Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Ravine House – A closer look

I have published most of what I know about the Ravine House of Randolph, NH on this blog in a video entitled Laban Watson and the Ravine House. But, recently, I was lucky enough to receive from a reader some new information about the Ravine House covering the period between 1912 and 1915. For readers who aren’t familiar with the Ravine House background, I have included a brief timeline of its history below to give some context leading up to this period in which the story takes place:

1876 Abel and his son Laban Watson opened their newly converted farmhouse as a boarding house to 3 summer guests at $5.00 per week and called it the Mount Madison House.

1877 In the spring, father and son opened their house (which had 14 rooms to let) to guests and renamed it the Ravine House. The hotels name came from Kings Ravine in the Northern Presidentials, which was the majestic view seen right outside the hotel’s front door.

The Ravine House - 1882

1883-1884 In order to meet the demand to accommodate more summer guests on the premises, a dry house of the Starch mill on Carlton Brook, later named Durand Hall, was moved down Durand road during the winter of 1883-1884. In July of ’84, the Watsons added 12 new rooms to the building. The third floor of Durand Hall was used to hold town meetings and social activities until 1888, when the Town Hall was built. Laban then used the third floor to add even more guest rooms.

Durand Hall is the building on the far right; it stood about 30 feet from the old house and was connected to it by a platform. Photo by Guy Shorey

Note: According to an article in The Berlin Reporter dated August 16, 1962, Laban used the barns west of the hotel to add additional rooms for guests, along with including tennis courts, croquet grounds, and a bowling alley. No dates are available for when these activities occurred.

1891 The Railroad was built through the town of Randolph, bringing more tourists and hotel business. Laban Watson built Elliot Brook Cottage to accommodate any overflow guests at the hotel.

Two pages from an 1890s brochure

1909 Laban and Anna Watson retired to Coldbrook Lodge in Randolph. Laban sold the Ravine House property to William D. Bradstreet of Boston, because their children were not interested in taking over the ownership.

Note: Over the next few years, William Bradstreet made major renovations to the exterior structure, giving it a more unified appearance and modernized the interior, adding steam heat to all the rooms. Great attention was also paid to maintain the hotels lavish flower gardens.

1910 Charles B. Bridgman worked at the Ravine House as a clerk and was subsequently listed in a brochure as the current manager prior to the Davenports arrival.

The Ravine House in 1912/1913

Photo by Eleanor F. Watson (my grandmother)

That brings us up to 1912, when the Davenports arrived to work at the Ravine House for a period of three years. This story was brought to my attention by
Rick LaPierre and Joel Garofalo, who are first cousins. Joel’s mother, Edna Davenport, and Rick’s mother, Esther Davenport, were sisters. It was the sister’s parents, Louis Arnold and Ellen Abigail (née Warner) Davenport, who worked at the Ravine House beginning in 1912.

Louis and Ellen Davenport - 1913

Louis and Ellen Davenport arrived at the Ravine House with their first child, Edna, who was born in April of 1912. Louis and Ellen did not give their female children middle names, thinking that when they one day married, their last name would become their middle and that is just how it worked out.

Louis and Edna

Louis, who is seen in the photos always wearing a suit or gentleman’s attire, as was fitting for his position, managed a significant portion of the hotels day-to-day operations.

Ellen managed the dining room and the kitchen.

A view of the dining room

A view of the kitchen

The Ravine House waitresses with their large serving platters holding a Ravine House banner

Waitresses and hotel staff of nineteen

Hotel staff in front of the porch

A view of the office including the register

A parlor in the Ravine House

Ellen’s sister, Lucy Warner, reading a book in the parlor.

Parlor in the newly remodeled section of the hotel. Photo by Guy Shorey.

A bedroom in the hotel c.1913

Another view of the bed

On April 11, 1913, a small miracle occurred at the Ravine House. Ellen and Louis had their second child, Richard Louis, weighing just two pounds. Back in those days, when people had to be more self-reliant out of necessity, the Davenports had to improvise: they found a small bed for the child, a shoebox to be exact, which was a perfect fit for the new born that allowed the parents to perch the child safely on one of the Ravine House’s oven doors, which served handily as an incubator. Richard recounted later in life, when he was in his 90’s, that it must have worked and, as he put it, he “drove meals on wheels for the old folks.” Richard Davenport, in fact, lived to be 98.

Richard is on the right, with his sister on the far left

Richard on the left with his sister Edna on the far right. A guest sits atop the snow cat – 1915

The Ravine House coming and going in 1915

Louis and Ellen Davenport left the Ravine House when Louis’ parents could no longer manage their several hundred acre farm in Rowe, MA. Their third and final child, Esther, was born at the Rowe farm in December of 1917 and recently turned 94.

