Sunday, May 2, 2010

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

My grandmother Eleanor F. Watson chronicled life in 1916 in her diary, as she and her husband Arthur interacted with the townspeople of Randolph participating in seasonal outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, tobogganing and hiking plus indoor activities such as cooking, sewing and quilt making.

In previous posts, I focused on the activities that she penned in her 1914 diary, with a focus on Gorham and Berlin, NH. I will now present a new entry to my blog in two posts: post one (or part one) – January through June, 1916 and post two (or part two) - July through December, 1916 to be completed at a later date.

In parts one and two of this story, everyone from Arthur’s family will be depicted, mostly from diary entries and accompanying period photographs from Eleanor’s photo album whenever they are available. (If you want to read about Eleanor herself, refer to my March 16, 2009 post.) I will include genealogical information mainly about my relatives who are mentioned in the diary entries, for there will be other people mentioned about whom I don’t have enough to go on to piece together who they were.

Many of the families mentioned below have made major contributions to the development and growth of this mountain community by farming the land, building fine summer and year-round houses, huts, and trails, and providing lodging and mountain guides for summer guests in the beloved hotels. There are many interesting stories that could be based on these individuals. Unfortunately, so as to contain the size of this entry, I will elaborate on the contributions of only some of them. For the others, I have focused on who they were rather than what they accomplished in my desire to give some context to their diary entries.

My grandfather, Arthur Laban Watson, was born in Randolph, NH on July 2, 1882 the son of Anna and Laban Watson, proprietors of the Ravine House [3] for over 30 years. Arthur had two sisters, Edith born in 1878 and Clara Josephine born in 1887 who went by the name Josephine. He also had a brother Ralph born in 1884 (in addition, there were two brothers Walter and Leon who died in their first year of life). My grandmother photographed many of Arthur’s activities in Randolph beginning in 1911. Thus, he can be seen in the slideshows below called “Randolph, NH 1911-1913” and “Tramping in the White Mountains” participating in haying, maple sugaring, hunting, camping and hiking along with a stint working for the U.S.F.S. He attended Gould Academy in Bethel, ME and later became a stationary engineer (someone who works on boilers, steam turbines, air compressors/pumps or refrigeration machinery).

At 31, he married my grandmother Miss Eleanor Foss, a teacher from Portland, ME, who taught school in the single-room schoolhouse in Randolph, NH during 1911-1912. The schoolhouse and her students can be seen in the slideshow “Randolph, NH 1911 – 1913.” They married on Sept. 27, 1913 and set up house in an apartment on Third Ave in Berlin, NH. His first job after marriage was working at the YMCA in Berlin, NH. They later purchased a house at 169 Church Street in Berlin, NH, where they remained until their move to Fall River, MA. In 1936, he and Eleanor moved to North Dartmouth, MA, where he worked until retirement at Braley’s Creamery in North Dartmouth, MA. He and Eleanor had three children: Frances, born in 1917, who lived to be 5 and a half, my father Morrill b.1924 d.1969 and his brother Raymond born in 1928. My grandfather died in New Bedford, Mass in 1962 and was buried along with my grandmother and father in the Randolph, NH Cemetery.

Three generations of the Watson Family

{click on image above for larger view}

I found this photo, printed on a Shorey Studio postcard in my grandmother’s collection of Watson memorabilia. She wrote on the back of the postcard that the car was a Maxwell. And, I’d have to say that the car dates to 1909, based on the details seen in an ad of the period which, interestingly enough, promotes the car for “touring through the mountains.”

To see the ad, click here.

For additional information on Maxwell cars click here.

In the photo above:

Arthur Watson is seen behind the wheel with Laban Watson to his left. Ralph Watson is directly behind Laban with Edith Watson [Boothman] to his right and Josephine Watson [Chandler] is sitting next to Edith. Anna Watson [Burbank], Laban's wife, is sitting in the back in full view next to her mother Cordelia [Wight] [Burbank] Watson.

