Interesting Tales we assume to be true
A Case of Inhospitable Hospitality?
THE HEART of the WHITE MOUNTAINS Their Legend and Scenery By Samuel Adams Drake 1882 Pg 58-61
Three miles below the village of Bartlett we stopped before a farmhouse, with the gable-end toward the road, to inquire the distance to the next tavern, where we meant to pass the night. A gruff voice from the inside growled something by way of reply; but as its owner, whoever he might be, did not take the trouble to open his door, the answer was unintelligible.
“The Churl!” muttered the colonel. “I have a great mind to teach him to open when a gentleman knocks.” “And I advise you not to try it,” said the man from the inside. The one thing a Kentuckian never shrinks from is a challenge. He only said, “Wait a minute,” while putting his broad shoulder against the door; but now George and I interfered. Neither of us had any desire to signalize our entry in the village by a brawl, and after some trouble we succeeded in pacifying our fire- eater with the promise to stop at this house on our way back. “I shall know it again,” said the colonel, looking back, and nibbling his long mustache with suppressed wrath; “something has been spilled on the threshold-- something like blood.” We laughed heartily. The blood, we concluded, was in the colonel’s eyes.
Some time after nightfall we arrived in the village, having put thirteen miles of road behind us without fatigue. Our host received us with a blazing fire -- what fires they do have in the mountains, to be sure! -- a pitcher of cider, and the remark, “Don’t be afraid of it, gentlemen.” All three hastened to reassure him on this point. The colonel began with a loud smack, and George finished the jug with a deep sigh. “Don’t be afraid of it,” repeated the landlord, returning presently with a fresh pitcher. “There are five barrels more like it in the cellar.” “Landlord,” quoth George, “let one of your boys take a mattress, two blankets, and a pillow to the cellar. I intend to pass the night there.” “I only wish your well was full of it,” said the colonel, taking a second put at the jug, and making a second explosion with his lips. “Gentlemen,” said I, “we have surely entered a land of milk and honey. “You shall have as much of both as you desire,” said our host, very affably.
“Supper is ready, gentlemen.” After supper a man came in for whom I felt, upon the instant, one of those secret antipathies which are natural to me. The man was an utter stranger. No matter: the repugnance seized me all the same. After a tour of the tap-room, and some words with our landlord in an undertone, the stranger went out with the look of a man who had asked for something and had been refused. “Where have I heard that man’s voice?” said the colonel, thoughtfully. Our landlord is one of the most genial to be found among the mountains. While sitting over the fire during the evening, the conversation turned upon the primitive simplicity of manners remarked among mountaineers in general; and our host illustrated it with this incident:
“You noticed, perhaps, a man who left here a few moments ago?” he began. We replied affirmatively. It was my antipathy. “Well, that man killed a traveler a few years back.” We instinctively recoiled. The air seemed tainted with the murderer’s presence. “Yes; dead as a mutton, “continued the landlord, punching the logs reflectively, and filling the chimney with sparks. “The man came to his house one dark and stormy night, and asked to be admitted. The man of the house flatly refused. The stranger pleaded hard, but the fellow ordered him away with threats. Finding entreaties useless, the traveler began to grow angry, and attempted to push open the door, which was only fastened by a button, as the custom is. The man of the house said nothing, but took his gun from a corner, and when the intruder crossed the threshold he put three slugs through him. The wounded man expired on the threshold, covering it with his blood.” “Murdered him, and for that? Come, come, you are joking!” ejaculated George, with a half smile of incredulity. “Blowed him right through, just as I tell you,” reiterated the narrator, without heeding the doubt George’s question implied. “That sounds a little like Old Kentuck,” observed the colonel, coolly.
“Yes; but listen to the sequel, gentlemen,” resumed the landlord. “The murderer took the dead body in his arms, finding, to his ‘horror, that it was an acquaintance with whom he had been drinking the day before; he took up the body, as I was saying, laid it out upon a table, and then went quietly to bed. In the morning he very honestly exhibited the corpse to all who passed his door, and told his story as I tell it to you. I had it from his own lips.” “That beats Kentucky,” asseverated the colonel. For my own part, I believed the landlord; “I was never there in my life; but I do know that, when the dead man was buried, the man who killed him went to the funeral like any curious or indifferent spectator. This was too much. George rose from his chair, and began to be interested in a placard on the wall. “And you say this happened near here?” he slowly inquired; “perhaps, now, you could show us the very house?” he finished, dryly.