1915-1928 William and Helen Bradstreet took over the management of the hotel for the next 13 years.

This frontal view shows the results of Mr. Bradstreet’s expansion.

As for the remaining 31 years, the venerable hotel changed ownership and management several times and was even run as a Treadway Inn in the late 1940s. But, at the turn of the 20th Century, with the advent of automobiles and new roads, people became more mobile and transient. And with this new found mobility came a change in vacationer’s habits: guests who used to stay for weeks at a time or the entire summer, were now able to get around more easily to broaden their horizons. This change in behavior was not unique to the Ravine House and was not the only factor that contributed to its demise, as many other popular New England hotels succumbed to a similar fate during that period. In the end, the Ravine House had grown to some 80 rooms with the ability to accommodate around 100 guests.

1960 The Ravine House closes its doors for business.

The residents of Randolph, concerned about what would become of the property, proposed a plan to buy the Ravine House land for recreational purposes. At a public meeting held in the Town Hall on August 31, 1961, a committee of Selectman put forth a plan to buy and use the approximately 88 acre property.

An appeal made to both permanent and summer residents resulted in the town receiving a total of $20,577.64. The entire property was then purchased by the committee from the City Savings Bank of Berlin, NH for the sum of $18,352.23.

1962 On August 10th and 11th of 1962, the entire contents of the Ravine House were auctioned off to a crowd of hundreds who came to witness the end of an era. The contents netted $8,628.96.

Also announced at this meeting was the creation of a non-profit corporation called The Randolph Foundation, which would assist the town in the future development of the Ravine House area and other enterprises beneficial to the town and its inhabitants.

1963 The “Grand” hotel was razed.

Although the physical remains of the Ravine House are long gone, it continues to live on in the hearts and minds of those who hold fond memories of their connection with its glorious past and for those who wish to pass along their stories for future generations to appreciate.

The information cited above came from the following sources:

Randolph Old and New by George Cross

Randolph, N. H. 150 Years – Town of Randolph Sesquicentennial Committee

Annual Reports - Randolph, NH for the year ending December 31, 1962

Appalachia, Volume XXIX, December, 1963

The Berlin Reporter, August 16, 1962

Mountain Summers Tales of hiking and exploration in the White Mountains from 1878 to 1886 as seen through the eyes of women edited by Peter Rowan and June Hammond Rowan.

Photos of the Ravine House within the Davenport portion of the story above were courtesy of
Rick LaPierre.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Wights of Gilead, Maine

The most rewarding part of having this blog has been hearing from people whose lives have been touched by our common history. This includes the gift of finding unknown relatives, who have advanced my knowledge and appreciation of my family history both past and present, and for this I am most grateful.

I recently received an audio CD from the son, Clarence, of Dorothy Norton Chandler. Dorothy was the daughter of Clara Josephine Watson Chandler, who appears in my earlier post
The Comings and Goings of Life in Randolph, NH in 1916 – Part 1. In 2000, when Dorothy was 91 years old, she recorded her family history. It was this recording that pointed me to the family background of my great, great, grandmother, Cordelia (née Wight) Burbank (later Watson). What follows is an updated profile for Cordelia Eliza Wight and her family. The link above navigates to a photo of Cordelia standing beside her spinning wheel in the Ravine House.

Cordelia was born on Sep 12, 1826 in Gilead, ME and died on Jun 12, 1912 in Randolph, NH. Her father, Capt. William Wight, was born on May 26, 1799 in Gilead, ME. His occupation was shown to be farmer in the Gilead, ME Censuses for 1850 and 1870. Cordelia’s mother Phebe (née Mason) Wight, was born on Feb 7, 1802 in Gilead, ME. William and Phebe were married on March 13, 1824 in Gilead. They had five children all born in Gilead:

Wight, William Quincy b. Apr 3, 1825 d. Nov 20, 1864

Wight, Cordelia Eliza b. Sep 12, 1826 d. Jun 12, 1912

Wight, Maria Matilda b. Mar 20, 1828 d. Aug 11, 1865

Wight, Lorenzo b. Jan 18, 1830 d. Aug 19, 1862

Wight, Phebe b. Feb 18, 1834 - no further data

When Cordelia was only 10 years old, her mother Phebe died (1836). In 1838, William remarried Hannah (née Stearns) Wight. William and Hannah had two children both born in Gilead:

Wight, Henry b. Apr 30, 1840 d. May 15, 1905

Wight, Hannah Priscilla b. May 5, 1843 d. c. Jun 10, 1872

Henry was a farmer who made Gilead his home for 65 years. The 1880 Census shows that he was living with his wife Mary Willis Stevens and their four children: Celia, Helen, James and Harry.