Some background on Cordelia [Wight] [Burbank] Watson:

Cordelia is probably about 83 or 84 in the photo above, since I believe this picture was taken circa 1910.

In 1860, Cordelia, then 32, was living in Shelburne, NH with her first husband Lemuel B. Burbank (a farmer also from Maine) and their two children Anna and Charles. In 1870, we find Cordelia married to a well known farmer living in Randolph, NH, Abel Watson, who played a key role in the early beginnings of the Ravine House. At this time, Abel and Cordelia were living at their farm on Durand Road with the two children they bore together, William and Hannah, along with Cordelia’s daughter from her first marriage, Anna Burbank, and Abel Watson’s two sons Laban and Jerome from his first marriage to Susan Holmes. I think it is safe to say that this is how Laban and Anna came to know each other and later marry and have their own children. Cordelia died in Randolph, NH on June 12, 1912 and lived to be 85 years and 9 months.

Cordelia in the Ravine House with her 1800s Spinning Wheel. Photo circa 1900.

For an example of a similar spinning wheel, click here.

An aside:

I asked my grandmother if she knew what happened to this spinning wheel in the picture and she said that it was handed down to Arthur, and he later sold it to an Antique Dealer. I believe the framed painting seen in this picture on the wall was a watercolor done by one of the regular summer guests, William H. Peek, which shows a house in the foreground with Mts. Madison and Adams looming behind.

I will now pick up with Eleanor and Arthur Watson who have been married a little over two years and are still living on Third Ave, in Berlin, N.H.

On Saturday, January 1 Eleanor writes:

Murle and Cecil spending “Honeymoon” with us. Holiday for Arthur so not up till around 10:00. Had breakfast and dinner at 11:00. Dressed for snowshoeing and over to Randolph on noon train. Walked up track from station and all but me went to falls. [This would have been Coldbrook Falls in Randolph] Home on 6:30 and had beans.

[Murle and Cecil Hodgdon were married in Biddeford, ME and left by train for Portland to visit relatives before heading on to Berlin, NH. to stay with Arthur and Eleanor. Murle Stackpole was Eleanor’s father’s sister’s daughter.]

Randolph Station, on the Whitefield & Jefferson Branch of the Boston & Maine R.R., was 1 1/4 miles from the Ravine House in Randolph, NH. [2]

On Sunday, January 2 Eleanor writes:

Not up till 9:00. Murle and Cecil got ready to go home after a weeks visit with us. Had dinner with us at 2:30. Storming so bad they had a carriage and off on 3:20. After doing the dishes read papers and developed a film in eve. Not very successful.

On Sunday, January 9 Eleanor writes:

Lovely sunny day. Arthur set up new tank. Others went to S.S.[Sunday School] at Mabel Lowes [daughter of Thaddeus and Fanny Lowe of Randolph, NH. - age 19 in 1916] Started home about 5:00. Stopped at Osgoods for car. Home at 7:30 and fires kept quite well. Fixed bread.

On Wednesday, January 12 Eleanor writes:

I mended and finished the ironing. After dinner went up to see Mrs. Wight. Her son Walter, home from Hospital.[Mrs. Ada Wight was from Oxford, Maine. She moved from Maine in the early 1900s and was living in Berlin, NH in 1910 with her son Leslie and her daughter Mary. She also had an older son Walter, who was living in Oxford, Maine at the time. The Wights can be seen in a slide show below] Mrs. Harry Noyes came while I was there. Down to P.O. on my way home. Stopped and talked to Mrs. Johnson. In eve Arthur and I made cream candy and it wouldn’t harden. Beat it more and set it to cool. Took baths and candy wasn’t hard.

{click on image above for larger view}

Note: Eleanor was given this Fannie Farmer Cookbook for a Christmas present in 1914. She always wrote comments in her cookbook on whether or not a recipe was good or bad. Apparently this recipe, although marked “good,” had some shortcomings.

