costumes. She had a following of beautiful young men women who were often seen riding with her in her luxurious motor car. While Madame Sherri entertained in her “castle” she lived across the road in an unpretentious farmhouse. Her famous castle burned in 1962, but parts still remain and its site is a popular picnic place for local residents. Stanway’s book is available in Toadstool Bookstore in Keene.
HISTORIES OF CHESTERFIELD
A concise history of OLDE TOWNSHIP # ONE, CHESTERFIELD, NH – a brief historical sketch is now available at the Chesterfield Historical Society for $1.00. Randall’s (1880) History of Chesterfield is also available on tape for $10.00 at the Historical Society and Chesterfield Library.
SPOFFORD LAKE BOOKS by Martha Dodd Potter are still available for the price of $35.00 at both the Historical Society and Chesterfield Library.
CHESTERFIELD ARCH BRIDGE SOCIETY NEWS
The new flower box built by a Keene State College student has been installed and planted with flowers and it looks lovely. It is quite high and very visible even as you drive by on the new bridge. Unfortunately some vandals have taken five containers filled with flowers off the bridge. This act of vandalism has been reported to the Chesterfield Police Department. Anyone with any information regarding this incident should contact the police department. Although the Committee is disappointed that some vandals have tried to destroy their attempts to beautify the bridge, they will continue in their efforts to make the bridge an attractive place for pedestrians to use and enjoy.
The Bridge Society is planning a children’s event on the bridge in late October in celebration of Halloween. Watch your local newspapers for announcements of future events to be held on the bridge. The Society greatly appreciates the support of Chesterfield and Keene merchants who donated flowers, the Chesterfield and Spofford Fire Departments who filled our water tanks and the public who have attended our events.
A CARL REINER & ABE JACOBSON STORY
Betty Harris shared this story from her book on tape MY ANECDOTAL LIFE by Carl Reiner.
Being interviewed for the position of emcee of the Lake Spofford Hotel nightclub one summer, he tells the following story:
Carl was going all out with his jokes to impress Abe and was certain he’d be turned down as Abe never cracked a smile. When Abe handed him a contract, Carl was dumbfounded and told Abe he was surprised since Abe hadn’t appeared to like his jokes. Abe replied: “When I’m doing business I only laugh on the inside.”
HARLAN FISKE STONE DESCRIBES CHESTERFIELD
From: Harlan Fiske Stone: Pillar of the Law by A.T. Mason: “Chesterfield was, as it still is,” he wrote, “like many another New England hill town, except that its natural beauty is rather more wild and rugged than that of the gentler slopes and quieter valleys which lie farther to the south…In summer its pastured hillsides are dotted with grazing cattle. One hears along its wooded slopes the tinkling of cowbells mingled with the music of crystal brooks running swiftly to the valleys below. Remote from cities and from the turmoil of business and the great currents of commerce, its life is simple, natural and untroubled…Its granite-bound hills are eternally clad in verdure. Even when wrapped in the snows of winter the tall pines, the verdant hemlocks and spruce, clothe its heights with a beauty which enters into the soul of the true New Englander and becomes a permanent part of his being.”
Harlan Fiske Stone’s ancestors on both sides, like uncounted other frontier pioneers, through frugality, hard work, and self-denial, wrung a sufficient livelihood from the reluctant New Hampshire soil. He was a genuine New England product.