Hannah married Albert B. Richardson of Bethel, ME where they lived with their three children: Alice, William and Burritt.

Cordelia’s two brothers, William and Lorenzo, both fought and died in the Civil War. Lorenzo enlisted at age 31 (residing in Londonderry, NH at the time) on Aug 20, 1861with the rank of private in Company K, New Hampshire’s 4th Infantry Regiment. He died of disease on Aug 19, 1862 in Saint Augustine, Florida.

The 4th Regiment was a New Hampshire volunteer infantry which was in service for three years, during which period, nine officers were mortally wounded or died from disease and 275 enlisted men were mortally wounded or died from disease.

For an interesting account, with photos, of the History of St. Augustine in the Civil War in which Lorenzo’s name appears with nine other members of New Hampshire’s 4th Regiment who died in St. Augustine, FL, click

You can also click here for the Nutfield Genealogy blog, which shows a plaque affixed to Londonderry NH’s Civil War Monument, where you will see Lorenzo’s name.

William Q. enlisted one month later, on Sep 21, 1861, at age 36, with the rank of Corporal, in Company G, Massachusetts 27th Infantry Regiment. He was living in Chicopee, MA at the time with his wife Mary Prescott and their four children. He was promoted to full Sergeant on Feb 4, 1863. On May 16, 1864, he was taken prisoner at the battle at Drewry’s Bluff, VA and spent time at the Andersonville Prison Camp before being moved to Camp Lawton in Millen, Georgia, where he died from disease on Nov 20, 1864.

William served for three years in the 27th Regiment, during which period twelve officers were mortally wounded or died from disease and 254 enlisted men were mortally wounded or died from disease.

here for information on the battle of Drewry’s Bluff and here for a video of Drewry’s Bluff today at the Richmond National Battlefield Park in Virginia.

Cordelia’s sister Maria married Orville Peabody of Gilead, ME in Gilead on Mar 30, 1848. Shortly after their marriage, the newlyweds moved to Londonderry, NH, where Orville went to work as a shoemaker. In the 1850 Londonderry Census, Cordelia is listed as residing with them in their household. Then, as shown in the 1860 Londonderry Census, Maria and Orville had four children: Ambrose, Ida, William and James.

On Dec 2, 1852, Cordelia and Lemuel B. Burbank were married in Gilead, ME. Lemuel B. Burbank, or Bliss as he was called, was born on Apr 11, 1824 in Shelburne, NH. In the June 1860 Census, Bliss was listed as a farmer living in Shelburne, NH with Cordelia and their two children, Anna and Charles:

Burbank, Anna A b. Sep 7, 1853 d. Oct 25, 1928

Burbank, Charles B b. 1859 d. May 5, 1896

Anna married my great grandfather Laban Watson, proprietor of the Ravine House located in Randolph, NH. For more information and photos
of Anna click

Anna Burbank Watson
(Durand Road Cemetery, Randolph, NH)

In the Gilead Maine Cemetery, I found the headstone of Cordelia’s husband Bliss, who died on Oct. 17, 1860 at age 36, along with another, that of their infant son, who was born in 1856 and died shortly afterwards:

Lemuel B. Burbank

Burbank, E. b. Nov 1856 d. Dec 2, 1856

Their son Charles was living in Randolph, NH in 1880 and, according to the 1880 Census, was listed as a teamster. He died from pneumonia at the age of 36 and is buried in Whitefield, NH.

Around 1862, Cordelia married Abel Watson from Randolph, NH, who was born in Waterford, ME. Click here for a photo and background details about Abel. They had 2 children born in Randolph, NH:

William McLellan Watson b. Apr 5, 1864 d. Jan 5, 1945

Hannah E. aka Lizzie H. and Elizabeth Watson b. Jan 1, 1868 d. Sep 11, 1918

William married Lizzie S. Wheeler of Shelburne, NH on April 5, 1895 in Berlin, NH. According to the 1900 Census, William was living as a farmer in Shelburne with his wife Lizzie and their one-year-old son Earle Watson Sr. Then, as shown in the 1910 Census, William and his family were living in Gorham, NH, where he was listed as owning his house free of a mortgage. Also in that 1910 Census, his occupation was listed as scaler for a lumber mill, the Berlin Mills Co., where he continued to be employed through 1930.

William Watson, Shelburne, NH

William and Earle, Sr. Watson - Gorham, NH, c. 1920

William and Lizzie Watson
(The Wheeler Cemetery, Shelburne, NH)

Notes of interest: A log scaler measures the cut trees to determine the scale (volume) and quality (grade) of the wood to be used for manufacturing. The Berlin Mills Co., changed its name to the Brown Co. in 1917. The death date on the stone for William is incorrect and the actual date of his death is Jan 5, 1945.