On Thursday, January 13 Eleanor writes:

Arthur up and got his breakfast. I got up about 7:45. Washed kit. floor. Arthur’s father [Laban] here to dinner and brought us vegetables and potatoes. Over to Mrs. Cooks in P.M. to sew. Had hot chocolate. Home at 5:00. In eve Arthur went to see Dr. Pulsifer and found out he was pretty well. I mended.

On Monday, January 17 Eleanor writes:

Arthur off on early train [to Randolph] and I washed. Thru at 10:30, then darned a pair of hose and packed for Randolph. Blustery and cold. At noon Mrs. Riva came over with telephone message from Mrs. Cook saying she would not go to club. So I decided it was so bad to go on 3:15 to Randolph. Took rubber plant over to Riva’s. Wind blew fierce in Randolph. Read till Mr. Watson [Laban] came. Dave stayed at Lodge all night. Popped corn in eve. Cold

Note: Whenever Eleanor and Arthur stayed in Randolph, they always stayed at his parent’s home on Durand Road, which was called Coldbrook Lodge. Eleanor took this winter photo of Coldbrook Lodge in 1912 -1913.

The aerial photo below of Coldbrook Lodge was taken by Winston Pote in early May c. 1945.

On Wednesday, January 19 Eleanor writes:

Didn’t sleep well so not up very early. Didn’t do much. Wrote to Frances. [older sister living in Portland, ME]. After dinner Mr. Watson took us 3 over to Florence Whites to the Ladies Sewing Circle and we worked on baby clothes. About 15 there. Home at 5:00 and found Arthur home. Bed early again. Arthur’s walk tires him some.

On Thursday, January 20 Eleanor writes:

Up at 7:30. Swept up and started my luncheon napkins. Had an early dinner to go to Gorham. Four of us in big sleigh. Helped Edith [Arthur’s sister] pick out hat and home on electrics. Found fires ready to start. Snowed on way home. I worked on my napkins when warm and looked at Ladies Home Journal. Arthur came about 7:00 and we had tomato soup.

Here is a 1912-1913 picture of Arthur in a sleigh outside of Coldbrook Lodge.

On Friday, January 28 Eleanor writes:

Cleaned up whole house. Sewed some and through work early. Dressed changed at 2:00. Over to Mrs. Riva’s and sewed. In eve Arthur and I went to see Leslie [Wight] who has had grippe. Mrs. Wight not feeling real good. Growing colder tonight and icy.

On Tuesday, February 1 Eleanor writes:

Up at 5:30. Had plenty of time for train. Nice trip down. [ Eleanor would visit her family several times a year in Portland, ME. On this trip she was accompanied by Arthur’s sister Edith Boothman of Randolph, NH.] Went to the store and out home for dinner. In town and Edith and I bought suits. Home for supper and I went to club in to Louise’s. Fine time. [ Eleanor and her sister Frances leave Portland on Feb 12, and Frances returns with Eleanor staying at her home in Berlin until Feb 21.]

On Saturday, February 19 Eleanor writes:

Snow in A.M. I made a cake and cookies, ironed some and got ready to go to Randolph on 12:05. Left Arthur’s dinner all ready. Met Harold at Station. Mr. Watson met us in Randolph and the wind blew some. Fierce cold.Telephoned for Arthur to come over on 3:15. He drove 4 horse team for his dad to Station for Appalachian Mountain Club. Had two tables of Fantan [card game] in eve.

The Ravine House colts pulling the wagon in the 1913 photo below would have been typical for the period, but Arthur probably used a larger wagon for transporting AMC members.

On Sunday, February 20 Eleanor writes:

Last ones up and pretty cold. Nelson Smith and friend at Lodge [Coldbrook]. Edith, John, Marion, Francis W. Earl, Frances F. Arthur and I walked up to Jacksons only 4 degrees above. Arrived here at 5:00 made quick connection at crossing. Had Welsh Rabbit made in grill.

Eleanor took the picture below of 6 of the 7 people she mentions in the outing. Arthur is in the forefront holding Eleanor’s camera case. Behind him left to right are Frances (Eleanor’s sister), Edith Boothman (Arthur’s sister), John Boothman (Edith’s husband), Marion Boothman (daughter), and Francis Wood.