“Nothing easier. It’s only three miles back on the road you came. The blood-stain is plain, or was, on the threshold.” We exchanged glances. This was the house where we halted to inquire our way. The colonel’s eyes dilated, but he said nothing. “But was there no trial?” I asked. “Trial? Oh yes. After several days had run by, somebody thought of that; so one morning the slayer saddled his horse and rode over the county-seat to inquire about it. He was tried at the next session, and acquitted. The judge charged justifiable homicide; that a man’s house is his fort; the jury did not leave their benches.
By-th-by, gentlemen, that is some of the man’s cider you are drinking.” I felt decided symptoms of revolt in my stomach; George made a grimace, and the colonel threw his unfinished glass in the fire. During the remainder of the evening he rallied us a good deal on the subject of New England hospitality, but said no more about going back to chastise the man of the red house.
[The sequel to this strange but true story is in keeping with the rest of its horrible details. Perpetually haunted by the ghost of his victim, the murderer became a prey to remorse. Life became unsupportable. He felt that he was both shunned and abhorred. Gradually he fell into a decline, and within a few years from the time the deed was committed he died.]
This particular item was posted on the wall of an early Lodging Establishment in Green River, a town in the Rocky Mountains. The reference material for this item is THROUGH AMERICA: OR NINE MONTHS IN THE UNITED STATES by Walter Gore Marshall Published in 1881. It is not technically related to the Town of Bartlett in any way, but anyone who has ever worked at a lodging establishment can appreciate the droll humor, which in fact, is not all that far from the truth even today.
The station inn, the only hotel in the place, is called the Desert House. A more appropriate name could not have been chosen. The following notice I found framed and hung about the breakfast-room :
THE DESERT HOUSE.
This hotel has been built and arranged for the special comfort and convenience of summer boarders. On arrival, each guest will be asked how he likes the situation; and if he says the , hotel ought to have been placed up upon the I knoll or further down towards the village, then the location of the house will be immediately changed.
Corner front rooms, up only one flight, for every guest. , liaths, gas, water-closets, hot and cold water, laundry, telegraph, restaurant, fire alarm, barroom, billiard-table, daily papers, couptf, sewing machine, grand piano, a clergyman, and all other modern conveniences in every room.
Meals every minute, if desired, and consequently no second table. English, French, and ticrman dictionaries furnished every guest, to make up such a bill-of-fare as he may desire, without regard to the bill-affair after- wards at the office.
Waiters of any nationality and colour desired. Every waiter furnished with a libretto, button-hole bouquet, full-dress suits, ball-tablets, and his hair parted in the middle. Every guest will have the best seat in the dining-hall, and the best waiter in the house. Any guest not getting his breakfast red-hot, or experiencing a delay of sixteen seconds after giving his order for dinner, will please mention the fact at the office, and the cooks and waiters will be blown from the mouth of the cannon in front of the hotel at once.
Children will be welcomed with delight, and are requested to bring hoop-sticks and hawkeys to bang the carved rosewood furniture especially provided for that purpose, and peg-tops to spin on the velvet carpets; they will be allowed to bang on the piano at all hours, yell in the halls, slide down the banisters, fall down stairs, carry away dessert enough for a small family in their pockets at dinner, and make themselves as disagreeable as the fondest mother can desire.
Washing allowed in rooms, and ladies giving an order to " put me on a flat-iron " will be put on one at any hour of the day or night. A discreet waiter, who belongs to the Masons. Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and who was never known to even tell the lime of day. has been employed to carry milk punches and hot toddies to ladies' rooms in the evening. Every lady will be considered the belle of the house, and row-boys will answer the bell promptly. Should any row-boy fail to appear at a guest's door with a pitcher of ice-water, more towels, a gin-cocktail, and pen, ink, and paper, before the guest's hand has left the bell knob, he will be branded " Front" on his forehead, and be imprisoned for life.
The office clerk has been carefully selected lo please everybody, and can lead in prayer, play draw-poker, match worsted at the village store, shake for the drinks at any hour, day or night, play billiards, is a good waltzer and can dance the German, can make a fourth at euchre, amuse children, repeat the Creche trial from memory, is a good judge of horses, as a railway and steamboat reference is far superior to Appleton's or anybody else's guide, will flirt with any young lady and not mind being cut dead when "pa comes down." Don't mind being damned any more than a Connecticut river. Can room forty people in the best room in the house when the hotel is full, attend to the annunciator, and answer questions in Hebrew, Greek, Choctaw, Irish, or any other polite language at the same moment, without turning a hair.