Hannah spent most of her life in Randolph with the exception of a short period of time when she resided in Hanover, ME, sometime between 1900 and 1916. She married Sidney Brown of Ellsworth, ME on June 20, 1885 in Randolph, NH. From that point on, she used the name Lizzie H., except when her name appeared in the 1900 Randolph Census as Elizabeth. In the 1900 Census, Sidney was listed as a farmer living in Randolph, with Lizzie and their five children: four sons, Eugene, Hollis, Jarold, Sherman and one daughter, Ethel - all born in Randolph, NH. Lizzie and Sidney were both buried in the Randolph, NH Cemetery.

Abel and Cordelia both died in Randolph, NH and were buried in the Randolph Cemetery in the Watson family plot.

The Cemetery photos that appear in this post were taken from the following locations:

The Wheeler Cemetery, Shelburne, NH

Durand Road Cemetery, Randolph, NH

T.G. Lary Cemetery, Gilead, ME

Note: In addition to the audio recording mentioned in the first paragraph above, the sources used for this profile include census data, death records, gravestones, the Civil War records and Profiles at Ancestry.com and Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War.

The two photos of William M. Watson were provided courtesy of Earle Watson III.

The audio CD on the Chandler & Watson families was provided courtesy of Clarence (Pat) Norton.

And a special thanks go to two people in Londonderry, NH who helped me track down and confirm that I had the right Lorenzo Wight: Heather Rojo, who maintains the Nutfield Genealogy blog and Jennifer DelVillar at the Leac
h Library in Londonderry, NH, who provided me with the information that I needed in Ayling’s Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of NH in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866.

Note: My next post will be a story provided by the grandson of Louis and Ellen Davenport, whose grandparents were managers at the Ravine House during the years 1912 to 1915. This next post will include a rare glimpse of some interior and exterior photos of the Ravine House during that period.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stephen P. Watson & Family - Updated Profile

This post takes a closer look at the lives of Stephen Watson and his wife Hannah (neé Whitcomb) with updated information gathered from my 2011 trip to Randolph, NH, Norway, ME and Waterford, ME. This new information includes resources obtained at the Waterford Town Hall, the Norway Historical Society, the Boxborough Historical Society and from visits to the cemeterys in Randolph, NH, Portland, ME and Boxborough, MA.

Until now, I have been content with finding out who my ancestors were. To this end, I created a pedigree tree going back to the 1600’s on the paternal side of the Watson line and have posted on this blog some stories of what it was like for my grandparents and great grandparents, who lived in Coos County, NH at the turn of the 20th Century. I learned from this process that the majority of my Watson ancestors, third generation and later, were mostly farmers (no surprise here since, in the 1790s, 90% of the population were farmers) with a large percentage of them starting out in Massachusetts and ending up settling in Maine and, in smaller numbers, New Hampshire. The next natural progression in this learning process for me was finding out more than just who they were and where they lived. I wanted to learn some of the factors that motivated them to settle primarily in Maine and New Hampshire. So, at the conclusion of this post, I will offer some possible reasons for this migration.

I have chosen to focus here on Stephen Watson, as he was the one to relocate his family from Waterford, ME to Randolph, NH in the mid-1820s.This led to his son, my great, great grandfather Abel, and my great grandfather Laban Watson opening The Ravine House in 1877. (see my July 26, 2010 post Talk in Randolph, NH - Excerpts for more background on Stephen’s family)

Stephen Phinney Watson was born on Dec. 19, 1776 in Gorham, ME to Coleman Watson and Patience Thomes (neé Whitney), who resided in Gorham at that time. Stephen’s parents may have moved to Waterford, ME as early as 1779 where birth records exist for the last five of their eight children. I have a copy of Stephen’s birth certificate from Gorham, ME and a listing of his birth date along with the birth dates of all of Stephen and Hannah’s children from the Vital Records book located at the Waterford Town Hall.

Also available in that same book was Stephen and Hannah’s intention to marry, published on September 28, 1802 and witnessed by Eber Rice, the Town Clerk of Waterford, ME.

Also there was the following marriage record which I copy here verbatim:

“This certifies that Mr. Stephen P. Watson and Mrs. Hannah Nurse both of Waterford, ME were married October 12th 1802 by me the subscriber Lincoln Ripley - True copy attest Eber Rice Town Clerk. Transcribed from an old Manuscript - April 18th 1826 by Charles Whitman Town Clerk.”