Edith Boothman (daughter of Laban and Anna Watson) was born in Randolph on February 18, 1878 and died April 19, 1957. Edith married John Boothman (a skilled craftsman, architect and builder) they had three children Marion, Harold and John.

In 1910, Edith and John are living at Coldbrook Lodge with their two children Marion, and Harold, Edith's two brothers, Arthur and Ralph ( both brothers soon to be married ) and Anna and Laban Watson along with Anna's mother Cordelia. In 1920, Edith and John are still living at Coldbrook with their three children (John was born in 1917) and Laban and Anna Watson. In 1923, Mr. and Mrs. John Boothman purchased the Mt. Crescent House property and Edith ran the hotel successfully until his death in 1952.[1] Her son John, (known as Jack) and his wife, Gwen Shorey Boothman, carried on the management for the next 20 years.[2]

The Mount Crescent House was built for summer boarders by Ingalls Leighton in 1883 and opened for business the following summer under the name Randolph Hill House (which was changed to the Mount Crescent House in1894). [1] The hotel was torn down in 1971 [2], yet still conjures up many fond remembrances in former guests and staff alike.

These photos of the Mt. Crescent House were taken by Eleanor in 1917.

Eleanor mentions in her Feb. 20th diary entry above that the group walked up to Jackson’s. I believe that the “Jackson” she is referring to is Ernest Jackson.

In 1915, Mr. Ernest Jackson, of Brookyln, bought a farm on Randolph Hill formally known as the Abel Jackson place. The following season, Mr. Jackson converted the farm into a country estate, building a fine house and a beautiful temple-like music room (not seen in photo). The estate was known as “Highacres.” [1]

High Acres also accommodated up to 20 summer guests and was in operation from 1929 to 1957. [2]

Eleanor took the 1916 -1917 photo below, which she labeled “High Acres.”

On Monday, February 21 Eleanor writes:

24 degrees below. Frances up to go off on 8:01 train. I went to station with her. Cold walking home. Ironed and cleaned up. Went to Woman’s Club, met Bessie B. at City Hall. Down town later. Hot soup for supper.

On Saturday, March 11 Eleanor writes:

Made 2 kinds of cookies, blueberry pie, and chocolate cake, and brown bread, also beans. Went to movies that Woman’s Club gave for the children at Gem. Mollie Wight [nickname for Mary? Wight mentioned above] and her friend, Miss Ells, down when we were eating supper and wants us to go to camp tomorrow as chaperones. Baths.

On Sunday, March 12 Eleanor writes:

Up at 8:00 got ready to go to camp. 5 of us rode up on car, while Leslie and Arthur hauled toboggan and snowshoes. Perfect day and Mts. grand. Up to camp about 11:00. Boys made fire then we had some tobogganing. Johnson up soon after. Had oyster stew about 1:00. Then had more sliding. Miss Ell’s sister and Mr. Read came up later. Started home about 6:00. Some tired when we reached home.

Winter outing at the camp

On Tuesday, March 14 Eleanor writes:

Homer’s birthday. [Eleanor’s younger brother] Snowed in A.M. but cleared by noon. Made salad dressing and baked bread. Got ready to go to church on 1:20 car. Mrs. Johnson on that car, too. Had 36 to circle. Served banana salad, hot rolls, coffee, and crackers. Mrs. Burbank helped us and 3 or 4 served.

On Saturday, April 8 Eleanor writes:

Sun melting snow fast. Cleaned dining room. Got ready to go to Randolph. Went to movies and met Mrs.Gooding and Hooper going in. Saw “Alice in Wonderland.” Arthur came home to change clothes. Took 5:40 car. Arthur’s father met us.

On Sunday, April 9 Eleanor writes:

Snowed last night and all day. Terrible wind. Made candy in A.M. Rex with boys. Uncle Sid carried us down at 3:30 and just made a car. Nice sleigh ride. Built warm fire and made cocoa.