Dogs allowed in any room in the house, including the wine room. Gentlemen can drink, smoke, swear, chew, gamble, tell shady stories, stare at the new arrivals, and indulge in any other innocent amusements common to watering-places, in any part of the hotel.
The proprietor will always be happy to hear that some other hotel is the best house in the country. Special attention given to parties who can give information as to how these things are done in " Yewrup " The proprietor will take it as a personal affront if any guest on leaving should fail to dispute the bill, tell him he is a swindler, the house a barn, the table wretched, the wines vile, and that he, the guest, "was never so imposed upon in his life, will never stop there again, and means to warn his friends.
G. W. KITCHEN,
You are at the wrong office:
This is from about ten years ago at a local Bartlett motel: When I was on the front desk one night an elderly man came into the office at about eleven o clock at night in a total frenzy reporting that his toilet was overflowing and he could not make it stop.
I asked him to remind me which unit he was staying at and he said "Unit 34". I replied, "We do not have a unit #34".
Then he said that he was staying at The motel next door but he could find no one in their office. He asked if I could go over there to take care of the problem?"
I could only politely reply that I had no knowledge of any of his plumbing nor the authority to go work on it and that I could be of no assistance.
At this, the man grumbled off muttering what an inhospitable host I was.
THIS PAGE CONTENT
Accident, Jul 1880
A DRUNKEN DRIVER AND A
TERRIBLE WAGON ACCIDENT ON MOUNT WASHINGTON.
Mountain Wagon Upset and Its Occupants Thrown on to the Rocks---One Lady Killed and Five Wounded. GLEN COVE, N. H., July 11 1880 The first accident by which any passengers were ever injured on the carriage road from Glen house to the summit of Mount Washington occurred this afternoon about a mile below the Half-way House. One of the six-horse mountain wagons, containing a party of nine persons, the last load of the excursionists from Michigan to make the descent of the mountain, was tipped over. One lady was killed and five others were injured.Soon after starting from the summit the passengers discovered that the driver had been drinking while waiting for the party to descend. They left this wagon a short distance from the summit, and walked to the Halfway House, four miles, below, where one of the employees of the carriage road company assured them that there was no bad place below, and that he thought it would be safe for them to resume their seats with the driver who was with them.Soon after passing the Halfway House, in driving around a curve too rapidly, the carriage was tipped over, throwing the occupants into the woods and on the rocks. Mrs. Ira Chichester, of Allegan, Michigan, was instantly killed, and her husband, who was sitting at her side, was slightly bruised. Of the other occupants, Mrs. M. L. Tomsley, of Kalamazoo, Mich., had her left arm broken and received a slight cut on the head; Miss Jessie Barnard, of Kalamazoo, was slightly injured on the head; Miss Ella E. Meller and Mrs. C. Ferguson, of Romeo, Mich., and Miss Emma Lamb, of Howell, Mich., were slightly injured. Miss Emma Blackman, of Kalamazoo, escaped without any injuries. The wounded were brought at once to the Glen House, and received every possible care and attention, there being three physicians in attendance. Lindsey, the driver, was probably fatally injured. He had been on the road for ten years, and was considered one of the safest and most reliable drivers on the mountain. Mrs. Vanderhoot, of Chicago, also received slight internal injuries.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 13 Jul 1880
Source, Sweetser's Guide 1886
It is impossible to estimate the number of summer-visitors who now enter the White-Mountain region. One railroad alone claims to have carried 160,000 in one season. It is said that over $3,000,000 are spent in the State every year by pleasure-travellers. Fogg's Stalutical Gazeteer says that the annual income from summer-tourists in 17 towns near the White Mountains is 636,000; in 16 towns near the Franconia Mountains it is $300,000; and in 14 towns in the lake-country it is $ 340,000, — making an aggregate of $ 1,276,000, exclusive of the receipts of several of the great mountain-hotels, the Maine and Vermont border-towns, and the railroads, which would probably swell the sum to above $ 2,500,000.