I was interested to learn (being from Concord, MA) that the Reverend Lincoln Ripley, also from Concord, officiated at their wedding. Mr. Ripley graduated from Dartmouth College in 1796. He married Phebe Emerson, daughter of Rev. William and Phebe (Bliss) Emerson of Concord, MA and settled in Waterford in 1799. He was the first pastor in town.

Stephen and Hannah had five children all born in Waterford, ME:

1. Lois Fairbanks, b.9/23/1803 and d.1845 m. Justus Low.

Both are buried in the Durand Rd Cemetery Randolph, NH.

2. Mary Whitcomb, b.8/08/1809 d. unknown

3. John Whitcomb, b.2/09/1812 and d.7/07/1882. m.Eliza Peabody.

Both are buried in the Durand Rd Cemetery, Randolph, NH.

4. William Whitcomb, b.5/22/1815 and d. 12/31/1884. m.Elmira B. Lary.

Both are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, ME.

5. Abel Nurse Watson b. 5/24/1818 and d. 2/18/1895. m. 1st Susan Holmes, 2nd Cordelia Wight.

All three are buried in the Durand Rd Cemetery Randolph, NH.

Stephen’s wife, Hannah Whitcomb, was born in Boxborough, MA on March 13, 1775 to Abel and Jemima (neé Keep) Whitcomb. See photo below. Her father Abel Whitcomb descends from the Josiah line, which dates back to 1638 in Dorchester, MA. Hannah’s first husband was John Nurse from Boxborough, MA. They were married in Boxborough on May 10, 1797 and had two children, Abel Whitcomb, born in Boxborough, MA on August 4, 1798, and a daughter Asenath, born on January 30th 1801 in Waterford, ME.

Jemima Whitcomb, North Road Cemetery, Boxborough, MA

John, Hannah and Abel made the 150 mile journey to Waterford, most likely during 1799-1800. If they used Oxen which travel at one or two mph, the trip would have taken them about 3 weeks of 10 to 12 hour days. Alternatively, they could have traveled by buggy with John’s father, Deacon John Nurse, who settled earlier in Waterford about 1790. Deacon Nurse came from Bolton, MA and is listed as living in Waterford Town in 1790, according to Maine’s first census. John Nurse was the first deacon of the Congregational Church in Waterford, ME.

John and Hannah lived on the East side of Rice Hill in Waterford where they planned to farm the land, but early in 1801, tragedy struck when their two and a half year old son, Abel, died on March 12th. Then, later that same year, her husband John died of consumption on September 4th.

Note: Asenath, their daughter, married Thaddeus Brown, Esq. from Waterford, in Waterford, ME on April 24, 1823.

Stephen and Hannah lived in the East part of town (Rice Rd, shown above, is in the East part of town), but I was unable to make it to the County Courthouse to obtain any land records to be more specific (those details will require another trip to the area). They lived in Waterford and apparently in the neighboring town of Norway for a time where, in 1813, Stephen’s name appears in a list of new immigrants to the town. He enlisted as a private in Capt. Amos Town’s Company in September of 1814 (War of 1812), when two companies were called from Norway (along with other Oxford County towns) to fend off a possible British attack on Portland Harbor. Then, in 1820, Stephen appears again in Waterford, Maine in the 1820 Maine Census before leaving for Randolph, NH circa 1826. Stephen was listed in the Randolph, NH Census in 1830, but later that same year, he reportedly drowned in the Moose River and died on October 19, 1830 at the age of 53 and 10 months. Hannah, his wife, went on living in Randolph until her death on May 14, 1853. She lived to be 78 years and 2 months.

Stephen P. Watson and his wife Hannah - Durand Road Cemetery, Randolph, NH

As for the migration of settlers from Massachusetts to Maine, there were different factors at play, one significant factor being the land which was too rocky for productive farming. For example, in Boxborough, MA the rocks made the soil difficult to till and consequently the land had to be used primarily for the farming of fruit trees. Another factor at the time was the scarcity of land. Considering the practice of settlers passing on the land to their children, it was only a matter of time before the land available to their descendants started to disappear. For example, Deacon John Nurse had eleven children as was the typical family size of the period. So, with land at a premium, his children, like others at the time, looked for cheaper land up north, where land was both plentiful and cheap.

There were also historic events in the region that caused an influx of people to the newly created towns. Many of Maine’s early towns were settled because the survivors or the descendants of those in the expedition to capture Quebec in 1690 asked for pay. Eight townships in western Maine were set aside for this purpose and were known as the Canada Grants. Among these were Bethel, Jay, Livermore, and Waterford. Proprietors, who were usually not among the settlers, sold their lands for fifty cents an acre. Again, the promise of cheaper land was a big draw to settling in Maine as good farmland could cost as much as 50 dollars per acre in Massachusetts in the late 1700s.