On Saturday, April 15 Eleanor writes:

Lovely sunny day. Did lots of cooking. Arthur came at noon and said his father and mother were coming. Cleaned up spare room and went down for my hat. They came about 4:30. Sewed in eve.

On Saturday, April 16 Eleanor writes:

Warm – Palm Sunday. Had breakfast about 9:00. Roasted beef and dinner after 3:00. George and Isabel came. Did up dishes afterwards. About 8:00 Mrs. Porter and Elsie came. Had welsh rabbit and to bed at 10:30

[George Watson, born in 1868, was the son of Emery and Elmira Watson. Emery’s parents were Abel and Susan Watson of Randolph, NH. George was the oldest of 4 siblings: he had a sister Marion b.1870, and two brothers, Fred b.1872, and Frank b.1874. He married Isabel in 1865, and they were living in Gorham in 1916, and, as far as I can tell, George lived in Gorham, NH his entire life. Both he and his father worked in a saw mill.]

On Monday, April 17 Eleanor writes:

All up to have breakfast together. Mrs. Watson helped me cut out shirt waist. I made peppermints and chocolate for Harold’s [Edith Boothman’s son b.1905] birthday. Auto called for Mr. and Mrs. Watson for noon train. Tired and to bed before dishes were washed. Bed early.

On Friday, April 21 Eleanor writes:

Good Friday - Lovely sunny day. Made salad-dressing, and sprinkled clothes but didn’t feel like ironing them. Dusted and cleaned all around. Went to bed in afternoon to read.[Ellie had previously started reading the book “Michael O’Halloran”] Arthur read from Ladies Home Journal in eve to me.

Note: My grandmother subscribed to the LHJ for many years. I show in the figure below a cover of the April 1916 Edition, which included these articles:

Dominie Dean • Ellis Parker Butler & James B. Dare

The Doctor of Afternoon Arm • Norman Duncan

When Mrs. Warburton Met Mrs. Connors • Inez Haynes Irwin

The Hole in the Mahogany Panel [Sir Henry Marquis] • Melville Davisson Post

The Amazing Event That Caused Miss Qegg to Disappear for Good • Anne Warner

On Sunday, May 7 Eleanor writes:

Up before 8:00, but Dr. [Dr. Bassford was Eleanor’s close friend Helene’s father] up earlier and out for walk. Breakfast at 8:30. Arthur washed dishes and Dr. wiped, I put up our lunch (3 eggs and two sandwiches) Mother sent up box of cake and snap dragons from Xautho [Club in Portland, Me]. Started for Gorham nearly 12:00 and Earl [Will was William M. Watson the son of Abel and Cordelia Watson from Randolph, NH. William married Lizzie S. (Wheeler - from Shelburne, NH) in 1896, and they had one son named Earle, behind the wheel] carried us to Gilead. Beautiful day and trip. Found some May flowers and ate lunch. On to Shelburne (nearly caught in shower) Found beautiful flowers back of Wheeler’s. Stopped there a while and nice ride home. In Berlin at 6:30 and picked over flowers. Lunch and to bed at 10:00.

Dr. Bassford took this picture of their trip to Gilead, Me.

Ellie and her father Walter Foss are shown in the back seat of the car.

On Monday, May 8 Eleanor writes:

Up at 5:00 and hustled off on 6:45 train for Randolph. Men did up dishes. I put up lunch and we started on [Randolph] Hill met John [Boothman] and down to Mossy Glen. Up to Jackson’s and thru house. About 2:00 started down. Went to Appalachia [Station] to see them off on 3:40 train. Started to rain. Very tired and to bed at 8:00.

