Chesterfield Historical Society Newsletter
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY?
A concise history of Chesterfield is currently being compiled so that someone interested in this subject will be able to get an abbreviated version of our town’s history. A history of the Chesterfield Town Hall is also being documented. Items of period clothing are being cataloged by style, period and donor, then stored. These are just a few of the many projects the Historical Society is currently working to complete.
OUR HOURS ARE: THURSDAYS 9:30 A.M.. – 12 NOON AND SUNDAYS 2-4 P.M.
You are invited to attend the Chesterfield Historical Society’s celebration of Spring tea on Sunday, April 22 from 2 – 4 P.M. at Town Hall. The Historical Society will be open for your browsing pleasure. Come, share some tea and light refreshments and check out your historical society. We have some fascinating displays. Why not consider joining? We’d love to have you as a member. (Please see our membership application on the back page of this newsletter.)
A CELEBRITY VISITED CHESTERFIELD
Pam Walton recalled hearing a story from Cliff Emery of Tennessee Ernie Ford and his wife Betty playing golf at the Lake Spofford Hotel Golf Course in 1956 and contacted Stuart Guyette, now living in San Diego, CA for the story. He sent us a wonderful account of that event.
Stuart wrote that he was a caddy in August of 1956 when the Fords , having become lost on their way to Maine for a vacation, stayed at the hotel overnight. The Jacobsons invited the Fords to play golf with them. Quite a party of folks arrived at the golf course the next day. Calvin MacCracken, 16, caddied for Mr. Ford and Stuart for Mrs. Ford. There were no golf carts at that time so Ford was allowed to drive his fancy car (he was driving a 1957 Ford Skyliner convertible – not yet released to the public) to the top of the hill from #2 tee box – 400 yds. up the hill. He left the car there to continue the round.
Later back at the pro shop while signing autographs and visiting, Ford remembered his car and tossed the keys to Calvin and told him to go get his car. Calvin had a three foot wide smile on his face as he drove that brand new vehicle down the hill.
PRESIDENT FORD’S VISITED CHESTERFIELD
A small group of Ford supporters from Chesterfield were invited to meet with President Ford when he ran for office. The President spoke with the small gathering and Jane Allen gave him a Chesterfield button. Later when the President met with a large group of local dignitaries, Bill Allen, Jane’s husband spotted the Chesterfield button and said “I guess my wife got to him.” Jane also met Betty Ford at that time.
CALENDARS FOR SALE
Our beautiful 2012 Historical Society calendars are still for sale. Stop by the Historical Society or the Chesterfield Library and pick one up. Some of the photos featured are: on the cover, the opening of the first suspension bridge across the Ct. river in 1889; a photo of the Old Stone House; an early view from the south and back of the Prospect House (1890) showing Spofford Lake and island. The calendars can be had for the bargain price of $10.00. You will want to keep these mementos of an age gone by in Chesterfield.
A STORY I RECALL
This is story taken from a book entitled I RECALL by Jim Hall, an Auctioneer from Keene.
Mary and John were looking over the bill from the general store when Mary noticed an item that she did not understand.
“This says here ‘one pound of tea forty-five cents’ and right below it says ‘one pound of ditto forty-five cents,’” said Mary. Thinking aloud she went on, “We’ve never had any ditto. I don’t even know how to cook ditto. I think this storekeeper is adding to our bill, trying to cheat us. Thinks we won’t notice; well, we’ll show him. John,” she said sternly, “you go right down to the store and give that man a good talking to.”
When John returned from the general store where, no doubt, most of the village men were sitting around on cracker barrels, he had little to say.
“Did you find out what ditto was?” asked his wife. “Yes, Mary,” he answered, ‘’ I am a big fool and you are ditto.”
1960’s ENVELOPE FUNNIES
The following were seen on envelopes at the Spofford Post Office by Postmaster Katherine L. Post in the l960’s:
Yours till tooth pastes; Yours till cigar boxes; Yours till Victor Matures; I like mail (male); Yours till bobby pins get tired of riding on permanent waves; De-liver, De-letter, De-sooner, De-better; To the Postmaster: Please take good care of this letter as it’s first time out alone; If this letter doesn’t reach its destination, please don’t return it as we read it already.
Remembering these funnies kind of makes you nostalgic for the good days when snail mail was king.
Do you like to scrapbook? We need someone who would be willing to put together a scrapbook of photos from Chesterfield’s 250th Anniversary Celebration. If you would like to work on this fun project call Neil Jenness at 363-8018.
SPOFFORD LAKE BOOK
Marty Potter’s book, a history of the homes on Spofford Lake, is again available at the Historical Society for $35.00. This is a beautiful book you will want for your permanent collection.
AN INVITATION FROM THE HINSDALE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Hinsdale Historical Society will be officially dedicating the Colonel Ebenezer Hinsdale House on Saturday, May 19th and you’re invited. Starting at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day there will be festivities for everyone. The official dedication ceremony will be 11 a.m. Baked goods will be available, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the festivities. Admission is FREE to all events but donations are always welcome. We are located at 609 Brattleboro Rd. in Hinsdale. Hope to see you there.
MAY DAY EVENT ON THE OLD ARCH BRIDGE
The Arch Bridge Beautification and Preservation Society will hold a May Day event on Saturday, May 5th at 2 p.m. on the Harlan Fiske Stone (old arch) bridge in West Chesterfield. There will a May pole dance and clog dancing as well as other events. Look for more information in the local newspapers and on posters throughout the Chesterfield area. Everyone is invited to attend this spring event.