To get a sense of how the towns were apportioned in Maine in 1894 (albeit, decades later) take a look at David Rumsey’s map of Oxford County, Maine by clicking here.

In my next post, I will correct some misinformation that I posted in an earlier post about Cordelia Wight’s family (I have since removed this misinformation from this blog) that I learned about from a distant cousin who sent me an audio recording that his mother made of Chandler and Watson history. Stay tuned for more details on that story.


Waterford Maine 1875-1976 published by Waterford Historical Society printed by New Hampshire Printers Somersworth, New Hampshire

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Comings and Goings of Life in Randolph, NH in 1916 - Part II

In Part I of this story, we left off with Arthur and Eleanor planning a short mountain trip. As it turns out, the only mountain trip they went on during the second part of the year was to the “Ledge” in Randolph. The Ledge my grandmother referred to is called Lookout Ledge, which is located in Randolph, NH. They reached it by taking the Ledge Trail located just west of the Ravine House site on Durand Rd. in Randolph. The Ledge offers great views of Kings Ravine, Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, Pine Mt. and the Carter Range.

The remainder of the year continued with friends and family weaving in and out of daily routines creating a glimpse of a tapestry that was my grandparent’s life.

On Saturday, July 1, Eleanor wrote:

Lovely day again. Packed up for Randolph.Made a loaf of nut bread. Were eating dinner when Harold(Boothman) came. He went to the movies and back to supper. We hustled to 6:20 car. Harold had fireworks and we were loaded down. Waited at Myra’s and left at 10:00. Arthur’s father waited at Haley’s during shower. Arrived home at 12:00. Horse became very lame and had to walk him all the way. Arthur walked up big hills to Haley’s.

Note 1: I have several photos of Myra taken by Eleanor during this period but no clue as to her last name.

Note 2: After spending a week of visiting, cooking and cleaning at Coldbrook Lodge Eleanor went to Portland, Me to visit her folks for two weeks. Arthur joined her for the last week in July.

On Sunday, August 13, Eleanor wrote:

Arthur up at 5:00 to get vegetables from garden. After breakfast he went out in the rain and picked a beautiful bouquet of sweet peas. Over to Randolph on 8:45. Rained but not awfully hard. Fixed beans (green) for dinner. Set table and froze banana ice-cream. Changed clothes and went to meet Marie. Rained hard when half way home.Got dinner ready. Showered. So cold had to build a fire in stove every once and a while. Two lovely rainbows.Took ice-cream over to Riva’s. May and Ralph over in eve. Jim White brought them over. To bed at 11:00.

Note 1: Eleanor’s sister Marie came down from Portland, ME for a two week visit. Her husband Paul joined her for the last few days of the visit. Then on Sept 3rd, Eleanor left for Portland and visited her family returning home on the 10th.

Note 2: Ralph Perley Watson, my grandfather’s brother, was born in Randolph, NH on March 19, 1884 and died in Riverside, CA on March 26,1978. He married Elizabeth M. (also listed as Mary E. in the 1930 Census, with birth of self and parents remaining the same) about 1911, and they had three daughters that I know about from the Federal Census: Theora, Phyllis and Anna. Ralph and May (Elizabeth/Mary) lived some 30 years in Hanover, NH, where he was a cook at the Dining Association, the Inn, and later at Mac’s for the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge above Warren, NH.

Here are two photos of Ralph Watson:

On Sunday, September 17, Eleanor wrote:

(Staying at Coldbrook lodge)

Arthur up at 7:00 to help dad (Laban). I laid till after 8:00. Didn’t go to Sunday School. Glenn called for Ernestine and sister to go autoing. Nelson Smith and friend off mt. and home. After dinner Pearl, Harry, Arthur, Harold and I went up to Ledge and view was great. Home after 5:00 and got ready to go home after supper. Dad (Laban) didn’t come from Glen until after 7:00 and we started at 8:00 got 9:30 car and nearly frozen. Brought vegetables home.

Note 1: Eleanor took this photo from Lookout Ledge which looks out towards Gorham, NH.

Note 2: Nelson Smith, a friend of my grandparents, had a private camp built in 1909 called Crag Camp located on the edge of Kings Ravine.Here is a picture of Crag Camp that my grandmother took most likely in 1913, which she had framed to give to my grandfather, Arthur that very same year on Christmas day.

Crag Camp is seen in the figures below.

On Monday, September 18, Eleanor wrote:

Not up till after 8:00 and tired from tramp. Fixed beans(green) and corn. Made apple pie, turnovers and sauce. Forgot to boil potatoes so put them on at 12:00 and Arthur ate one. Had nap. So cold built kitchen fire, rainy. In eve Arthur went over to Hospital to inquire for Bert Watson and he saw him. Bed tired.