A spring excursion to "The Mossy Glen"

Appalachia Station, a flag station (existed from 1896 to 1941 [2]) was 825 feet from the Ravine House. (Appalachia station is the small structure seen in left foreground of photo)

Photo of Ravine House with Appalachia Station circa late 1800s

On Tuesday, May 9 Eleanor writes:

[Staying at Coldbrook Lodge]

Up about 9:00. Ironed and helped some. Made checkermints for Harold. Edith [Boothman] and Mrs. Reed and Hunt up to Jackson’s [Highacres] to work. Arthur washed supper dishes and I wiped. Arthur read story out loud.

On Wednesday, May 10 Eleanor writes:

Cold- Up about 7:00. Helped do up work and wrote to Ma. Down to Crosses at Sewing Circle. Saw their bungalow. [According to RON there was a lot of building activity in Randolph going on in 1913 and 1914. And Dr. Ernest Samuel Cross, of Baltimore had a Colonial house built of his design. Presumably this might have been the bungalow Eleanor mentions] Tacked 4 quilts. Mrs. Pease there. Arthur and I home on 6:00 train. Found kitchen ceiling being painted. We went to movies in eve.

In 1912, “Mrs. Theodore C. Pease, of Andover, Mass placed her cottage a short distance from where the little red schoolhouse used to stand.” [1]

Below is a photo Eleanor took of the Pease Cottage in 1912 - 1913.

The Sewing Circle, which I believe may have been part of “The Home Dem” (which stood for the Home Demonstration agent, as it was called in Randolph). [2] This affiliation stemmed from a federal government program which established the Co-operative Extension in order to bring people living in rural communities the benefits of current developments in the field of agriculture, home economics, and other related subjects. For a brief history of this program today as well as in the 19th and 20th centuries, click here.

In the publication “Randolph, NH 150 Years,” it mentions that during the winter, a group of women would meet at one another’s houses to work on quilts (as a part of the Home Dem). “Nothing is known about the quality of their output, but one of their designs is well remembered, and at least one example is extant. This was the Friendship quilt and consisted of squares made up of nine smaller squares; the central square was white and was signed in ink by the maker.”

My grandmother made this Friendship quilt during this period, but did not sign her name in the middle.

Full view of Friendship Quilt:

Close-up of Friendship Quilt:

My grandmother made several of these crazy quilts during circa 1900 Crazy quilts differ from "regular" quilts in that the careful geometric design of a quilt block is much less important in crazy quilts. The quilters are able to employ much smaller and more irregularly-shaped pieces of fabric. In comparison to standard quilts, crazy quilts are far more likely to use exotic pieces of fabric, such as velvet, satin, tulle, or silk, and embellishments such as buttons, lace, ribbons, beads, or embroidery.

Full view of Crazy Quilt:

Close-up of Crazy Quilt:

On Saturday, May 13 Eleanor writes:

Ironed some and packed for Randolph. Went over on 3:15 train. Found Harold sick with a cold. Quite cool weather.

On Sunday, May 14 Eleanor writes:

Mr. Watson 66 [yrs] to-day. We all went to S.S. but him. Had peach ice-cream. Marion [Boothman] back from Mt. View in Rod’s car. They came in. Made candy for Harold [Boothman]. Bed with a cold.

Seen in the figure below are Anna and Laban Watson at Coldbrook Lodge - Laban would have been 67 when this photo was taken in 1917.

The Mountain View photo below was taken by Eleanor around 1912 - 1913.

Some background details on The Mountain View House and the Kelsey family:

Benjamin Kelsey built a two-story house on Randolph Hill in the 1860s which was called Kelsey Cottage. It accommodated up to twelve guests. [2]

In the 1860 Census, Benjamin Kelsey is living in Randolph with his wife Hannah and their six children. Benjamin’s son William took over the care of the property sometime during this period. When their daughter Sarah married John Boothman, they enlarged the cottage to accommodate up to 30 guests taking on the new name of The Mountain View House. John and Sarah along with their three daughters ran the house successfully until 1950. [2]

Another son, Joseph L. Kelsey (b. in 1845), was married to Elnora Watson (one of seven children of John and Eliza Watson). In 1880, Joseph was living in Randolph working as a farmer with Elnora and their son Fred.