Chronicles of the White Mountains
THE GREAT FIRE ON MOUNT WASHINGTON — OTHER RECENT EVENTS OF INTEREST Aside from the establishment of the White Mountain National Forest, to be dealt with in the next chapter, the most notable event in recent White Mountain history is an occurrence which has already been several times mentioned incidentally, the great fire of the night of Thursday, June 18, 1908, by which the active portion of the settlement on New England's highest point was in a few hours wiped out and the Summit thrown back to the primitive conditions of half a century before. This most disastrous conflagration not only was a serious setback to the business interests concerned, — a reparable injury, — but, by its removal of a number of ancient landmarks about which were clustered memories and associations of many sort, it occasioned a sentimental loss which cannot be recovered. For it was with genuine sorrow that the news of the fire came to thousands throughout this country and in distant lands, and particularly was the destruction of the hotel lamented by those who as permanent summer guests had enjoyed the hospitality and shelter of the Summit.House, and by those whose occupations were in connection with the enterprises conducted on the Summit.
Read the Entire Article at Chronicles of the White Mountains By Frederick Wilkinson Kilbourne
The Intervale, New Hampshire
By Winfield S. Nevins 1887
There are various routes to Intervale. From Boston the most direct is over the Boston and Maine road to North Conway, thence over the Portland and Ogdensburg. The trains run through the Notch from Boston and no change of cars is required.
The Maine offers two routes. By the Eastern division we go through Lynn, Salem, Newburyport, Portsmouth, Great Falls, etc., passing also the noted summer resorts of Swampscott, Beverly and the Hamptons. Trains usually leave at 9.30 A. M. and 1.30 p. M., though this may be varied slightly from year to year. The former is known as the " Flying Mountaineer " and reaches Intervale about 2.10. p. M. By the Western division passengers go through Lawrence, Haverhill, Exeter, and Dover, and join the Eastern division trains at Great Falls.
The trip may be made over the Boston and Maine to Portland and thence by the Ogdensburg. A somewhat longer but not less interesting route is that over the Boston and Lowell to Fabyan's, thence down through the Notch by the Ogdensburg. The Portland and Ogdensburg railroad is one of the masterpieces of nineteenth century engineering. From Portland to Glen Station it passes through a beautiful rural section. Beyond Glen Station it. lies along a mountainous region, cutting into the flinty spurs, spanning chasms, deep and wide, and frequently crossing rushing rivers.
One of the most enjoyable routes to the mountains is by the boat from Boston to Portland, thence over the Ogdensburg. The steamers of the night line run every night, leaving India wharf, Boston, at seven o'clock in summer, and at five the rest of the year. Usually, the boats of this line run day trips for a month or two of summer leaving at 8 A. M. The boats of this line are finely appointed. The steamers of the International line leave Commercial wharf Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8.30 A. M. for Portland and St. John, in summer. They reach Portland at 4 p. M., in time to take the evening train for Intervale. A day trip from Boston to Portland on the boat on a pleasant day is one of unsurpassed attractiveness among all our local ocean travel.
The Ogdensburg road connects at Portland with the Maine Central to Mt. Desert and St. John, and people leaving Intervale in the forenoon can be at Bar Harbor for supper. At Bangor, the Bangor and Piscataquis road branches off for Moosehead Lake, the great New England fishing ground.
Here are a couple short stories about Bartlett people sent in by Brian Knight:
George Lincoln Knight (my great-grandfather) of Bartlett worked for the railroad for over fifty years. He never missed even one day of work.
Paul Warren Knight (my uncle) of Bartlett was a member of the Bartlett Baseball Team prior to World War II. He could pitch, mostly played 1st base, and could catch a fly ball behind his back when he played in the outfield. Uncle Paul now rests in the peaceful ether of eternity at the
Arlington National Cemetery. He was part of a torpedo bomber crew during World War II and is New Hampshire's most decorated World War II veteran.
Submitted by Brian A. Knight,
Pictured here are... left to right...Edward Boynton Knight...George Lincoln Knight...Baby is Brian Aston Knight...and Charles Edward Knight. Charles worked as signal repairman in the Bartlett train yard. Charles also worked as watchman at the Peg Mill. I also heard from a close source..that good old Charles peddled booze during prohibition. Photo courtesy of Robert Girouard who received it from Brian Knight.
