Number 46 December 2018
OUR 2019 CALENDAR IS NOW AVAILABLE
Our calendar for 2019 has many wonderful old photos featuring Chesterfield as it was in years past. Maple sugaring in 1921, an 1890 view of Center Village, a dugout canoe found in Lake Spofford in 1894 and skating at the Friedsam’s cottage c.1929 are just a few of the interesting glimpses into the past of Chesterfield. The calendar is reasonably priced at $12.00 and is available at the Historical Society, the Chesterfield Library, J & J Discount in Spofford and Toadstool Bookshop in Keene. The Historical Society is open on Thursdays from 9:30 A.M. – 12 Noon and Sundays from 2 – 4 P.M. The Chesterfield Library is open from 11 A.M. – 7 P.M. Monday – Thursday, closed on Friday and open from 9 A.M. – 12 noon on Saturday.
STONE HOUSE TAVERN UPDATE
The windows have been washed, most of the rooms have been cleaned and we are in the process of furnishing some of the rooms in the Stone House Tavern with donated items of furniture. Oliver Mousseau donated a tavern table and two Windsor chairs, objects for the bedroom and a china tea set. Sheer curtains have been installed in the parlor. One of the bedrooms has been set up with furniture donated by Harriet Davenport. We are in the process of setting up the tavern, parlor and bedroom. Things are starting to look welcoming. We suspected that there was a system for lighting the chandeliers in the ballroom and were excited to find evidence that indeed a pulley system was used for this purpose. We are finding new and fascinating things about the Stone House as we work on getting it ready for the public’s use. We have a long way to go, but progress is being made. Thanks to all those who donated items for the tavern. Also, in the near future we will be hiring a Preservation Architect to advise us of the projects we should be doing. The architect will be funded by a matching Lchip grant which we will receive on Friday, December 7th.
OUR RECENT VISITORS
We have had a number of visitors from afar researching their descendants who had been residents of Chesterfield. The Hewitt family – Charles A. Hewitt (1874-1931) and wife Mary Gunn Hewitt lived on Atherton Hill Road where Fritz Richter developed Erbhof. We have a photo of them in front of their old cape.
We recently had a great morning with the Henry family from California checking on their family from Chesterfield. We also had a visit from the Snow family, Nathan Thomas’ descendants from Florida and Utah.
Doris Hauert, who lives on the Merrifield Farm has spent time with us researching their home, she also gave us old photographs of the home.
On Old Home Day we were pleased to welcome many visitors who came to check us out for the first time, as well as some old timers. It was a lot of fun.
CHESTERFIELD AT CHRISTMASTIME – 1930s – 1940s
(BEA) (Before the Electronic Age)
Memories of Audrey Ericson, Clifford (Skip) White and Jane Allen, all long -time residents of Chesterfield
No gigantic red stockings to hang for Santa but my brothers and I found boot socks or knee socks, the biggest we could find. We hung them above our big furnace grate and Santa filled them with a brand new, shiny penny in the toe, an orange, hard candies crayons, coloring books, and during WWII we found War Bonds on the tree, my all-time favorite Red Cross Nurse Doll, and Army doctors and nurses paper dolls.
Ralph Mulligan gifted many townspeople and had his chauffeur deliver the gifts in Audrey’s dad’s red pickup. Skip White was once given a big toy truck (now at the Historical Society). Many women received bright poinsettias.
Jane Allen remembers the celebrations at the Spofford Village Hall (the former Spofford Fire Station). The Woman’s Society of the church gave us bags they had made filled with candy, homemade popcorn cakes, old fashioned chocolates with white centers, hard candies and ribbon candy. Santa also was present at these affairs. Jane also remembers getting a sled one Christmas and an orange in her stocking.
These quotes from our Chesterfield Town Hall booklet give us a nostalgic look at “the old days”:
There are still a few old-timers who can recall the annual Christmas school programs and parties for the children of the Centre Village with two tall Christmas trees on each side at the front of Town Hall. (The other villages did much the same – Spofford in their Village Hall and West Chesterfield in Citizens Hall). Santa Claus arrived and distributed bags of glazed popcorn from the church Ladies Aid Society, a little box of hard candies from the Community Club and the Grange provided a big orange for each child, all real treats in those days.
In the 1940s the Centre School put on lovely Christmas Pageants with the choir marching in holding lighted candles (can you imagine?) and carols being sung as scenes depicting the Christmas Story appeared on the stage. Jeannine Merrifield was the perfect Virgin Mary and Frank Hubner, Jr. was Joseph. Betty Hubner sang a beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night” on one such occasion.
DID YOU KNOW?
The well-known author of children’s Christmas stories was a Chesterfield resident? In the 1940s Charles Tazewell wrote The Littlest Angel and the delightful story of the Christmas donkey, The Small One. The Tazewells lived in what they called “The Darling House” at the corner of Route 63 and Old Winchester Rd.