On Monday, May 15 Eleanor writes:

Cold and dull. Edith washed and I helped. Mrs. Sargent down after dinner. I darned some while others made quilts. Made candy in eve. Arthur and I did dishes.

On Tuesday, May 16 Eleanor writes:

Cold and rainy but clear at night. Mrs. Cotton and Bodwell down to tack quilt. Arthur, Edith and mother [Anna] over to Wilson’s funeral and did up dishes and baked bread, made 2 loaves of nut bread. Ladies back home.

On Thursday, May 18 Eleanor writes:

Rain but from west. Made beds and cleaned up our room. After dinner ironed. Went up to Dean’s and came home with Arthur. After supper John, Edith, Arthur and I up to see Cutter’s new cottage.[This reference has to be to a cottage that Louis F. Cutter had built in 1916 called “The Maples” ] [1]

Seen in the photo below is Dean’s cottage - photo taken in 1912 –1913

The Dean cottage was a great roomy house among the large trees of many varieties. In 1910, Sarah Dean, of New York, purchased a large tract of the forested slope west of the Ravine House and built this lovely summer home. [1]

On Friday, May 19 Eleanor writes:

Dull and cold. Edith to Gorham on 9:30. I made nut bread and Mrs. Watson and I did up work. Edith home on 3:00. Rode down to Crosses with Arthur. Marion brought her friend, Ester, from Whitefield. Read aloud to Arthur in eve.

On Saturday, May 20 Eleanor writes:

Fair- Helped do up work and after dinner up to Mabel Lowe’s mothers to Sewing Circle (lots out). Mended and read in eve. Arthur fixed kitchen stove. Murray S. over with Harold.

On Sunday, May 21 Eleanor writes:

Nice warm sunny day. We all walked to S.S. Heard that Doris S. was taken to hospital with appendicitis. Uncle Will’s family up to dinner. Marian and Sarah up to Mt. View. Read to Arthur not feeling real good.

On Tuesday, May 23 Eleanor writes:

Rainy- Mrs. Reed, Hunt and Coulter down here to clean house in rooms upstairs. I made some cookies and did other things. Edith carried them back at 5:00.

On Saturday, May 27 Eleanor writes:

Nice day. Hustled around to get work done up in A.M. Up to Penny’s to sew and had swell lunch. Marion [Boothman] home on 6:00 train.

On Sunday, May 28 Eleanor writes:

Rain when we went to S.S., but not after that. Took off my union suit. Made checkermints for Harold. Nelson Smith and friend up in car and on to Mt. We took walk up to Dean’s and Maple Cottage [Cutter’s ]. Picked flowers.

On Tuesday, May 30 Eleanor writes:

Memorial Day and so rainy. Mrs. Coulter and Lowe down to clean front room. Had Harold’s [Boothman] trout for breakfast. Mr. Smith and Youkers off to Massachsettes. Took Harold up to Jackson’s. Helped do up work in A.M. and cleaned up my room. To bed early.

My grandmother’s caption for the 1913 photo below is “Harold’s Big Fish” - perhaps another trout.

On Wednesday, May 31 Eleanor writes:

Edith up to Ingham’s but back at 8:00. I did up dishes and washed etc. Mrs. Coulter and Lowe cleaned dining-room. Rode down with ladies to S. Peases [I believe that Eleanor is referring to Professor Arthur Stanley Pease of Illinois State University, who built a bungalow during the 1913-14 building seasons [1] ] and right back to dinner. Ma [Anna Watson] and I did dishes. I packed up and Arthur and I off on 6:00 train. Hustled to Appalachia. Things lovely and green.

The photo below was taken of the Ingham Cottage in 1912-1913 which belonged to Mary Ingham, of Malvern, PA and overlooked Mts. Adams and Jefferson. [1]

On Saturday, June 17 Eleanor writes:

Rained all night and windy. Cleaned front and back halls. Sewed and packed for Randolph. Stopped raining before 5:00. Arthur home to change clothes. Took 5:40 car. Did a few errands, too.