We were recently asked how COOK'S CROSSING came to be named. Norm Head just happened to know the answer.
I grew up and still live just up the road from your house (assuming it’s the first shingle style cottage going down the West Side) and am quite familiar with it. The Cook family once owned all of the land that now surrounds your cottage as well as the acreage where The Seasons Condominiums are now. The last Cook family member I knew was Roland Cook who lived in an old farmhouse in the middle of what is now The Seasons Property. I remember his house was reached by a long driveway and was surrounded by pine trees. Mr. Cook worked at Mt. Cranmore and was killed one day on his way to work. The accident happened near the present location of Milford Flooring in Intervale.
As you know, there presently is an overpass over the railroad tracks, but the overpass was not always there. Before my time, the road used to just go over the tracks without the benefit of an overpass and vehicles proceeding W or E on Route 302 would have to stop for train traffic. The tracks would thus “cross” the road. Since the Cook family owned most of the land around there and Yankees like to give locations local names, it became known as Cook’s Crossing. The name still shows on many maps and locals still know the reference. It retains its name but I suppose as time goes by, the name may fade away.
Another example of a named crossing is where the tracks cross the road just west of Attitash. That is known as Rogers’ Crossing after Harry Rogers and the Rogers family who used to have a farmhouse just over the tracks on the right. Sadly, that house burned flat (and quickly) on a cold and very windy morning. That land as well as the adjoining land where the former town dump was located is now owned by Joe Berry.
Hope this helps, glad to try to answer any other questions you might have. Hard to believe that I may be becoming one of those “old timers” that we used to refer to.
Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official, 'You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done.' The Chief nodded in agreement. The official continued, 'Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?' The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. 'When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.' Then the chief leaned back and smiled. 'Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.
From the town column in the April 4, 1895 issue of the North Conway Reporter:
A little warmer at the present writing.
E.A. and Daniel Dinsmore, who have been representing the Chicago Portait Co., returned home Saturday night.
G.F. Garland and Frank Locke are working for Walter Pitman.
Mr. and Mrs. Nute are staying with Mr. and Mrs. James Garland this spring.
There was an unknown man slept in Charles Gray's barn, one night last week.
Mrs. E.M. Dinsmore visited her sons at Thorn Hill, last week.
Mr. and Mrs. Parker of Lower Bartlett, are stopping at F.E. Littlefield's.
Mr. and Mrs. W.H.H. Pitman visited at Chatham, last week.
Rumor says that I.W. Hodge of Bartlett, will soon move his family back to his old home.
Mrs. Catherine Andrews Hodge, wife of James H. Hodge, was born in Chatham, and died at her home here, the 15th of February. Mrs. Hodge had a shock two weeks before her death from which she never rallied. She was a great suffer to the end. The funeral was held the 17th, Rev. Andrews of Intervale, officiating; also the Intervale Choir was in attendance. Several beautiful wreaths of flowers were furnished by relatives. Mrs. Hodge was a very quiet woman, never going around much. She will be much missed in the neighborhood. She leaves a husband and two children, Mrs. Fred E. Littlefield of this place, and John W. Hodge of Bartlett. We extend sympathy to the relatives
retold by S. E. Schlosser
Now, here in the South, we all do not approve of your so-called Connecticut Yankee peddlers. So when one appeared in the yard of my tavern, I was not of a mind to give him room for the night.
He was a scrawny fellow with a mop of white hair and a withered face. He did not seem like a crafty Yankee peddler. He looked more like a grandfather on his last legs. Surely this Connecticut Yankee had no harm in him!
Curiosity being my downfall, as my wife would be the first to tell you, I was keen to see a real Yankee trick. So I told him that he might have lodgings for the night if he would play a Yankee trick before he left. Well, he promised me the trick, but said he was tired and went directly to bed.
The next morning, everything went wrong. My yard boy never showed up. I was forced to care for the horses myself while my wife cooked breakfast. When I finally got inside, my wife was leaning over a table full of the peddler's wares. She was fingering a coverlet which matched the ones we had upstairs. The peddler named a ridiculously low price and my wife nodded eagerly. Just then one of our other customers called me to his table to pay his bill, so I did not see the peddler finalize the sale.
It was only after the peddler had called for his buggy, paid for his room, and begun to drive away that I suddenly remembered his promise.
"Peddler!" I called. "What about the Yankee trick your promised? I did not see any trick!"