Note: Herbert Watson (Laban’s brother Martin’s son) was born in 1867 and was a Railroad Track foreman who lived in Gilead, ME (next to Shelburne, NH) with his wife Alice.

On Tuesday, September 19, Eleanor wrote:

Cold- I washed and through in good season. Alice Watson here to dinner and off up to Hospital. Had nap and Mrs. Cook came. Waited till I dressed and we went downtown shopping. Alice came to supper. Arthur and I read in eve till 8:30. Alice over to Isabels all night.

On Sunday, October 1, Eleanor wrote:

Lovely sunny day but rather cool. Up at 8:30 and started veal to cooking. Cleaned up around. Arthur out to 3 or 4 cars met Mr.& Mrs. Watson (Laban and Anna) and Dora Beckurth came about 12:00 when we were making peach ice cream. Mr. W. brought corn and we had a real good dinner and nice time. Arthur and father down street after dinner while I did dishes. They left at 5:00 after having more ice cream. Took some downstairs. Found fires out so went to bed at 8:00.

Note: Eleanor’s Peach Ice Cream recipe and the Ad she used to obtain it are shown in the figures below.

On Sunday, October 15, Eleanor wrote:

(Having arrived in Randolph the previous day)

Warmer- Sunday School at Crosses. Edith (Boothman) and family up to Mt. View for dinner. Arthur froze ice cream. When Edith came back over to Miss Gaylord’s new bungalow.(Dema Gaylord was from Summit, NJ and purchased a cottage located on Durand Road). Edith told me about the new arrival expected in Dec. Home with Charlie Hamblenin auto and down in 15 min. Saw Myra a few minutes and talked with Dave till car came. Home at 7:30.Made hot choc. And toasted crackers on grill.

Note: Here is a photo of Jack Boothman, the new arrival, born Dec. 23, 1916.

On Monday, October 16, Eleanor wrote:

Up to wash and done quite early. Had short nap and up to Mrs. Cooks. Called to ask Mrs. Cutter to come to sew Thurs. and saw Mrs. Hooper down street. Did errands and home. Made hot biscuits for supper. Arthur got ready to go to Bethel. I sewed a little.

On Sunday, October 22, Eleanor wrote:

Ate breakfast about 10:00. Roasted lamb and cleaned up. George and Isabel came about 1:30 and then Arthur froze sherbert. Had dinner about 3:00. Had more sherbert and they left about 7:00. Arthur read and I went to bed.

George Watson (Laban’s brother Emery’s son) was born in 1868 and worked in a sawmill in Gorham, NH. He married Isabelle ney Potter from Gorham in 1895. They resided in Gorham and according to the Gorham Census did not have any children.

On Thursday, October 26, Eleanor wrote:

Rained hard in night but cleared fine. Read a couple of chapters in my book before doing up work. Shook rugs and took carpet sweeper around. Arthur’s father (Laban) came with corn, potatoes and after putting up horses came to dinner. I rested a bit after dinner, wrote a letter to mother and went up to Mrs. Cooks and we walked downtown.

On Friday, October 27, Eleanor wrote:

Read in Ladies Home Journal before doing up work, then dusted thoroughly all around. At noon time made cranberry and applesauce. Played on piano some and Mrs. Cutler and Mrs. Heck called. I mended till suppertime. Arthur and his father went to Democratic rally in eve and I sewed.

On Wednesday, November 1, Eleanor wrote:

Rainy, Made salad dressing and pumpkin pie and did ironing to get ready to go to Randolph on noon train. Started Arthur’s dinner. Began to pour on way to Lodge (Coldbrook). We sewed on baby’s clothes for Edith. Hunts stayed for supper so Mr. took me to train, also, Mr. W (Watson) and Harold (Boothman). Over with Ted. Arthur met me at station started to rain again. Had supper and bed about 9:00.

On Monday, November 6, Eleanor wrote:

Frosty morn.Washed done at 11:00. Milk froze on piazza. Yesterday nice hanging out, so warm. Wrote to mother and took in clothes. Made bread and prepared gems for breakfast and put beans to soak. Democrats had big parade with band and red fire Mon eve came up High St. and down Emery.

Note: Eleanor’s Gems Recipe appears in the figure below.

On Tuesday, November 7, Eleanor wrote:

Made cake, pumpkin pie and cooked bread, cranberry sauce and pea soup for dinner. Ironed some. Went down street shopping and came home and sewed. Lots of excitement for election day. To bed tired both of us.