On Sunday, June 18 Eleanor writes:

Clearing. Marion and I did up dishes. Mother Watson went to Winona [a section in Meredith, N.H.] Friday. Went to S.S. Arthur worked in flower garden. Vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce. Arthur and I up to falls [Coldbrook] and took picture. Found lots of ladies slippers and sent them to Helene. Arthur’s father took us to Gorham. Waited one car during shower at Myra’s. Had terrific showers in Berlin before we arrived. Lunch and to bed.

Anna Watson went to visit her daughter Josephine (Clara Josephine was born in 1887 in Randolph) who lived on a farm in the Winona section of Meredith, New Hampshire. She and George Chandler, who was from Milan, N.H., were married in the Ravine House in Randolph on October 28, 1907 by the Reverend C.E. Clough of Jefferson, N.H. They had eight children: Milbre, Dorothy, Albert, Katherine, Flora, Laban, Fred and Clara. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 1967 on Winona Road in Meredith, N.H. where they had lived for 54 years of their married life. There were over 100 friends and relatives in attendance.

My grandmother took lots of pictures of the “Chandler band” as she affectionately called them.

The Chandlers (1912-1954)

Photo of Coldbrook Falls in 1916

Note: Click here for post on my trip back in time to Coldbrook Falls

On Thursday, June 29 Eleanor writes:

Nice A.M. made a fig pudding, graham loaf bread and chocolate cake. Also washed kitchen floor with mop for the first time. Had a nap while it showered then mended. Mrs. Cook down to say they couldn’t plan on Mt. trip with us as he has to work Monday. Arthur down to telephone Edith in eve. We planned on our short trip in eve.

To be continued in Part Two

On a personal note, Randolph holds a very special meaning for me. This stems from my father’s love of the mountains and the affection he had for the townspeople. He took me on many mountain trips always stopping off at The Mount Crescent House when we returned from our hikes to visit relatives and the people he had come to know while working summers there for Edith Boothman, the manager. I still have fond memories of such things as getting cookies from Flora Chandler who was always there baking something great. My dad (Morrill), who grew up in Berlin, N.H., spent his free time hiking and skiing. Shortly after entering Boston University, he joined up with the 10th Mountain Division in WWII and fought in the Italian Campaign in the Apennines. And, just as his mother (my grandmother) saved newspaper clippings, photos, and mementoes of her life, my father carried on that tradition when he was in the 10th Mt. Division, but that story will have to wait for another time. Thanks Dad.

Morrill at 8 in his backyard - 169 Church Street, Berlin, N.H.

While I have made certain assumptions and correlations regarding the cottages and people mentioned in this post, I have made them using the only sources available to me: Randolph Old and New and Randolph, N.H. 150 Years, records, and my grandmother’s newspaper clippings. There might be an occasional inconsistency due to, for example, erroneous census data or because, for convenience, I put all of the cottages in a slideshow called Randolph, NH 1911-1913, in my March 15, 2009 post (I now know that one of these photos, “High Acres,” was actually taken in 1916-17.)

If anyone could provide me with any details to correct any misinformation that may exist in this posting, please contact me by leaving a comment at the end of the post or by sending me an email at

[1] Randolph Old and New, Its Ways and Its By-ways, George N. Cross, Town of Randolph, New Hampshire, 1924

[2] Randolph, N.H. 150 Years, Sesquicentenial Committtee, Town of Randolph, New Hampshire, 1974

[3] For more on the Ravine House, see the video in my July 12th post


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful and historical post. I'm sure that my family knew yours, as my grandparents lived most of their lives on the same Church Street block in Berlin as your father, and my mother and I both grew up there as well.
There is a publishing company; "The History Press" ( that is always looking for local stories to publish and I think that you have a beautifully documented story, (including photographs!) that could be perfect for them.

Marcia Gulesian said...

Thank you for your comments and suggestion about "The History Press."

Anonymous said...

Nice work, Marcia - I wish I knew as much about my grandfathers as you do.