"You will," he said, whipping up his horse.
Just then, my wife stuck her head out from one of the rooms upstairs. "Harry!" she cried. "That sneaky Yankee just sold me the coverlet from off his bed!"
"Used with permission of S.E. Schlosser and AmericanFolklore.net. Copyright 200__. All rights reserved." More Tall Tales from this Source
AND YOU THINK YOUR LIFE IS TOUGH ?
From the book, "Lucy Crawford's History of the White Mountains":
In December of 1783 Richard Garland was one of only five inhabitants of this location and there were but few inhabitants within 36 miles. Dover was the closest town for purchasing provisions. At one point Mr Garland had a small farm cultivated and one of his neighbors offered him a team of horses if he could find a plow.
Mr Garland then went 7 miles and borrowed the nearest one. He carried it home on his back, plowed all day and into the night, then carried the plow back. During this same day he went 2 miles to buy a 50 pound bale of hay, which he also carried home on his back. When Bartlett was incorporated in 1790 Mr Garland was the town's first constable and collector of taxes. Mr Garland also helped Captain Rosebrook in his endeavors to found a highway through the notch by bringing the first load of supplies (rum) through the notch to prove it could be done.
Business Directory 1875
THRIVING CLUB OF "MERRY WIDOWS" Un-dated.
The town of Bartlett, N.H. has the distinction of having more widows in proportion to its size than any town in America yet heard from.The population of the town is less than 1000, about one-third of which are women. At least one-quarter of this number of women are widows, and the most interesting thing about the Bartlett widows is that they are all self-supporting. Widows do every conceivable kind of work in Bartlett. They manage farms, milk cows, team, raise strawberries, and in the berry season pick blueberries and blackberries on the mountains for sale in the large cities. They crate their own berries, do their own gardening, and work side by side with men in the sawmill of the town bunching shingles. They form the majority of the workers in the woodworkers mill, the largest of its kind in New England. They also do woman's own work, such as dressmaking, millinery, nursing and school teaching, while the Bartlett cooks are noted.The summer boarding houses there, which during the vacation are filled with city visitors, are run by widows, and the boarding houses for the sawmill men and the railroad men are managed by widows.It is interesting to observe that few of the Bartlett widows were widowed there, and it is rare indeed that a widow marries in Bartlett.A widow plays the church organ in the leading church of the village. A widow is the town school principal. All the choir singers are widows. There are widows on every street in Bartlett. Every other house on every street contains a widow.In age these theoretically lone women vary from the sunny side of 30 to the shady side of 60.Widows are leaders of society in Bartlett, and the majority of them can handle a six-footer like a man. Indeed, some compete with the men in shooting matches. Numerically so strong are the widows in Bartlett that they have recently formed a novel society, "The Merry Widows' Club." This boasts nearly 100 members. The president, Mrs. John Mersereau, is called "the Queen of the Bartlett Widows," perhaps 50, as spry and jolly as a girl, and famed through the country as its best cook. The secretary, Mrs. Lulu Wilson, is the youngest widow of the society, and a school teacher; the treasurer, Mrs. Susan Foster, is a nurse. At one time she managed a millinery store. She is a mother of a fine family of children, and has a cozy home.Mrs. Jane Stewart, chairman of the executive committee and vice president of the Widow's society, works in the woodworking mill, and owns a pretty little cottage in the center of Bartlett. She has an adopted child, a waif she took from an orphan asylum. Mrs. Isabel Muir, another member of the executive committee, boards railroad men, and Mrs. Jane Wasson, another member, is a successful nurse and housekeeper."Why shouldn't we be merry widow?" said Mrs. Mersereau, the society president. "We can take care of ourselves; we are healthy, and have all the work we need; we are a community where we have plenty of honest admirers. We have no reason to be sorrowful, and every reason to be merry."
A few thoughts inspired by Carl Sagan:
We present day humans tend to vastly over emphasize our importance both in terms of this planet and the universe as a whole. Man-kinds entire existence of about 2 million years is little more than a quick flash of light when put in a timeline of the first life form 10 billion years ago and the universe, which is estimated to be 13.8 billion years. The span of recorded history is a mere 5000 years. For many of us the events that happened in the past 500 years are relevant yet the stories from one generation to the next seem to be forgotten unless someone wrote them down. There have been, perhaps, 30,000 generations that came before us. If one can trace his own lineage back 5 or 6 generations he is doing well. Our time stamp in the big picture of things is truly trivial and history demonstrates that the earth will be fine for at least another billion years, with or without mankind playing a role.