On Thursday, November 9, Eleanor wrote:

Lovely warm day- Pa’s birthday (Eleanor’s father Walter Foss) Cleaned both bedrooms. Arthur hustled over to station to meet his mother(Anna) and Aunt Mercy. They came in auto and had dinner, then I finished my rooms and about 5:00 washed dinner dishes and cleaned myself up. Made bread in eve. and tired.

On Friday, November 10, Eleanor wrote:

Up early. Aunt Mercy went to Gorham at 9:00 and I cooked pie and turnovers and bread while Arthur’s mother knitted. Cleaned and took dry mop around. Mrs. W.(Anna) took long nap while I read news and mended. Bold
Arthur downtown in eve. and bought a new hat.

On Thursday, November 16, Eleanor wrote:

Some cold yet. Cleaned more kitchen cupboards and ironed. Had nap and sewed. Arthur worked till nearly 9:00 and we ate supper when he got home. Big Wilson parade by Democrats tonight. 12 autos and bands and red lights and sky rockets. Arthur packed to go to Bethel.

On Saturday, November 18, Eleanor wrote:

Not up till 8:00. Washed 9 windows outside it was so nice (warmer and melting). Then washed the storm windows down cellar. Got ready to go to Randolph on 3:00 train and hustled. Had to wait at station and John and Harold (Boothman) came for me. Sewed in eve. Arthur telephoned from Bethel to get his father to meet him on 11:20 train. Went to bed and woke up about 1:00 when Arthur came. Real good sleighing.

On Sunday, November 19, Eleanor wrote:

Last ones up. Went to Sunday School at Crosses. Had dandy chicken dinner. Made Chocolate Caramels for Marion (Boothman). Arthur laid down as his eyes felt bad. Oyster stew for supper. Arthur and I did dishes. Put up lunch for Arthur.

Note: The recipe for Marion Boothman (daughter of Edith and John Boothman)

On Monday, November 20, Eleanor wrote:

Up at 4:00 to get breakfast for Arthur and his father. Arthur went to Berlin on first car and off to Bethel on 8:00 train. I went back to bed until 7:15. Swept up downstairs and made beds. Sewed in afternoon.Wrote to Arthur in eve.

On Tuesday, November 21, Eleanor wrote:

Pretty cold. Helped around little. Mother W. taught me how to do tatting and in eve. Edith and I tatted.

On Wednesday, November 22, Eleanor wrote:

Warmer again and sunny. After doing up work, we tacked Dorothy’s quilt. Got ready to go to Sewing Circle at Mrs. Hunts. Lovely sleigh ride up. Did tatting in eve.

On Thursday, November 23, Eleanor wrote:

Helped some and got ready to go on noon train. Father W. took me to station found some bare places. Home at 1:00 and found lots of mail. After reading built a fire. Ruth wrote a fine letter saying that they (True, Eleanor’s brother and wife Ruth) had a dandy boy and a long letter from Ma, also, one from Arthur. Began to rain but went to P.O. and did a few errands. Home and looked over Ladies Home Journal and sewed. Read Berlin Reporter. Ate supper about 6:00. Sewed more till after 8:00.

Note: Anna and Laban Watson along with their son Arthur and his wife Eleanor took the train to spend Thanksgiving with Josephine (Watson) Chandler and her family in Meredith, NH.

For information on the Chandler family, click here.

On Thursday, November 30, Eleanor wrote:

Thanksgiving- Rainy all day long. Up at 5:30 and got the 6:45 train (for Winona). Father W. on at Randolph. Nice trip down in spite of rain. Did some tatting and read etc. Stopped 15 min. at Plymouth. Arrived about 1:00 in Winona. Dandy turkey for dinner and everything else. Children had dandy time, too. Had lunch in eve and George (Chandler) dressed 3 chickens for us.

On Friday, December 1, Eleanor wrote:

Cleared and colder- Took pictures after doing up breakfast dishes. Flora (Chandler) helped wipe them. Laban (Chandler) just 1 and a half years old. Had lunch about 11:00 and off again. Waited at Plymouth a half an hour. Arrived at Woodsville about 2:30 and waited about 1 and a half hours. Arthur and I walked all around and went in one or two stores. Changed again at Whitefield Jef. Father and Mother off at Randolph and we reached home 6:45. Built kitchen fire and made hot chocolate. Did up dishes and to bed about 8:00.

On Saturday, December 2, Eleanor wrote:

Snow- Arthur fried potatoes in bacon fat for breakfast. I fixed beans, brown bread and chocolate pudding, also, dusted around and cleaned bathroom. Not through till nearly 3:00. Did tatting till supper time. Arthur went back to work till after 9:00. I laid down a while and tatted.

Note: On December, 18 Eleanor left for Portland, Maine on the 8:00 am train to spend the Christmas Holiday with her family. And so ends the year.