Contributed by Clayton Smith, April 2011:
There are places in the Bartlett area that without being shared will be forgotten and disappear. I have heard of two places in the experimental forest that my uncles, cousins, and other local old timers went to for hunting. Hearing stories of hikes to these places, and good times spent with fathers teaching their sons the honored traditions of self sufficiency, hunting, fishing, survival, and becoming a man. One was the Hermit's Shelter. The details of the story of the hermit are fuzzy. I've heard slightly different accounts. But, here's what I've heard: "There was a hermit who lived in the upper Bear Notch area sometime in the early nineteen hundreds up to possibly the World War Two era who lived off of the land. He was self sufficient, and by definition, lived like a hermit. He poached game as he needed food and perhaps hides to use and sell. The game wardens of the day (or whatever tile they had, maybe a special task of the CCCs?) searched for his cabin/home/camp, found it and burned it to get rid of him. He then being a stubborn man with Yankee ingenuity relocated his base to a shelter which could not be burned; a massive boulder with the potential of hospitality for one. This boulder had a crack which ran vertical through the ceiling, enough to put a chimney for a wood stove. The ending of what I know of the history of the hermit" Sounding somewhat as a treasure story one would tell their children before bedtime, mention of a buried keg of silver dollars has rung in my ears for many years. Who knows? Maybe you?
The other place is Pert's camp: "Pert's camp was a hunting camp with a more solid history. Not there anymore due to being burned, some say that they could recognize the remains if they could get in the area again."
Yes, there is more to these stories. I forget my bank account number, phone numbers, and even names of people I met days before, but I remember every detail of these stories as they were told. If you have any stories about these type of places, or perhaps info missing to my stories, for the heritage of Bartlett please share.
Here is an interesting story we received by e-mail. It sounded like Mr. Morton would like us to share it with you:
Hi to all in Bartlett , From Sanbornton I attended the Bartlett village school from 1947 to 1952. Lucille Garland, rest her soul, would let me sleep everyday after lunch. This went on until the Christmas Vacation of first grade when my mother managed to adjust my sleeping habits. I imagine there was more than a little embarrassment on the part of my father Raymond who was the high school principal.
Bert, my father would give me 5cents each day at noon so I could go to your fathers store to buy The Boston Post. The paper cost 3 cents and each day I was allowed to keep the change. In later years my father called the two cents change transportation charges. But it didn't end there. After I had saved enough to do serious damage to the candy supply at the store it all came back to Franklin George. Oh what memories I have of Bartlett . I remember getting in trouble at Newton Howards store when I picked up an orange and put it in my pocket. No one saw it happen, but my mother found it in my coat and I was back to the store in a hurry with that orange. That was about the time of the big Brinks robbery in Boston and I was somehow headed for a big time career in crime in my mothers mind. A .few years later Newton died in the house that was behind the Bartlett Hotel. A Mr. Lane lived in the house and ran the hotel. His grandson is John Chandler, a cousin of Gene and nephew of Alice Davis. I was invited to spend the night there with John as he was up from Massachusetts to visit for a few days. When bedtime came I was shown to a room upstairs and was in bed when I made a remark about the huge four poster bed. It was then that I was told that I was in the bed used by Newton Howard. I only vaguely remember going down the stairs, but I was headed home in my night clothes.I could tell my memories for several pages, but I thought you might get a laugh about some contemporary Bartlett history.
My main purpose in this Email is to correct some mis-information written by a Jeremy Saxe with regard to Livermore and the Sawyer River Railroad.According to the account in your website which is the same as the account on abandoned railroads.com, the village of Livermore was wiped off the face of the earth starting in 1935 and completed two years later. Now we know that is not true, because I remember going there as a kid with my Dad to fish in the river and looking into the house owned by the Saunders family. We went to an auction there I believe in 1952. Jimmie Clemons bought a lot of stuff including the interior of the Post Office .Maybe he bought the whole building. At the time of the auction there were two men who lived in Livermore . They did not speak to each other so the story went. The NH Legislature voted to allow the town to revert to a status whereby it no longer existed as a legal entity in 1952. I dont write to be a nit picker rather to set the record straight. Soon the people who remember Livermore will be gone and misinformation will become reality and history.
Do you remember Fred Washburn? He lived up the road about halfway between Franklins store and the crossing. He worked for the railroad and was also a plumber around the village. I remember Wayland Cook, who was my neighbor, telling me when I was an adult that Fred brought the last locomotive out of Livermore . The year was about 1936 which fits the timeline of the Federal takeover
Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. Time to get ready for that storm coming tonight.
PS: I inadvertently used the name of Newton Howard when I should have used G.K Howard as the man who owned the store and the Bartlett Hotel. It did not seem right to me at the time but overnight I figured out my mistake. I believe Newton was a son or nephew of G.K.
Feb 2019: BARTLETT — Local residents are disputing a story posted as a piece of internet click bait that dubbed Bartlett as “the most boring” town in New Hampshire.
People counter that Bartlett offers a lot of fun stuff to do from Story Land to Attitash.
The story, by Alex Daniel, was posted on bestlifeonline.com and was later picked up by MSN on Feb. 20. BestLife describes itself as “a site for men who want to live to the fullest. It’s the definitive resource for health tips, advice on accumulating wealth, food tips and tricks, notes on sex and style — everything you need to get you the body and the life you want.”
The story was illustrated with a photo of Bartlett showing pumpkin people posed by some old farm equipment and hay bales. The Bartlett Covered Bridge Gift Shoppe is in the background. Daniels wrote: “Drawing on data from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey, we examined which places in each state have the highest median ages, fewest number of things to do, and lowest population density – making it a decent chance you’ll have trouble finding tons and tons of fun.”
He found that Bartlett, with a population of 2,788, has a density of 37.03 people per square mile, a median age of 50.1, a percentage of population over 65 of 22.7 percent, a percent of family house holds of 58.3, six entertainment spots and 31 hotels and restaurants.
Maine’s most boring town was reported as Dover-Foxcroft. It has a population of 4,077, a density of about 57 people per square mile and a median age of 49.5. Dover-Foxcroft has three entertainment spots and eight restaurants.
Bartlett police blew the whistle on the offending story on Tuesday. Cpl. Ian MacMillan on Facebook tried to tag every “business and attraction” in Bartlett, but Facebook limited him to 50.
“I don’t care if you are Left, Right or somewhere in between, but this lovely bit from MSN is just plain, Fake News,” said MacMillan. “Boring? Not. One. Bit. I’ll gladly offer up Hart’s Location in exchange. There is just so much to do here, even if you aren’t a flatlander.”
The Sun took comments from the business community and others. Perhaps no one hit back harder than Janice Crawford, executive director of the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. She said MSN is wrong and the story tarnishes its credibility.
“Obviously, their criteria did not take into consideration Bartlett’s low property tax rate, stellar school, delicious restaurants, ski area and Nordic centers, access to the white mountain national forest, scenic rides, swimming holes, lodging choices and the people,” said Crawford.
“Where else can you find a restaurant with a caboose, a model train running around the top tier of the wall, a historical society refurbishing an old church, forward-thinking citizens developing a community gathering place for the future, Story Land and an aquarium, a florist who survived a lightning hit, entrepreneurs who survived bankruptcy and fires, and keep on growing? The best red berry-picking for winter bouquets, sap houses and turns into the north pole when necessary.
“Not to mention the rich and famous who shall remain nameless because we respect our people unlike MSN.”
Story Land’s Lauren Hawkins said not only is Story Land is geared to children 2-12 and their families, there’s plenty of other activities to do in town like hiking, skiing and kayaking. MSN doesn’t realize how much there is to do in this area,” she said.
Rep. Anita Burroughs (D-Bartlett) also pushed back in an email to the Sun.
“Bartlett boring?? Never,” said Burroughs. The reasons she listed: Some of the best cross-country skiing in the state, downhill skiing at Attitash, kayaking and tubing.
The White Mountain National Forest, Story Land, Diana’s Baths, hiking and snowshoeing. And home to some of the most interesting people in the state.
“It’s perplexing how anyone who has spent time here would consider Bartlett to be boring. There’s actually too much great activity to choose from!” she said.
However, Bartlett Selectman and former Speaker of the House Gene Chandler was fine with keeping the town’s interesting status a secret.
“That’s fine, life is kind of laid back here,” he said.
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